RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,185
Posts: 5,345,237
Members: 24,603
Currently online: 705
Newest member: localyokel

TrekToday headlines

Klingon Beer Arrives In The US
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Star Trek: Prelude To Axanar
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

Abrams Announces Star Wars: Force For Change Sweepstakes
By: T'Bonz on Jul 22

New Funko Trek Figure
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Saldana As A Role Model
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

San Diego Comic-Con Trek Fan Guide
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Cumberbatch As Turing
By: T'Bonz on Jul 21

Retro Review: In the Pale Moonlight
By: Michelle on Jul 19

Trek Beach Towel
By: T'Bonz on Jul 18

Two New Starships Collection Releases
By: T'Bonz on Jul 17


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 19 2009, 06:25 AM   #76
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

Well I suppose it depends on how long-term the minor non-aligned powers are willing to think when they negotiate with either the Federation or the Pact.

If they were thinking short-term gains in terms of technology and resources, then the Pact is better positioned to provide just this. The Federation has too many troubles of its own with refugees and resources to bother with competing with the Pact to provide minor worlds with something in exchange for allegiance or political friendship.

If the minor powers are thinking long-term however, they might think it not worth it to align themselves with the Pact immediately. After all, before the Borg invasion, given a choice between aligning with the Federation or aligning with some members of the Pact, they would have chosen the Federation simply because the Federation does not occupy, subjugate or conquer and Federation worlds are for the most part independent and prosperous. Of course, over the long-term the Pact itself might distinguish itself as a viable alternative to the Federation and these minor powers might consider starting a "bidding war" to gain as much as possible.

Either way, the Federation has it tough.
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 08:01 AM   #77
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: I am here. You are here, too. Yes.
Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
Well I suppose it depends on how long-term the minor non-aligned powers are willing to think when they negotiate with either the Federation or the Pact.

If they were thinking short-term gains in terms of technology and resources, then the Pact is better positioned to provide just this. The Federation has too many troubles of its own with refugees and resources to bother with competing with the Pact to provide minor worlds with something in exchange for allegiance or political friendship.

If the minor powers are thinking long-term however, they might think it not worth it to align themselves with the Pact immediately. After all, before the Borg invasion, given a choice between aligning with the Federation or aligning with some members of the Pact, they would have chosen the Federation simply because the Federation does not occupy, subjugate or conquer and Federation worlds are for the most part independent and prosperous. Of course, over the long-term the Pact itself might distinguish itself as a viable alternative to the Federation and these minor powers might consider starting a "bidding war" to gain as much as possible.

Either way, the Federation has it tough.
Agreed. Given that the whole point of the Typhon Pact story-wise appears to be "let's give the Federation a true rival, rather than a simple enemy", and seeing that the Federation actively seeks to incorporate new members diplomatically, I'm guessing the Pact might indeed start offering "alternative pitchs" to as yet-unaligned worlds. If the story is "world X either joins the Federation or gets conquered by Tzenketh", it's not as complex as "world X either joins the Federation or joins the Typhon Pact". I would imagine the Pact would rather offer peaceful diplomacy than arms to new and weaker worlds, or else it would send them flocking to its rival the UFP.
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 10:13 AM   #78
Marcus Porcius Cato
Commander
 
Re: The Typhon Pact

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Creepy, too.

Tell the truth...just not the whole truth. Slant it to fit the propoganda, and...

NEURTAL WORLDS OF THE UNIVERSE, UNITE!
To what end?

There are not enough data to relate the exact intention of the Pact. And I would be rather wary of comparing Federation to USA/Nato and Pact to USSR...
__________________
"A person without any sense of shame is no longer a human being."

Mencius, Chinese Philosopher (c. 372-289 BCE)
Marcus Porcius Cato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 02:33 PM   #79
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: The Typhon Pact

Oy gevalt! I'm gone to the Medieval Faire for a day and look what I come back to!

Re: My hypothetical Typhon Pact salesman. Thanks for the kind words, all.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Except that's *not* how the Federation acts. The Prime Directive is meant to prevent cultural contamination on pre-warp (thus pre-contact) planets, to prevent societies from being manipulated with promises of lofty technology and miraculous abilities.
Actually, "Redemption, Parts I & II" made it clear that it allied to post-warp societies like the Klingons, too. The Federation just doesn't, in general, share its technology. It trades some of it with societies it deems "mature" enough to handle it -- though how they can argue the Klingon Empire is more "mature" than, say, a peaceful liberal democracy that simply hasn't yet developed warp drive, I'm not sure -- but in general, it doesn't share its toys. Now, the upshot of that is that it also, in general, does not interfere in foreign cultures' internal affairs (unless Captain Kirk or whoever breaks the PD in that episode). (Though that hasn't stopped the last two Klingon Chancellors from being installed by Starfleet officers, or stopped the Ferengi from adopting Federation values about gender roles and the need for social welfare programs within fifteen years of meeting the UFP, so someone who is more cynical might argue about the Federation not interfering in foreign cultures.)

It's just a fact of life: There are choices and trade-offs you have to make, and when you're the big kid on the block with all of the biggest toys and you chose not to share them for any reason, someone is going to be pissed off at you and will notice that you gain things from not sharing (such as no one else having toys as good as yours).

The scenario Sci describes is the Feds acting like a dick, but it's not how they'd act, because said planets are already enmeshed in the politics of the Quadrant, and have been victimized by the Borg and are asking for help. The Prime Directive is out the window.
The scenario I described is backed up by canon and by A Singular Destiny. In that book, the Federation is withdrawing most of its humanitarian aid from non-Federation words like Tezwa because it simply does not have the resources to keep it all up. It's not abandoning all humanitarian aid, but it's not maintaining previous levels, either. It can't.

Now, what my hypothetical Typhon Pact representative does not mention, and does not care for the Barzanian President to realize, is that the Federation simply cannot help. However, my Pact representative does accurately report pre-Borg Invasion Federation behavior.

I promise you, there are going to be plenty of worlds out there that see the Prime Directive as just being the Federation's way of maintaining its military and technological dominance (just like in real life, there are plenty of people out there who see the U.S.'s attempts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology as being just the newest step in a long tradition of Western European cultures trying to stop other cultures from gaining military and technological parity with them). There are going to be people who will see the fact that the Federation will stand by and let pre-warp civilizations go extinct from natural phenomena in the name of not "contaminating" their cultures (TNG: "Pen Pals," "Homeward"), and will see that as hypocrisy and passive genocide. There are going to be people who notice that Federates installed the last two Klingon Chancellors and conclude that the Klingon Empire now has a Federation puppet government (just like in real life, there are plenty of people who see the aid and loans that go to developing countries from the International Monetary Fund and the industrial countries and conclude that this is a new form of imperialism and that those developing countries have puppet governments). There are going to be people who will look at the fact that the Federation does not share all of its abundant resources with everyone and accuse them of being greedy and of profiting off of the economic oppression of foreign worlds -- just like people do with the U.S. in real life. There are going to be people who look at the fact that the UFP is allied with, engages in trade with, and sends military and other aid to the Klingon Empire (which has been canonically established as engaging in brutal acts of what we would today call human rights violations, which I would presume the characters of Star Trek call "sentients' rights violations") and therefore conclude that the Federation is partly responsible or complicit in Klingon sentients' rights violations (just like there were people who made that conclusion about the U.S.'s relationship with Latin American dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s).

We, the audience, tend to see the Federation's behavior through Federation eyes. And even through Federation eyes, we sometimes see the Federation's actions as not being morally pure. To someone who is looking at the Federation through alien eyes with an alien value system, though, the Federation's actions might look fundamentally hypocritical and self-serving. What my hypothetical Typhon Pact member said is propaganda, to a point -- but it's also all true. Just like the way the Federates from the canon tend to describe the UFP is propaganda, to a point -- but also true.

In a lot of ways, the behavior of my hypothetical Typhon Pact member -- go to someone who needs help but isn't getting it, point out hypocritical or "bad" behavior on the part of the liberal democratic superpower, then go ahead and give help without being dicks about it -- mirrors the situation that's cropping up between the United States and China today. China has a policy that we might compare to the Prime Directive:

They have a colonial past and value their own right to self-determination as a country, and therefore refuse to interfere, in general, with the internal politics of foreign countries (provided, of course, that they don't consider your culture to be a part of China, like the Tibetans). Meanwhile, Chinese businessmen and the Chinese government are making it a point to invest in the economies of developing countries throughout the world -- in Latin America, in Africa, etc.

The fact that China provides aid and builds up their economies without making demands on their domestic politics -- investing in and trading with the Sudan, for instance, without demanding that the Sudanese government stop engaging in genocide in Darfur -- is making China very popular right now. This is especially true because a lot of people look at things the U.S. has done, like the abuses of Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay, or at the U.S. invading Iraq and then there turning out to be no weapons of mass destruction, and conclude that the U.S. does not really believe in liberal democracy and the rule of law, and has only claimed to do so as a way of interfering with their internal affairs when it provides them with aid or investment.

It's like real-world politics: Looked at through one set of lenses, the U.S./UFP and its actions throughout the past 60/however many years mostly look okay, with some notable lapses. Looked at through another set of lenses, those notable lapses are merely the most famous of a long series of abuses of power and hypocritical behavior that constituted routine policy.

Who's "right?" Probably a little of both.

Doesn't mean the Feds wouldn't act like dicks anyway, but the Pact - if they did that - would be intentionally misleading.
Well, yeah. Of course the Typhon Pact would be lying -- lying, as Rush Limborg noted, with the truth.

It's like the strategy the Soviet Union used against the U.S. in the Third World during the Cold War -- mislead with truth. Point out factual examples of poor U.S. behavior, then do what the U.S. should have done -- provide humanitarian aid without being dicks about it. It was a major tactic for influencing countries away from the U.S. sphere and largely successful in the 1950s, and that was before the Vietnam War convinced half of the developing world that the U.S. was just another imperial power out to dominate them and take away their right to self-determination. Read The Ugly American for a fascinating take on that whole issue.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Which isn't really all that much. The only criteria are: 1) No caste-based discrimination, and 2) One world government. Apart from that, it's pretty much anything goes. Doesn't seem that bad, does it?
Actually, I'm pretty sure that the DS9 Relaunch has established that the standards for Federation Membership are more rigorous than that. The basic impression I get is that the Federation requires its Member States to possess governments that are liberal democracies (respecting sentients' rights as outlined in the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution, which were established in TNG's "The Drumhead" and VOY's "Author, Author") and to respect the rule of law. The DS9 Relaunch also seemed to imply that the establishment of normal diplomatic relations with the Cardassian Union was one of the indicators the Federation was using to judge if they were "ready" to join the Federation -- presumably they wanted to measure whether or not bigotry and prejudice were widely-accepted cultural norms on Bajor.

So if, for instance, the Planet of the Nazis had established a Nazi-style government (since Nazis seem so popular with aliens in the Trekverse) and had successfully unified the planet, had then eliminated caste-based discrimination (by, say, successfully expelling or exterminating their ethnic minorities), but also made bigotry against, say, the Planet of the Romans a generally-accepted value, I doubt that the Federation would accept the Planet of the Nazis as a Member.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Now, the question of what constitutes a true world government could also be debatable. Would Earth's United Nations qualify? It's obviously not a world government as we would understand the term, but for the Federation's purposes, it just might. If the UN actually worked, that is.
I doubt that the U.N. would work for the Federation's purposes, even if it worked. The U.N. is not a government in any sense of the term. It describes itself as a "tool of its Member States;" it doesn't possess, in its own words, sovereignty.

One other thing. We're all thinking there must now be a competition - will a world join the Pact or the Federation? - but it doesn't have to be.
Actually, I'm thinking more in terms of, will a world align with, but not join, the Pact or Federation? South Korea and North Korea did not join the U.S. or Soviet Union, but both aligned with those respective states. Which presents another interesting possibility: Federation and Pact client worlds ending up in civil wars over their foreign policy disputes.

The Khitomer Accords include wildly diverse groups such as the Federation, Klingons, Ferengi, Talarians, etc. A prospective world can join the Khitomer group but not any of those smaller ones. The Federation should use that to its advantage: A world whose leaders are worried about being subsumed into Federation culture, would be reassured that they don't even have to join the Federation - they could simply ally with it as part of the larger Khitomer group.
Sure, and there will probably be plenty of worlds that take them up on that offer. But the Federation has been so ubiquitous, so huge, and has spread its culture so far and so wide -- within two decades of Federation-Ferengi first contact, the Ferengi Alliance adopted the Federation's ideas about gender roles and social welfare, for goodness' sake! The Ferengi! -- that there are going to be worlds that will want nothing to do with the Federation, either as a member of the UFP, as a member of the Khitomer Accords, or even just as an ally.

In a very real sense, the members of the Typhon Pact are more closely integrated than the Khitomer Accords (shared technology and even currency), so a world would be *more* at risk of losing its identity if it joined the Typhon Pact.
Again, I think you're getting too specific, too literal. The real question is alliance, not membership. In the Cold War, client states didn't join the superpowers, they just allied.

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
In a very real sense, the members of the Typhon Pact are more closely integrated than the Khitomer Accords (shared technology and even currency), so a world would be *more* at risk of losing its identity if it joined the Typhon Pact.
just by have a common currency and sharing technology
Dude, money and technology are important! That kind of close-knit economic integration is guaranteed to encourage a process called syncretism: cross-cultural interaction, the movement of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and practices between cultures. Mr. Laser Beam is very right to note that syncretism is probably even more likely between Pact members than between Khitomer Accords members. Though to a lot of worlds, the very fact that it's syncretism between non-Federation cultures would probably make it preferable to syncretism with the Federation.

I think the books should also explore more instances where the Federation's high-minded ideals become an impediment and result in a few losses, not just in terms of lives but also in terms of political power, economic power etc. in the coming struggle against the Typhon Pact.
That would be well worth exploring to an extent, but if we look at real history, a failure to live up to one's stated values tends to do much more harm than actually living up to them. In the CIA, it's called "blowback;" a strong example of blowback would be the Iranian Revolution. The United States and United Kingdom in 1953, faced with a democratically-elected Iranian government that wanted to nationalize Iran's oil resources (and thereby endanger U.S. and British corporations), chose to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mosaddeq and install the former Shah of Iran to power -- creating a brutal but pro-Western dictator. It worked well enough at first, but then the Shah was overthrown, and the resultant government turned into an anti-American dictatorship that was far more oppressive and hostile towards the U.S. than Mohammed Mosaddeq's government ever would have been.

Some people may like the idea of exploring how Federation values will cause it problems and make it harder to survive, but as I noted in my Typhon Pact example, it is actually inconsistency in behavior with the UFP's stated values that will hurt it far more. In my experience, a lot of people who want to promote stories about how adherence to the principles of liberal democracy, rule of law, and human rights/sentients' rights will hurt us and make it harder to survive are actually doing so to promote an anti-democratic, anti-human rights, anti-rule of law political agenda.

Arpy wrote: View Post
Though I can hear a Ferengi make this pitch, it doesn't fly.
Sure, I'm not saying that there wouldn't be plenty of worlds that would see through the Typhon Pact's message. I'm saying that it would be a compelling narrative that would gain a lot of adherents and cause problems for the Federation. There would be worlds that would fall for it, just like there would be worlds that wouldn't. Why do I say that? Because there were countries that fell for the same line of propaganda that the Soviet Union put out during the Cold War; my Typhon Pact pitch was essentially the same as theirs.

Posted by Sci:
"…Millions on the brink of starvation, entire food and water delivery infrastructure torn to pieces isn't it? Well, I'm sure you can ask the Federation for help.
"Yeah cause whenever we've asked you, you've said you don't bother with inferior cultures. Or as you put it, 'We can't afford it…our people must come first,' and then wagged your finger at that hypocritical commie Federation."
To be fair, there's no evidence, canonical or in the novels, one way or the other on whether or not most Typhon Pact members have ever been asked for humanitarian aid. But even if that's a fair counter, I wouldn't be surprised if the Pact starts deliberately sending out humanitarian aid and building a reputation for doing so as part of a program to win allies and influence away from the Federation and Khitomer alliance.

What's that? They only sent you a few industrial replicators? Why haven't they just shipped you 6.7 million food replicators (Earth and Alpha Centuari have plenty, you know) and maybe about 3 dozen industrial replicators to help you feed your people and get yourselves up and running?
"Because they can't afford to?"
To which a crafty salesman would reply by giving rhetoric about how much comfort the people of Earth and Alpha Centauri live in, and then by talking about how much the Alpha Centaurans and Pacificans resented having to help out their fellow Federates who came to their worlds as refugees, thereby establishing a narrative of the rich but stingy Federates who won't even share resources with their own people, let alone non-Federation worlds.

Again, I'm not saying the Pact is being completely honest. It's spin. But it's spin that would convince a lot of people.

And don't you use most of yours to build more war machines to conquer little guys like me to compete with the Federation rather than feed your own people, or heaven forbid help your neighbors?"
As I've noted several times, a number of the states in the Typhon Pact do not have a history of imperialism that we know about, especially the Gorn, Tzenkethi, and pre-Dominion War Breen.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 02:33 PM   #80
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: The Typhon Pact

If they could, wouldn't the Federation make thousands of industrial replicators and use them endlessly? They'd make squadrons of spacedocks with dozens of nacelles and send them after the Dominion without need of the treacherous Romulans.
Sure, but you're not accounting for the role that resentment of the Federation and its superpower status would likely play in clouding many worlds' judgment. How we feel about something can have a strong influence on how we judge it and its behavior. For a real-life example:

Love of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to (or to make them justify or excuse) the U.S.'s various human rights abuses in the past -- supporting the brutal dictatorships of Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, who went around torturing damn near anyone they could with CIA operatives telling them how to do it, for instance. At the same time, resentment of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to -- or hostile to -- the U.S.'s various pro-human rights actions undertaken in the past: Refusing to see the horrific abuses of the Soviet Union and its communist allies, refusing to acknowledge the benefits of American foreign aid, refusing to acknowledge that pushing Iraq out of Kuwait was a good thing, refusing to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist, etc.

Back in the Trekverse, an anti-Federation bias, for instance, might well predispose someone to think that the Federation wouldn't send out industrial replicators and other resources to worlds in need and that its rhetoric about not having resources is nonsense. Meanwhile, a pro-Federation bias might predispose someone to think that the Federation would always help wherever it can. Neither side is accurate, of course, but that won't stop people from arguing both extremes.

And a good salesman for the Pact will take advantage of the kinds of resentments that will inevitably have built up towards the Federation and use it against them.


"Maybe even give you some of those fancy-shmancy quantum torpedoes so that the next time someone comes a-callin', you'll be able to tell them what's what?"
So they can go all Tezwa and end up causing a war between those who helped them in the first place and the Klingons?
To which someone from a pro-Pact POV could argue from several different angles of attack:

1. "Not all worlds are Tezwa. Why would you put any world that isn't in the Federation in the same boat with the government of that Tezwan madman? Sounds an awful like lot like you're stereotyping all independent worlds to me. See? Once again, the lofty, morally superior Federation proves its hypocrisy."

2. "How can you argue against allowing independent worlds to defend themselves in an age when the Borg Collective goes and exterminates them in reaction to your hostilities against them? We have a right to self-defense, especially now that the quadrant is devastated."

And that's just operating from the POV of a Pact agent who does not know that the Federation President provided the canons to Tezwa voluntarily. If the secrets of Min Zife's actions were to come out, a Pact agent would then argue:

3. "I agree completely. Barzan absolutely should not take weapons from the Federation. The last time an independent world accepted military technology from the Federation, the Federation overthrew their government and occupied their world -- all to cover up the crimes of the Federation President! The last thing that Barzan needs is to risk becoming a victim of Federation imperialism and Federation corruption. Here, Mister Barzanian President, please accept this shipment of 43 ship-mounted Breen energy-dampening weapons, free of charge."

That 'Prime Directive' of theirs. They still using that excuse? Really, it didn't go out the airlock when the Borg invaded and suddenly it looked like millions of your people were going to go hungry? That's disgusting.
"And where were YOU when we were being exterminated Tholia?[/quote]

"Tholia was denied the ability to hire a fleet of ships they needed to protect their homeworld--by the Federation. Funny how that works out, isn't it? Besides, do bear in mind that thousands of Gorn, Tzenkethi, Romulan, and Breen soldiers gave their lives trying to protect the entire Alpha Quadrant from the Borg in the Azure Nebula -- a massacre that allowed the Borg to invade the entire quadrant. Perhaps if the Federation hadn't tried to put all of our eggs on one basket, the war would have gone better."

"Your entire foreign policy is that the Federation isn't perfect so we should join you in war against it."
Actually, that's a complete misreading of what the Pact is arguing. It's not saying they should go to war with the Federation -- it's a competition for influence, not war.

A Pact agent would respond, "Nonsense. I'm just saying, we'll help you, and in return we ask you to help us. And we'll help you without trying to tell you what kind of society you 'ought' to be, and without trying to pressure you to join our government. The Federation is always running around, telling the independent worlds they provide aid to -- never too much aid, of course, just enough for the UFP to maintain leverage over them -- that they ought to change themselves to be more like the Federation so that they can become Federation Members. Isn't it nice to be able to get help from someone who isn't trying to change you or convince you to join their government?"

"Anyway, here's the thing. Now, see, the Borg never made it to Tzenketh, Breen, Gorn, or Romulus.
Beloved Romulus is no more after the Hobus supernova.
The destruction of Romulus isn't going to happen until 2387. The current novels are set in 2381, and the Typhon Pact miniseries will be set in 2382. My argument was from an '81/'82 POV.

"The rest of you guys are just lucky - the Borg would not have stopped at Earth or Qo'noS and all your worlds and mine would be gone."
Which is immaterial, as the point of noting that the Borg never got there was simply by way of explaining why the Pact can afford to help non-Pact worlds.

"Furthermore, when the Dominion swept through here, the Romulans and the Tholians signed non-agression treaties with them and the Gorn were to busy in-fighting to care either way. It was the Federation and the Klingons who stood to defend this half of the galaxy from Dominion "order"."
To which a Pact agent would reply by noting that every independent world that could signed non-aggression pacts with the Dominion. This theoretical independent world the Pact is trying to influence to ally with the T.P. would have no more legs to stand on than the Pact worlds -- less, in fact, since the Romulans eventually did join the war and lost thousands of soldiers fighting the Dominion.

BTW: I think it's safe to say that the only acronym worse than the Imperial Romulan State's "IRS" is the Typhon Pact's: "T.P."

"What do we want out of it? Why, nothing. Nothing at all. Except, maybe, do us a favor -- could you send, say, Romulus and Tzenketh more shipments of dilithium once you're back on your feet?
That's what the Orion mob, er, I mean, "business men" said when they sold us warp and now we're sending them a third our GDP.
That's just rhetorical nonsense. Trade agreements such as what I had the T.P. salesman describe above happen all the time in the real world: Country A has x amount of resources it can export, Countries B and C both want more of A's x, so A has to divide x between B and C in some way. If A and C get along better than A and B, then C is naturally going to get a larger percentage of x.

To equate that with a protection racket is just absurd. That's not a protection racket. It's not extortion -- it's just how trade works.

The Typhon Pact's entire modus operandi -- the modus operandi implied in A Singular Destiny, the modus operandi I cribbed from the Soviet Union -- is, again, of being bastards by being good, of lying with the truth. That's the point of what I'm saying: That the T.P. will likely do what the USSR did: The Typhon Pact, like the Soviet Union, will win allies away from the Federation by not treating those worlds like crap, by not screwing them over. Screwing the Federation over by being good to everyone else.

I expect more from the Typhon Pact if they're supposed to supplant the Federation as the galaxy's city on a hill.
See, that's the thing, though. You're operating from a pro-Federation bias, and, more to the point, from the notion that anyone even is or is supposed to be a "city on a hill." The Typhon Pact, like the USSR in real life, will probably seek to win allies by simply noting that the Federation (like the U.S.) has screwed other nations over plenty of times in the past (and therefore cannot lay claim to being a city on a hill) and then simply try to provide aid without strings.

The Typhon Pact isn't trying to replace the Federation as a "city on a hill" morally. They're trying to replace the Federation as the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant. To do that, they're going to hurt the Federation by helping everyone else.

Once they have become more powerful than the Federation? Hell, who knows? Maybe they'll end up "infected" with Federation values as a result of having been good to everyone else and end up turning into a unified state that shares all those same basic values with the UFP -- thereby ending the unofficial conflict between them. Or maybe they'll turn out to be pure hypocrites and disregard all their lofty rhetoric and beneficent policies. We'll see.

rahullak wrote: View Post
If the minor powers are thinking long-term however, they might think it not worth it to align themselves with the Pact immediately. After all, before the Borg invasion, given a choice between aligning with the Federation or aligning with some members of the Pact, they would have chosen the Federation simply because the Federation does not occupy, subjugate or conquer
No offense, but nonsense. The entire galaxy saw the Federation conquer and occupy Tezwa. I promise you, I promise you, that war cost the Federation a lot of respect and moral credibility from other governments (just like Iraq, the war it was based on, has cost the U.S. a lot of respect from other governments). The Federation lost the credibility to claim the moral high ground when it planted its flag over Keelee-Kee.

And as I've noted several times, it would be very easy for someone without a pro-Federation bias -- especially if their bias is actively anti-Federation -- to interpret UFP foreign policy as being very manipulative, controlling, self-serving or, expansionist, or even oppressive.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946

Last edited by Sci; July 19 2009 at 02:47 PM.
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 03:19 PM   #81
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

Sci wrote: View Post

No offense, but nonsense. The entire galaxy saw the Federation conquer and occupy Tezwa. I promise you, I promise you, that war cost the Federation a lot of respect from other governments (just like Iraq, the war it was based on, has cost the U.S. a lot of respect from other governments). The Federation lost the inherent right to claim the moral high ground when it planted its flag over Keelee-Kee.

And as I've noted several times, it would be very easy for someone without a pro-Federation bias -- especially if their bias is actively anti-Federation -- to interpret UFP foreign policy as being very manipulative, controlling, self-serving or, expansionist, or even oppressive.

No offense, but very narrow-minded. You seem to only look at the few instances of "manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive" events involving the Federation. What about all those 150 planets that are independent and prosperous? What about all the benefits they've gained over the years? So, there was one incident in Tezwa....a statistical outlier. Granted, a major blow. But still ONE incident. And the Federation did resolve the issue and quickly ... and forced their rogue President and his cabinet to resign ... if THAT isn't an example of self-regulation, I don't know what is.

Any intelligent species capable of thinking and willing to think long-term would likely consider all its options and in evaluating a potential alliance or joining another political entity, they would consider all of their potential partner's history not just the few instances that seem to stand out because of some negative consequences. Any intelligent species can understand that no race or civilization is capable of being perfect (and perfect here I define as following their own stated laws and maintaining their ideals all the time without a single contradictory instance). If the laws and ideals of the potential are compatible with theirs (and there are already very diverse cultures that enjoy autonomy and prosperity under the Federation - that's precedent), and they want to, out of their own free will and choice, join another entity or alliance, is that really so hard?

It would be not be easy for someone without a pro-federation bias to resist weighing the definitely larger rewards against the potentially smaller risks in joining the Federation compared to joining any of the other imperialist-oriented powers of the Alpha quadrant before the Borg invasion or before the Dominion war.

As I've said earlier, the Borg invasion and the emergence of the Typhon Pact changed everything and so powers that want to think long-term would consider waiting and trying to extract maximum concessions from both the Pact and the Federation before deciding on one or the other.
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 04:13 PM   #82
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
No offense, but nonsense. The entire galaxy saw the Federation conquer and occupy Tezwa. I promise you, I promise you, that war cost the Federation a lot of respect from other governments (just like Iraq, the war it was based on, has cost the U.S. a lot of respect from other governments). The Federation lost the inherent right to claim the moral high ground when it planted its flag over Keelee-Kee.

And as I've noted several times, it would be very easy for someone without a pro-Federation bias -- especially if their bias is actively anti-Federation -- to interpret UFP foreign policy as being very manipulative, controlling, self-serving or, expansionist, or even oppressive.
No offense, but very narrow-minded. You seem to only look at the few instances of "manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive" events involving the Federation.
1. Don't confuse my arguments with what I'm saying the Typhon Pact would argue.

2. About the Federation, I am only saying that it's nonsense to argue that the Federation doesn't conquer or occupy. Because it has. You can't claim that someone doesn't do something when, in fact, they do something and have done that something very, very recently.

3. When I'm "only looking at the few instances of 'manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive' events involving the Federation," I am presenting an argument that I suspect someone who is not enamored of the Federation might make. I'm not necessarily saying that that's the only accurate evaluation one could make of the Federation (though I do think that it is an accurate evaluation -- just as I think that the pro-Federation evaluations are also accurate).

What about all those 150 planets that are independent and prosperous?
Well, they may well be prosperous, and they may have a high degree of constitutionally-protected autonomy as a result of the Federation actually practicing federalism, but they are not independent. The Federation is a state, not an alliance. Its Members agree to give up their independence in return for the benefits of being a Member. We know this because the Federation Council can make binding law over Federation Member States (TNG: "Force of Nature"), the Federation President can conduct foreign policy for the entire UFP without seeking all 150 worlds' governments' support (Star Trek VI, DS9: "The Way of the Warrior," Articles of the Federation), the Federation possesses its own military (Star Trek), the Federation President can declare martial law on a Federation Member State's territory without that Member State's government's consent (DS9: "Homefront"), the Federation has a set of territory over which it governs (all of Star Trek), etc. It possesses all of the legal traits and powers of a state.

So while it Member States can secede if they want (Spock's World, A Singular Destiny, Full Circle, Losing the Peace), once they're in, they're not independent anymore. Autonomous, sure, but not independent.

So, there was one incident in Tezwa....a statistical outlier. Granted, a major blow. But still ONE incident.
All it takes is one time to make a claim that something is never done untrue. I can point to all the people I've never murdered in my life, but if I murder one person, just one, then that's it: I'm a murderer. I've committed murder, and I can't point to everyone I haven't murdered as evidence that I don't commit murder. Clearly, I do commit murder, even if it's only happened once.

And all it takes is one time, one bad choice, for the Federation to lose its credibility as a leader in sentients' rights in the eyes of other cultures. Add to that a history of using the Prime Directive to justify allowing other cultures to go extinct (TNG: "Pen Pals," "Homeward") or to justify allowing cultures to be conquered and occupied (the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, which the Federation knew about in advance but did nothing to stop, as established in Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers), and you have a recipe for a lot of cultures looking at the Federation and seeing it as being self-serving and imperialistic.

It is a biased perception? Sure. All perceptions of the Federation are biased. Is it unfairly biased? Probably. But it's not a bias that lacks logical weight. There is evidence to back it up.

It's all in how you look at it.

Do I share that opinion? No, I do not. But I can understand a character that might, and why they might (just like I can understand people who have similar opinions towards the U.S. in real life).

And the Federation did resolve the issue and quickly ... and forced their rogue President and his cabinet to resign ...
Nobody knows about that, remember? It was a secret coup. Starfleet forced Zife to resign at gunpoint (and then Section 31 assassinated him in secret). So far as the rest of the galaxy knows, Zife either resigned because of the reasons he cited in his Farewell Address or because the Tezwa occupation went badly.

Now, someone from, say, Ventax (a world whose government is predisposed to like the Federation and want a good relationship with them, since the UFP apparently saved them from being conquered by the Klingons and later exposed the false "Ardra") might well look that Zife's resignation and say, "Well, clearly he resigned because the Federation does not normally engage in conquest and occupation. When it did so against Tezwa, Zife was breaking Federation law and cultural norms, and his resignation proves that the UFP is good because he couldn't stay in power afterwords -- he lost all domestic support." Meanwhile, someone from Tezwa might look at Zife's resignation and say it only happened because the occupation didn't go well for the Federation.

And, indeed, someone else might say that we both have blinders on because we've only been talking about Tezwa. They might argue, for instance, that the Federation in fact conquered and occupied Cardassia during the Dominion War (Cardassia: The Lotus Flower having established the presence of Federation troops referred to as "peacekeeping forces" that found themselves in violent conflict with Cardassian civilians on several occasions). Why should that not be counted?, they might ask. You and I would both probably argue that the mitigating circumstance there is the Dominion War and the need for the Federation to occupy Cardassian space to both help Cardassia rebuild and to ensure Federation security from a nation that had several times gone to war against the UFP.

But then an anti-Federation POV might counter with the fact that the Federation did not similarly demand a right to occupy the Breen, claiming that as evidence that the Federation targeted Cardassia for occupation and the installation of a puppet government but didn't so target Breen because they could actually resist the Federation. An anti-Federation POV might also cite the Dominion War as evidence of Federation imperialism -- it was the Federation that started the war by mining the Bajoran Wormhole -- a wormhole that was not Federation territory at the time, thereby provoking the Dominion into firing the first shot.

Any intelligent species capable of thinking and willing to think long-term would likely consider all its options and in evaluating a potential alliance or joining another political entity,
You give far too much credit to the role of rationality in politics.

It would be not be easy for someone without a pro-federation bias to resist weighing the definitely larger rewards against the potentially smaller risks in joining the Federation compared to joining any of the other imperialist-oriented powers of the Alpha quadrant before the Borg invasion or before the Dominion war.
Again, are you really sure that it's a definitely larger reward and definitely smaller risk in joining or allying with the UFP? That, right there, is a pro-Federation bias you have.

Let's say, for instance, that there's a culture that was built on eating their own babies en masse in order to alleviate food and other resource stresses in a pre-Industrial age (such as the one described in the story in that link); they've developed industry but have kept the baby-eating because it was such an important part of their culture. Now, let's be frank, here: The Federation would probably never offer the Babyeaters aid of any sort so long as they were, y'know, eating babies. The Federation believes in sentients' rights, and eating sentient offspring pretty much violates that whole principle. Now, to the Babyeaters, eating babies is not only morally right, it is the very definition of being morally right. Literally -- their word for "morally good" translates literally as babyeatful. To be willing to eat your own young means that you are willing to sacrifice for the good of your society, to care about your neighbors' welfare. To end the practice of baby-eating would end their very basis for their culture.

Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact comes along and say, "Hey, that's none of our business. You do with your people what you think you need to do. We just want to make sure millions of your people don't die of exposure. Here are some prefab homes. Yeah, you can use them as baby slaughter houses if you need; I know the Federation didn't want you to for their prefab houses, but we don't mind."

To the Babyeaters, joining or allying with the Federation would threaten the very basis of their culture, their identity. It just would. There's no way around it. The Federation has a completely incompatible value system with theirs, and the Federation would always be trying to persuade them to change their value system if they were to ally with them and would absolutely not accept them as members unless they stopped being so babyeatful. Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact just helps them out and makes no demands of them -- other, perhaps, than sending the T.P. some of that nice dilithium they have instead of the Federation.

Which would you ally yourself with if you were a Babyeater? If you're a Babyeater, which of these two groups -- the Federation or the Typhon Pact -- is more babyeatful?

Now, that's a really extreme example. But the point remains: To a lot of people, the Federation looks like a culturally homogenizing agent. Like Quark and Garak in "The Way of the Warrior"'s famous root beer scene, they see the Federation as a threat to their cultural integrity, to their own national identity. They do not want anything to do with the Federation. It's not that they want war, or even think the Federation is bad. But they want to not be part of or allied with the state that they've seen subsume culture after culture after culture.

They have a bias.

Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact comes along and doesn't ask them to join it (meaning that it doesn't expose them to the huge level of syncretism that Mr. Laser Beam pointed out T.P. members expose themselves to). It just asks for an alliance or a beneficial trade agreement.

There are going to be a lot of worlds that will chose to side with the T.P. over the Federation. That's just how it is. Not everyone likes the Federation or views it as being less of a threat (culturally if not militarily) than the T.P.

And, as I've noted several times, not all of the Typhon Pact worlds have any histories of imperialism that we know of. Heck, so far as we know, the Gorn and Tzenkethi have never conquered or occupied any other worlds, which actually makes them one better than the Federation in that regard.

I'm not saying every independent world will think that way, either. Clearly, there are probably going to be just as many who do not think the Federation is a threat to their cultural identity, or who think they can manage it, or who are just plain pro-Federation for all of the very good reasons you cited.

But we all know and understand the pro-Federation POV. I'm trying to illustrate how an anti-Federation POV might operate.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 04:34 PM   #83
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

^

Very eloquent, if a bit loquacious.

And I have no quibbles with any anti-Federation POV or bias. That's one of the things I actually want to see in the continuing storyline. (Think I posted earlier about wanting to see the UFP lose some political and economic ground over its ideals)

My point is it would be in the interests of powers (bias positive, negative; UFP, Pact or not) that are thinking long-term to hold off until they can predict the behavior and attitudes of the Pact and the state/nature of the Federation after the Borg invasion and extracting as much from both the Pact and the UFP before they align with one or the other if at all.
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 04:47 PM   #84
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: The Typhon Pact

I would hope, though, that the writers do find a way for some pro-Federation points of view to be expressed. I don't want this to be the "fall of the Federation" that we keep hearing about. I want there to be hope for the Federation. I want something other than this pervasive, utterly bleak sense of doom and gloom that seems to be pervading the novels lately. What is this, nuBSGTrek? There's got to be some other way.
__________________
In labor news: Longshoremen walked off the piers today. Rescue operations are continuing.
Mr. Laser Beam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:01 PM   #85
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: I am here. You are here, too. Yes.
Re: The Typhon Pact

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I would hope, though, that the writers do find a way for some pro-Federation points of view to be expressed. I don't want this to be the "fall of the Federation" that we keep hearing about. I want there to be hope for the Federation. I want something other than this pervasive, utterly bleak sense of doom and gloom that seems to be pervading the novels lately. What is this, nuBSGTrek? There's got to be some other way.
Star Trek is pro-Federation, always. More recent Trek literature simply explores some of the flaws of the Federation way alongside its many benefits, and shows how it copes when its formally "perfect" standard of living can no longer be a reality. It's not the fall of the Federation, it's simply the Federation adapting to new circumstances. If anything, I'd argue that showing the Federation struggling through the post-Destiny era but succeeding in remaining what it is, Typhon Pact rivalries and stingy Alpha Centaurian governors and refugee crises be damned, is the most hopeful and Federation-affirming direction we could go in. I personally think "hope" has been a very strong theme of the recent books- it was THE defining theme of "Destiny", for example. Anyway, even Tezrene upfront admitted the Typhon Pact was inspired by the Federation- Federation values have become more popular in the galaxy in many ways, not less.
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:03 PM   #86
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

^@LaserBeam

Well its not all bleak doom gloom. There's Voyager and Titan.
And Jean-Luc Picard would be the first man to charge against any pending "fall of the Federation" and would be the last man to fall. Since that won't likely happen, there's plenty of hope for a renewal. Who knows? Recent events might even shake up a few laws that would strengthen the Federation, make it more idealistic (although I can't say how).

And I felt Losing the Peace was a "positive, hopeful" story after the carnage of Destiny.
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:13 PM   #87
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

Anyone feel like throwing Species 8472 into the fray?
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:17 PM   #88
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
Anyone feel like throwing Species 8472 into the fray?
What about it?

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Star Trek is pro-Federation, always. More recent Trek literature simply explores some of the flaws of the Federation way alongside its many benefits, and shows how it copes when its formally "perfect" standard of living can no longer be a reality.
There seems to be too much attention to the flaws, and not enough to the strengths. Most of this thread has been about trying to justify the existence of the Typhon Pact (and, therefore, the fall of the Federation). Is there no more role left for the Federation to play? Was Destiny the beginning of the end? I would certainly hope not. You say the Federation still has benefits? Well, THEN WHAT ARE THEY?!?!?

I'd argue that showing the Federation struggling through the post-Destiny era but succeeding in remaining what it is, Typhon Pact rivalries and stingy Alpha Centaurian governors and refugee crises be damned, is the most hopeful and Federation-affirming direction we could go in.
But we're not there yet. If those "stingy governors" and refugee crises are all we will ever hear about regarding the Federation, then what else are we supposed to think? The writers seem to think that the Federation is too good and therefore must be weakened; they are setting it up for a fall.

Anyway, even Tezrene upfront admitted the Typhon Pact was inspired by the Federation
But the pact was formed specifically to be an antagonist to the Federation, so I don't really see the point. "You inspired us so much that we're going to use your methods to take you down"? Seems rather self-defeating, really.

Federation values have become more popular in the galaxy in many ways, not less.
Well, I suppose there *are* the Voyager and Titan novels to consider. If that's where the hope lies, then so be it. Even a little bit is better than nothing. I would hope that those novels could continue for as long as possible before the darkness begins to infect them as well.
__________________
In labor news: Longshoremen walked off the piers today. Rescue operations are continuing.
Mr. Laser Beam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:30 PM   #89
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: I am here. You are here, too. Yes.
Re: The Typhon Pact

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Star Trek is pro-Federation, always. More recent Trek literature simply explores some of the flaws of the Federation way alongside its many benefits, and shows how it copes when its formally "perfect" standard of living can no longer be a reality.
There seems to be too much attention to the flaws, and not enough to the strengths. Most of this thread has been about trying to justify the existence of the Typhon Pact (and, therefore, the fall of the Federation). Is there no more role left for the Federation to play? Was Destiny the beginning of the end? I would certainly hope not. .
I'm not following. The formation of the Typhon Pact doesn't signify the fall of the Federation. It simply gives the Federation a rival/counterpart. There is room for two major interplanetary alliances in Trek. This is the beginning of a new era for the Federation, a more complex, more difficult era but it's not the end (indeed, "The Good That Men Do" appears to promise the 25th century will be a time of great prosperity and peace). If anything, the formation of the Pact demonstrates why the Federation's core beliefs on the subject of peaceful co-operation are so successful. I don't see how the strengths are being overlooked in favour of the flaws.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I'd argue that showing the Federation struggling through the post-Destiny era but succeeding in remaining what it is, Typhon Pact rivalries and stingy Alpha Centaurian governors and refugee crises be damned, is the most hopeful and Federation-affirming direction we could go in.
But we're not there yet. If those "stingy governors" and refugee crises are all we will ever hear about regarding the Federation, then what else are we supposed to think? The writers seem to think that the Federation is too good and therefore are setting it up for a fall.
You're the one who just said "we're not there yet" . The Federation won't fall for the simple reason that if the Federation fell fans would leave in droves. Those writers no doubt think highly of the Federation, or they presumably wouldn't even be writing Trek. As I said, ultimately the current stories reaffirm the Federation's core ideals, not detract from them.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Anyway, even Tezrene upfront admitted the Typhon Pact was inspired by the Federation
But the pact was formed specifically to be an antagonist to the Federation, so I don't really see the point. "You inspired us so much that we're going to use your methods to take you down"?
No, it wasn't formed specifically to antagonise the Federation. It was formed because the members have finally realized the benefits of working together and see an opportunity to increase their influence. Rivalry with the Federation is an outcome, not a motivation (well, unless you're a member of the dominant bloc within the Ruling Conclave of the Tholian Assembly).
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 19 2009, 05:31 PM   #90
rahullak
Fleet Captain
 
rahullak's Avatar
 
Location: India
Re: The Typhon Pact

^@LaserBeam
Call me hopeless, but I remember a line from Batman Begins:

"Why do we fall Bruce?"
"So that we can learn to pick ourselves up."
rahullak is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
federation, typhon pact

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.