I wouldn't want Bajor in the Federation if I was a Fed

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by You_Will_Fail, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So then sounds like the Federation has variable standards based primarily on how useful a planet or collection of planets is. The more valuable your strategic value be it economic, strategic, resources, etc. The lower standards you have. Although it does not matter what Vulcan does they are a founding member.
     
  2. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I'm interested in where this belief in Democracy being a Requirement for entry comes from? I recall the "One World Government", but, I don't recall anything about the requirement for democracy, as pointed out, there are Aristocracies and Theocracies already in play or being courted (Bajor)
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    During the second world war, America and Britain were more than happy to make a alliance with Russia, regardless of how they treated their own people.

    It hard to say where the "must be a democracy" idea comes from among some fans, a specific episode is never mentioned. Certainly some could be democracies, but if the majority of the federation's membership were say Aristocracies , then Ardana's system would be no big deal. Theocracies could also constitute a fair percentage. With a smattering of ruling Royal monarchs too. If most federation member were not democracies, why insist upon that as a entry requirement?

    Democracies very well could be in the minority.

    Now on the council, democracy might be practiced as a operating procedure during council sessions. But it also possible that the founding members have a greater voice, the way some members of the united nations security council possess a veto that the members of the general assemble do not.

    All are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    :)
     
  4. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The same place the belief that bajor is a Theocray comes from the darkside of Uranus.

    except Bajor isn't a Theocracy they have democratically elected leaders who aren't religious officials.

    You know Shakaar former resistance leader and NOT a Vedek or other religious official who showed up a few times. He was the head of their government.

    I mean seriously the leader of their religon runs in one election for the head of the government and LOSES, and all of a sudden a government is a Theocracy.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  5. BennyRussel

    BennyRussel Commander Red Shirt

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    It's an easy mistake to make. Most people think Bajor is a theocracy because we, as viewers, saw so much of Kai Winn and so little of First Minister Shakaar over the course of the show.

    I'm sure there are stated reasons for this, but I believe it is simply because Winn is such an interesting character (and Fletcher was so good), they chose to highlight her. Shakaar was about as exciting as a bowl of cold chicken noodle soup.

    Also, it was Winn that we saw visit DS9 and receive the offer of a non-aggression pact with the Dominion - not the First Minister.
     
  6. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Kai seems to have a lot of influence with the government.

    And the emissary-- he seems to have de-facto control of the government if he were willing to go that route.

    One word from Sisko and it is done. Wasn't there some type of religious rank or political position where the holder "answers only to the Prophets"?

    When the Bajoran who thought he was the emissary appeared, he instantly re-instituted Bajor's ancient caste system. The Bajorans all over the planet quickly obeyed.

    For that moment, democracy was almost completely suspended.

    In that sense, you can see how Bajor can be a troublesome candidate for Fed membership.

    Sometimes they are portrayed as having an almost fanatical, simple minded devotion to religious ideas.
     
  7. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Fair enough, but, the Provisional Government wasn't elected that we know of, the Kai does hold great sway over the running of the planet throughout most of the show, and Kai Winn did indeed sit in the Leader chair for a time

    Plus, as pointed out, the Emissary, could, if he so chose, implement whatever he wanted with a simple request
     
  8. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    Haven't we also been shown that the Vedek assembly had some type parliamentary role? (I'm thinking of "Hands of the Prophets.") Remember that not only does Winn accept the non-aggression treaty, but Winn and Bareil are the ones who negotiated the treaty with the Cardassians in Season 3.

    According to Memory Alpha, it is said in "Life Support" that the Provisional Government "Shares its authority with the Bajoran Religious leaders." So it seem there is a religious leader with political power and a secular leader, the First Minister, with only political power. The evidence for a theocracy is vague, but clearer than any other form. (Indeed Winn was involved in the Circle movement as well, seemingly to help consolidate power for the religious order.) Now... all of this could be the way Winn enacted the role, using the inaction of the Provisional Government to seize more power for herself and the role.

    The idea of two leaders, religious and secular, does cause one to think of a situation like Iran and the like which are theocratic. And if they're not theocratic, they're fairly close.

    I'd be hesitant to call the Vulcans religious per se. I'd say they're more ritualistic and that Priest/Priestess has more to do with the idea of a full-time ritual practitioner then a religious aspect. We do have have evidence of Polytheistic Vulcans, so there certainly ware multiple beliefs on Vulcan, but Surakian appears to be the mainline.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I think you are ignoring the fact that Bajor's culture is ancient. We're not talking about an eyeblink such as the history of the Jewish faith here. If Picard's statement from "Ensign Ro" is to be believed, urbanization on Bajor is at least hundreds of thousands of years old, and the patterns of religion and society are bound to have frozen long before the first Earthlings could verbalize "I believe, therefore you must as well".

    Diversity would be almost unimaginable on a world that old and OTOH that isolated from the interstellar community. If anything, what we see in DS9 is an implausibly diverse environment of faith, perhaps still shaking from the very recent appearance of the divine Orbs mere ten thousand years ago.

    And probably also on how you practice slavery. It does come in degrees, and indeed can be said to extend to today's practice of paid labor - a practice the 24th century heroes would be well within their rights to condemn and abhor, yet they seem to let it pass.

    Perhaps so. Or then it is simply extremely loose, even lax, and always has been. After all, we know nothing about the requirement beyond the single bit about "oppressive caste systems".

    Why set conditions to membership in an organization that craves more worlds and resources? It's not as if the candidates would automatically be eager to throw away their independence; incentives rather than entry requirements would be expected of the UFP.

    One might argue that democracy is an UFP ideal because Kirk considers it one of the prime reasons why the Federation is superior to the Klingon Empire in "Errand of Mercy".

    That AFAIK is the only time any of our Trek heroes or villains considers democracy a Federation virtue. But as there are no competing virtues being advertised, either, we might consider this an important factoid.

    Now, the Klingons appear to have a representative government of some sort as well, as described in TNG. But it sounds a bit unlikely that Kirk would know much about that government, and he might be judging Kor's fatherland in terms of its appearances.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quite true.

    Democracy is not always a guarantee of freedom. It is possible to have a democratic government and have oppressive practices at the same time.

    Ancient Greece had a democracy and still practiced slavery. So did the United States and other cultures for that matter.

    Having only a certain group being able to freely choose their leaders has the appearance of a democracy, but not the truth of it. I've seen a lot of that in Trek.

    Notice that Bajor never declared their caste system illegal, they only stopped the practice to fight the Cardassians.

    They never placed a clause in their constitution outlawing it.

    I doubt they'll go back to it again, but see how easy it was for them to take it up again at one point-at the word of a delusional religious figure. That's problematic, I think.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  11. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the analogy to Iran is pretty accurate.

    True democracy is no prevention on slavery.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say it's pretty rational. How many other cultures can say that their old ways have been proven by hundreds of millennia of practice? A minor aberration such as the Cardassian occupation shouldn't get in the way of a good thing.

    If Bajor is to provide anything worthwhile to the UFP in joining, it ought to be its expertise in such things. It's not much of a producer of warp drives or beer, after all.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    i thought they provide the wormhole. its basically owned by Bajor. making it a major trade route and strategic position.
     
  14. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    The Federation wanted Bajor before they even knew about the wormhole.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And there they probably just wanted a world close to Cardassia, and mainly wanted it so that nobody else would take it.

    But the Feds had the wormhole all right even when Bajor wasn't a member... If we think of how a culture gets into the Federation in general, exotic things like oppressive traditions are probably more a plus than a minus.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    yeah but the wormhole makes bajor a lot more valuable. especially since cardassia is now living of federation aid and is not a threat.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. But regarding these postwar developments... Is the wormhole good for anything nowadays? I know the novels postulate it was reopened, but the show itself doesn't quite establish this. Even if the Prophets agreed to continuing traffic, there might be nothing on the other side to go to. No doubt the Dominion would have annexed all the space there and would not look kindly to Alpha Quadrant people coming through.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmm, I assume its reopened but either way you have to guard on the off chance that the Dominion decides to march back for a second strike. Still I think from the storytelling prospective it would be reopened eventually.
     
  19. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm sorry, but... did you guys watch the same show I did? I don't get where this idea of a Federation with loose adherence criteriae and a self-serving agenda comes from.

    The Federation is nothing if not a set of ideals:

    - The Federation always tries its hardest to resolve situations non-violently, particularly but not exclusively Picard.

    - All main captains (and members of their crews) express disgust towards slavery, IIRC.
    Sure, it could just be a personal opinion, but given how everyone seems to agree, it's a lot more likely that slavery is considered abhorrent by Federation culture, if not by law.

    - The Prime Directive.

    - Several episodes mention the membership application process being lengthy.

    - There's that TNG ep where they have to review the case of part of a planet applying to join the Federation... they're eventually turned down, but not on the basis of not having a single-world govt (Feds were aware of that fact initially), but on the basis of their rather uncouth* resolution of Picard & Crusher's abduction.

    *i lenjoy using British Understatements.

    - Values of freedom (of self-determination, speech, the press and of religion) would seem important as well, though I'm too tired to look for specific examples.
    I can think of one at the top of my head, though: Jake expects to be free to report from dominion-controlled DS9 (Weyoun disagrees, favouring propaganda).

    - I forgot this one. And some others. Pretend I added more relevant examples. ;)



    Anyway, as for Bajorans, they're primarily an allegory... but an-ever changing one.
    Early on, there's obviously the post-WW2/post-Nuremberg allegory (Cardassians=Germans; Bajorans=Jews; Federation=allies), but later on Bajorans are mostly used as an allegory of either Iran or US fundies, sometimes even dark-ages Europe, be it oppression of sub-sects (the cult of the pah-wraiths is immediatly labelled "evil") or the existence of taboo areas (the firecaves).


    BritishSeaPower: you are right, but that is merely a consequence of theocracy: there can be no religious freedom under one. Apostasy in particular is oft treated with utmost violence.
    History taught us that, current events teach us that, reason teches us that as well.


    Oh, and this is only very tangentially related to the discussion at hand, but where do some people get the idea that a democracy can only be republican?
    Is just provocation or a real belief?
    I'll assume the latter for now and invite whoever claimed monarchs were incompatible with democracy to look across the Atlantic ;)
     
  20. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding monarchy, the question would be whether we're talking "constitutional monarchy" or actual rule by the aristocracy. Those are two different things.