Picard's comments about Earth's Past - "Encounter at Farpoint"

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Joel_Kirk, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It surely is Earth, a wondrous place, filled with charming beautiful people, and their inspiring dreams.

    What's your world like?

    :)
     
  2. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here is another scenario that challenges the smugness of Picard from the early seasons (and even later seasons). And, it's kind of already when brought out.

    In "Parallels" we see a crazed William Riker with an unkempt beard and possibly one bridge officer in the background willing to fire on another just to prevent themselves going back to a timeline where the Borg have won.

    I forget the Trek episode I'd watched recently where a little conservation was going on about being pushed to the limits if one was put into an uncontrollable life or death situation where all the Starfleet ideals and training becomes just a means for survival. For example, the infamous Ransom/Equinox incident: How would Picard handle that? The Picard speech/self-righteousness will only go but so far, especially if there are those who want to eat/get home/just plain antsy.

    Watching a few episodes, he tends to say, particularly those who are with Starfleet: "If you wear that uniform..." or "You're a Starfleet officer!"

    I have yet to see it, but Space:1999 had an episode where there was a group of people who decided to form their own group on Moonbase Alpha. For that show, we had a passable leader in John Koenig, but even he couldn't keep a grip on everything.

    Getting back to feeling superior to people from years or centuries past. That may be true.

    If I were to come across a slaveholder from the 18th century, I might feel superior. If I came across Christopher Columbus, I might feel superior. However, if I met Malcolm X, Dorothy Dandridge, Marilyn Monroe...I might feel a bit starstruck. ;)

    Sisko's hobby was 21st century history, and Janeway - as aforementioned - admired Amelia Earhart, and Kirk Prime (or the Kirk we think of as 'Kirk Prime') admired Abraham Lincoln - despite what people (like, maybe Sisko) might have thought or speculated about the man based on how strongly the DS9 captain felt about the treatment of black Americans in the 1960s.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But if you were also to come across a modern day slaveholder wouldn't you feel to same degree of superiority?

    Wouldn't it be the "occupation" of slaveholder that results in the feeling of superiority, and not the time period that they're from?

    :)
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And since Offenhouse was a bankster, it makes sense that someone from Picard's anti-capitalist era would hold him in a similarly low regard. :bolian:
     
  5. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That is a good point - Picard comes from a future era where economics are different. Capitalism is probably compared to witchcraft from his 24th century P.O.V.

    But early TNG characters said or implied way too many "off" things to get out of this one easily.

    In one episode, Obrien referred to a scared little alien girl as "that" to her face.

    "Not much to redeem them" seems really harsh. Fighting words by any century.

    Was that judgement appropriate because one was a capitalist, and the other a fun loving drunk, the other a confused woman?

    Is there a difference in moral between slavery and capitalism? Capitalism may be annoying to an 24th century human but is it enough to make said capitalist irredeemable?

    True---super capitalists can be selfish, shortsighted and annoying in this century- is it enough to make them morally repugnant?
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, don't get me wrong -- I think the Enterprise-D crew were mostly judgmental douchebags in "The Neutral Zone." But I also think Offenhouse was a douchebag, and that Picard was less of a douchebag to him than he was to them. (But they were all far, far greater douchebags to Clare and Sonny, sorry to say.)

    Certainly. Like I said -- I think the genuine progress Human society has made by the early 2360s has blinded some Humans, such as Picard and Riker, to their own fallible moral nature, and made them prejudiced against alien cultures. It's one thing to honestly believe that one aspect of your system is morally superior -- it's another thing to think that means that your culture in general, and your species as a whole, is somehow intrinsically superior in all respects.

    Well, frankly the two went hand-in-hand for many centuries. Slavery was a function of the early capitalist system.

    There are certainly many manifestations of capitalism that are nowhere near as oppressive as that one, of course -- there are different capitalisms, as capitalism is not just one thing. But to an anti-capitalist value system, a capitalist may still be very morally repugnant many years later, especially for someone who wasn't raised in a capitalist system and feels less sympathy for someone living in a system they can't control. To an anti-capitalist value system, all forms of capitalism are oppressive to some degree or another -- and a member of the capitalist class would inevitably be seen as having participated in that oppression.

    I don't know; would we view a slave trader or slave owner as irredeemable today? It would depend on the person, I think. (For instance, while I view both as morally repugnant, I also think a slave owner such as Benedict Cumberbatch's character in 12 Years A Slave would be more worthy of earning redemption than Michael Fassbender's in that same film.)
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Gapping problem with that is Picard held all three in contempt, including Clare whom the future people mistakenly thought built houses.

    Still, you would think that someone like Picard, who is a archeologist and a historian, would understand the importance of finance in building a technological society.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Unfortunately, you're right.

    It's not Earth now, and probably won't be Earth then either.

    As Agent K might have put it: A person is nice. PEOPLE are nasty, brutal, vicious animals. It's only the application of civilization and authority that puts order to this chaos.

    That's human nature, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
     
  9. junkdata

    junkdata Lieutenant Commander

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    The Q are savages. They're basically genocidal tossers, with a god complex. Calling the humans savages is like a child calling insects savages while he stamps all over their ant farm. The prime directive is less savage than the Q, and frankly they could have at least killed the borg, as they started the whole thing in the first place.