Section 31...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by 2 of 10, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The only reference to infant changelings in those episodes are to the one hundred that were sent off to "explore" the galaxy. There is no other reference to infant changelings.

    And seeing as those specifically referenced in "The Search" were part of the special one hundred, we know they weren't with the Founders at all. So naturally they weren't involved with the running of the Dominion. They were also naturally beyond the reach of the Section 31 morphogenic virus and beyond the reach of the war in general.

    If I understand you correctly, it was wrong to attack the Founders because they had sent out one hundred infant changelings decades ago? You're assuming that infant changelings exist in the Great Link on a regular basis, but I think that's a baseless assumption, because they're not humanoids, and don't necessarily have a distribution of "young" and "old", "leaders" and "followers". The idea that there would be "innocents" among the Founders is baseless, something you came up with out of thin air.

    The Great Link is more like the Borg collective - there are lots of individuals, sure, but how do you separate them from the greater mass? Would the Federation be wrong to defend itself against the Borg because the drones are, individually, innocent of attacking them?

    Should Section 31 have deployed the virus? No. Should the war have happened at all? No, clearly the whole thing was one act of aggression based on fear after another. However, since it was used, and since Section 31 did possess a cure, it did end up providing leverage for the Federation Alliance, and there's no evidence that any Founders died from it. Hard to be too broken up about the use of a weapon that ended a war when that "weapon" wasn't even as lethal as a photon torpedo.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The idea that they only reproduce at special times in limited amounts, or the idea that newborn Founders are instantly as mentally developed and morally responsible as any adult, is itself fanwank. There is no evidence for this hypothesis, and unless there is evidence that Founder mental development occurs in such a fundamentally different manner, the rational presumption is that it follows the universal pattern of immaturity and non-responsibility gradually developing into maturity and responsibility.

    No, the idea that all members of the Great Link bear equal responsibility for the Dominion's crimes is baseless. We have no idea how the internal dynamics of the link -- and until we do, the sane thing is to err on the side of assuming that, as with every other group decision-making process in the galaxy, there are Founder dissidents and Founder apathetics and Founder innocents in addition to Founder elites and Founder decision-makers and opinion leaders.

    Not really. The Borg Collective, in spite of its name, is actually comprised of a single artificial intelligence (the Queen) who overwhelms the minds of its drones and changes their neurological structures to its will -- in essence, linking its drones in a group mind only after it has inflicted a form of mind control upon the drone, suppressing the victim's original thought patterns and will.

    There is no such evidence that the Founders inflict similar mind control upon one-another.

    No -- but the Federation would be wrong to engage in an act of genocide against every single Borg drone. The drones, after all, are as much the victims of the Collective as anyone else; they deserve liberation, not death. That's kind of the point of "I, Borg."
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Although, Admiral Nechayev did chew Picard out for not going through with the plan to use Hugh as a wepon, implying that she, at the very least was okay with committing genocide against the Borg.
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I don't appreciate being accused of spinning fanwank. I'm questioning your assumptions regarding the Founders and their society. We know next to nothing about them. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying you're probably not right, either.

    Don't bring "sanity" into this discussion - this is all fictional! What's sane for humans might be insane for non-humans.

    I question whether we can consider the Great Link to even have multiple minds. It can sprout multiple independent entities, but does that mean those entities always exist? Might they simply be aspects of one overmind instead?

    I ask you to examine your assumptions about aliens that turn into an ocean of goo.
     
  5. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    psssh. You humans and your ridiculous ethnocentric beliefs.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The main difference is, the fleet was for the most part was killing the Founder's slaves, the Vorta and the JemHadar.

    The virus was aimed at the decision making body of the Dominion.

    Given how little we know about the structure of the Federation govenance, the Presidents could conceivable have no worries of "potential consequences" for any of their action. There has never been a Federation President pull out of power and/or punished, or threaten with such, on the show.

    What other Founder children? Seriously Sci, what other children?

    When did we see this on screen? That's how we know.

    No Sci, that wasn't the question. The question was, where is the evidence that this is in their history or present?

    However, could at some point in the future S31 completely change into a different assemblage, with entirely different mission statement? Well, then it wouldn't be the S31 seen in DS9, would it? It would no longer be a secret organization dedicated to the preservation of the Federation by whatever mean they deem necessary.

    Even if they use the same name.

    So no, the S31 that we see on screen isn't a future threat to the Federation.

    I'm saying that the offspring (if any) is "magically" aware of the knowledge in the link, when they've been fully exposed to it and they at that time are a part of the decision making body that is the link. It's implied that Odo never was joined in the link before being cast into the cosmos.

    Actually Sci quite a few people have said this. One of the objection in this thread to S31 is that they are apparently not under the "control and oversight" of the Federation governance. When I posed the hypothetical of S31 being under the Federation's control, you remove your objection to their existence. Even if it were the same people, undertaking the same actions, S31 became somehow legitimate (you continued to object to certain operations).

    No, in that scenario it's first loyalty would be to the Federation government, but not necessarily to "The Federation." Although it could be both.

    There no reason S31 can not be completely loyal to the Federation as a whole, to the very idea of the Federation, without being directly loyal to (or under the control of ) the governing body of the Federation.

    :)

    :)
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to remember DS9 Season Three establishing that most of the day-to-day decisions for how to run the Dominion were left to the Vorta, with the Founders only rarely getting involved. Are we to suppose that all Vorta also deserved death?

    "KOR: You of the Federation, you are much like us.
    KIRK: We're nothing like you! We're a democratic body." - TOS: "Errand of Mercy"

    "RU'AFO: If the Enterprise gets through with news about their brave captain's valiant struggle on behalf of the defenceless Ba'ku, your Federation politicians will waver. Your Federation opinion polls will open a public debate. Your Federation allies will want their say.... Need I go on?" - INS

    "SISKO: Overthrowing a legitimately elected President and giving Starfleet direct control over the government?" - DS9: "Paradise Lost"

    The canon has very clearly established that the democratically elected Federation government answers to the people of the Federation for its actions.

    It's an entire species. The idea that they only had kids the once and then they sent them all away is just obtuse. No sentient race could survive with a reproductive strategy like that.

    No, it is not. The correct answer is: We don't know.

    If that's your question, that's a stupid question because it's not relevant. What is relevant is that there has to be a mechanism to counter them in case they do.

    Any institution that claims for itself the powers of the state without answering to the legitimately-elected democratic government or to the people is by definition a threat, even if that institution usually spends its time planting daisies.

    No, no one has said this. Repeating such an absurd assertion is an indication of either a severe lack of reading comprehension or a willingness to lie to advance one's rhetoric.

    It's really very simple:

    No institution has a right to exist without submitting to the rule of law, and no institution has the right to claim for itself powers which legitimately only belong to the state without being itself answerable to the democratically-elected government and, through that government, to the people.

    So if an institution decides it wants to exercise an authority which only the state has a right to exercise -- that is, the right to engage in the national defense -- then it must answer to the democratically-elected government and to the people. It is otherwise exercising a power it has no right to exercise. The use of violence in the national defense is only legitimate in the hands of the state; this is called the state monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

    The people, you see, have constituted the state (with its monopoly on the legitimate use of force), and have delegated the rights of the state to the government. An institution that seeks the powers of the state without answering to the government and to the people is therefore violating the monopoly on the legitimate use of force and is therefore a threat to the state and to the people.

    This is all a necessary part of what is called liberal democracy. If you don't like it, move to Russia; they don't mind unaccountable death squads there.
     
  8. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The Horta have children only every 50,000 years, after which the entire species, save for one, dies. Is that obtuse, Sci? Are the Horta stupid for reproducing like that? Are the Horta not worthy of preservation because they don't reproduce like humanoids? Should only humanoid species be safe from genocide?

    The Founders are no more humanoid than the Horta. The Founders have much longer lifespans than humanoids, maybe even nearly biologically immortal. Certainly they can live for multiple centuries easily. With that kind of lifespan, why should we assume they have offspring on a regular basis like humanoids? Can you imagine a biologically immortal species that insists on reproducing like humans? They'd fill the entire galaxy eventually, faster than you'd think.

    It seems to me you assume the Founders are exactly humanoid so that you can be offended by the attempted genocide against them.
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the course of daily life, the forms and the substance of a bourgeois democratic polity are important. You cannot properly claim to be a genuine democracy if the people cannot claim to exercise the soverignty. In a sense, warfare is the final claim constitutive of sovereignty. Therefore, if the people cannot be said to determine whether Section 31 wages war against the Dominion, the Federation is not a true democracy, whatever characters may say on screen.

    The defense of Section 31 hinges on the unsupported, even mostly unacknowledged, "principle" that the world is in fact a constant warfare. Thus, Section 31, like all covert operations branches, must fulfill the needs of this ordained necessity, and notions about democratic control are merely whimpers for a vain illusion.

    But, in either case, whether the government is formally certified by the customary forms as representing and executing the will of the people, or whether responsible parties perform their (tragic?) duties, the legitimacy rests upon the assumption that warfare is the natural order.

    I say again that is merely reactionary ideology. Warfare is not an inevitability. Indeed, in scientific terms, interstellar empire and warfare are ludicrous. It is merely assumed so as the politically correct thing to believe in a backward society. All aggressive warfare is wrong, as a crime against peace, from which an ocean of evils stem.The show wrote the Dominion as insanely aggressive merely to allow the Federation to be portrayed as fighting a defensive war. However..

    Since the Dominion could only attack through the wormhole, it was merely necessary for the Federation to deny them control of the wormhole and any Dominion invasion force would be doomed to failure. Even given the on screen circumstances as portrayed, the genocide was unnecessary, save as a desire to daydream about how "we" need to respond to our current enemies.
     
  10. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The Dominion's shtick was fear-based aggression. Because the changelings were persecuted in the past, they're motivated to prevent any future persecution by controlling all species that could threaten them. The wormhole merely made their first contact with the Alpha Quadrant powers sooner than expected, but the conflict between the GQ and AQ was almost inevitable. Would the Founders possibly have changed their policies in the next century or two? Probably. But their policy at the time was either to conquer or destroy any threats to the changelings. The Federation was a perceived threat due to its mere existence. Hard to stay peaceful when the other can't stand that you exist.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One good reason for the Federation to have mined the mouth of the wormhole far sooner than they did. Or employed some similar method to control passage through the passage.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Founder were at one time solids, during this time period it would be easy to see them have offspring in the "normal " way, but this is not a given.

    Once they change from solid to goo, why would regular child production be necessary? We've seen extremely short lived races, and other that live basically forever. If the Founder don't normally age and die, then the replacement purpose for children disappears. Founders can be killed, and the hundred were once produced for a specific purpose. There might be a need for periodic replacements. But these occasions might be thousands of years apart.

    Akuta: "Replacements. None are necessary."

    Ahhh, the lovely smell of paranoia.

    :)
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I had no idea that I needed more reasons to be offended at attempted genocide. :rolleyes:

    Right, 'cos the idea of being paranoid about a genocidal organization that answers to no one and acts as its own judge, jury, and executioner is completely unreasonable. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Since you refuse to accept any argument that precludes the changelings from being anything other than typical humanoids, with civilians and children among the population, I can only assume you resist changing your position on the nature of changeling society because to do so would weaken your argument against the attack on the Great Link.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But was it?

    Don't get me wrong, I believe S31 under certain circumstances would have killed the entirety of the Founder race, but I believe the same of Starfleet (certain circumstances). It wasn't so much an attempted genocide, as it was the threat of genocide.

    Sci, why did Section 31 create a cure?

    .
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Listen. We know that the Founders have children; we know that the Female Shapeshifter took the lead in directing Dominion policy towards the Federation (since she was the only one issuing orders to anyone), which means that some Founders exercise more influence than others; and we know that the Founders have disagreements with one-another (since it took them a full year between "The Adversary" and "Broken Link" to decide what to do about Odo).

    So the idea that all Founders are equally morally culpable agents--the idea, in essence, that they're all the same and all guilty--is just speculation. Until you get actual evidence of it, that's all it is.

    And I sure as hell don't think we should default to assuming that they're all the same, that they're all a homogenous Other who bear equal moral responsibility for the Dominion's crimes. That sort of thinking is not the sort of assumption a moral policy should be based upon.

    Or I just interpret the available evidence differently than you and always did, even before the episodes revealing the Founder virus aired. :rolleyes:

    Yes.

    Are you seriously arguing that an act of terrorism threatening the extinction of an entire species is any morally better?

    And they probably developed a cure in case it jumped species.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  17. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    No, we know that the Founders HAD offspring in the past. We don't know how often they reproduce, whether it's a regular occurrence or not. We do know that the only infant changelings mentioned were specifically sent out to "explore" the galaxy. What if they only reproduce once a millennium, and Odo's cohort was the most recent reproductive cycle? Then there wouldn't be any children during the Dominion War (unless you want to argue that Odo's and Laas were minors).

    As for the female Founder, she was the only one in the AQ, no? She would be exercising the full authority of the Great Link, then.

    What I think is that you should stop insisting you know what changeling society is like, because we both watched the show, and we don't agree that the evidence points to the same conclusions. I'm willing to change my mind, because I'm more interested in questioning assumptions than in insisting that I'm right, but you seem unreasonably stubborn on insisting that changelings have kids and civilians based on no evidence whatsoever. You're just decreeing them into existence.

    A cure gives S31 leverage.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    We know that the Founders can reproduce and have children. The idea that they do not reproduce regularly is speculation; the idea that there are currently no Founder children is speculation.

    She was the one taking the lead in deciding Founder policy well before the outbreak of the war. She was the one they interacted with in numerous episodes set before then.

    I'm insisting nothing other than what we know the canonical evidence indicates.

    I have already cited evidence indicating Founder children and civilians.

    An act of mass terrorism that risks an entire species's extermination is not a meaningful step up the moral ladder.
     
  19. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, absolutely it is speculation. We know they are capable of producing offspring, but know nothing about their reproductive cycles, such as how often infants are produced, which I think is an important point. So, yes, I'm speculating that the Founders don't have any offspring among them during the Dominion War because I want to know how and why your argument would change if they don't have children. Would it be OK to attack them then? What if there are no "civilians" among the Great Link? What then? In fact, what does "civilian" mean in the context of the Great Link? How does one participate in the Great Link as a "civilian"? Please explain what you think a "civilian" is in the context of a society that isn't humanoid, and in fact is one exists primarily as a shapeless ocean of goo with an extensive telepathic link among all individuals.

    "She" (in quotes because what does gender mean among changelings?) was at the very least the spokesperson for the policies of the Great Link. Was she their absolute leader? After she was isolated in the Alpha Quadrant, she became the leading authority figure of the Dominion, but was she always the leader of the Great Link? Does the Great Link have a leader normally?

    No, it's not a step up the "moral ladder", whatever that means to you. But holding a cure does provide leverage. I'm not condoning it, just making an observation. A mugger holding a gun to force you to give up your wallet isn't holding the moral high ground, but are you going to berate them about that when they're the one with the leverage?
     
  20. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sci - there is no canon evidence whatsoever that the founders can and do reproduce.
    'We know'? Really?:rofl:
    O - and as per trek lit that you're in love with, the founders most definitely cannot reproduce.

    And there is ample proof that the great link is, effectively, one being/one mind.

    Old news - as you've repeatedly proved, logic fallacies and "changing" facts are your main tool on this forum.
     

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