Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by JirinPanthosa, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    One of my biggest issues with the way they ended DS9 is the way they left the Ferengi homeworld.

    I would have totally believed if Quark went to Ferenginar 100 years in the future and saw a world where women are equal, the unemployed get welfare, monopolies are illegal, and all that other good stuff.

    But over the course of one year? Really? Profit and Lace showed a law change that made it so women can earn profit, okay. Jumping from that to it being fully accepted in Ferengi culture almost immediately is a huge stretch.

    And then, making Rom Nagus? Yeah, it was 'feel-good' ending. But I imagine the Ferengi stock market tanked completely about two days after that. Progressive reforms are awesome but if you try to apply them without really planning them through there's going to be a ton of unintended side effects. Part of implementing progressive reforms is having the maturity to know where to stop them, and there is a difference between what feels like the morally right thing to do and what is the effective thing to do.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    That's why Rom has Leeta to advise him.

    Based on what we saw in "The Nagus", as soon as Rom was appointed, it's likely assassins were being quietly hired.
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    In the books Quark has to stop Brunt from overthrowing Rom if that helps any. Heck, Quark almost joined the coup himself in that one until he realized Brunt was in charge of it.
     
  4. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Germany, Earth, the Solar System
    In Star Trek Online most Ferengi still hold on to their "capitalistic" ideals, just in a more private and personal way.
    AFAIK Rom is still NAGUS and successfully completes his reforms because getting all those clothed women into the economy actually improved overall profits considerably for everyone.
    For everyone having the lobes anyway.
     
  5. royalfan5

    royalfan5 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Now I'm only 8 episodes deep into DS9 Season 2, but from what I've seen so far that the Ferengi have a pretty wide pragmatic streak, that would allow them to change pretty fast if they could see that something was in it for them.
     
  6. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    Bear in mind that just because the law was officially changed doesn't mean the entire populace agree with it and everything is suddenly egalitarian and hunky-dory.

    I mean, America has a black president now, but it doesn't mean there are no racists in the US.

    The legal change has gone through quickly, yes. And women are no doubt quick to take advantage of it, expanding their businesses rapidly and catching the men off guard. Some men might well have secretly harboured pro-female feelings all along and were happy to receive the change in the law. Other men might be convinced, as you say, by sheer practicality - now every house has two wage earners instead of just one, why complain about that? But there will no doubt be plenty of men, perhaps even a majority, who are very unhappy about it. They may go along with it for the most part on fear of legal reprisals, but muttering and fighting it all the way. Basically, Quark is one of the latter.

    .
     
  7. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    I would say once Ferengi realised how much money they could make, more and more accepted the changes.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Exactly. Changing the society would not be that big a deal: if there's profit to be had in conservatism, fine, but if radicalism increases sales, it can be the new fashion. As long as it lasts.

    The Ferengi society may in fact undergo major social changes fairly often, about as often as "X becomes the new black" here on Earth... They just don't amount to actually changing the way Ferenginar is ruled and run.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    This is not the correct example. At present, racists are a minority in USA.
    A correct example would be:
    How do you think USA would react to laws legalizing black slavery now, laws antithetical to what most americans believe?

    Most ferengi, by DS9 season 7, believed in treating women as second hand citizens and oppressing their employees.
    Laws granting women equal status and employees rights would be met similarly to laws legalizing black slavery in today's USA.

    As for change in ferengi values:
    How long did it take for the majority of USA's population to reject racism? How many centuries?

    So yes, the ferengi happy ending from DS9 is not believable.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Quite.

    The Ferengi follow the orders given them by the Nagus. If that Nagus is obviously incompetent, he can be removed from office by the FCA (or assassinated). But Rom is not incompetent. Idealistic to a fault, yes. But he knows what he's doing.
     
  11. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Quark was able to convince one of the most influential Ferengi of the advantages of females with money and clothes in less than five minutes. Sure, there was...something else influencing Mr. Slug-O, but he still sided with Zek even after...all that. I don't think most Ferengi would need much more convincing.
     
  12. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    You forgot to mention how this ferengi was the ONLY ONE of the Nagus's numerous connections who would even listen to the argument.
    How the majority of ferengi were literally becoming sick to their stomach when hearing such ideas.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ If Mr. Slug-O-Cola can come around, then they will too, eventually.

    More people making profit, equals more profit. It's that simple.
     
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    As said:
    How long did it take for the majority of USA's population to reject racism? How many centuries?
    1 year is supposed to be believable? Ridiculous.


    BTW, 1 year is not even close to enough for 'profit' to materialize from women gaining rights:
    -in order to buy (creating profit for ferengi business men), one must have money; in order to gain money, one must have a job; in order to have a job, one must have skills useful on the work market - skills which the vast majority of ferengi women lacked.

    Again - USA is a good example:
    Did the freedom of afro-americans translate into more profit for the former slavers?
    And the afro-americans did have useful skills (in agriculture, primarily).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  15. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Deep down, Ferengi are opportunistic cowards. They're gonna swallow it and make the best of it. :p
     
  16. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Once people got the idea that maybe general racism wasn't a good thing? About ten or twenty years. That very idea wasn't exactly new, but it wasn't widely vocalized until the 1950's or '60's - in any part of the world. And in fact, it is still the operating norm in most of the world.


    The Ferengi economy is way different than the world economy today. There is very little actual stuff produced, it seems - they are mostly middlemen of one sort or another, bureaucrats, and service types. They just need the lobes for business.

    Initially, yes. Any money is more than what they were making, being slaves and all. Things mostly went bad after the Reconstruction, when all sorts of racism was institutionalized by law, instead of just being the default situation (it didn't matter much, not with most of the blacks in the South being slaves and all).
     
  17. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    Really? 1850-60?
    That would be 1865 at the very latest (the end of the american civil war).
    Of course, influential philosophers have demonstrated the moral bankrupcy of slavery long before that to anyone who cared to look.

    Lobes for business is just a trekkie word for business skills.
    And, as any worthwhile skills, business skills are 1% inspiration, 99% teaching/learning and practice. The latter utterly lacking with ferengi females.

    The profit the ferengi females would be making (which is close to 0) is secondary, when it comes to their acceptance by the rest of society.

    What matters is the profit the rest of the ferengi will be making from the liberation of females (which is 0). Indeed, they'll loose money (someone has to pay to support the ferengi females - without claiming them as property/trophies, that is).
     
  18. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Thinking "Hey, maybe we shouldn't enslave and own people" is is quite different from "Maybe we shouldn't hate on other folks just because they look different/are not from a certain place." Remember, slavery, for a long time, was not racial in any way, besides "not your own people" (and even that was conditional - if you got too far into debt in some societies, you could be sold into slavery to help pay it off).

    There are more ways to earn money that just owning a business.

    And that "1% inspiration" goes a long way - without it, all the education and training in the world won't get you very far in your own business if you don't have the instinct for what people really want, when to take a risk, and when to cut your losses. You have to know management, of money, inventory/workflow, and people, be good at marketing marketing, be able to deal with all the red tape and regulations, and be willing to put in whatever work it takes to make the business work, at least until you're profitable . That's why more than half of all new businesses fail within four years, and most of the rest remain quite small - because owners can't pull all that off. And with the Ferengi, you also have to know how to grease the right palms.

    The older women, at least, would have some education - who do you think teaches the children in the family? Certainly it isn't the father, who is out all day making a profit. Some of the more successful dads might take a son under their wing, but not all will be able to do that.

    Those problems just aren't for the females; the males have a hard enough time of it as well: how many Ferengi waiters does Quark have? (And he's pretty small time!)

    To the Ferengi, 90+% of acceptance in society is how much money you make (indeed, how one makes their money doesn't really seem to matter, in general).

    Uh, when you allow 100% more consumers, there's going to be a lot more money floating around out there. Husbands aren't necessarily going to be happy (but are they ever really happy when the wife spends money? :rommie:), but they will, in general, have money to spend (they have to keep something in their pockets, right?:p), either because wives have claim on their husbands for their support, or they steal it from their husbands little by little (Ishka got her money to invest from somewhere), like good Ferengi.

    And it's not like females weren't allowed to have money, period. They were just forbidden to make a profit. They even had female-division sports (or at least games).
     
  19. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    The ferengi women are de facto house slaves. As such, the relevant period is from slavery to being recognized as equal - as I made clear in my previous posts before your poor attempt to distort the meaning by quoting out of context.

    Yes - having a job; which also requires skills the ferengi women don't have.

    Without education, all the inspiration in the world is utterly useless.

    Fabricating 'evidence' with no support is irrelevant as arguments.

    Ferengi women don't make money; also, they're pennyless.

    As already said:
    -in order to buy (creating profit for ferengi business men), one must have money; in order to gain money, one must have a job; in order to have a job, one must have skills useful on the work market - skills which the vast majority of ferengi women lacked.

    Such fluff can't cover the reality of the depicted situation: these 'wifes' are essentially property, and the overwhelming majority of ferengi strongly believe this is their rightful place.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013