The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DavidGutierrez, May 23, 2012.

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I think the US version of conservatisim is different from many of the other Western nations defination of it. I also think the right/left on the political scale is slightly more right than others. So what would be considered centre/centre-right in some countries would be considered centre/centre-left in the US.
     
  2. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Sure but let's keep the discussion perhaps a bit more European-centered as it is hard to find any nice words about American right-wingers. ;)

    Perhaps my post was too harsh and one-dimenstional. In my own country the first chancellor was a conservative who resisted the nazis and created a moderate welfare state after WWII.
    In your country the good ol' BBC with series like Civilisation and so on is definitely preferable to the notion of modern liberals that TV is just for entertainment.
    So yeah, these kind of dignified and well-read old-school conservatives were great. I'd guess they'd be the first ones to ban private television.

    But this kind of conservatism from the post WWII era that cared about education, family and community, that tolerated or even endorsed the mild forms of social security created by the welfare state, is gone.

    Back in these days we had honest conservatives and social democrats. Nowadays the political landscape shifts on the centre-left towards technocratic liberals (Brown) and on the centre-right towards populist clowns (Berlusconi). Perhaps it'll soon be a bit like in Gilliam's Brazil, an authoritarian world where you can have all your hedonistic pleasures. The current order in Europe, aptly described by Habermas as post-democratic executive federalism, is the first step into this direction.
    If old school social democrats can do anything to counter this right-wing authoritarianism and old-school conservatives can do anything to counter this liberal hedonism I am all for it.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well in the case of Europe or rather European countries. The current economic climate might cause some shifts in the political spectrum. Parties in government might find themselves losing elections as the electorate blames them in part for their current woes.

    Parties can shift their ideology slighlty to make themselves more electable, i.e a left of centre party might move more towards the centre in order to win an election (i.e. Labour to New Labour in the mid 90's eventually winnning the 97 election, though part of that was the voters wanting the Conservatives out)

    It might be somewhat cynical but politicans will generally say what they think the electorate wants to hear.

    It might be that the majority are centrists, so centre-left parties may gain votes if the centre-right party moves towards the right and vice versa.

    As for conservatism not supporting things like the welfare state etc.. I don't think it is gone per say. Many still support universal health care, the welfare state etc.. I think issues with the welfare state (rather than universal health care) is that the perception is that some people live off the state, never work etc...
     
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    the shift to the right you see everywhere is a result of structural economics, not politics in the sense of messaging or anything like that.

    The cause is simple-globalization, the collapse of organized labor, loss of state control over the economy, etc.

    It's made old socially democratic politics next to impossible. Old school social democrats are now(as Horatio83) put it "technocratic liberals," and old-school Christian Democrats are now right-wing neoliberals.
     
  5. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    Someone's been reading "The Great Big Book of Horrible Things" or the website it's based on.
     
  6. naverhtrad

    naverhtrad Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As one of these conservatives who cares fervently about education, family and community and who endorses social security, the welfare state and public ownership of key utilities and industries, I certainly hope we're not gone!

    In Britain you have John Milbank, Phillip Blond, Maurice Glasman and David Lindsay. In Canada you have the Progressive Conservatives - John Tory and David Orchard being prime examples, but also the students of George P Grant. In the US you have left-leaning, socially conservative Democratic legislators like Bob Casey and Marcy Kaptur, as well as palaeoconservative public intellectuals like Rod Dreher. We're not particularly well-organised, but I don't think we're quite gone.
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are you from the US? If yes, you are indeed part of a rare group these days. I respect conservatism of that sort even if I don't necessarily agree with it. At least it's philosophically consistent, as opposed to the "socially authoritarian market liberalism" that passes for conservatism in the U.S.
     
  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Choosing between a typical contemporary liberal who is mainly socially progressive but not economically and a conservative like yourself would be a no-brainer for me.
    As Sonak has pointed out, a key problem nowadays is that globalization undermines politics proper. To me any political agenda that opposes this trend (except of course a fascist or communist one) is welcome.
     
  9. naverhtrad

    naverhtrad Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, yes, I am from the US - Madison, Wisconsin, actually. And I agree with you that I (and people like me) are well out of the mainstream in contemporary US politics. I wouldn't say we're entirely gone yet, though.

    But yes, conservative fusionism of the kind the GOP espouses nowadays makes very little sense to me. If they were really in favour of 'family values' per se, they'd spend a hell of a lot less time bashing gays and more time pushing for living wages, public healthcare, greater power for unions and economic protection of well-compensated jobs for the working class. And if they really did care about the lives of the unborn, they would spend more time ensuring that mothers are well-supported enough to care for them once they are born (paid maternity leave, again - public healthcare, better public education and so forth).

    :techman: Thanks!

    I actually have a very high regard for the European-style social democratic (and Christian social) parties which haven't sold-out yet. They come the closest, IMHO, to articulating and fighting for the Trek ideal.

    ~~

    But getting back to the OP, since I didn't have much of a chance to address it earlier:

    I'm really not sure Starfleet had much of an opportunity to be the unqualified 'good guys', and much of DS9 was a meditation on the 'yeah, buts' and 'what ifs' of the Trek universe. The Founders are xenophobic enough that I can easily believe that Odo was the only person the Female Changeling was willing to talk to / Link with. The Dominion side obviously were committed to total war, as was Starfleet by the end.

    But note that on Cardassia, Admiral Ross and Captain Sisko both were unwilling to drink a toast over the dead bodies of the Cardassians who had been slaughtered by the Jem'Hadar. Hypocrisy? Maybe. But it could also be seen as an attempt to regain the idealism they had lost in the war that culminated in the Battle of Cardassia.