Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Into Darkness, Feb 25, 2014.
I think Robert Comsol's post above is very interesting, because it makes it clear that the conflict was not a one way street, and that the Klingons felt themselves to be somewhat persecuted by the Federation. It wasn't simply the case of there being stereotypical "good guys" and "bad guys", both sides have always been more like each other than either is probably willing to admit.
Which is what happens with radically different philosophies. No doubt the Klingons felt they were in fact fighting for their very lives against Federation hegemony (a point which I used in my own written histories), which--given how close Qo'noS was to the border (another thing not to get me started on)--is a very real possibility. Here's this weird amalgamation of races not enslaving each other but working together--that's WEIRD.And they preach peace & love &..yuck. Killl it with disruptor fire. Basically, they felt about the UFP as we do about Hare Krishnas at the airport. (Do Krishnas even GO to the airport anymore?)
What I've alway taken from this is, the Federation initial response to Klingon violence was economic measures.
Non-violent sanctions, if there were a interstellar banking system, the Federation probably attempted to freeze the Klingon's assets.
Hmm...couldn't it be that the Klingons reacted to the sanctions of the Federation?
Maybe the Federation was aware of Klingon atrocities within their territories and tried to slow these down, somehow
Found this official 24th Century UFP policy mentioned in "Ensign Ro" worth mentioning:
PICARD: Then I don't understand why you are unwilling?
KEEVE: Because you are innocent bystanders. You were innocent bystanders for decades as the Cardassians took our homes, as they violated and tortured our people in the most hideous ways imaginable, as we were forced to flee.
PICARD: We were saddened by those events but they occurred within the designated borders of the Cardassian Empire.
KEEVE: And the Federation is pledged not to interfere in the internal affairs of others. How convenient that must be for you, to turn a deaf ear to those who suffer behind a line on a map.
PICARD: Well, I'm not here to debate Federation policy with you, but I can offer you assistance.
I would argue that the Federation and The Klingon Empire are more alike then they are different.
Both contain multiple cultures that now follow specific rules and courses of conduct.
Both contain planets that contribute resources to the larger community.
Both are expansionist. The Klingons by "conquest" the Federation by "invitation". Both take a previously independent planet, and cause it to conform to a new standard of behavior.
Both have struggled to contain their warlike tendencies, their more aggressive citizens, and corrupt politicians.
Both have struggled to contain large scale criminal activity both in their territory and in adjacent areas of space.
Both have been at war with all the other major powers in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta Quadrants.
Both have immensely powerful military forces and bestow honor upon those who serve in those forces.
So they are natural alliance.
But couldn't those things be said of every other major power we've seen?
That would depend on which other powers you're talking about.
The Borg certainly don't bestow honors on anyone or in any way struggle to contain aggressive/criminal drones.
The Breen may or may not fit any one of these descriptions - canon fact is just too thin to say. (Although, the fact that they were to take Earth as payment from the Dominion does indicate that they're at least a little expansionistic)
The Cardassians don't seem to really contain multiple cultures.
The Tholians and the Gorn are established as highly territorial, but not necessarily very expansionistic. (And almost certainly monocultural)
The Ferengi certainly haven't spent all that much time at war with all the other powers.
Of course, saying that these similarities make the Federation and Klingons natural allies is a bit off, considering that the Dominion is basically just a Klingon/Federation hybrid that neither the Empire nor the Federation would ever ally with.
I hated that the writers transformed the Klingons from what they were during TOS to what they became in TNG.
I caught some of the episode “Day of the Dove” the other night on MeTV. It reminded me of how brutal, barbaric and imperialistic the Klingons were during the TOS era. Then with no real explanation, they became warriors-in-name-only during TNG times. The writers essentially domesticated the Klingons.
It was sad sight to see that the Klingons had turned into lapdogs of the Federation during the TNG period. An example of that that comes to mind occurred during the “Unification” eps, where the Klingons basically became chauffeurs to Starfleet. They were at the beck and call of Picard and Starfleet. How sad.
In a different ep, the Klingons brought in an alien foreigner, namely Picard, to help them choose their next leader. How pathetic was that. Why would a proud people like the Klingons turn to a foreigner to determine their destiny?
I could understand the transformation from a tv perspective.
I guess the TNG writers point of view was this: Federation, good; Federation can only be allied with good; therefore if Federation is to be allied with the Klingons, the Klingons must also be good.
Perhaps the writers didn’t think the viewers were sophisticated enough to understand that a “good” nation can ally itself with a thuggish regime for strategic reasons. For example in the real world, the US and USSR fought on the same side during WWII.
Putting that aside, the transformation of Klingon society didn’t make sense imo.
Klingon militarism during TOS was about conquest and brutality. During TNG, Klingon militarism was now merely about a code of honor, a way of life. They went from being barbaric to being honorable, albeit a bit uncivilized by Fed standards, but nevertheless lovable allies. How could that be?
I assumed that imperialism and barbarism were deeply ingrained in the Klingon psyche. Wolf, even though he was raised by humans and thus immersed in human culture, displayed militaristic and barbaric tendencies. Why was that?
Wolf's behavior led me to believe that those tendencies were not merely cultural but had a biological basis, which makes a wholesale change within the Klingon society that much more unlikely.
Also, the Klingons were not defeated in a Klingon/Fed war and then occupied by the Federation. During an occupation, the conqueror could impose changes to a society. But that did not happen to the Klingons, as far as I know.
It just didn’t make sense to me that the Klingons went from being a proud imperialistic and brutal people to a society that likes to talk big about a warrior ethos but which acted sheepishly.
As a fan of ST, I didn’t like how the writers transformed the Klingons. Even from an entertainment perspective, I didn’t find it enjoyable to watch.
Soceities change over time due to a number of factors including contact with other socities, are our socities the same as they were a hundred years ago?
This might have been mentioned in the thread already, but there was a line in TNG where a Klingon begrudgingly said that the Empire now "tolerates" rebellions. While I'm sure they would still be considered a lower caste, subject species probably have more rights than they did in the 23rd century.
I realize that societies can change over time.
What was the impetus that caused such a dramatic transformation of Klingon society?
There was no outside force, as far as I know, that imposed change on the Klingons. Barbarism, militarism, and imperialism were deeply rooted in Klingon culture and psyche, and perhaps, in their biology as well.
To me, it just seemed too dramatic and unrealistic for such a change to have happened, especially if there was a biological imperative for the Klingons to be barbaric.
When the ST writers conceived of the Klingons back whenever, I assume they created the Klingons to be analogous to the Soviets.
If you look at Russia today, it's seems to be reverting back to what it was during the Soviet (minus the communist ideology) and czarist times; that is, it is becoming once again imperialistic, anti-democratic, and anti-Western. And it is still very corrupt. And this is happening only about a generation removed from the collapse of the USSR.
I guess there really was not a fundamental reformation that took place there after the collapse.
I think the Soviet/Russia-Klingon analogy is apt in so many ways.
I realize that the Klingons and the Feds made peace during the time of The Undiscovered Country. Is that when the transformation began? Why?
How could a piece of paper, or whatever they used for the treaty, so dramatically change a society? It's unrealistic. Just look at what's happening in today's real world with Russia.
In addition, the Klingons didn't look to the Federation for inspiration. They were fiercely proud of their own culture and history. The Klingons didn't want to be like the Federation. Why would they change?
What caused the Klingon society to so dramatically change (other than the TNG writers making the change)? Is there something in ST canon that logically explains it?
And of course there's also the Kor issue. Kang I could sort of understand, but Kor was one was of the most brutal and evil characters in TOS, and in DS9 he's now some sort of great heroic warrior. I realize the standard is different for Klingons, but that's just too much of a leap.
But the Federation doesn't force worlds to join. The Klingons do.
The Federation has every right to make its case, so to speak - to point out the benefits that a world will receive if it joins. But if that world chooses not to, the Federation will leave them alone.
The Klingons, OTOH, force worlds to join their empire whether those worlds want it or not. Conquest is completely different from invitation.
Well lets remember that due in part to the Klingons imperalist ways they caused major damage to their homeworlds atmosphere, so bad they had to sue for peace with the Federation and were considering evacuating to their homeworld. No we don't know if this happened or that the damage was repaired somehow. That could have been the impetus for chnage.
We are also talking about some 75 years later since their the Klingons appearence in TUC and the start of TNG. So sure the things you mention might have been deeply rooted in Klingon culture but a lot can change in 75 years. So for example it is said the US has a gun culture, So today is the gun culture in the US?
a.>The same as 75 years ago
b.>More than it was 75 years ago
c.>Less than it was 75 years
as for Russia perhaps part of the reason for it's behaviour is that it is beginning to start to feel the lose of influence it once had, as the EU expands Eastward as former soviet countries start to forge closer ties to it. You could say it's losing it's superpower status as new ones rise to take it's place, places like China and Perhaps India may be the Superpowers of the later part of this century, and some people don't like change.
And sure country A might not look to country B for inspiration, both pround of their culture but if country A is seemingly growing in power and standing whilst your country B is seemingly diminishing in those things, you might start to ask what are they doing that we aren't.
Obviously, but if a political power actively seeks out new members, helps them conform to the standards needed to join the political power, considers gaining new members to be an important goal, invests tremendous resources into gaining new members (all of which the Federation does) then it can be called expansionist.
I don't think the Klingons have changed very much. Their leaders may be more tolerant of other races, but I don't think their people seem to be.
And, the Klingon Empire seems to go its own way more than follow along peacefully with the Federation.
Sure, but it's the right kind.
The Federation has the right to expand. It does so the right way. You can't fault them for that. And like I said, it never forces anyone to join, so there's no downside to this.
Amusingly enough, we have only ever properly witnessed one culture in the process of being joined to the Federation - namely, Bajor. And that was certainly a case of the UFP coveting the natural resources of the culture, and also of the culture itself being in dire straits and desperate for outside help and alliances. At best, the process could be characterized as soft blackmail; at worst, it's textbook conquest, only with a bullet-saving method. It also involves the Bajorans having to give up a key marker of sovereignty (the local armed forces) and a way of life (caste-based oppression).
We have seen fragments of other "membership processes": pre-negotiations spying in "First Contact", a protectorate arrangement in ST:INS, more or less good-faith negotiations hampered by reluctance or nastiness from the other side in "Mirror, Mirror" and "Mark of Gideon", the same hampered by outside interference in "Friday's Child", and so forth. It's difficult to find the elements of a "standard case" from these fragments, or determine a typical timetable, or establish what each side had to offer in the negotiations (although both "Mirror, Mirror" and "Friday's Child" involve the UFP hunting for mineral rights, while neither "First Contact" or "Mark of Gideon" explicate anything that would create a greed motive). However, "Mirror, Mirror" is a good (if sole) example of the UFP not forcing itself upon a culture that says no, despite the presence of a greed factor.
From these crumbs, we really can't tell that much more about the UFP ways of expansion than we can about the Klingon ones.
Again, obviously. I was simply pointing out the numerous similarities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, and how such similarities led to a natural alliance.
Separate names with a comma.