The Typhon Pact

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Elemental, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    It's not just propaganda. What Sci's Typhon Pact representative is describing is how the Federation DOES behave, whether we see that as a bad thing or not. What Sci is saying (but in far, far better terms than I could) is that if you're a small, unaligned, possibly needy nation, given the choice between a Federation saying "We'll help. You can join us, but only if you stop oppressing the hill tribes, become more democratic, end the practice of...blah, blah, blah" (making a deal out of other nation's "poor behaviour" while hypoctitically turning its back on worlds like Boraal), and a Pact saying "We'll help. You can join us, as long as you contribute in some form. End of story", well, they'll choose the latter, probably...

    Is that a good or bad thing? Is the Federation necessarily right? Will Pact or Federation ideas as to how you build a galactic alliance come out on top? Well, that's for the books to explore :)
     
  2. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    I think the books should also explore more instances where the Federation's high-minded ideals become an impediment and result in a few losses, not just in terms of lives but also in terms of political power, economic power etc. in the coming struggle against the Typhon Pact.
     
  3. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except that's *not* how the Federation acts. The Prime Directive is meant to prevent cultural contamination on pre-warp (thus pre-contact) planets, to prevent societies from being manipulated with promises of lofty technology and miraculous abilities. The scenario Sci describes is the Feds acting like a dick, but it's not how they'd act, because said planets are already enmeshed in the politics of the Quadrant, and have been victimized by the Borg and are asking for help. The Prime Directive is out the window. Doesn't mean the Feds wouldn't act like dicks anyway, but the Pact - if they did that - would be intentionally misleading.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    The Prime Directive is never out of the window. I may be wrong, but it doesn't stop applying; if I remember correctly, it just loosens and you have a lot more options when dealing with a warp-capable nation. But the Federation is not in the habit of handing out its advanced technology to other worlds. Yes, you're right, in cases where the world in question is warp capable they would help out, offer aid, because that's the Federation we all know and love. But it would be handouts, charity. The Federation wouldn't offer membership and access to the full technological benefits of that Federation unless the world in question met some very strict criteria. The Pact might appear less patronizing and more willing to view the worlds its helping as equals if it indeed operates as Sci suggests. No "we are holier than thou/we'll help but you are as yet unworthy of our full bounty" strings attached to any aid given.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which isn't really all that much. The only criteria are: 1) No caste-based discrimination, and 2) One world government. Apart from that, it's pretty much anything goes. Doesn't seem that bad, does it?
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, I think it's more than that (for one thing, having a unified government and no caste-based discrimination but a strong desire to "wipe those dispicable Rillopians from the face of the universe" won't get you membership ;)). However, yes I agree it's not too bad. I personally like that the Federation demands a high standard of its members. The issue is that needy non-aligned worlds might see it somewhat differently...
     
  7. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they don't meet those two requirements, then it's in nobodies best interests for them to have access to Federation membership, let alone Federation technology.
     
  8. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not too much! It's more than we've managed as a species thus far.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I agree. :) That doesn't mean resentful nations denied membership do...
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Good point, I suppose. :)
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But, see, that's the thing. Those requirements are not a particularly high standard. They're something that any species should have. I mean, would we insist that a typical sports team is unrealistic in insisting that all of its members have some kind of athletic ability? Of course not. If you want to be a Yankee, Met, etc., you have to be able to run, throw and hit. It's only natural! So the Federation does not seem to be particularly 'demanding' in its minimum standards.

    Besides, if a world's government is not unified, then how could it join the Federation *or* the Typhon Pact anyway? Who would speak for that world? Who would determine which of that world's nations would join? And what would happen to the rest who did not? It's simple logic, really.

    Now, the question of what constitutes a true world government could also be debatable. Would Earth's United Nations qualify? It's obviously not a world government as we would understand the term, but for the Federation's purposes, it just might. If the UN actually worked, that is. ;)

    One other thing. We're all thinking there must now be a competition - will a world join the Pact or the Federation? - but it doesn't have to be. The Khitomer Accords include wildly diverse groups such as the Federation, Klingons, Ferengi, Talarians, etc. A prospective world can join the Khitomer group but not any of those smaller ones. The Federation should use that to its advantage: A world whose leaders are worried about being subsumed into Federation culture, would be reassured that they don't even have to join the Federation - they could simply ally with it as part of the larger Khitomer group.

    In a very real sense, the members of the Typhon Pact are more closely integrated than the Khitomer Accords (shared technology and even currency), so a world would be *more* at risk of losing its identity if it joined the Typhon Pact.
     
  12. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What SCI said could enlarge that alliance and make more problems for the Federation.
     
  13. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    just by have a common currency and sharing technology :wtf:
     
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That alone would make the WHOLE series worthwhile, IMHO!

    Have the UFP--and President Bacco--do some soul-searching, question the "values" which turn out to be more harm than good....

    After all...as "In The Pale Moonlight" made clear...soul-searching (or, in writer-speak, "internal conflict") is good for drama.
     
  15. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Though I can hear a Ferengi make this pitch, it doesn't fly.

    "Yeah cause whenever we've asked you, you've said you don't bother with inferior cultures. Or as you put it, 'We can't afford it…our people must come first,' and then wagged your finger at that hypocritical commie Federation."

    "Because they can't afford to? And don't you use most of yours to build more war machines to conquer little guys like me to compete with the Federation rather than feed your own people, or heaven forbid help your neighbors?"

    If they could, wouldn't the Federation make thousands of industrial replicators and use them endlessly? They'd make squadrons of spacedocks with dozens of nacelles and send them after the Dominion without need of the treacherous Romulans.

    So they can go all Tezwa and end up causing a war between those who helped them in the first place and the Klingons?

    "And where were YOU when we were being exterminated Tholia? Your entire foreign policy is that the Federation isn't perfect so we should join you in war against it."

    Beloved Romulus is no more after the Hobus supernova.

    "The rest of you guys are just lucky - the Borg would not have stopped at Earth or Qo'noS and all your worlds and mine would be gone. Furthermore, when the Dominion swept through here, the Romulans and the Tholians signed non-agression treaties with them and the Gorn were to busy in-fighting to care either way. It was the Federation and the Klingons who stood to defend this half of the galaxy from Dominion "order".

    That's what the Orion mob, er, I mean, "business men" said when they sold us warp and now we're sending them a third our GDP. Tell you what, get them off our backs, give us a seat in the Romulan Senate and we'll talk. No?

    I expect more from the Typhon Pact if they're supposed to supplant the Federation as the galaxy's city on a hill. Perhaps it could be its own insidious drink. Liquor perhaps, to drown spirit and rouse anger. "Altruism and curiosity is for the weak and foolish. Life isn't fair and space is full of danger. We offer you our strength to believe in and our order to keep you safe."
     
  16. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Well I suppose it depends on how long-term the minor non-aligned powers are willing to think when they negotiate with either the Federation or the Pact.

    If they were thinking short-term gains in terms of technology and resources, then the Pact is better positioned to provide just this. The Federation has too many troubles of its own with refugees and resources to bother with competing with the Pact to provide minor worlds with something in exchange for allegiance or political friendship.

    If the minor powers are thinking long-term however, they might think it not worth it to align themselves with the Pact immediately. After all, before the Borg invasion, given a choice between aligning with the Federation or aligning with some members of the Pact, they would have chosen the Federation simply because the Federation does not occupy, subjugate or conquer and Federation worlds are for the most part independent and prosperous. Of course, over the long-term the Pact itself might distinguish itself as a viable alternative to the Federation and these minor powers might consider starting a "bidding war" to gain as much as possible.

    Either way, the Federation has it tough.
     
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Agreed. Given that the whole point of the Typhon Pact story-wise appears to be "let's give the Federation a true rival, rather than a simple enemy", and seeing that the Federation actively seeks to incorporate new members diplomatically, I'm guessing the Pact might indeed start offering "alternative pitchs" to as yet-unaligned worlds. If the story is "world X either joins the Federation or gets conquered by Tzenketh", it's not as complex as "world X either joins the Federation or joins the Typhon Pact". I would imagine the Pact would rather offer peaceful diplomacy than arms to new and weaker worlds, or else it would send them flocking to its rival the UFP. :)
     
  18. Marcus Porcius Cato

    Marcus Porcius Cato Commander Red Shirt

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    To what end?

    There are not enough data to relate the exact intention of the Pact. And I would be rather wary of comparing Federation to USA/Nato and Pact to USSR...
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Oy gevalt! I'm gone to the Medieval Faire for a day and look what I come back to!

    Re: My hypothetical Typhon Pact salesman. Thanks for the kind words, all.

    Actually, "Redemption, Parts I & II" made it clear that it allied to post-warp societies like the Klingons, too. The Federation just doesn't, in general, share its technology. It trades some of it with societies it deems "mature" enough to handle it -- though how they can argue the Klingon Empire is more "mature" than, say, a peaceful liberal democracy that simply hasn't yet developed warp drive, I'm not sure -- but in general, it doesn't share its toys. Now, the upshot of that is that it also, in general, does not interfere in foreign cultures' internal affairs (unless Captain Kirk or whoever breaks the PD in that episode). (Though that hasn't stopped the last two Klingon Chancellors from being installed by Starfleet officers, or stopped the Ferengi from adopting Federation values about gender roles and the need for social welfare programs within fifteen years of meeting the UFP, so someone who is more cynical might argue about the Federation not interfering in foreign cultures.)

    It's just a fact of life: There are choices and trade-offs you have to make, and when you're the big kid on the block with all of the biggest toys and you chose not to share them for any reason, someone is going to be pissed off at you and will notice that you gain things from not sharing (such as no one else having toys as good as yours).

    The scenario I described is backed up by canon and by A Singular Destiny. In that book, the Federation is withdrawing most of its humanitarian aid from non-Federation words like Tezwa because it simply does not have the resources to keep it all up. It's not abandoning all humanitarian aid, but it's not maintaining previous levels, either. It can't.

    Now, what my hypothetical Typhon Pact representative does not mention, and does not care for the Barzanian President to realize, is that the Federation simply cannot help. However, my Pact representative does accurately report pre-Borg Invasion Federation behavior.

    I promise you, there are going to be plenty of worlds out there that see the Prime Directive as just being the Federation's way of maintaining its military and technological dominance (just like in real life, there are plenty of people out there who see the U.S.'s attempts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology as being just the newest step in a long tradition of Western European cultures trying to stop other cultures from gaining military and technological parity with them). There are going to be people who will see the fact that the Federation will stand by and let pre-warp civilizations go extinct from natural phenomena in the name of not "contaminating" their cultures (TNG: "Pen Pals," "Homeward"), and will see that as hypocrisy and passive genocide. There are going to be people who notice that Federates installed the last two Klingon Chancellors and conclude that the Klingon Empire now has a Federation puppet government (just like in real life, there are plenty of people who see the aid and loans that go to developing countries from the International Monetary Fund and the industrial countries and conclude that this is a new form of imperialism and that those developing countries have puppet governments). There are going to be people who will look at the fact that the Federation does not share all of its abundant resources with everyone and accuse them of being greedy and of profiting off of the economic oppression of foreign worlds -- just like people do with the U.S. in real life. There are going to be people who look at the fact that the UFP is allied with, engages in trade with, and sends military and other aid to the Klingon Empire (which has been canonically established as engaging in brutal acts of what we would today call human rights violations, which I would presume the characters of Star Trek call "sentients' rights violations") and therefore conclude that the Federation is partly responsible or complicit in Klingon sentients' rights violations (just like there were people who made that conclusion about the U.S.'s relationship with Latin American dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s).

    We, the audience, tend to see the Federation's behavior through Federation eyes. And even through Federation eyes, we sometimes see the Federation's actions as not being morally pure. To someone who is looking at the Federation through alien eyes with an alien value system, though, the Federation's actions might look fundamentally hypocritical and self-serving. What my hypothetical Typhon Pact member said is propaganda, to a point -- but it's also all true. Just like the way the Federates from the canon tend to describe the UFP is propaganda, to a point -- but also true.

    In a lot of ways, the behavior of my hypothetical Typhon Pact member -- go to someone who needs help but isn't getting it, point out hypocritical or "bad" behavior on the part of the liberal democratic superpower, then go ahead and give help without being dicks about it -- mirrors the situation that's cropping up between the United States and China today. China has a policy that we might compare to the Prime Directive:

    They have a colonial past and value their own right to self-determination as a country, and therefore refuse to interfere, in general, with the internal politics of foreign countries (provided, of course, that they don't consider your culture to be a part of China, like the Tibetans). Meanwhile, Chinese businessmen and the Chinese government are making it a point to invest in the economies of developing countries throughout the world -- in Latin America, in Africa, etc.

    The fact that China provides aid and builds up their economies without making demands on their domestic politics -- investing in and trading with the Sudan, for instance, without demanding that the Sudanese government stop engaging in genocide in Darfur -- is making China very popular right now. This is especially true because a lot of people look at things the U.S. has done, like the abuses of Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay, or at the U.S. invading Iraq and then there turning out to be no weapons of mass destruction, and conclude that the U.S. does not really believe in liberal democracy and the rule of law, and has only claimed to do so as a way of interfering with their internal affairs when it provides them with aid or investment.

    It's like real-world politics: Looked at through one set of lenses, the U.S./UFP and its actions throughout the past 60/however many years mostly look okay, with some notable lapses. Looked at through another set of lenses, those notable lapses are merely the most famous of a long series of abuses of power and hypocritical behavior that constituted routine policy.

    Who's "right?" Probably a little of both.

    Well, yeah. Of course the Typhon Pact would be lying -- lying, as Rush Limborg noted, with the truth.

    It's like the strategy the Soviet Union used against the U.S. in the Third World during the Cold War -- mislead with truth. Point out factual examples of poor U.S. behavior, then do what the U.S. should have done -- provide humanitarian aid without being dicks about it. It was a major tactic for influencing countries away from the U.S. sphere and largely successful in the 1950s, and that was before the Vietnam War convinced half of the developing world that the U.S. was just another imperial power out to dominate them and take away their right to self-determination. Read The Ugly American for a fascinating take on that whole issue.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the DS9 Relaunch has established that the standards for Federation Membership are more rigorous than that. The basic impression I get is that the Federation requires its Member States to possess governments that are liberal democracies (respecting sentients' rights as outlined in the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution, which were established in TNG's "The Drumhead" and VOY's "Author, Author") and to respect the rule of law. The DS9 Relaunch also seemed to imply that the establishment of normal diplomatic relations with the Cardassian Union was one of the indicators the Federation was using to judge if they were "ready" to join the Federation -- presumably they wanted to measure whether or not bigotry and prejudice were widely-accepted cultural norms on Bajor.

    So if, for instance, the Planet of the Nazis had established a Nazi-style government (since Nazis seem so popular with aliens in the Trekverse) and had successfully unified the planet, had then eliminated caste-based discrimination (by, say, successfully expelling or exterminating their ethnic minorities), but also made bigotry against, say, the Planet of the Romans a generally-accepted value, I doubt that the Federation would accept the Planet of the Nazis as a Member.

    I doubt that the U.N. would work for the Federation's purposes, even if it worked. The U.N. is not a government in any sense of the term. It describes itself as a "tool of its Member States;" it doesn't possess, in its own words, sovereignty.

    Actually, I'm thinking more in terms of, will a world align with, but not join, the Pact or Federation? South Korea and North Korea did not join the U.S. or Soviet Union, but both aligned with those respective states. Which presents another interesting possibility: Federation and Pact client worlds ending up in civil wars over their foreign policy disputes.

    Sure, and there will probably be plenty of worlds that take them up on that offer. But the Federation has been so ubiquitous, so huge, and has spread its culture so far and so wide -- within two decades of Federation-Ferengi first contact, the Ferengi Alliance adopted the Federation's ideas about gender roles and social welfare, for goodness' sake! The Ferengi! -- that there are going to be worlds that will want nothing to do with the Federation, either as a member of the UFP, as a member of the Khitomer Accords, or even just as an ally.

    Again, I think you're getting too specific, too literal. The real question is alliance, not membership. In the Cold War, client states didn't join the superpowers, they just allied.

    Dude, money and technology are important! That kind of close-knit economic integration is guaranteed to encourage a process called syncretism: cross-cultural interaction, the movement of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and practices between cultures. Mr. Laser Beam is very right to note that syncretism is probably even more likely between Pact members than between Khitomer Accords members. Though to a lot of worlds, the very fact that it's syncretism between non-Federation cultures would probably make it preferable to syncretism with the Federation.

    That would be well worth exploring to an extent, but if we look at real history, a failure to live up to one's stated values tends to do much more harm than actually living up to them. In the CIA, it's called "blowback;" a strong example of blowback would be the Iranian Revolution. The United States and United Kingdom in 1953, faced with a democratically-elected Iranian government that wanted to nationalize Iran's oil resources (and thereby endanger U.S. and British corporations), chose to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mosaddeq and install the former Shah of Iran to power -- creating a brutal but pro-Western dictator. It worked well enough at first, but then the Shah was overthrown, and the resultant government turned into an anti-American dictatorship that was far more oppressive and hostile towards the U.S. than Mohammed Mosaddeq's government ever would have been.

    Some people may like the idea of exploring how Federation values will cause it problems and make it harder to survive, but as I noted in my Typhon Pact example, it is actually inconsistency in behavior with the UFP's stated values that will hurt it far more. In my experience, a lot of people who want to promote stories about how adherence to the principles of liberal democracy, rule of law, and human rights/sentients' rights will hurt us and make it harder to survive are actually doing so to promote an anti-democratic, anti-human rights, anti-rule of law political agenda.

    Sure, I'm not saying that there wouldn't be plenty of worlds that would see through the Typhon Pact's message. I'm saying that it would be a compelling narrative that would gain a lot of adherents and cause problems for the Federation. There would be worlds that would fall for it, just like there would be worlds that wouldn't. Why do I say that? Because there were countries that fell for the same line of propaganda that the Soviet Union put out during the Cold War; my Typhon Pact pitch was essentially the same as theirs.

    To be fair, there's no evidence, canonical or in the novels, one way or the other on whether or not most Typhon Pact members have ever been asked for humanitarian aid. But even if that's a fair counter, I wouldn't be surprised if the Pact starts deliberately sending out humanitarian aid and building a reputation for doing so as part of a program to win allies and influence away from the Federation and Khitomer alliance.

    To which a crafty salesman would reply by giving rhetoric about how much comfort the people of Earth and Alpha Centauri live in, and then by talking about how much the Alpha Centaurans and Pacificans resented having to help out their fellow Federates who came to their worlds as refugees, thereby establishing a narrative of the rich but stingy Federates who won't even share resources with their own people, let alone non-Federation worlds.

    Again, I'm not saying the Pact is being completely honest. It's spin. But it's spin that would convince a lot of people.

    As I've noted several times, a number of the states in the Typhon Pact do not have a history of imperialism that we know about, especially the Gorn, Tzenkethi, and pre-Dominion War Breen.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Sure, but you're not accounting for the role that resentment of the Federation and its superpower status would likely play in clouding many worlds' judgment. How we feel about something can have a strong influence on how we judge it and its behavior. For a real-life example:

    Love of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to (or to make them justify or excuse) the U.S.'s various human rights abuses in the past -- supporting the brutal dictatorships of Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, who went around torturing damn near anyone they could with CIA operatives telling them how to do it, for instance. At the same time, resentment of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to -- or hostile to -- the U.S.'s various pro-human rights actions undertaken in the past: Refusing to see the horrific abuses of the Soviet Union and its communist allies, refusing to acknowledge the benefits of American foreign aid, refusing to acknowledge that pushing Iraq out of Kuwait was a good thing, refusing to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist, etc.

    Back in the Trekverse, an anti-Federation bias, for instance, might well predispose someone to think that the Federation wouldn't send out industrial replicators and other resources to worlds in need and that its rhetoric about not having resources is nonsense. Meanwhile, a pro-Federation bias might predispose someone to think that the Federation would always help wherever it can. Neither side is accurate, of course, but that won't stop people from arguing both extremes.

    And a good salesman for the Pact will take advantage of the kinds of resentments that will inevitably have built up towards the Federation and use it against them.


    To which someone from a pro-Pact POV could argue from several different angles of attack:

    1. "Not all worlds are Tezwa. Why would you put any world that isn't in the Federation in the same boat with the government of that Tezwan madman? Sounds an awful like lot like you're stereotyping all independent worlds to me. See? Once again, the lofty, morally superior Federation proves its hypocrisy."

    2. "How can you argue against allowing independent worlds to defend themselves in an age when the Borg Collective goes and exterminates them in reaction to your hostilities against them? We have a right to self-defense, especially now that the quadrant is devastated."

    And that's just operating from the POV of a Pact agent who does not know that the Federation President provided the canons to Tezwa voluntarily. If the secrets of Min Zife's actions were to come out, a Pact agent would then argue:

    3. "I agree completely. Barzan absolutely should not take weapons from the Federation. The last time an independent world accepted military technology from the Federation, the Federation overthrew their government and occupied their world -- all to cover up the crimes of the Federation President! The last thing that Barzan needs is to risk becoming a victim of Federation imperialism and Federation corruption. Here, Mister Barzanian President, please accept this shipment of 43 ship-mounted Breen energy-dampening weapons, free of charge."

    "And where were YOU when we were being exterminated Tholia?[/quote]

    "Tholia was denied the ability to hire a fleet of ships they needed to protect their homeworld--by the Federation. Funny how that works out, isn't it? Besides, do bear in mind that thousands of Gorn, Tzenkethi, Romulan, and Breen soldiers gave their lives trying to protect the entire Alpha Quadrant from the Borg in the Azure Nebula -- a massacre that allowed the Borg to invade the entire quadrant. Perhaps if the Federation hadn't tried to put all of our eggs on one basket, the war would have gone better."

    Actually, that's a complete misreading of what the Pact is arguing. It's not saying they should go to war with the Federation -- it's a competition for influence, not war.

    A Pact agent would respond, "Nonsense. I'm just saying, we'll help you, and in return we ask you to help us. And we'll help you without trying to tell you what kind of society you 'ought' to be, and without trying to pressure you to join our government. The Federation is always running around, telling the independent worlds they provide aid to -- never too much aid, of course, just enough for the UFP to maintain leverage over them -- that they ought to change themselves to be more like the Federation so that they can become Federation Members. Isn't it nice to be able to get help from someone who isn't trying to change you or convince you to join their government?"

    The destruction of Romulus isn't going to happen until 2387. The current novels are set in 2381, and the Typhon Pact miniseries will be set in 2382. My argument was from an '81/'82 POV.

    Which is immaterial, as the point of noting that the Borg never got there was simply by way of explaining why the Pact can afford to help non-Pact worlds.

    To which a Pact agent would reply by noting that every independent world that could signed non-aggression pacts with the Dominion. This theoretical independent world the Pact is trying to influence to ally with the T.P. would have no more legs to stand on than the Pact worlds -- less, in fact, since the Romulans eventually did join the war and lost thousands of soldiers fighting the Dominion.

    BTW: I think it's safe to say that the only acronym worse than the Imperial Romulan State's "IRS" is the Typhon Pact's: "T.P." ;)

    That's just rhetorical nonsense. Trade agreements such as what I had the T.P. salesman describe above happen all the time in the real world: Country A has x amount of resources it can export, Countries B and C both want more of A's x, so A has to divide x between B and C in some way. If A and C get along better than A and B, then C is naturally going to get a larger percentage of x.

    To equate that with a protection racket is just absurd. That's not a protection racket. It's not extortion -- it's just how trade works.

    The Typhon Pact's entire modus operandi -- the modus operandi implied in A Singular Destiny, the modus operandi I cribbed from the Soviet Union -- is, again, of being bastards by being good, of lying with the truth. That's the point of what I'm saying: That the T.P. will likely do what the USSR did: The Typhon Pact, like the Soviet Union, will win allies away from the Federation by not treating those worlds like crap, by not screwing them over. Screwing the Federation over by being good to everyone else.

    See, that's the thing, though. You're operating from a pro-Federation bias, and, more to the point, from the notion that anyone even is or is supposed to be a "city on a hill." The Typhon Pact, like the USSR in real life, will probably seek to win allies by simply noting that the Federation (like the U.S.) has screwed other nations over plenty of times in the past (and therefore cannot lay claim to being a city on a hill) and then simply try to provide aid without strings.

    The Typhon Pact isn't trying to replace the Federation as a "city on a hill" morally. They're trying to replace the Federation as the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant. To do that, they're going to hurt the Federation by helping everyone else.

    Once they have become more powerful than the Federation? Hell, who knows? Maybe they'll end up "infected" with Federation values as a result of having been good to everyone else and end up turning into a unified state that shares all those same basic values with the UFP -- thereby ending the unofficial conflict between them. Or maybe they'll turn out to be pure hypocrites and disregard all their lofty rhetoric and beneficent policies. We'll see.

    No offense, but nonsense. The entire galaxy saw the Federation conquer and occupy Tezwa. I promise you, I promise you, that war cost the Federation a lot of respect and moral credibility from other governments (just like Iraq, the war it was based on, has cost the U.S. a lot of respect from other governments). The Federation lost the credibility to claim the moral high ground when it planted its flag over Keelee-Kee.

    And as I've noted several times, it would be very easy for someone without a pro-Federation bias -- especially if their bias is actively anti-Federation -- to interpret UFP foreign policy as being very manipulative, controlling, self-serving or, expansionist, or even oppressive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009