The Typhon Pact

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

  1. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    No offense, but very narrow-minded. You seem to only look at the few instances of "manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive" events involving the Federation. What about all those 150 planets that are independent and prosperous? What about all the benefits they've gained over the years? So, there was one incident in Tezwa....a statistical outlier. Granted, a major blow. But still ONE incident. And the Federation did resolve the issue and quickly ... and forced their rogue President and his cabinet to resign ... if THAT isn't an example of self-regulation, I don't know what is.

    Any intelligent species capable of thinking and willing to think long-term would likely consider all its options and in evaluating a potential alliance or joining another political entity, they would consider all of their potential partner's history not just the few instances that seem to stand out because of some negative consequences. Any intelligent species can understand that no race or civilization is capable of being perfect (and perfect here I define as following their own stated laws and maintaining their ideals all the time without a single contradictory instance). If the laws and ideals of the potential are compatible with theirs (and there are already very diverse cultures that enjoy autonomy and prosperity under the Federation - that's precedent), and they want to, out of their own free will and choice, join another entity or alliance, is that really so hard?

    It would be not be easy for someone without a pro-federation bias to resist weighing the definitely larger rewards against the potentially smaller risks in joining the Federation compared to joining any of the other imperialist-oriented powers of the Alpha quadrant before the Borg invasion or before the Dominion war.

    As I've said earlier, the Borg invasion and the emergence of the Typhon Pact changed everything and so powers that want to think long-term would consider waiting and trying to extract maximum concessions from both the Pact and the Federation before deciding on one or the other.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    1. Don't confuse my arguments with what I'm saying the Typhon Pact would argue.

    2. About the Federation, I am only saying that it's nonsense to argue that the Federation doesn't conquer or occupy. Because it has. You can't claim that someone doesn't do something when, in fact, they do something and have done that something very, very recently.

    3. When I'm "only looking at the few instances of 'manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive' events involving the Federation," I am presenting an argument that I suspect someone who is not enamored of the Federation might make. I'm not necessarily saying that that's the only accurate evaluation one could make of the Federation (though I do think that it is an accurate evaluation -- just as I think that the pro-Federation evaluations are also accurate).

    Well, they may well be prosperous, and they may have a high degree of constitutionally-protected autonomy as a result of the Federation actually practicing federalism, but they are not independent. The Federation is a state, not an alliance. Its Members agree to give up their independence in return for the benefits of being a Member. We know this because the Federation Council can make binding law over Federation Member States (TNG: "Force of Nature"), the Federation President can conduct foreign policy for the entire UFP without seeking all 150 worlds' governments' support (Star Trek VI, DS9: "The Way of the Warrior," Articles of the Federation), the Federation possesses its own military (Star Trek), the Federation President can declare martial law on a Federation Member State's territory without that Member State's government's consent (DS9: "Homefront"), the Federation has a set of territory over which it governs (all of Star Trek), etc. It possesses all of the legal traits and powers of a state.

    So while it Member States can secede if they want (Spock's World, A Singular Destiny, Full Circle, Losing the Peace), once they're in, they're not independent anymore. Autonomous, sure, but not independent.

    All it takes is one time to make a claim that something is never done untrue. I can point to all the people I've never murdered in my life, but if I murder one person, just one, then that's it: I'm a murderer. I've committed murder, and I can't point to everyone I haven't murdered as evidence that I don't commit murder. Clearly, I do commit murder, even if it's only happened once.

    And all it takes is one time, one bad choice, for the Federation to lose its credibility as a leader in sentients' rights in the eyes of other cultures. Add to that a history of using the Prime Directive to justify allowing other cultures to go extinct (TNG: "Pen Pals," "Homeward") or to justify allowing cultures to be conquered and occupied (the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, which the Federation knew about in advance but did nothing to stop, as established in Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers), and you have a recipe for a lot of cultures looking at the Federation and seeing it as being self-serving and imperialistic.

    It is a biased perception? Sure. All perceptions of the Federation are biased. Is it unfairly biased? Probably. But it's not a bias that lacks logical weight. There is evidence to back it up.

    It's all in how you look at it.

    Do I share that opinion? No, I do not. But I can understand a character that might, and why they might (just like I can understand people who have similar opinions towards the U.S. in real life).

    Nobody knows about that, remember? It was a secret coup. Starfleet forced Zife to resign at gunpoint (and then Section 31 assassinated him in secret). So far as the rest of the galaxy knows, Zife either resigned because of the reasons he cited in his Farewell Address or because the Tezwa occupation went badly.

    Now, someone from, say, Ventax (a world whose government is predisposed to like the Federation and want a good relationship with them, since the UFP apparently saved them from being conquered by the Klingons and later exposed the false "Ardra") might well look that Zife's resignation and say, "Well, clearly he resigned because the Federation does not normally engage in conquest and occupation. When it did so against Tezwa, Zife was breaking Federation law and cultural norms, and his resignation proves that the UFP is good because he couldn't stay in power afterwords -- he lost all domestic support." Meanwhile, someone from Tezwa might look at Zife's resignation and say it only happened because the occupation didn't go well for the Federation.

    And, indeed, someone else might say that we both have blinders on because we've only been talking about Tezwa. They might argue, for instance, that the Federation in fact conquered and occupied Cardassia during the Dominion War (Cardassia: The Lotus Flower having established the presence of Federation troops referred to as "peacekeeping forces" that found themselves in violent conflict with Cardassian civilians on several occasions). Why should that not be counted?, they might ask. You and I would both probably argue that the mitigating circumstance there is the Dominion War and the need for the Federation to occupy Cardassian space to both help Cardassia rebuild and to ensure Federation security from a nation that had several times gone to war against the UFP.

    But then an anti-Federation POV might counter with the fact that the Federation did not similarly demand a right to occupy the Breen, claiming that as evidence that the Federation targeted Cardassia for occupation and the installation of a puppet government but didn't so target Breen because they could actually resist the Federation. An anti-Federation POV might also cite the Dominion War as evidence of Federation imperialism -- it was the Federation that started the war by mining the Bajoran Wormhole -- a wormhole that was not Federation territory at the time, thereby provoking the Dominion into firing the first shot.

    You give far too much credit to the role of rationality in politics.

    Again, are you really sure that it's a definitely larger reward and definitely smaller risk in joining or allying with the UFP? That, right there, is a pro-Federation bias you have.

    Let's say, for instance, that there's a culture that was built on eating their own babies en masse in order to alleviate food and other resource stresses in a pre-Industrial age (such as the one described in the story in that link); they've developed industry but have kept the baby-eating because it was such an important part of their culture. Now, let's be frank, here: The Federation would probably never offer the Babyeaters aid of any sort so long as they were, y'know, eating babies. The Federation believes in sentients' rights, and eating sentient offspring pretty much violates that whole principle. Now, to the Babyeaters, eating babies is not only morally right, it is the very definition of being morally right. Literally -- their word for "morally good" translates literally as babyeatful. To be willing to eat your own young means that you are willing to sacrifice for the good of your society, to care about your neighbors' welfare. To end the practice of baby-eating would end their very basis for their culture.

    Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact comes along and say, "Hey, that's none of our business. You do with your people what you think you need to do. We just want to make sure millions of your people don't die of exposure. Here are some prefab homes. Yeah, you can use them as baby slaughter houses if you need; I know the Federation didn't want you to for their prefab houses, but we don't mind."

    To the Babyeaters, joining or allying with the Federation would threaten the very basis of their culture, their identity. It just would. There's no way around it. The Federation has a completely incompatible value system with theirs, and the Federation would always be trying to persuade them to change their value system if they were to ally with them and would absolutely not accept them as members unless they stopped being so babyeatful. Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact just helps them out and makes no demands of them -- other, perhaps, than sending the T.P. some of that nice dilithium they have instead of the Federation.

    Which would you ally yourself with if you were a Babyeater? If you're a Babyeater, which of these two groups -- the Federation or the Typhon Pact -- is more babyeatful?

    Now, that's a really extreme example. But the point remains: To a lot of people, the Federation looks like a culturally homogenizing agent. Like Quark and Garak in "The Way of the Warrior"'s famous root beer scene, they see the Federation as a threat to their cultural integrity, to their own national identity. They do not want anything to do with the Federation. It's not that they want war, or even think the Federation is bad. But they want to not be part of or allied with the state that they've seen subsume culture after culture after culture.

    They have a bias.

    Meanwhile, the Typhon Pact comes along and doesn't ask them to join it (meaning that it doesn't expose them to the huge level of syncretism that Mr. Laser Beam pointed out T.P. members expose themselves to). It just asks for an alliance or a beneficial trade agreement.

    There are going to be a lot of worlds that will chose to side with the T.P. over the Federation. That's just how it is. Not everyone likes the Federation or views it as being less of a threat (culturally if not militarily) than the T.P.

    And, as I've noted several times, not all of the Typhon Pact worlds have any histories of imperialism that we know of. Heck, so far as we know, the Gorn and Tzenkethi have never conquered or occupied any other worlds, which actually makes them one better than the Federation in that regard.

    I'm not saying every independent world will think that way, either. Clearly, there are probably going to be just as many who do not think the Federation is a threat to their cultural identity, or who think they can manage it, or who are just plain pro-Federation for all of the very good reasons you cited.

    But we all know and understand the pro-Federation POV. I'm trying to illustrate how an anti-Federation POV might operate.
     
  3. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^

    Very eloquent, if a bit loquacious. :)

    And I have no quibbles with any anti-Federation POV or bias. That's one of the things I actually want to see in the continuing storyline. (Think I posted earlier about wanting to see the UFP lose some political and economic ground over its ideals)

    My point is it would be in the interests of powers (bias positive, negative; UFP, Pact or not) that are thinking long-term to hold off until they can predict the behavior and attitudes of the Pact and the state/nature of the Federation after the Borg invasion and extracting as much from both the Pact and the UFP before they align with one or the other if at all.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would hope, though, that the writers do find a way for some pro-Federation points of view to be expressed. I don't want this to be the "fall of the Federation" that we keep hearing about. I want there to be hope for the Federation. I want something other than this pervasive, utterly bleak sense of doom and gloom that seems to be pervading the novels lately. What is this, nuBSGTrek? There's got to be some other way.
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Star Trek is pro-Federation, always. More recent Trek literature simply explores some of the flaws of the Federation way alongside its many benefits, and shows how it copes when its formally "perfect" standard of living can no longer be a reality. It's not the fall of the Federation, it's simply the Federation adapting to new circumstances. If anything, I'd argue that showing the Federation struggling through the post-Destiny era but succeeding in remaining what it is, Typhon Pact rivalries and stingy Alpha Centaurian governors and refugee crises be damned, is the most hopeful and Federation-affirming direction we could go in. I personally think "hope" has been a very strong theme of the recent books- it was THE defining theme of "Destiny", for example. Anyway, even Tezrene upfront admitted the Typhon Pact was inspired by the Federation- Federation values have become more popular in the galaxy in many ways, not less. :)
     
  6. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Well its not all bleak doom gloom. There's Voyager and Titan.
    And Jean-Luc Picard would be the first man to charge against any pending "fall of the Federation" and would be the last man to fall. Since that won't likely happen, there's plenty of hope for a renewal. Who knows? Recent events might even shake up a few laws that would strengthen the Federation, make it more idealistic (although I can't say how).

    And I felt Losing the Peace was a "positive, hopeful" story after the carnage of Destiny.
     
  7. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Anyone feel like throwing Species 8472 into the fray? :D
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What about it? :confused:

    There seems to be too much attention to the flaws, and not enough to the strengths. Most of this thread has been about trying to justify the existence of the Typhon Pact (and, therefore, the fall of the Federation). Is there no more role left for the Federation to play? Was Destiny the beginning of the end? I would certainly hope not. :( You say the Federation still has benefits? Well, THEN WHAT ARE THEY?!?!?

    But we're not there yet. If those "stingy governors" and refugee crises are all we will ever hear about regarding the Federation, then what else are we supposed to think? The writers seem to think that the Federation is too good and therefore must be weakened; they are setting it up for a fall.

    But the pact was formed specifically to be an antagonist to the Federation, so I don't really see the point. "You inspired us so much that we're going to use your methods to take you down"? Seems rather self-defeating, really.

    Well, I suppose there *are* the Voyager and Titan novels to consider. If that's where the hope lies, then so be it. Even a little bit is better than nothing. I would hope that those novels could continue for as long as possible before the darkness begins to infect them as well.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I'm not following. The formation of the Typhon Pact doesn't signify the fall of the Federation. It simply gives the Federation a rival/counterpart. There is room for two major interplanetary alliances in Trek. This is the beginning of a new era for the Federation, a more complex, more difficult era but it's not the end (indeed, "The Good That Men Do" appears to promise the 25th century will be a time of great prosperity and peace). If anything, the formation of the Pact demonstrates why the Federation's core beliefs on the subject of peaceful co-operation are so successful. I don't see how the strengths are being overlooked in favour of the flaws.

    You're the one who just said "we're not there yet" :). The Federation won't fall for the simple reason that if the Federation fell fans would leave in droves. Those writers no doubt think highly of the Federation, or they presumably wouldn't even be writing Trek. As I said, ultimately the current stories reaffirm the Federation's core ideals, not detract from them.

    No, it wasn't formed specifically to antagonise the Federation. It was formed because the members have finally realized the benefits of working together and see an opportunity to increase their influence. Rivalry with the Federation is an outcome, not a motivation (well, unless you're a member of the dominant bloc within the Ruling Conclave of the Tholian Assembly).:)
     
  10. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^@LaserBeam
    Call me hopeless, but I remember a line from Batman Begins:

    "Why do we fall Bruce?"
    "So that we can learn to pick ourselves up."
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In what way? Just because Jake and Nog are still alive, and Section 31 is not? It didn't mention anything about the Federation, did it?

    You have been reading this whole thread, haven't you? It's been all about "The Federation sucks, here's why we think so, and it's why the Typhon Pact must be formed to resist teh evil".

    As I said in another thread: Death, darkness and gloom all sell. How else do you explain how popular nuBSG was? I wouldn't want Trek to be like that, would you? And aren't you aware of all of the "fall of the Federation" TV series ideas that have been bandied about?

    Their influence *against the Federation*. How can the Pact succeed without the Federation failing? The two are, and presumably always will be, at odds, because that's why the Pact was created in the first place.

    I would prefer that the Federation not "fall" at all. It hasn't yet. But the road that the novels are on, doesn't look particularly happy. :( You want to talk quotes from Batman Begins? Well, what about this one? That's what the books are doing to the Federation:

     
  12. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    * IDEA WARNING FOR WRITERS * (not that I would try to copyright this insane idea, but just in case)

    Well we could have Section 31 trying to counter the "threat" of Species 8472 "pro-actively" by figuring out how to open a gateway into fluidic space, developing a more potent weapon building upon what Doctor Joe built (by kidnapping 7 o 9 and taking her nanoprobes of course). We could have events escalating to almost full scale war (AGAIN??? :klingon:) , until Elias Vaughn and Julian Bashir discover Section 31's insidiousness and alongwith JL Picard negotiate truce with Species 8472. They also manage to hold onto detailed evidence of Section 31 and its involvement but don't go public with it yet for fear of not having all the information about who the leaders of Section 31 are.


    Nothing like spicing up an already roiled post-Destiny AQ eh?
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    The road towards a far more unified galaxy, where no nation or race stands alone but co-operates with its neighbours, and where political rivalry and jostling for influence in this manner are seen far more often than armed conflict? My view of the road the novels are on is that we are seeing, quite possibly, the first sparks of what might become (eventually) a true galactic alliance. I stand by my view that Trek literature is as hopeful and optimistic as ever. Yes, the Federation took a beating, but it'll rebuild and reaffirm itself.

    I'm suddenly reminded of a quote from "Babylon Five".

    G'Kar: "We are all the sum of our tears. Too little, and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there. Too much, and the best of us is washed away".

    I see the current state of the Trek universe as perhaps acknowledging the first part of that comment. The destruction and death suffered during the Borg invasion and aftermath might encourage the growth- might be encouraging the growth- of something great. You see it more in terms of the latter half of the comment, I think. Why? We've already seen positive outcomes rising from the ashes of the Borg invasion: the more interconnected Trek universe.
     
  14. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    I'm taking "fall" to mean "taking a hit". And the Borg invasion was a massive hit but did not bring about the Fall of the Federation.

    As for your quote from Batman Begins, I don't think it compares. The Federation wasn't "falling to pieces", wasn't a "breeding ground for suffering and injustice", wasn't "beyond saving" before Destiny.

    And after 63 billion people perished, whole worlds and lives shattered didn't you want to know some of the consequences and see our heroes working through those consequences to make the best of what's happened? Or would you rather simply dismiss that as just another war, just another casualty figure and have the AQ and our heroes continue happy as hamsters as if nothing ever happened?
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't seem like there's much cooperation going on, unless you're talking about the Typhon Pact members "cooperating" to stand against the Federation.

    How about neither?

    Pay attention to the "too much" as much as the "too little". What we're seeing now, I see as too much.

    Is it so wrong to want the Federation to continue to exist and be PART of that interconnectedness? :(

    Not yet, anyway...

    Maybe not before it, but after? What's left now?

    Yes, but I'd like some hope that the Federation can survive even after that.
     
  16. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, first the Typhon Pact members are co-operating, not "co-operating" with inverted commas. :) And, the Khitomer Accords have been expanded- though we don't yet know who actually joined- so there's co-operation there too. Plus,
    the people of Alpha Centauri voted four to one, if I recall, to raffirm their commitment to the Federation despite their own leader's original desire to pull out.

    Because that's unrealistic. There will always be some kind of conflict, unless some super-beings come along and brainwash everyone into dancing with linked hands around and about the hills, happily agreeing with one another all day long. ;)



    Yes, I know you do. That's what I said. :)



    Eh...it HAS.
     
  17. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    None of the post-Destiny books had or ended with "Everyone in the Federation has given up. Everything is gone to the dogs. No one is fighting to survive anymore."

    They did have "Our heroes continue to work through these hard times, making the best of what they can. The civilian governments of surviving worlds are still functioning and strong and are helping everyone else to relocate and rebuild. Everyone's doing their bit. The Typhon Pact has been created but has not engaged in any hostile act. We know of a race of xenophobic but benign beings called the Caeliar with a former Starfleet captain as one among them. The Borg are no more. The Titan is continuing its explorations of the Gum nebula. Voyager and a fleet of ships is going to the Delta Quadrant to explore and establish peaceful relations with the races there and to find out and make certain of the status of the Borg and Caeliar."

    That's not hope enough for you after a large scale carnage?

    Frankly given the scale of the devastation and the sheer numbers of displaced persons, there were so many more worse things the writers could have chosen to put in but didn't because its Trek. For eg. Losing the Peace only had an almost incident between Displaced Persons and the military of Pacifica, that could have been much more terrible given what we know about detention camps and such in our real world.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So far.

    I would hope it will *keep* surviving.

    The rather bleak tone that the novels are taking now, you can understand why I question whether the writers want that.

    Sekki did. A Ferengi mercenary who was working *for* the Pact. Thus they get to hide behind that and claim that they are not openly hostile...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  19. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And all that did was delay some Federation reconstruction projects not actively destabilize the Federation, plus the apologized for some of the stuff they did.

    Also I find it interesting you will bring up the negative things about the Pact members but ignore the negative aspects of the founding members of the Federation at the time they formed it's predecessor the Coalition of Planets.

    Also many of the other powers in the Alpha Quadrant in the 22nd century porbably felt the same way about the Coalition and later the Federation that replaced it as you seem to feel about the Typhon Pact, does that make them right considering how things turned out.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't heard anyone talk about the fall of the Federation except you. I don't mean that rudely or accusatorially -- I just mean that, literally, you are the only person I know of who has brought that up.

    The point is not the fall of the Federation. The point is the evolution of the Federation. The point is the Federation learning to stop being the arrogant superpower and to cope with the fact that it is now living in a multilateral quadrant after having essentially lived in a unilateral quadrant since Praxis exploded in 2293.

    In other words, the Federation is undergoing the same process the United States is undergoing in real life: Coping with no longer being the biggest kid on the playground and having to deal with other cultures that are or are becoming equally powerful.

    Personally, I think that seeing the Federation give up its arrogance as it ceases to be a superpower is a good thing. That doesn't mean I think the Federation is as bad as the T.P.-allied states do -- but I do think there's a lot of room for improvement, and that finding that it is no longer the biggest kid on the playground can help the Federation improve its character.

    As for overtly positive storytelling -- I'd consider Losing the Peace to have had a very hopeful, inspiring ending, and I would consider Over a Torrent Sea to have been a very hopeful, optimistic story.

    The key to the Typhon Pact is to tell a story about the Federation coping with losing its status as the sole superpower of the quadrant without losing Star Trek's essential optimism.

    Destiny, A Singular Destiny, Over A Torrent Sea, and Losing the Peace were all about the Federation's strengths. In each of those stories, weaknesses were also addressed, yes -- but in each of those stories, it was Federation values, Federation morality, that saved the day.

    1. Absolutely nothing in this thread as been about trying to justify the fall of the Federation. That you cannot process the idea of the Typhon Pact has a right to exist and that some cultures might prefer it to the Federation without also thinking the Federation deserves to fall is just bizarre.

    2. The point of this thread was to ask why the Typhon Pact exists, remember?

    From Losing the Peace, page 319:

    "Just days ago, I was sitting in my office resenting the way my comfortable existence had been disrupted, and in my self-absorption, I resolved to launch a campaign to ask my fellow Centaurians o vote on whether we should secede from the Federation. Now, thanks to an utterly audacious act that has shaken me out of my complacency, I've revolved to add a second question to this plebiscite, asking whether we as Centaurians should reassert our commitment to the ideals set forth in the Articles of the Federation. To renew the promises we made over two centuries ago to the peoples of Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, and Andor, and to all the peoples who have come after, to be a unified society, dedicated to our mutual welfare and survival."

    Read the novels. Nothing about them is anti-Federation.

    Dude, exactly ONE book out of four post-Destiny has been about that. You're severely over-reacting.

    It's probably more accurate to say that they wanted to see how the Federation would function in a situation where it is no longer the biggest kid on the playground. How would the Federation function if it had a genuine equal in terms of power and prestige? If it was even maybe not as powerful as its rival? Would it still hold on to its values?

    Remember, there's nothing virtuous about strength. Taking strength away from the Federation does not mean taking away its morality, its value system, its optimism -- or its survival. No one's trying to destroy the Federation anymore.

    No, it was not. The Tholians wish it had been, but it was not actually founded to service anti-Federation hostility.

    From pages 356-357 of A Singular Destiny:

    In other words: The nations of the Typhon Pact have realized that cooperation is better than war and that unity is better than division. They just don't want to be united with the UFP. So they unite together instead.

    Not "we're gonna take you down." The Tholians were the only ones acting hostile, and that was in retaliation for what can at best be described as an act of passive pre-emptive hostility from the Federation -- one that could have endangered Tholia's existence. The Typhon Pact itself is not formed with any intent to bring the Federation down -- just with the intent to not end up living under the Federation's flag.

    There is plenty of hope in these books. It's just that the hope exists in the face of big and realistic problems, too. I mean, hell, in Losing the Peace, the Federation manages to overcome a problem of selfishness and unity that still haunts millions of people every year. I mean, look at the way the Federation pulled together in that book to get its act together, stop blaming refugees for their victimhood, and help get peoples' lives up and running again. Then look at the reaction of the U.S. to Hurricane Katrina and how its victims are still living in FEMA trailers and entire segments of the City of New Orleans still lie in ruins four years later, and at how Katrina refugees were discriminated against and treat like crap all across the country.

    I'd call that a pretty gosh darned hopeful book, since the Federation managed to be more mature and responsible about its refugees than the U.S. has in real life!

    And, plus -- I mean, hell, just months after almost being destroyed, the Federation is sending out two major exploratory fleets -- the Titan and the rest of the Luna-class explorers deep in the Beta Quadrant, and the Voyager fleet of NINE starships back to the Delta Quadrant! I'd call that pretty frickin' hopeful.

    Is the Typhon Pact a rival? Sure. A problem? Yeah. An existential threat? No.

    No, because I'm wondering if you actually paid attention to the content of the novels you were reading. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying that Dudly Do-Right promotes tying damsels in distress to railroad tracks. The problems you cite are problems that the Federation is overcoming.

    Again, Sekki was working for the Tholian government, which, if you read A Singular Destiny, you will recall was acting independently, without the rest of the Pact knowing about it. The Tholians were doing this as revenge for Bacco's having deprived them of the Breen mercenary fleet just prior to the Borg Invasion.

    In other words, the Tholians were going behind the Pact's back to screw over the Federation.

    The back cover copy talked about it being a Pax galactica.

    Dude, you have completely not understood the point of anything I've written if that's what you think this thread has been about. The OP asked why the Typhon Pact existed, and I and others basically explained that it boiled down to, "They realized that unity and diversity are good things but didn't want to live under the Federation's flag, so instead they sewed their own." The rest of the thread was about explaining why they might not want to live under the Federation flag without that making them automatic morons or bad guys, and some of the ways that they might conduct a non-violent rivalry with the Federation.

    The point was NOT to say that they were RIGHT, but simply to say, "This is how they think and how that might inform their behavior."

    When you can point to a post by KRAD, Christopher, Margaret, David Mack, Dayton Ward, or any of the other five thousand odd-TrekLit writers who post here that actually argues for the fall of the Federation, I'll take your concern seriously.

    In the meantime, I'll just repeat: They've been very clear in saying that the idea is not "the fall of the Federation," but, rather, "The Federation has to deal with credible rivals who are not Pure Military Dictatorship Eeeeeevil, and has to deal with not being the most powerful interstellar state in the Alpha Quadrant anymore."

    That may be how it turns out. On the other hand, if the Pact really internalizes the values it's starting to embrace, we may well see an end to Pact-UFP hostilities once both realize that there's really no reason to be fighting anymore.

    How can France succeed without Britain failing? How can China succeed without America failing? How can Israel succeed without Palestine failing? How can Pakistan succeed without India failing? How can - You get my point.

    Politics tends to be treated as a zero-sum game, but it doesn't need to be. It's a result of the choices we make. Now, right now, it looks like the Typhon Pact and Federation are going to end up in a rivalry for power, resources, and influence, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be a war, or that either one has to pose an existential threat to the other. The Federation can still exist even as the Pact grows around it through voluntary expansion.

    And if the Federation starts to feel threatened by the Typhon Pact growing to surround them, maybe they need to step back and realize that that was how they made other nations feel. The Federation understands full well that it can grow through voluntary expansion without in any way posing a threat to its neighbors, because the Federation knows that it can grow without having any desire to conquer independent worlds.

    The question is, will the Federation extend the same benefit of a doubt it has traditionally asked for from its small independent neighbors to the Typhon Pact if it becomes the small independent neighbor? Or will they react with the same paranoia towards the Pact with which other worlds have reacted towards the Federation?

    Tell me, do you think that the rise of China, India, Brazil, and the European Union as major world powers constitutes a threat to the U.S. in real life? Do you think that a nation is only safe from its neighbors if it is a lone superpower to whom no other nation is an equal?

    In other words, to you, does safety only occur when there is domination?

    The relevant quote about the Federation and the Typhon Pact is not to be found in the Batman films. The Batman films are about a society's internal sense of identity and beliefs, not about its relations with other societies.

    The relevant quote about the UFP and T.P. can be found on pages 376-377 of A Singular Destiny: