Was Janeway a bit of a tyrant?

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by The Overlord, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But she needed them.. in the AQ she could have just gotten replacements. Maybe she comes across as a tyrant because these outbreaks of insubordination are a lot more common then they should be. The big crew breakdown from being 70 years from home breaking out all over the ship so Janeway has to balance being tyrannical with keeping people still functioning in the workplace.
     
  2. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, she was not!

    Or to quote Chakotay from the episode "Caretaker: "She's the captain".

    I find her no worse than Kirk, Picard or Sisko when it comes to be in charge. Kirk could be described as a tyrant sometimes but not Janeway.
     
  3. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What about Dirk Diggler? ;)
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Same guy. Amalgamated a little, but Diggler was mostly Holmes.

    Teacake, is it possible that Janeway put a scurry of time delayed, time released punishments, penalizations and reprimands in their permanent records for harry and Tom that were not to take effect until Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant?

    Which is no worse than the handcuffs and cells waiting for the Maquis on the other side of the AQ border.
     
  5. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Did he succeed?
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have a rule.

    If some one tries to kill me.

    Really tries to kill me.

    Not a car accident, but you know, a gun, a knife or tying me up and throwing me in a river.

    I'm allowed to rape them.

    So no.

    I didn't rape myself.
     
  7. Lord Manitou

    Lord Manitou Commander Red Shirt

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    two birds

    I think she is more of an aficionado and she certainly was no bully. In Scientific Method she wanted to kill the little guy that was put in prison but a stream of words was all she managed. If she didn't show herself in the ep. and her powers over the crew, Voyager and everyone all became horribly dead.
    Captains depicted in books in history mostly are tyrannical. English captains are tyrannical.
    Therefore: Tyranny and captaincy are birds of a feather.
     
  8. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A starship is not a democracy.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: two birds

    Unless you're talking about a tiny scene in scientific method I didn't assume was consequential, are you sure you're talking about the right episode?

    This was the episode where she tired to murder her crew, because if she couldn't have them, no one could... Not that Picard and Kirk both didn't activate the self-destruct and listen to the countdown when powerful aliens offered these blokes lives as toys.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    no, but that doesn't mean a captain can do whatever he or she wants either.
     
  11. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No. Voyager always emphasized the hierarchical nature of the military. The easy assumption that the starship captain will have the kind of authority modern military commanders (or Hollywood producers) have is essentially rather conservative, but modern Trek has always been much more conservative than Star Trek. But given that standard, Janeway was not tyrannical at all. Every single lead character if I remember correctly defied her at one point or another. She is actually rather forgiving, but maybe circumstances forced this?

    At any rate, I know of no reason whatsoever to think Janeway was tyrannical and was for a long time puzzled by these attacks on the character. Insofar as these people try to offer evidence, it usually rests upon the interpretation of the Prime Directive. Unfortunately no one actually knows what this requires (whether they imagine they do or not,) so it is impossible to lay any weight upon alleged arbitrariness in the character's personal interpretation.

    The few other instances offered in support usually display extreme misunderstanding of what actually happened on screeen. For instance relieving Chakotay in the Equinox two-parter was not tyrannical, not even extreme, because Chakotay had just helped stop a hot pursuit of a Federation vessel actively engaged in criminal activity. The script wrote a miracle to get him off the hook so they could find the Equinox again but that was the arbitrary action in this episode.

    And so forth.
     
  12. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And I suppose that to you, Janeway broke no rules when she was willing to let Lessing die?
     
  13. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    Tuvix is the Kobayashi Maru of the Delta Quadrant. There was no right answer. It was truly a lose/lose situation. Whichever choice she made could be severely criticized, and she knew it. The look on Janeway's face as she left Sickbay says it all for me. She was conflicted; if she hadn't been conflicted by such an awful decision, she would have been a heartless tyrant. She isn't.
     
  14. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    You are making an assumption here (that she would have let him die) which is not necessarily true. Because Chakotay intervened, we don't know that she would have allowed the little beastie to kill Lessing.

    But, I have another issue with that--Lessing is a traitor who was willing to sacrifice Voyager and its entire crew to save his own skin. I'm not condoning torture, but I can understand why Janeway might have been a bit testy about being betrayed.

    But, no matter what, we don't know if Janeway would have allowed him to die.
     
  15. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    I've been around the military most of my adult life. Military commanders are control freaks--it is their greatest strength and most serious flaw. Those three actions were warranted, and I commend Janeway for not letting her personal regard for them to interfere with what she had to do.

    I think it's curious that posters here seem to remember so clearly these moments of control, and forget the many more moments that Janeway acted out of compassion and sympathy for her subordinates. She let Chakotay take a shuttle out alone for his meditations; she let B'Elanna risk her life to go back to her near death experience in "The Barge of the Dead"; she let the doctor send his program back to Earth so he could help his creator, Dr. Zimmerman; she let Tom get his own little ship to play with in "Alice." I could go on and on.

    Maybe the question should be this: why do so many posters on TrekBBS seem to think of only those moments when Janeway was most in control? Could be a deep answer. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good way of putting it though I was personally never conflicted over the dilemma. There could be an element of "duh, of course they will be separated it's tv" at work there though.

    And I don't think she would have let Lessing die. She would have risked herself to save him from the beastie at the last moment and there would have been a Trek speech about what humanity stands for.
     
  17. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As everyone knows, Chakotay's interference prevented us from knowing what Janeway would have done a few seconds later. But this simple fact is commonly ignored. But let us hypothesize that Janeway, whether intentionally or by misjudgment, had actually let Lessing die.

    I reject your argument from depravity that equates Lessing's imaginary death with an injustice. Lessing murdered people, of an unusual and technologically primitive sort, it is true. But he was still a murderer. It takes barefaced gall to whine about Janeway breaking rules in the purely hypothetical case of Lessing's death, while blandly pretending that she didn't also break rules in allowing Lessing his freedom.

    Lessing got away with murder because Janeway was a tyrant? She was too soft on him. Letting him off just because he was following Ransom's orders was highly objectionable. He was even worse than the Maquis.

    As for the assumption that Lessing was tortured, Janeway didn't personally threaten or harm him. She merely left him outside Voyager's protection so that he would face the fellows of his victims. The notion that humans are so privileged that ugly primitives have no right to exercise justice on them, even upon murderers, is absurd. And it may be a science fiction story, but that way of thinking still smacks of something really ugly.

    Thinking about the ethical implications of Tuvix is a waste of time. Insofar as it is a metaphor for abortion, the episode falsifies the issue by assuming the fetus is indeed a person. Insofar as it is a metaphor for capital punishment, the episode falsifies the issue by making the death of one literally restore the lives of two others. Insofar as it's not a metaphor at all, the science is too bloody stupid to take seriously at all, no matter how sensational it all is.
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    so to you, because Lessing committed a crime that means that Janeway is freed from the obligation to treat him as if he is still under the law.

    She can do whatever she likes because her self-righteousness gives her the authority to do so.

    Sorry, but I can't take that argument seriously.
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Some quotes from the real argument, with the parts that were in particular ignored highlighted.

    It is neither law nor justice nor simple common decency to require that Lessing face only human justice for his murders. It is also a dishonorable way of assuming the conclusion, that Janeway did something tyrannical. That kind of fallacious argument is absurd but we still have to take it seriously in a way. To say something so foolish shows that there is some prejudice clouding the mind.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Think about this.

    Imagine I grab hold of your hand and drag the both of us in front of an oncoming truck that couldn't possibly stop in time without killing us. But it's all right if you die only so long as I died or almost died trying to save you come the last second after I stop holding you in place to get squashed? How heroic is it for me to simply stop holding your hand?

    Do I deserve a parade?

    This reminds me of a quote from Happy Days...

    Fonzie "Hey kid, I think I know your brother."

    Kid "Yeah, really?"

    Fonzie "In fact, I saved his life."

    Kid "Really? How'd you do that?"

    Fonzie "I stopped hitting him."


    I've pulled out this quote endless times to remind people about directive zero one zero, but i don't think I've really taken in the full context of a word like "counsel".

    There are lawyers on Voyager.

    LAWYERS!!!

    The Kazon were right!

    EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!