Eddington's vitriolic assessment of The Federation

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ragitsu, May 10, 2022.

  1. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good afternoon.

    Were viewers supposed to sympathize with turncoat Michael Eddington while he rebuked his former organization? I remember being momentarily shocked someone so close to The Federation would say something like that, but the man's words didn't resonate with me in the slightest. Many years later, I find that his broadside eerily resembles similar polemics delivered by real-world people of a particular political orientation.

    "Sure, with that system, you'll have your dietary, housing, medical, intellectual and social needs met, but you're giving up freedom!"

    P.S. His later complaint concerning a lack of fresh food in The Federation is puzzling; most starships of a significant size store perishable foodstuffs and/or grow their own produce in a hydroponics (airponics?) bay. Also, there are Federation worlds that - again - grow their own food.
     
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  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Eddington was full of shit from the get-go. He was a strutting, preening egotist with delusions of grandeur, who fancied himself his own personal Jean Valjean. It was all about him, nothing more.

    "No one leaves the Federation"? Uh, yeah, many have. And they are allowed to do so under the law.
     
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  3. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Sympathize? No. Maybe stop for a moment and think about the society they live in, think about if it is really as free as they are told? Yes.
     
  4. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Commodore Commodore

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    Does every cynical statement about the Federation need a thread? Some people just can't believe there were dissenting views about the Federation, but DS9 was comfortable with presenting with that kind of thing.

    Obviously Eddington used Starfleet - and used the Maquis for his ego, and as such, the writers groomed him to be an adversary, especially when he's shooting Kira, poisoning planets, and acting in an unsympathetic way pretty much every step of the way.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What freedom is given up, exactly?
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Freedom of self-determination, I would imagine. The Federation was pretty hot-and-bothered to stop these colonies from leaving, IIRC, been a long time since I've seen the show.
     
  7. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The two big ones came to my mind. If someone else wants to carry the torch, I'll be happy to pass it along :beer:.
     
  8. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't recall a single instance of the Federation denying them the right to give up their citizenship.

    If anything it's the opposite. They didn't want to give up their homes, so the Federation basically said "That space belongs to Cardassia now, stay at your own risk, we ain't helping you."
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    The Federation was trying to interfere in the foreign policy and military choices the colonies were making in regards to the Cardassians. That is interfering in their self-determination.
     
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  10. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet intervened due to The Maquis. Kidnappings, attacks, theft, and destruction on Federation "soil". They had self-determination, they made their own choices and lived their lives the way they wanted, that doesn't mean they are free from the consequences of those choices.
     
  11. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Commodore Commodore

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    Starfleet had a schizophrenic approach to the Maquis. They called it the Demilitarized Zone, but since Starfleet trumpeted the fact that these weren't Federation citizens anymore, why would those colonies abide by Federation policy about not arming and protecting themselves? There was never any question about whether the Cardassians were arming their own colonists. Obviously the more vicious Maquis attacks stand out, but it seemed like Starfleet was determined to hunt down these people regardless - people who weren't subject to Federation policy about demilitarization or anything else.
     
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  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dissenting views aren't the problem. We have plenty of those.

    Eddington is the problem.
     
  13. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If I cannot sustain a diet, my freedom is limited.
    If I cannot find and secure shelter, my freedom is limited.
    If I cannot remedy illness, my freedom is limited.
    If I cannot acquire knowledge, my freedom is limited.
    If I cannot freely associate with other sentient/sapient beings, my freedom is limited.

    Some folks live by a curious definition of "freedom".
     
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  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eddington's argument distracts from the fact that he is ethically absolutely in the correct. We're right now in the middle of a conflict where a hostile force is invading people's homeland and they are fighting back thanks to the resources being given them from the outside. This sort of situation has happened throughout history and the Maquis are pretty much no different than the Free French fighting against the Nazis.

    Sisko's disgust with Eddington is the fact that he's chosen to side with the Maquis over Starfleet but the fact is that Starfleet is bending over backwards to preserve a truce with a race that is explictly BASED on the Nazis. Sisko shouts, "They need a negotiated peace!"

    However, his argument falls apart with the fact that they HAD a negotiated peace.

    And the Cardssians broke it.

    The Cardassians had a negotiated peace with Bajor.

    And the Cardassians broke it.

    The Cardassians eventually sided with the Dominion and took the majority of casualties because they were the ones doing the fighting for them. However, they ultimately revolted against the Dominion thanks to....:drumroll: outside help. Starfleet and the Federation's treatment of the colonists was contemptible from beginning to end.

    They refused to acknowledge them as an independent nation.

    They persecuted everyone who tried to help them fight for freedom.

    And they had the audacity to act like they held the moral high ground while allying with fascists and hypocritically sided with Dumar.

    Not to be murdered by Space Nazis?

    Not to be arrested for fighting Space Nazis?

    I mean the problem with Sisko's anger at Eddington is that he's right next to a terrorist freedom fighter named Kira who had a long and lengthy struggle against the same government using asymetrical warfare. Would he be every bit as disgusted if Bashir or O'Brian had left Starfleet to join the fight to liberate Bajor?

    Probably I think.
     
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  15. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not so great at long term thinking.
     
  16. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think even in-universe it was clear the Federation's policy toward the colony was inconsistent and actually one of the more believable handlings of a complicated issue. The problem is Sisko and Nechanyev didn't seem to REALIZE it was an inconsistent policy because they're so used to Starfleet being in the moral right.

    * The colonists gave up their Federation citizenship according to TNG's episode.
    * Nechayev, however, says they're still Federation citizens living abroad. Presumably with dual citizenship.
    * Starfleet clearly doesn't want them to be an independent nation.
    * Many Starfleet officers have joined the group, embarrassing Starfleet.
    * The goal is to preserve the Cardassian/Federation peace treaty which the locals are threatening.
    * They don't WANT to throw the colonists under the bus.
    * Several individuals have been committing crimes against Starfleet like arms trafficking, stealing supplies, and so on.

    Sisko thinks that's a mike drop moment except if Eddington wasn't so broken by his friends being murdered, he might have pointed out.

    Eddington: Yes, the fascist government ran to the other fascist government when they weren't allowed to conquer and abuse us anymore for the crime of fighting back. Oh and I seem to recall the Klingons invading may have also had something to do with that too.
     
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  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I think there was more than a hint of truth to Eddington's belief that the Federation is an expansionist hegemon who actively seeks to absorb other cultures into its culture, and that the Federation's national ego is offended by the idea of people who were part of the Federation wanting to become independent.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why shouldn't the Federation pursue a negotiated peace with the Cardassians, when the alternative is war?

    Well, that would depend on your definition of "absorb".

    I mean, there's a difference berween "join us if you want to, here's what you'd get" and "join or die". The Federation clearly does not practice the latter. What's wrong with the former?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
  19. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Going by multiple series, many if not all cultural practices of the various Federation member species are preserved; there were certainly enough "duels to the death" to drive that point home.
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think because the Federation keeps granting concessions to the Cardassians while the latter continue to break their promises and attempt to build up justification to seize Bajor as well as invade the Federation. In RL, negotiated peaces are always preferable to war but that requires both parties to be trustworthy.

    Otherwise, you become this guy.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/Neville_Chamberlain_by_Walter_Stoneman.jpg

    Deep Space Nine's Ira Steven Behr had the very strange idea that if Bajor joined the Federation, it would actually be diminished as a culture and it was better to never join.

    Which I think is silly.

    However, Picard Season 2 has Bajor as an independent power if the separate flags are any indication.

    [​IMG]

    Then again, Vulcan had a flag too so I could be wrong.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2022