Picard...checking privilege?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by RAMA, May 21, 2020.

  1. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    No, but that is why Picard Intrigues me so in this show.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's a totally legitimate interpretation of Jean-Luc's mental process! But it's also a mental process deeply rooted in privilege. It's only a slight caricature to boil that mental process down to, "I'm Jean-Luc Picard! When people realize I've been pushed out because of this, surely they'll rally to the cause without me having to do the work of persuading them."

    Anyway, it's still a behavior he would need to make up for.

    Maybe, maybe not. I mean, Jean-Luc left Starfleet for ten years after the destruction of the Stargazer, and he seriously considered leaving Starfleet after his assimilation by the Borg. Jean-Luc so rarely fails that it is sometimes hard to conceptualize what he would do if he did fail.

    And I think it's worth considering that Jean-Luc had never, ever failed on the scale he failed in 2385. He was trying to assemble the largest armada in known interstellar history, to undertake the largest refugee evacuation operation in the known history of every world in explored space. He was trying to accomplish something on a scale literally no one had ever accomplished before. He was trying, I would say, to be a humanitarian version of Alexander the Great. And then he was betrayed by the institution he had dedicated his entire life to. And millions -- if not billions -- of people died.

    I can sympathize with him for falling into executive dysfunction and despair. I can comprehend it as a plausible human response to that level of pain. So I don't mind it on the level of, "Would he actually do this?" I can see it happening plausibly.

    Which is a rationalization for previous depictions that had always been Human-centric.

    Does there? Why can't the Federation capital planet rotate? Why can't the Federation President be on one planet, the Federation Council on another planet, the Federation Supreme Court on another planet, and Starfleet Command on yet another planet?

    Why can't the Federation government be based on a large space station outside of the systems claimed by any Federation Member State?

    Why can't the Federation capital planet be an uninhabited planet, unclaimed by anyone, developed as a dedicated capital world?

    Because everyone's supposed to be equal.

    My justification for ST's depiction of Human-dominated crews in a Federation where everyone is supposed to be equal is to just assume that there are lots of ships out there and most are more mixed than the ones we've seen. But that is a rationalization for a depiction that does not actually meet with its stated ideals of equality.

    (For that matter -- how come the vast majority of Humans on ST are white? White people are a minority of the Human species, after all.)
     
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  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. From a human point of view it makes perfect sense, and fits in psychologically.
     
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  4. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Most here are blaming Picard and not the federation. And even quoting Clancy like a hero when she is in the camp that destroyed the rescue mission. Where was Riker? Where was Geordi or anyone else doing anything? Nobody could do a large scaler rescue on their own.

    And how do you even know Picard didnt lend assistance on a smaller scale by coordinating relief or something from his Chateau? Do you think Picard and his romulan friends did absolutely nothing? That's a big assumption.

    The look on his face showed that any large scale rescue would be impossible without Starfleet help and he would know, considering he's the one who led the entire rescue mission in the first place.

    Massive misread of the character.

    Picard already did more than anyone else for the Romulans by that point. He didnt do it to be a hero, but because it was the right thing to do. None of them were entitled to have Picard help with anything. They were lucky to have him save the universe half a dozen times already by that point.

    Riker didnt even want to be ass deep in Romulans, Clancy didnt even want a large scale according to the prequel novel.

    If Picard decided to quit Starfleet in TNG episode Family that should be his right to do so. You're blaming Picard for not doing more, when no one else wanted to do anything at all in the first place. By that point it's like blaming a retired cop for not continiuing to go out on patrol after 30 years of service
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Clancy a hero?

    I think there is blame on all sides.
     
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  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, we are not. Nobody is blaming Picard for the Federation abandoning the Romulans.

    We are blaming him for responding to the Federation government's decision by just giving up. There is a difference.

    Thinking that Clancy had a good point about Jean-Luc's personality is not the same thing as thinking she was in the right to consent to abandon the Romulans.

    Who knows? For all we know, Will and Geordi may have been the guys who helped Spock launch the Jellyfish as a last-ditch mission to save Romulus. Or maybe they did nothing. We have no information one way or the other. But their choices do not mitigate Jean-Luc's responsibility for his choices.

    Nobody is claiming Jean-Luc would have been able to mobilize state-level intervention as a private citizen. But as @fireproof78 put it, not being able to everything is not an excuse not to do anything.

    Because "Remembrance" and "Absolute Candor" explicitly established that after he resigned, he didn't do anything else.

    I repeat: Being unable to do everything is not an excuse not to do anything.

    Nope. It's perfectly consistent with him. Go back and watch early TNG -- notice how he treats, for instance, the traumatized Humans who have just woken up after being frozen since the 1980s, how he lectures them. Notice how he condescends to aliens with values he objects to. Notice how it took Lilly to break down his arrogance in First Contact. Jean-Luc has always had a superiority complex.

    Yes! And that does not mean he had the right to give up.

    "Fuck you, I got mine" is no basis for a system of morality. Jean-Luc Picard -- flawed person though he was -- would himself never subscribe to that idea. When your neighbor is dying, they are entitled to your help.

    Maybe!

    So here's the thing: That quote comes from my reply to @valkyrie013 . In that reply, I am not contesting what Picard's moral obligations are in 2385. Rather I'm contesting what kinds of behavior are psychologically plausible for him as an individual to indulge in based on his prior behavior.

    Would it be his right to leave Starfleet in 2367 after the Borg Crisis? Sure. I'm not contesting that. I am suggesting that the idea of quitting and going home to wallow in self-pity is a reaction Jean-Luc has been tempted to indulge in before. Sometimes doing that is understandable and justified; sometimes it's not. But it's a reaction that's not foreign to his mind either way.

    Yes. And for expecting to be welcomed back to Vashti with open arms instead of acknowledging they have good reason to be pissed at him.

    This part has not be canonically established. If nothing else, we know from ST09 that Spock was willing to risk everything in one last desperate mission to save Romulus.
     
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  7. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He let his romulans friends live with him so it's not accurate to say he did nothing, even if he felt he should have done more. That right there is something.

    It's up to him to feel like he should have done more, but it shouldn't be an obligation because at that point it's on starfleet. It's their jobs. If they wanted him to help the romulans they should have asked or not let him resign.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    He totally abandoned the people on Vashti after promising he would fight for them in the Federation, and you're gonna cite the fact he allowed two Romulans to be his live-in servants as evidence of how un-privileged he was? ;)

    Letting two people who had clearly already emigrated to the Federation work for him is not the same thing as actually doing jack shit to keep evacuating Romulus.

    It is an obligation, and it's an obligation he failed to fulfill. And the fact he thought he could come back to Vashti and be welcomed with open arms is an act of distinct privilege.

    Moral obligations do not come from Starfleet.
     
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  9. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some on Vashti were simply ungrateful. If it wasnt for Picard they likely would not have even survived, there was no one else looking out for them to get them relocated.

    Picard was surprised they let their own community deteriorate so much when he arrived there. He promised them the federation would help them and the federation dropped the ball at that point.

    But what really destroyed their relief efforts was a subset of their own people that caused the mars attack. Which is another mess Picard eventually cleans up for everyone else. So yeah they were really unjustifiable in putting it all on Picard.

    Also those two romulans he let live with him were connected to his relief efforts with the romulans, covered in a really good comic series. Not canon yet but it fits.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Moral responsibility lies with both. Again, if Picard had done any sort of private work, like he did with Rios, and Romulus still ended up destroyed, then fine. But, he didn't do much more and just walked away. That doesn't absolve him of moral responsibility when he knew it was within his power to act.

    Does this absolve Starfleet? No. But, neither does their failure to act absolve Picard because he just walked away.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Ungrateful.

    Ungrateful.

    Were they also uppity?

    1) We don't know that.

    2) That does not justify his abandonment of them.

    Are you intentionally borrowing fallacious arguments from colonizer justifications for socioeconomic inequality just to fuck with me?

    It was a goddamn refugee settlement. It doesn't matter which population is being resettled -- settlements like that always deteriorate without massive outside investment. That's why they had every right to be pissed at Jean-Luc.

    Which is part of why he had an obligation to them. He owed it to them to work to help them since the government he had represented had betrayed them.

    You really gonna blame the victims here?

    And he absolutely deserves credit for doing so! And, he deserves to be commended for realizing that he messed up and owed it to the Romulans on Vashti and other words to try to fix things and bring the perpetrators of that attack to justice!

    Saying Jean-Luc fucked up, needs to check his privilege, and take responsibility for his mistakes, is not the same as saying he's a bad person or that he's "cancelled!"

    Absolutely no one has "put it all" on Jean-Luc. They have pointed out he abandoned them after the Federation government betrayed them, when he had a moral obligation to keep fighting for them and with them.

    How magnanimous of Jean-Luc, that he allowed two entire refugees to become his live-in servants!

    This.
     
  12. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The issue I think comes down to just how much does one owe society and at what point is it okay to think about your own needs. What's weird is nobody talks about why nobody ever went to see Picard during this time. Here you have someone going through massive depression and while I am sure people tried to see him at some point even they seem to have given up. All someone has to do is basically beam over or come by for a visit. I doubt Picard would send them away.

    Were also talking a Picard who is already old and you would think near the end of his career anyways. Picard defiantly gave more to the protection and betterment of the Federation than most but then people turn on him the minute he goes through a bad time? Sometimes you can ask to much from a person. Also while Picard does have fame maybe to get things done he isn't the only one. Why didn't Raffi take her idea's to someone else. RIker or Janeway or other famous people we don't know about. If the plan works with Picard it can work with others as well.

    Jason
     
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  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Picard's needs would not have been endangered by continuing to work on Romulan refugee evacuation and advocacy.

    Seems pretty clear from Raffi's argument with him that he was rejecting outside visitors.

    I'm pretty sure he did. And he obviously was not seeking medical care for his mental health situation -- that's on him.

    Abandoning people you had promised to help is more than just "going through a bad time." He's the one who chose to hide in LaBerre and not seek mental health treatment.

    None of this justifies Picard's decision to abandon the people he promised to help.
     
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  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Simply put, Picard had stated he would do something and had not followed through. That's not on society entirely-that is on Picard in terms of responsibility for what he said he would do.

    No, I am not blaming Picard for all of it. However, and the show supports this, Picard was wrong to walk away from it all. That's all.
     
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  15. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As someone who has mental health issues I got to tell you it's more complicated than, just going and getting help. If it was so easy people would do it more often. It's the same reason why rape victims don't come foreward instantly or why people who are sick sometimes refuse to seek medical treatment. People heal and deal with their trauma's in their own ways. Also Picard was never as arrogant as people make him out to be. He was in the early seasons but Picard was actually someone who simply kept his feelings on the inside and felt as a leader the need to present strength. If Picard truly was arrogant he wouldn't have been so beloved. He would be Captain Jellico.

    His speeches were often him talking about human nature. They weren't about himself. Several times to aliens trying to explain why humans do things and to Admire Satie he was calling her behavior out. Very different kind of grandiose self loving type of speeches you would see in someone like say Dukat who loved to talk and loved to talk about how great he was. Also yes he made a promise and he tried to keep that promise but you know sometimes things just don't work out. He should have never made the promise in the first place. He should have not assumed the Federation would just go along with his plan. That was the big mistake. Assuming he could speak on behalf of the Federation before getting it approved.


    Jason
     
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  16. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well said. That's the context that is really missing in this thread.
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    So, because of past performance we are to give him a break for not doing what he said he would? :vulcan:
     
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  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes! It's so much fun messing with Discovery haters complaining about the lack of white male characters. Less than 5% of the Earth's population is white and male. Now go check out any episode of Star Trek.
     
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  19. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Star Trek is a wish-fulfilment fantasy that one day humans will deal with their shit and become masters of a galactic organisation and its military, so expecting their soldiers to be able to fight like Black Widow is not too much to ask.;)

    As Picard stated in the show , he let the perfect be the enemy of the good

    There is a fan theory World War III killed off most of the brown people....sounds like a closet racist fantasy to me. Star Trek is a Caucasianhumancentric universe because it still reflects its original main target audience..White Americans. However the new shows have improved on this.

    The Starfleet uniform gave him the authority,( because IMO wrongly) the authority of the UFP and Starfleet seemed to be joined at the hip, it makes the state look like a military run one
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  20. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would say blaming Picard is doing that. Picard's fleet was destroyed, his people murdered on mars, his career sacrificed, hope destroyed by the federation abandoning him. And it becomes apparent after all that, they only care about "what have you done for me lately?"