Robert Beltran says the Prime Directive is 'fascist crap'

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by The Overlord, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am not sure the prime directive is fascist.
     
  2. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Karl Marx wasn't the nicest man either. He considered peoples like Croats, Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks and other minorities in the Austrian Empire "racial trash" who should be wiped out.

     
  3. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the first I've heard of any of it..Where did you quote that from? I think I know the answer but I'll wait for your answer before making any comment.
     
  4. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Methinks the laddie doth protest too much.
     
  5. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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  6. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting: The first link is about someone selling a book of opinions about Marx and not about anything Marx wrote himself, which means that for all we know you could have written that book yourself and now are using it as proof of your allegations.

    I hope you realize how unfair it would be if people would attack you based solely on the hearsay of your most ardent opponents.

    What I am asking you is justice. That's a quote that can ACTUALLY be traced back to anything Karl Marx wrote, but apparently that's not gonna happen.

    The second link is rejected by my anti-virus program as being dangerous! Hey, maybe my anti-virus is part of the conspiracy, who knows? At any rate, I seriously doubt that it contains anything that could be traced back to something Marx actually wrote himself, which in my opinion would be an acceptable standard of proof. I am certainly not about to compromise the security of my computer in order to find out.

    As for the media, forget it. I am certain that Marx never said anything on camera so it's simply useless.

    Once again, I find it ironic that in order to fight an idea, you are content to simply use base propaganda. Talk about becoming a dragon yourself!
     
  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He died in 1883, so no. However there were political papers, interviews and speeches.
     
  8. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The political papers where propagandist rags more often than not. Have you seen the German antisemitic propaganda from the 1880s till the beginning of WWI? it's revolting!

    You definitely can't trust them about anything.
     
  9. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    SPOCK: "I've noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million."

    - The Immunity Syndrome
     
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  10. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So you didn't watch the video where a historican at the Cambridge University discussed those quotes? But he was probably a "third hand hater" and a "fascist". :shrug:

    I'm pretty sure that Marx had those opinions about certain peoples. His teachings are full of ramblings about bloody revolutions, how to hang "capitalists" and encouraging violence.

    He did have some interesting economic theories which mah have had some truth in the 19th century. But all of that is obsolete now due to the ongoing evolution of society.

    If we look at the world, there are more equality and freedom in developed countries in Scandinavia and Western Europe plus countries like the US, Canada; Australia and Japan due to peaceful evolution than there ever were in any Communist country where Marx's, Engels's, Lenin's and Stalin's teachings were practised.. I'm not saying that the countries I mentioned are perfect, there are a lot of bad things happening there as well. But they are far from the poverty and opression in the Communist countries.

    I don't know which countyr you come from but I do think that too many people in the US and western Europe have a rosy-eyed view on Communism.
    I don't know which country you come from but I get the impression that some people in the US and Western Europe have a very rosy-eyed view of Communism. Maybe because history is often seen in black and white in those countries. Since Hitler was the ultimate evil, those who fought against him must be the "good guys"and since the Soviet Union (unfortunately) ended up among the winners, they must be "good guys" too. Nothing can be more wrong.

    I was 10 ears old when I first discovered that Estonia, Latvia and Lithania had been independent states before WWII and it took me some more years before I learned about the Soviet opression and genocide in those countries, all in the name of Communism.

    You should read more history. You should read Solzhenitsyn's books about GuLAG, you should read about the Baltic Countries, the Soviet-Finnish Winter war, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact when Germany and the Soviet Union divided Eastern Europe among themselves. You should read about "The Great Terror 1936-39 when 20-40 million Soviet citizens were murdered by Stalin's regime and the ethnic cleansing the Red Army did in the eastern part of Germany during the war.Hitler was definitely a "bad guy" but he wasn't the only "bad guy" during these times.

    You should read about Rákosi's dictatorship in Hungary and the Soviet invasion 1956, the invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968, Mao's terror in China, the occupation of Tibet, the "Khmer Rouge", North Korea.

    A lot to learn there!

    And when it comes to dragoms, sometimes it takes a dragon to fight a dragon! :techman:
     
  11. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  12. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The point is that you can't in good conscience call these countries communist because they are very far from the communist society as described by Marx, in his ACTUAL books, that are available in libraries and even on line.

    How about taking you information from the horse's mouth for a change?

    These countries are communist in name only. Surely you're familiar with the concept.

    Marx is no more responsible for their massacres than Jesus is for the massacres that have been perpetrated in his name. If you blame one you must blame the other, otherwise you're practicing textbook hypocrisy.

    Now Marx never thought that the capitalists would give up some of their assets, extorted from the working classes, without a fight, no man would unless he was naive to an extreme. The doctor on voyager said so himself: "Sometimes violence is necessary."
     
  13. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well to paraphrase a thought about the First Amendment protecting unpopular speech, you don't need to have a directive to prevent things that will clearly be a bad you need it to prevent things that seem good but turn out badly. I think both the original series and TNG showed how, despite good intentions, results of interference generally end up badly. By the 24th century it is a doctrine that some people, more often the captains, are fanatical about yet officers still question it, particularly Beverly Crusher and also Paris (his actions against it in "Thirty Days" were portrayed as positive though him getting punished as also at least appropriate).

    I think it was generally Data who did it and not too often but when he did he got off with too little consequences.

    Where's the drama or suspense in that?

    Even Superman and Spider-Man (who generally see the world as much more black-and-white than Trek characters do or IMO should) believe there should be limits to how much and significantly they act, reflected in their reluctance to kill criminals. Less nobly, Spider-Man is often annoyed when new superheroes/vigilantes emerge and doubt that they will have the necessary wisdom to act appropriately.

    But what's to prevent Starfleet captains or the Federation as a whole from engaging in selfish or abusive acts? To prevent that I think you do need pretty strict policies even if they also result in some good not being done. I think it's too easy to rationalize selfish or abusive acts as either beneficial to the other parties or at least acceptable.
     
  14. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spock has a talent for stating either the obvious or the obviously wrong, that is simply amazing!
     
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  15. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except how is letting civilizations die off good in any way? I think the PD can be a good thing, but taking it to an extreme that saying helping dying civilizations is wrong, makes it look foolish at best, callous at worst.


    But then this just makes Picard's lecturing about the PD and letting alien civilizations die seem pointless and makes Picard look foolish and/or cruel. It just comes as pointless bickering and a cheap excuse for drama.


    Having the characters use their intelligence to solve the problem that is threatening to destroy this civilization, while trying to keep their efforts a secret from the people they are trying to save, is not dramatic?


    I think you are missing my point, people want heroes in fiction to be proactive, heroes coming up with excuses to do nothing in the face of potential tragedy and disaster, don't seem heroic.

    You can take the PD to the ultimate logical extreme and say the Federation should stop exploring and everyone should go back to Earth and hide under their beds, because any action can have potentially devastating consequences, maybe simply scanning something could cause a disaster. Either you are explorers or you are not, you have to do the best you can with the knowledge you have at the time, rather then worrying about what could happen all the time.

    I hope the new show has far less waffling and hand wringing from the characters.


    How about the fact the Federation is supposed to be more altruistic then humans are today?

    You are presenting a false chose, isolation or imperialism, not acknowledging the huge middle ground in between those two extremes.

    Also a lot of imperialism didn't exist due to good intentions going astray, imperialism was often done for selfish reasons and was given BS justifications later.

    Hitler did not have a altruistic reason for invading Poland, Belgium did not have good reasons for exploiting the Congo, so how often is imperialism done with good intentions and how often is it done for selfish reasons

    Since I expect Federation captains to be better then Hitler or King Leopold, so I hope they wouldn't need a fanatical doctrine to tell them that enslaving other planets is bad, rather having the PD be a guideline and the Federation having enough good judgment to know to apply it in the field.
     
  16. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course helping people or a group sounds good and it may be but how you help them can be good or bad. Trying to prevent or mitigate natural disasters is the most justifiable and likely least harmful type of interference but what if a society is dying or, less severely, suffering or, yet more severely, just being stagnant because of its internal choices and power relationships? Then the consequences of interference seem more ambiguous and potentially negative. But most fans complain not only about "Homeward" and "Pen Pals" but also the many Prime Directive episodes that didn't deal with natural disasters.

    The execution at times did make Picard seem a little pointless or foolish. But more often he was pretty impressive in applying his principles.

    It is if the characters have, despite frequently engaging in such, either no real chance of being discovered or if they are discovered but no negative consequences can emerge from their being discovered.

    That the characters and society are generally more benevolent than today doesn't mean that they should pretend or act as if they are infallible, I think increased humility is part of how the society improved. But the characters' actions are still fallible or at least questionable. For example Kirk insists he would not take resources by force in "Mirror, Mirror" but admits he would, though preferring not to, do so in "Requiem for Methuselah".

    No, I think all the Prime Directive mandates is to not reveal your existence to pre-Warp societies and not, through either force or subterfuge, change the regime or culture of any society; those restrictions do not constitute isolationism.

    That's the false choice between extremes, that captains wouldn't be that abusive doesn't mean they couldn't be either greedy or inadvertently very harmful.
    Admiral Dougherty was portrayed as a decent man whose arguments for taking resources seemed at the least reasonable despite Picard considering them outrageous (a lot of the audience thought Dougherty was more reasonable, that the Federation needed and would make better use of the resources). In real life Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson are appropriately seen as at least decent and reasonable people, even as generally principled and beneficial, and not outrageously abusive and yet they helped overthrow regimes in Latin America, Iran and Iraq and gave support that extended warfare in Vietnam.
     
  17. Kahless the Unforgettable

    Kahless the Unforgettable Captain Captain

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    It's no different than trying to help avoid a disaster (natural or otherwise) in our own civilization, especially of another country. According to the Prime Directive, if retro fit to the real world, any community or region of the world suffering from, say, a tsunami or hurricane should just deal with it. If lots of people die, it's their own damn fault for not having a warp drive the know-how to avoid it.

    It's a ridiculous philosophy, right up there with "traveling back in time to kill Hitler." "But what if that civilization turns out to be space Nazis?!" Yeah, and? Having a warp drive somehow prevents a culture from turning into space Nazis... how exactly? (The Hirogen, Borg, Romulans, etc. all say 'hello' by the way.)

    It makes a certain amount of sense to not interfere with a developing nation in the sense of aliens visiting Roswell, NM sort of way. But just letting civilizations die because an asteroid is hurtling towards them and they have no way whatsoever to avoid it? That's just evil.
     
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  18. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can you at least agree that natural disasters that will wipe out civilizations is an extreme enough circumstance to make exception to the PD?

    I don't expect the Federation to solve every problem and some situations are not easy to solve, civil war or bad governments are not problems that are easily solved, but I don't think the PD should apply to world ending natural disasters, which don't have political fallout like wars or revolutions.

    People today may oppose the US overthrowing some dictatorship and trying to instill a new government in that country, but almost no one will oppose the US giving aid to a country that was been hit by a natural disaster, you could look callous and uncaring if you opposed such things.


    But he wouldn't appear foolish in those scenes if the PD wasn't presented as some doctrine that captains have to be fanatically loyal to.


    There is the drama of whether the crew can prevent the disaster or not and none of that makes Picard look like some sort of callous idiot.


    You are just judging Kirk on his thoughts rather then his actions.

    Of the main Star Trek captains (Kirk, Picard, etc) how many of them violated the PD in a way that would be unreasonable or unjustifiable vs. how times they did that and it was understandable under the circumstances?


    Fine, there is a huge middle ground between imperialism and total non intervention, are you going to address my point now?


    That argument about Dougherty would work better if I didn't think the Ba'ku were a bunch of elitist jerks who put their own immorality above the well being of others. Also the PD didn't apply to the Ba'Ku, because they were none native aliens who used a warp drive to get that planet, that is not a PD situation.

    I also expect the Federation to make better choices then those US presidents, because the Federation is presented as being better then modern humans, I think captains can generally use their judgment to make the right choices, rather then having to have their hands held by the PD all the time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  19. LJones41

    LJones41 Commodore Commodore

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    If certain societies ask the Federation for help, I don't see a problem with breaking the Prime Directive. But when that society is unaware of the Federation's possible intervention or when it does not want help, then the Federation should butt out.

    Sometimes, doing the right thing can lead to disaster. I realize that people do not want to admit this, but nothing is sacred, set in stone or guaranteed. Sometimes intervening can be the right thing. And sometimes, good intentions can set someone or a group of people on the road to hell. I understand why there is a Prime Directive. I think a situation should be considered before any kind of intervention.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  20. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes (and I think the characters generally have, albeit reluctantly) but even then they shouldn't do so lightly, they should make strong efforts that they won't be discovered and they should acknowledge that negative consequences could occur and occasionally have such consequences actually occur.

    I thought the foolishness came from being so lenient to Data for disregarding the rules or otherwise abruptly reversing his views.

    From what I recall when the characters did intervene they never failed and there was never much doubt about if they would succeed, in part because the original series (and somewhat Voyager with Janeway) portrayed the captain as ready to intervene (in many more situations than natural disasters) and the show rarely treated the decisions as problematic, more often like Our Crew, especially The Lead, is awesome and unquestionable.
    I think character "hand-wringing" (internal or intercrew conflict) is generally more interesting than solving a problem.

    ?
    By his stated intended and threatened actions, which from an earlier episode he suggests he knows are wrong.

    I thought Kirk was pretty callous in transforming the societies in "The Return of the Archons" and "The Apple" and his actions were meant to be questionable in "A Private Little War" and to a lesser degree "This Side of Paradise." But it's true the captains generally have been willingly constrained by the directive and only broken it in rare, reasonable circumstances.

    Well if you think intervention is OK not just for benevolent assistance but personal advantage that shows why rules against interference can be necessary (and generally that 24th century humans may not be so different from how they are today). And while not indigenous to the planet (which I thought generally wasn't a big precondition for the directive, that with the aliens having warp drive you could reveal yourselves but not otherwise interfere) they had been there as a society for hundreds of years so removing them and taking their resources seems against the spirit and intention of the directive.