Section 31 poll

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Abi Smith, Jul 1, 2018.

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Does Section 31 underpin or undermine Federation values?

Poll closed Jul 2, 2019.
  1. Underpin

    19 vote(s)
    34.5%
  2. Undermine

    36 vote(s)
    65.5%
  1. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    No, they want Federation political dominance of the quadrant. They started installing puppets in the Romulan senate before they even won the war. Their goals are far beyond protection of the Federation, their goal is Federation hegemony.

    They use the altar of 'Protecting the Federation' to justify murder and political manipulation, under the familiar argument 'Morals don't exist outside the impact on our own citizens'.
     
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  2. TOS OnlyFans

    TOS OnlyFans Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know about that. But it certainly undermines good writing.
     
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  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    If we are to be damned, then let us be damned for what we really are.
     
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  4. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So they say. But why believe them?
     
  5. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd like to believe S31 wouldn't exist, and I'd even more like to believe that there wouldn't be a reason for them to exist, in the future as portrayed in Star Trek.

    Unfortunately, I'm not quite optimistic enough to believe they won't exist in some form or another. There's always going to be people who not only believe they're justified in doing whatever it takes in the interest of protecting themselves, but are willing to act based on that belief.
     
  6. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

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    Yes.

    That's not just a flippant answer; it's an acknowledgment that this is a very complicated issue.

    I definitely think there is a place for the 24th century equivalent of the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, and for intelligence agencies that do more than gather intelligence.
    And there is always the danger of such entities going too far.

    It is an interesting theme for stories. One of the most interesting to me was a story sbout a group dedicated to protecting a religious leader by attacking those who would kill him despite his teaching of non violence. In a scene between the group leader and the religious leader the religious leader said the groups actions were unnecessary. "God will protect me."
    "Maybe the way God protects you is by giving you men like me."
    This has the added dimension of the members believing that their actions are damning them while also believing they are nessicary.

    I didn't much like how Section 31 was handled on DS9. They were usually portrayed as villains with official sanction. I would have preferred if both elements were left more in doubt. That is, if they mostly did unpleasant-but-nessicary things similar to those of In The Pale Moonlight, and if some Starfleet officers were apparently members (meaning if you are working against the organization you can't be sure who you can trust) but the organization itself is probably a private club.

    A recurring theme in DS9 is that 300 years isn't really so long, and that under stress (such as a major war), some humans still manifest behaviors we would like to think we had outgrown. I understand why that rubs some people the wrong way, but to me it seems like a more honest look at the future. We have to maintain vigilance or our primitive instincts will have us do things our intellect knows are wrong.
     
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  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, then why believe Sloan that S31 had someone in the president's office?
     
  8. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because that actually sounds like something they'd do.
     
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  9. VulcanMindBlown

    VulcanMindBlown Commander Red Shirt

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    It depends on the acts and the results.

    #PoliticalScienceMajor
     
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  10. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    But it was only the Secretary of Education.
     
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  11. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Commander Red Shirt

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    Section 31 is not comparable to the Tal Shiar or Obsidian Order, not just because they are unaccountable but because they don't exist, they're the Federation's Illuminati, an urban legend, a conspiracy. Probably started out in the dark corner of the mess at Starfleet Headquarters with a couple of old admirals chatting about how dangerous the galaxy really is for a peaceful organisation conducting missions of exploration and science. One of them then jokes that extraordinary measures could be taken all the time under Article 14, Section 31 of the Starfleet Charter since the are constantly under extreme threat.
    A few days later one of the admirals needs some thing less than moral done but for the survival of the Federation, calls up the guy who made the joke, asking to pull some strings all under the vague terms of Section 31.
    So a network slowly builds, never official, just friends in the right place, recruiting those Starfleet officers willing to 'walk with the devil in the pale moonlight' for, at least in their minds, the greater good.
    So who controls Section 31, hands out the orders?
    Perhaps no one. If their objective is simply protecting the Federation, sometimes from itself, maybe an individual member just summons the network and it's resources just by reaching out. If the plan has traction it moves, if not nothing. No grand plan just defense by what ever means.

    But that's just like my opinion, man.
     
  12. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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  13. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish BillJ Premium Member

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    Both.
     
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  14. Trapper Keeper

    Trapper Keeper Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Federation idealists would never be afforded the luxury of dreaming of a galaxy that COULD BE unless they were protected by pragmatists within Section 31 who see the galaxy as it truly IS.
     
  15. Mad Jack Wolfe

    Mad Jack Wolfe Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep, gotta keep those "less desirable" elements in fast food and car washes, right?
     
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  16. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Berman had much to do with it. From what I understand, he was pretty hands off of DS9 after the first couple of seasons. If you want to blame someone, blame Ira Steven Behr.
     
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  17. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish BillJ Premium Member

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    I think it added an interesting dynamic to the universe. Overuse turned it into a joke.
     
  18. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    I think Section 31 was a good story idea, which arguably either does or does not belong in the Star Trek universe. But it was not the best executed idea. Sloane came off more like a wild conspiracy theorist than a deep cover operative.

    One thing I like about the Section 31 storyline was the way they posed the moral-survival imperative of having admirals tacitly endorse or at least agree to ignore acts of genocide in the name of survival. (Of course if the Founders did all die, the Gem'Hadar would have went on a killing frenzy to the last man which would probably be worse.)
     
  19. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's realistic. The future is not an ideal it is just basically 'us' in a forward timeline. Our behaviours will be the same, we will just go into space using the label of the Federation to browbeat other cultures and aliens into being as enlightened as we are. We will also setup any secret organisation to do the more 'dirty' jobs for us so we can keep the moral high ground.
     
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  20. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why is that? If all the Founders died the Jem Hadar would more likely all commit suicide