The Cloud Minders & The Federation

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Methuselah Flint, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The dialogue would suggest the caste system--and grievances about it have lasted for some time:

    Vanna's statement could not be read to mean she recently served in Plasus' home, since she holds a position of authority among the Troglytes, which did not happen overnight. Her every word strongly suggests she--and her people--have been in turmoil about the system for some time, and if that's the case, the Federation would have been aware of Ardana's culture and business practices, too. Again, no government just walks into agreements not knowing a thing about the partner.

    Then, there's Droxine's exchange with Kirk & Spock:

    Droxine is not talking about her world's practices and Troglyte perceptions as if it a series of recent events. She speaks of the surface--and the worker Troglytes as being violent. In the minds of Droxine and her people, that is the way the Troglytes have always lived, and one cannot believe such turmoil--including anger and revolt against their "masters" in Stratos were just erupting shortly before the arrival of the 1701.
    ...except that

    ...and that's how harsh the Ardana government is--a government the Federation was not in the dark about, but its Starfleet couriers (as its not their job or need to know) were.
     
  2. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Impression I receive was that the group called the Disruptions were something resent.
    I don't remember any mention of Coridan's economic, social, or governmental system in Journey to Babel, only their dilithium crystals.

    Sarek described the Coridans as having a low population and being incapable of protecting themselves, would they have been under consideration as a possible Federation members if they had no dilithium?
    Ardana being a Federation member, one of the few we saw during TOS, makes the episode more interesting.

    A view of the substance behind the talk.
    We saw a pretty thin slice of Ardana, the rich leadership and the poor miners, the top and bottom of the ladder.

    Unless that's all there is, Ardana has a larger society and culture. The Federation might have looked at Ardana as a whole when making the decision on membership, and not focused solely on the fact that Ardana indeed possessed a economic lower class.
    But did the Trog miners represent the majority of the Trogs?
    The idea that the Federation is a "utopia" is a creation of some of the fans.

    The janitor vacuuming the floors outside the KM simulator in TWOK didn't look like he was improving himself, but he was probably making a comfortable enough living.

    The back story of the three young women in Mudd's Women didn't make it sound like they came from a egalitarian existence. But they lived in a over-all society where better a existence existed, and they wanted it.

    Ben Sisko described Earth as a paradise, but he said Earth and not "Federation."

    The Federation is composed of hundreds of member and colony worlds, there likely isn't a universal standard for what they're permitted to be as long as they aren't too extreme. Ardana didn't meet the definition of extreme.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  3. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps, but McCoy did not find the data sketchy in any way, regardless of its source.
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Droxine's statements suggest the perception/reality of the Troglytes and the surface world being violent was a situation that had been the norm; I do not believe anyone said the revolt was new. Additionally, if Vanna had always been "disrespectful" even in her early days working in Plasus's home, she--like her people--may have been raging against the system for some time. That, and the production of Zenite was not a new industry, so one would assume the caste system that supports it had been around long enough for the Federation to be aware of it when they made contact/arrangements with the government at Stratos.

    It is--to a significant degree. When Roddenberry hit the convention circuit in the early 1970s, he started to hard-push the idea of the ST universe being some dreamy utopia, when the actual series painted another picture. I saw the man a few times at conventions in that era, and it was clear he was in revisionist mode about that--and a number of TOS subjects.
    The truth is in the episodes: from the initial kill order regarding the Horta in "The Devil in the Dark" (we have to think where Kirk was getting his orders from on that matter), to the Federation's acceptance of the caste system on Ardana, accepting the violent, or "the weak should die" philosophy of the Capellans in "Friday's Child", yet they still wanted to enter into a partnership with that species (along with other examples), the Federation placed its interests above lofty ideology time after time. It was not the Empire of the mirror universe, but it was not My Little Pony Meets the Community Drum Circle Outreach Program in Space, either.

    Yes, and prostitution (and one has to assume all of its horrors) was a reality the Federation did not lift its collective fingers to stop.


    ..not as long as Federation interests were met.
     
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  5. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe he said Vanna was held there as a retainer, so the troglodytes must supply a number of people to the cloud city to serve them, or/also/and it could be that Vanna was already a Troglodyte leader or maybe princess, and was held as a hostage to keep the miners loyal(which was a common practice throughout history until modern times)and by giving her an education she took what she learned when she was sent back and started her revolt.

    When Droxine says "The surface is marred by violence," she is contrasting it with the city, and could simply be referring to the fact that there are crimes, murders, squabbles, etc there, which have been totally eliminated from her society.
     
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  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although that was clearly a self-serving lie the Stratosians told themselves, since they freely engaged in the torture and execution of Troglytes. But they don't consider Troglytes to "count" as true people, so they don't count that as true violence.
     
  7. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Droxine is probably just repeating what she's been taught all her life about life on the surface. She's never actually been there. Her dad and others probably refer to it as hellhole full of crazy people.

    It's like in Demolition Man, how the naive Sandra Bullock character thought of the people that lived underground.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, exactly. She's been sheltered within her bubble of privilege and doesn't realize the oppression that her life of luxury is built on -- like so many rich people today. Although she proves more self-aware and willing to learn than someone like her would probably be in real life.
     
  9. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Majority would be far-fetched. It's clear our heroes are surprised by the class system/slave labor. If it was a common practice, then it wouldn't be a surprise. Further, if it were common and acceptable, our heroes would not have fought to overturn such a practice.

    I don't see the TOS era UFP as just an alliance like NATO. That doesn't quite make sense to me. It feels more like the UN that works. Member worlds can have whatever government they like. Member worlds can have whatever conditions within their country they like (well, maybe not so much. Blind eyes need turned. When the dirty underbelly is exposed there is an attempt to clean it). This also explains how some planets can maintain secrecy for so long, even about stuff that should readily be available on Wikipedia - Vulcan inner eyelids, Pon Farr, Troglytes. etc...

    Your response would have been better revised by saying "Kirk ends his shift cleaner than the crewman scrubbing the warp coils" or in waste extraction, etc... Heck, we saw the floor cleaner in TWOK. Plus those miners on Rigel XII sure put in a more back-breaking day's work than Kirk.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Making of Star Trek asserted that a lot of the drudge work like laundry and food preparation had been automated; it would be technologically inconsistent if the same didn't go for things like cleaning and simple maintenance. Yes, there was a guy with a sweeper in TWOK, but there was also a "No Smoking" sign and the absurdity of manual torpedo loading, because Nicholas Meyer disliked futurism and wanted everything to be the same as the present, if not the 18th century.


    You're forgetting that they were also filthy rich -- rich enough to buy a planet, according to Harry. So it's getting it backward to cite them as some sort of oppressed, impoverished working class. They were voluntarily working hard and living in hostile conditions because it made them very, very rich.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Eve, Ruth and Magda were not prostitutes.

    They wanted husbands, not johns.

    Harry has certainly carried out questionable acts in his life, but (apart from the Venus drug) this is not one of them. Being a marriage broker is perfectly legal.

    As for Ardana: DS9 would later teach us that caste-based discrimination is forbidden under Federation law. Perhaps the situation on Ardana, once the truth came out, helped spark that.
     
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  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    The only way that they could be rich, is if they were skimming off the top and selling to Dillithium the Klingons.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Also, come to think of it, three guys alone on a storm-swept, barely habitable planet wouldn't have been able to do much mining all by themselves. It stands to reason that the actual work of mining the dilithium was done by machinery offscreen. After all, given how rich they were said to be, they could've easily hired mining crews if they'd wanted to. Maybe they didn't because they bought mining robots instead.
     
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  14. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or obsolete holographic doctors
     
  15. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or possibly dilithium crystals are so valuable that the small amount of dilithium crystals the three miners mined was enough to make they very rich. I wonder why there wasn't a dilithium rush to Rigel XII with hundreds of other miners staking claims. Maybe there was in the past or will be in the future.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it was portrayed as a very hostile environment. And TOS portrayed space as a big, empty place. Presumably the idea was that Rigel XII was so remote that nobody else had made it out there yet -- although that clashes with the Enterprise visiting Rigel VII years earlier in "The Cage," not to mention the later mentions of Rigel II through V inclusive. Why was Star Trek so enamored of the name "Rigel"???
     
  17. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    The Lithium Cracking Station on Delta Vega was huge, and fully automated. :techman:
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ah, excellent point. Although a "cracking station" suggests a facility for processing/refining ore rather than mining it.
     
  19. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mudd certainly marched them around like a pimp. Later, he ended up using three human lives as part of the scheme with the miners. That's not random women just meeting random guys. They were used as property.


    By DS9's time. So, it took generations for the Federation to stop turning a blind eye in situations where there was a benefit involved.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "The Unhappy Ones" suggests that it means taking large dilithium crystals (which have already been mined) and 'cracking' them down into smaller ones that would fit inside a starship's engine core.