Saturday, May 14, 2005

Star Trek and Politics

As I was watching the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise last night, I felt a heavy heart realizing that the Star Trek that I knew was dead. Enterprise was the first in the series that rejected the Federation principles (not in whole but overall). For example, the Prime Directive in the other series was a good example of a very lofty goal. The idea is that by preventing technology to going to cultures that havent gotten to a certain stage is harmful. Enterprise didn't have that distinction. They were allowed to interfere and play God as they wanted.

Now much like America, Enterprise finds themselves alone. Yes the Vulcans are there to "help", but throughout the series they hindered them, even stopped the peace process. Much like the French are today. The whole premise of the Federation though strikes me as a very leftist group. Now I understand that humanity is united, but the whole way they went about things strikes me as wrong. For example, the Klingons. We know that the Klingons were a group of honor driven, blood thirsty brutes, but they respected combat. They fought a war with them, the entire time trying for a peaceful resolution. The peace treaty came only after a blow so crippling to the Empire that they had to negotiate a peace or face an enemy who had nothing to lose. Such battles are always won, but at a price far too high.

The Borg are another threat. A group whose entire goal is the total destruction of each speceis. Yes I realize assimilation is not destruction but it is a merging of everything together to erase identity. Now the idea behind the Borg was to show the weakness of losing cultural identity. However I see it this way. The Federation fights every war to a stalemate. They got so good at it that rather than develop weapons to take care of actual problems, they stuck with technology that didn't improve on itself for hundreds of years. However look at the Romulans for example. They had a cloak that revealed ones ship through the cloak every once and a while. by TNG they had perfected it to correct that imbalance and were still working on a cloak that allowed the ship to move through solid objects. I have no doubt that the Klingons or the Romulans would have faired much better against the Borg Cube than the Federation did.

Deep Space Nine took the series into a depth that I never thought I would see. It started off with the same reflection as TNG but quickly evolved into the Federation vs. the Dominion. It was so refreshing to see how the Federation went about its' wars. We had heard about all these wars between series and before series but never did we get the experience of one. Even in TNG episode where they sent the Enterprise C back into time did we get to see how they ran a war time battle, but it didn't feel right. It still seemed to peaceful for war. So now we are in the middle of the war with the dominion. You would expect the Federation to grab the Klingons hands and rush into battle and crush the Cardassians and the their allies.....right? Of course not! They bickered for peace, held their borders. They lost territories, they lost betazed. When they finally took the war to an offensive stance they waited too long and the breen came in with a weapon to decimate their fleets.

Voyager was a series I liked, but I couldn't grasp. Janeway went out of her way to do everything she could to follow the rules even though the rules held her and her crew back. I honestly didn't believe she would have made the alliance with the Borg over trying to get herself killed in getting peace with speceis 8472.

Of course most people looking at this would challenge me by saying, "The alternative was shown in the episode Mirror Mirror." Except, that the Mirror universe takes everything to the same extreme as the episodes do. There is a balance between peace and war. You should always strive for peace but be prepared for war, or as Washington put it "To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to promote peace."

So let's wrap around the whole thing here. Many many fans of Star Trek, no matter what they (or you) call them, take the views of Star Trek and promote them as real world solutions. Thus we get people on the left who promote principles like these simply because they worked on Star Trek, without seriously considering if they would work in the real world today. No doubt the principles of Star Trek can no doubt be applied to our lives, but as long as society needs laborers and manufacturers and not everyone is out for the good of mankind we are at a serious impass. Just because the earth is united under a signle government in the show does not mean that the UN should dictate what we should and should not do. Look at the people who head the UN, a majority of members are brutal dictators. Saddam Hussein was in the UN, his record on human rights and treatment of his people is appauling. Until we have people run governments across the board there is no way we can point to a single world government when the needs of the many are outweighed by a single dictator.

Star Trek is good entertainment, lets just leave it at that, however, if Mr. Berman reads this, I would really love to see a series based off of the In a Mirror, Darkly or Mirror Mirror. Can be a whole new crew and ship, but the basic premise would thrill me to no ends.
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