The Borg, Ferengi, and politics

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Cazzo, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. The Collectiveness Registered Member

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  3. The Collectiveness Registered Member

    Yes. Each major power in star trek represented a different type of government:
    Borg: Communism
    Federation: Socialism
    Ferengi: Captalism
    Klingons: Oligarchy
    Cardassians: Fascism
    Romulans: parliamentary republic
    Bajorian: Theocracy
    krash661 and cosmictraveler like this.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    A great many science fiction shows base their societies on extrapolations of current societies. Thus the original Star Trek extrapolated from the cold-war mentality of the US - the ideal society (portrayed by the Federation) was slightly militaristic but in general peaceful, and their opponents were violent and war-hungry (which was the perception the US had of the USSR back in the 1960's.) There were sub-themes, like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (represented in one episode) the hippie subculture (represented in another) and the racial strife of the South (represented in several episodes.)

    The next version of the show, in the 1980's, had lost a lot of the fears of the 1960's, and thus the military aspect was played way down. The big societal fears in the 1980's were racism and intolerance, the excesses of unbridled capitalism and the oppression (and in some cases violence towards) subcultures throughout the world. Thus the worst enemies were the Borg - the very epitome of intolerance and oppression of culture. The Ferengi were portrayed as buffoons in an attempt to mock the parts of our own culture exhibiting the worst traits of capitalism.
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  7. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    The Borg are an extreme form of the Federation.

    What happens when a species joins the Federation? Their biological and technological distinctiveness is added to the Federation's own and their culture adapts to the Federation standard.

    Even Federation starships all have a common aesthetic, it's just not cube-shaped.
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Yes. I perceived them that way.

    The Borg eliminated all traces of individualism in the name of collective identity. The Ferengi turned every social relationship into a financial transaction.
  9. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

    The Ferengi as uber-Capitalists can actually trace its origins back to the original series. One of the edicts that continually came down from "above"( network standards and practices) during this time was that "big business" could never be portrayed in a negative light. In the first draft of The Trouble with Tribbles, it was two corporations that were competing to develop the planet and not the Federation and Klingons. S&P made them change this because as the plot developed, one the corporations would be painted as a villain.

    When Gene developed STTNG, he created the profit-minded Ferengi as the villains as somewhat of "payback" for all the interference he got from S&P during the original series.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    At least in the later versions this wasn't generally the case. They spent a fair amount of screen time emphasizing the differences between cultures and how they were maintained - from uniform differences (different uniform trim for the Klingons, different uniforms for the Betazoids) to food differences (they seemed proud of their ability to provide oddball cultural food to some species) to society differences (they were often participating in/discussing odd marriage/coming of age ceremonies.) They explained this explicitly once or twice. I think they used Samuel Clemens at one point as a "straight man" - they explained their stand on diversity to him.
  11. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Hmm, yeah. I guess you're right that there are minor differences. I don't expect all planets to adhere to Betazoid-style wedding ceremonies.

    Although, if you go to any Federation planet, you'd expect they'd have access to Federation technology as standard - replicators, holodecks, isolinear chip computer systems, matter/antimatter warp technology (Romulans use a different method for example).

    Plus, I expect every Federation world is expected to adhere to the Prime Directive, and so on. And all Federation worlds would answer to the Federation Government. With legal disputes being decided by the Federation Council, etc.

    Also, I would imagine that any ships, or replicators, or anything else built on Vulcan would be indistinguishable from stuff that was built on Betazed, or Earth, or Andoria... there'd be no more "Vulcan-style" starship design, just "Federation-style".
  12. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Not necessarily - there were several times where a planet was a "member" of the Federation, but did not wish to employ the typical architecture, technology, et al that that implied.
    I'm at work at the moment, but I'll see if I can dig up some examples when I get home - not sure I'll have time, as I'm assembling a computer for a client tonight

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    As for ships and starship design - most races did integrate with the "Starfleet standard" ship models - however, if memory serves, even in TNG and DS9, the Vulcans, Andorians, and other Federation member races still had some ships that were unique to them.

    One thing to remember - Starfleet is akin to the Military branch of the Federation - thus, its ships would need to be highly standardized for the sake of repairs and refits, as well as simplicity of training crews.
  13. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    you should, " I'm just going for a walk... "..

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