test content
What is the Arc Client?
Install Arc

Section 31's writer's room already producing scripts

lordgyorlordgyor Member Posts: 2,817 Arc User
«1

Comments

  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,945 Arc User
    Damn it, I was hoping that abortion of an idea would die in a fire once Picard got started.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 2,632 Arc User
    So they are producing scripts... now the question is can they produce good scripts.
  • lordgyorlordgyor Member Posts: 2,817 Arc User
    > @starswordc said:
    > Damn it, I was hoping that abortion of an idea would die in a fire once Picard got started.

    Hey now, Section 31 show means 10's millions of additional investiment in Toronto. Plus I'm hoping its the first star trek to have graphic nudity.
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,945 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    lordgyor wrote: »
    > @starswordc said:
    > Damn it, I was hoping that abortion of an idea would die in a fire once Picard got started.

    Hey now, Section 31 show means 10's millions of additional investiment in Toronto. Plus I'm hoping its the first star trek to have graphic nudity.
    First of all, it isn't.
    3ipb5g.jpg

    Secondly, Section 31 is a fascist fantasy that only has any value to Star Trek as a villain to defeat. Making them the protagonists of a series is a grave error.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • lordgyorlordgyor Member Posts: 2,817 Arc User
    > @starswordc said:
    > (Quote)
    > First of all, it isn't.
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Secondly, Section 31 is a fascist fantasy that only has any value to Star Trek as a villain to defeat. Making them the protagonists of a series is a grave error.

    That seen is too gross to count. Discovery Klingons look absolutely awful, one and all, now if it had been Belona Torres or the Duras sisters in that seen...
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,290 Arc User
    They're aliens. Why should they appeal to your aesthetic senses?
    Lorna-Wing-sig.png
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,230 Arc User
    Section 31 is one of those things that needs to be written very carefully. They need to be ethically questionable, but not fully villainous. They also need to have good intentions, without being nice people.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,945 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    Section 31 is one of those things that needs to be written very carefully. They need to be ethically questionable, but not fully villainous. They also need to have good intentions, without being nice people.

    They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.

    Section 31’s introduction was justified by Ira Steven Behr with an argument that basically boils down to, “every nation needs spies”. I don’t have a problem with that argument… and neither did Ron Moore, which was why he introduced Starfleet Intelligence back in TNG. (Over GR’s strenuous objections, I might add. Roddenberry insisted “the good guys don’t go sneaking around”, but Moore just just kept adding it to scripts until they gave up trying to stop him.)

    That’s the missing piece of the puzzle, right there: the “necessary evil” was already covered by Starfleet Intelligence. So what’s left over? The unnecessary evil.

    Underhanded things Starfleet Intelligence does:
    • Research cloaking devices. Okay, it’s an illegal act, but seriously, all they were doing was an R&D project on a technology the Federation already understands. And it’s not like the Romulan Star Empire has any problem pushing the limits of its half of the treaty: for Prophets’ sake, they tried to invade a Federation core planet during the same series. (An incompetent act of war is still an act of war.)
    • Send Miles O’Brien undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. I think we can pretty much all agree this is a good use of covert operations even if there hadn’t turned out to be a Dominion connection.
    • The rest of their remit is mostly just the normal information-gathering and counterintelligence stuff that every government does.

    Underhanded things Section 31 does:
    • Start witch hunts and disrupt the normal operations of a major allied forward operating base, as a recruiting tactic. (“Inquisition”)
    • Use an officer of an allied nation as a typhoid Mary to deliver a biological weapon with the intent of genocide. (Odo/Changeling arc)
    • Frame a foreign elected official for treason, probably getting her shot, on the suspicion that she might stop liking you at some unknown point in a future that may or may not happen. (“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”)
    • Plant operatives at high levels of the civilian government of your own country. That’s suggestive of a planned coup d’etat. (“Extreme Measures”)

    That is Section 31. It’s a rogue agency driven by an ultranationalist ideology. It doesn’t just not officially exist, it’s not supposed to exist. It probably began as a one-off project created in secret for a single critical mission, but when that mission was over, there was power to be had.

    Deep Space Nine's strength was in the recognition that the Federation couldn’t possibly be politically homogeneous, and wasn’t nearly as perfect a society as early-season Picard liked to think it was. They licked food and energy scarcity, but people are still people, even if they’re better-behaved than we are. Never mind the fact that in TOS and TNG every other flag officer is corrupt, insane, or both. So there’s more than enough preexisting room for a Babylon 5-style corruption arc.

    The problem is actually that later writers, probably influenced by the post-9/11 militarization of our culture, took Sloan at his word without considering that, hey! He’s a frakking spy! He lies for a living!
    patrickngo wrote: »
    starswordc wrote: »
    Which is why Starfleet Intelligence exists, i.e. an openly acknowledged and therefore accountable organization that answers to the Federation's elected civilian government. As opposed to a rogue agency driven by a perverted ultranationalist (dare I say "fascist") take on the Federation, answerable only to its own whims. And even that wasn't easy to get into the show:
    And it being accountable is exactly why its bad for the part of actually doing useful things outside the normal bounds of Federation ethics.

    so, what you're saying is, "The claimed ends justify the actual means"?

    That's pretty much exactly how a fascist state operates.

    "Oversight" doesn't mean total restriction from taking actions, (a lie promoted by shows like 24) it means there is accountability, it means your "Sekrit Intel agency" isn't taking over your Nation or controlling policy or enacting a shadowed tyranny in order to do "their job" more efficiently.

    (because Tyranny is more efficient than the messy process of a representative democracy. That is the core of its attraction for a lot of people.)

    Historically, the claimed ends almost never justify the means. They are used as "Justification". (also, Tyranny is only hypothetically more efficient, they're also one of the fastest ways for a government to become corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, as happened to the Soviet Union, and as happened with Germany in the period between 1938 and 1945.)

    a "Rogue" agency is exactly that-it's out of control, such agencies tend to pose a larger threat to the nations they allege to protect, than any external enemy, because without being answerable there's a temptation to take power, and government agencies love nothing so much as growing their own power. (Just the public history of the Internal Revenue Service from 1913 to the present should point this out-without oversight, that agency would wield more actual power than Congress!)

    to be legitimately a tool of a polity, an agency must be accountable.

    to be accountable, it must have Oversight.

    to have Oversight, it must be answerable to higher authority.

    If the Federation Charter is the "Law of the land" for the United Federation of Planets, if it is the document that legitimizes the functions of the Federation? Then Section 31 is either a legitimate agency with oversight and accountable for its actions, or it is a rogue organization and a threat to the principles, and even very existence, of the United Federation of Planets.

    it is either a tool of the State, or the Enemy of the State.
    patrickngo wrote: »
    patrickngo wrote: »
    you are still missing it, because you're not understanding what the natural impact of such a public agency would have in practice, even in the Trek universe.
    Star Trek isn't real life, nor does it work on the rules of real life, nor has it ever tried.

    That's right, it's fiction, which means it has to make sense and be internally consistent, whereas real life doesn't and doesn't have to, and that in turn means, if you have something that deviates from 'realism' then it has to be explained.

    S31 doesn't work as you imagine it, because it fits neither the universe it was shoved into (as you imagine the agency to be), nor reality.

    simply put, you can't have an unrestricted intelligence agency for the Federation because of what the Federation is supposed to be.

    The presence of such an agency 'breaks' the setting's rules-if it is truly unsupervised, (we see that the Rule of Natural Consequences applies IN SETTING on this topic, vis-a-vis the Tal'Shiar and their negative impact on the Romulan state.)

    but it also breaks reality's rules because you presume it won't become the enemy of the very foundational elements of the United Federation of Planets-which no unrestrained agency has ever NOT done to a free society (or allegedly free society) when it becomes enacted.

    it's one of those situations where you have to change the Federation, or you have to give up the fascist-wet-dream omnipotent agency that is answerable to no-one, or you break the setting and it loses what made it interesting in the first place.

    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,945 Arc User
    azrael605 wrote: »
    Dude, its a TV show, and a Trek show, and through the entire history of Trek it has never shied away from being politically controversial and provocative. On top of that you have clearly not paid any attention to the storyline, at this time S31 is in the hands of Commamder Ashe Tyler, and despite the fact that he was born Voq son of None he has shown that he does indeed have good intentions. S31 will be corrupted again, Sloane is proof of that, but when this show starts S31 consists of Tyler, everyone else was killed by Control.

    If you don't want to watch it then don't. I will be watching it, I will have complaints about it, just as I do for all other parts of Trek without exception, but I will still watch it.

    I will not be responding to anything pat has said, he has long since proven he only talks about a version of Trek that only exists in his imagination.

    There's a difference between being provocative as Star Trek has traditionally done, and actively advocating far-right political positions and calling it "progressive".
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,230 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    starswordc wrote: »
    Section 31 is one of those things that needs to be written very carefully. They need to be ethically questionable, but not fully villainous. They also need to have good intentions, without being nice people.
    They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.
    yeah you've not provided any evidence to support that.
    That’s the missing piece of the puzzle, right there: the “necessary evil” was already covered by Starfleet Intelligence. So what’s left over? The unnecessary evil.
    Let's look at that in detail...
    Research cloaking devices. Okay, it’s an illegal act, but seriously, all they were doing was an R&D project on a technology the Federation already understands. And it’s not like the Romulan Star Empire has any problem pushing the limits of its half of the treaty: for Prophets’ sake, they tried to invade a Federation core planet during the same series. (An incompetent act of war is still an act of war.)
    There's a reason the Federation buried the tech after it became public. It wasn't necessary.
    Send Miles O’Brien undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. I think we can pretty much all agree this is a good use of covert operations even if there hadn’t turned out to be a Dominion connection.
    Enh, don't remember the specifics of that one.
    The rest of their remit is mostly just the normal information-gathering and counterintelligence stuff that every government does.
    Underhanded things Section 31 does:
    Start witch hunts and disrupt the normal operations of a major allied forward operating base, as a recruiting tactic. (“Inquisition”)
    What were the specifics of that one?
    Use an officer of an allied nation as a typhoid Mary to deliver a biological weapon with the intent of genocide. (Odo/Changeling arc)
    Not genocide, mass assassination. The goal was to kill off in mass the heads of state of a foreign power the Federation was at war with. It's unfortunate that it's most of the race but the intent wasn't to eradicate the entire race.
    Frame a foreign elected official for treason, probably getting her shot, on the suspicion that she might stop liking you at some unknown point in a future that may or may not happen. (“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”)
    That's a... unique way to describe that. Senator Cretak got deposed because Section 31 saw the possibility that she would gain a more influential position, which they wanted to put a more friendly(to the Federation) individual in. Putting Koval on the Continuing Committee was the real goal.
    Plant operatives at high levels of the civilian government of your own country. That’s suggestive of a planned coup d’etat. (“Extreme Measures”)
    Hunh? What are you talking about? Oh right... The sheer number of people in the Federation who were part of the plot to infect the Founders with the Morphogenic Virus. What makes you say they were plants? I don't see any reason to think they are. Which suggests that Section 31 has official backing.
    That is Section 31. It’s a rogue agency driven by an ultranationalist ideology. It doesn’t just not officially exist, it’s not supposed to exist. It probably began as a one-off project created in secret for a single critical mission, but when that mission was over, there was power to be had.
    says who? Your statement sounds like speculation. It seems more likely that S31 is the part of SFI that deals with the stuff that more than a little ethically questionable.
    The problem is actually that later writers, probably influenced by the post-9/11 militarization of our culture, took Sloan at his word without considering that, hey! He’s a frakking spy! He lies for a living!
    That's an... odd way to look at espionage agents. Realistically, the quickest way to get caught is to lie all the time. Also Bashir found out the truth about Sloan's goals when he used a Romulan mind probe to telepathically interrogate him.

    Let's look at this from a RW perspective. How would a cell of rogue intelligence agents get the funding and research data needed to create a bioweapon that does something no other bioweapon in history has ever done? You can't steal something that doesn't exist. So yeah, one way or another they had the backing of powerful people in the Federation. Bashir speculated that at least 73 individuals were involved in the plot. That's not even all of Section 31, just the people involved in THIS plan.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • khan5000khan5000 Member Posts: 2,932 Arc User
    I try not to judge a show before watching it. All this speculation might not even be what the show us about
    Your pain runs deep.
    Let us explore it... together. Each man hides a secret pain. It must be exposed and reckoned with. It must be dragged from the darkness and forced into the light. Share your pain. Share your pain with me... and gain strength from the sharing.
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,290 Arc User
    Azrael, you're flatly wrong. NSDAP may have used the word "socialist" in their later name, but in fact they and their leader were staunchly anti-socialist, to the point of executing socialists. One might just as well argue that North Korea is a democratic republic because those words both appear in DPRK.

    On the other tentacle, Star, you're conflating Terra Prime in ENT with S31 in DS9. S31 is staunchly pro-Federation; if the only interests they wanted to advance were those of Humans, destroying the Federation from within could be accomplished in a matter of a decade or so at most. (We might even see how that was done, in the next season of DSC; that flag in the previews rather implies that the Federation is down to a mere handful of member worlds, and the charging mob implies that Andoria might not be one of them.)

    Personally, I'm going to wait and see what the show's about before passing judgment on it. Maybe that's wrong of me, I don't know, but it's how I roll.
    Lorna-Wing-sig.png
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,894 Arc User
    The Section 31 of Terra Prime is also not the Section 31 of Discovery and also not the Section 31 of Deep Space Nine. The organization has changed over time.
    Maybe in the Section 31 show we learn how and why.
    Maybe they will be glorified as the "Necessary Evil" that you must do to preserve the Federation. I would find that disappointing, and I find it also not unlikely. But there is also potential to show that the alleged "Necessary Evil" isn't so necessary after all, or backfires hard and thus makes life more difficult, not easier, for the Federation.

    In Discovery it already backfired once - the AI Section 31 was using was on a principal level not even "evil" idea - sure, why not have some AI help you predict threats and advise on potential counter-measures? Except it still backfired and that AI wants to be more than just a simple servant to organic life.

    It reminds me a bit of Mass Effect. Paraphrasing: "Hey Shepard, you remember when we were always fighting against some creation made by Cerebrus that turned against them and started killing its people? Hey, wait, didn't they create your new body and now you're fighting against Cerebrus and started killing its people?"
    Star Trek Online Advancement: You start with lowbie gear, you end with Lobi gear.
  • garaks31garaks31 Member Posts: 2,825 Arc User
    Captain, Section 31 may not be the shining beacon of righteous conduct you want it to be, but they are a critical intelligence division, and we have more pressing priorities than debating Article 14 of Starfleet's charter.
    Nation building is never pretty. That is the unappetizing truth, and you know it - ...
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 2,632 Arc User
    jonsills wrote: »
    Azrael, you're flatly wrong. NSDAP may have used the word "socialist" in their later name, but in fact they and their leader were staunchly anti-socialist, to the point of executing socialists. One might just as well argue that North Korea is a democratic republic because those words both appear in DPRK.

    On the other tentacle, Star, you're conflating Terra Prime in ENT with S31 in DS9. S31 is staunchly pro-Federation; if the only interests they wanted to advance were those of Humans, destroying the Federation from within could be accomplished in a matter of a decade or so at most. (We might even see how that was done, in the next season of DSC; that flag in the previews rather implies that the Federation is down to a mere handful of member worlds, and the charging mob implies that Andoria might not be one of them.)

    Personally, I'm going to wait and see what the show's about before passing judgment on it. Maybe that's wrong of me, I don't know, but it's how I roll.

    Actually Star is right, Section 31 is ultranationalist, they are pro-Federation at least in name but in a very narrow-minded us-vs-them way that ignores the ideals that the Federation is founded upon. They are not Terra Prime because they are possessive about all the member nations and not just Terra/Earth, but they do have a lot in common. Section 31 just substitutes an extreme form of national identity and cultural bigotry in place of Terra Prime's racist agenda.

    According to dialog in DS9, S31 runs without any oversight by Starfleet or the Federation government at all and the fact that it justifies its existence based on Article 14 Section 31means that it should not exist as an ongoing thing since A14 §S31 deals with temporary exceptional powers granted only in times of extraordinary threat.

    Its infiltration of the Federation government is for the purpose of its own self-continuation and not to overthrow the government that it gives lip service to (regardless of the fact that their beliefs would be considered criminally deviant by that government). It is an allegory to the "organization that is so secret the government doesn't even know about it" idea that is still somewhat popular in movies (the ultimate development of that schtick is probably MiB).

    It was also used as a sort of allegory to the civilian intelligence vs military intelligence rivalry that is found in a lot of science-fiction.

    Roddenberry was not against military intelligence operations (in fact Sulu was supposed to be a Starfleet Intelligence agent activated for an op during the time Takei was off filming "The Green Berets" but the story that he returned in ran overtime and could not spare even a minute or two for the reference), he was against black ops like assassinations and regime toppling/creation of the sort that S31 seems to specialize in. In other words, ops for the purpose of predicting hostile actions or neutralizing/counterbalancing possible enemy weapons systems (like "The Enterprise Incident") or rooting out insurgents attempting to set up puppet wars ("A Private Little War") are one thing, but the Federation "sneaking around" actively indulging in underhanded acts of aggression is quite another.

    On the other hand, without any oversight at all it is likely that S31 went though quite a few changes over the years depending on exactly who was heading it and may have been less of a villainous conspiracy at various points in time than in others, and the new show could be one of those times.
  • starkaosstarkaos Member Posts: 11,473 Arc User
    azrael605 wrote: »
    Speaking of n,a,z,i,s I'll go ahead and pre-emptively explain why I will watch this show and not The Man in the High Castle. Its real simple. Section 31 is fictional, n,a,z,i,s are not.

    N.a.z.i.s that won World War II in a parallel universe is also fictional. Only n.a.z.i.s that lost World War II are not fictional.
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,945 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    jonsills wrote: »
    On the other tentacle, Star, you're conflating Terra Prime in ENT with S31 in DS9. S31 is staunchly pro-Federation; if the only interests they wanted to advance were those of Humans, destroying the Federation from within could be accomplished in a matter of a decade or so at most. (We might even see how that was done, in the next season of DSC; that flag in the previews rather implies that the Federation is down to a mere handful of member worlds, and the charging mob implies that Andoria might not be one of them.)

    Actually, I'm not. I'm saying ENT misused Section 31, and DSC is continuing to. I also didn't say "human supremacist" or what-have-you, I said "ultranationalist".
    starswordc wrote: »
    Section 31 is one of those things that needs to be written very carefully. They need to be ethically questionable, but not fully villainous. They also need to have good intentions, without being nice people.
    They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.
    yeah you've not provided any evidence to support that.
    No, you just don't want to accept the evidence.
    starswordc wrote: »
    Research cloaking devices. Okay, it’s an illegal act, but seriously, all they were doing was an R&D project on a technology the Federation already understands. And it’s not like the Romulan Star Empire has any problem pushing the limits of its half of the treaty: for Prophets’ sake, they tried to invade a Federation core planet during the same series. (An incompetent act of war is still an act of war.)
    There's a reason the Federation buried the tech after it became public. It wasn't necessary.
    Irrelevant. The Federation knows perfectly well how to build a cloaking device, they simply do not build them because it's against a treaty the other signatory displays little respect for.
    starswordc wrote: »
    Send Miles O’Brien undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. I think we can pretty much all agree this is a good use of covert operations even if there hadn’t turned out to be a Dominion connection.
    Enh, don't remember the specifics of that one.
    Fortunately, I do. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Honor_Among_Thieves
    starswordc wrote: »
    Underhanded things Section 31 does:
    Start witch hunts and disrupt the normal operations of a major allied forward operating base, as a recruiting tactic. (“Inquisition”)
    What were the specifics of that one?
    Luther Sloan wants to recruit Julian Bashir, so he starts a fake mole hunt on DS9 and fingers him in it. During wartime, when Bashir's talents are needed in the infirmary of the Federation's main forward operating base treating combat casualties.
    starswordc wrote: »
    Use an officer of an allied nation as a typhoid Mary to deliver a biological weapon with the intent of genocide. (Odo/Changeling arc)
    Not genocide, mass assassination. The goal was to kill off in mass the heads of state of a foreign power the Federation was at war with. It's unfortunate that it's most of the race but the intent wasn't to eradicate the entire race.
    Yeah, too bad for Odo, who besides being a critical intelligence asset, is a Bajoran military officer.

    And it was absolutely the goal to wipe out the Founders altogether.
    starswordc wrote: »
    Frame a foreign elected official for treason, probably getting her shot, on the suspicion that she might stop liking you at some unknown point in a future that may or may not happen. (“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”)
    That's a... unique way to describe that. Senator Cretak got deposed because Section 31 saw the possibility that she would gain a more influential position, which they wanted to put a more friendly(to the Federation) individual in. Putting Koval on the Continuing Committee was the real goal.
    Oh, good, that is such a better reason to frame an innocent woman for a death penalty offense. 🙄

    Admiral Ross's explicit reasoning was that she was a patriot and was going to pursue Romulan interests, i.e. exactly her job. And he supposed based on no evidence whatsoever that at some point that pursuing those interests might convince her to try to get the Star Empire out of the war, and considered that reason enough to get her tried for treason by a government that is not exactly known for being a beacon of civil rights.
    starswordc wrote: »
    Plant operatives at high levels of the civilian government of your own country. That’s suggestive of a planned coup d’etat. (“Extreme Measures”)
    Hunh? What are you talking about? Oh right... The sheer number of people in the Federation who were part of the plot to infect the Founders with the Morphogenic Virus. What makes you say they were plants? I don't see any reason to think they are. Which suggests that Section 31 has official backing.
    You've got an operative in the President's office per Sloan's memory. And there's already been one attempted coup in this series, back in "Paradise Lost".
    starswordc wrote: »
    That is Section 31. It’s a rogue agency driven by an ultranationalist ideology. It doesn’t just not officially exist, it’s not supposed to exist. It probably began as a one-off project created in secret for a single critical mission, but when that mission was over, there was power to be had.
    says who? Your statement sounds like speculation. It seems more likely that S31 is the part of SFI that deals with the stuff that more than a little ethically questionable.
    Right, "more than a little ethically questionable", as in "Stalin was more than a little nasty". 🙄 You have a real gift for understatement.
    starswordc wrote: »
    The problem is actually that later writers, probably influenced by the post-9/11 militarization of our culture, took Sloan at his word without considering that, hey! He’s a frakking spy! He lies for a living!
    That's an... odd way to look at espionage agents. Realistically, the quickest way to get caught is to lie all the time. Also Bashir found out the truth about Sloan's goals when he used a Romulan mind probe to telepathically interrogate him.

    Let's look at this from a RW perspective. How would a cell of rogue intelligence agents get the funding and research data needed to create a bioweapon that does something no other bioweapon in history has ever done? You can't steal something that doesn't exist. So yeah, one way or another they had the backing of powerful people in the Federation. Bashir speculated that at least 73 individuals were involved in the plot. That's not even all of Section 31, just the people involved in THIS plan.

    You know perfectly well what I'm talking about. It's the Unreliable Expositor trope. Sloan has already shown a willingness to lie to his assets to manipulate them. It's only a small logical step to consider him an unreliable source on Section 31's basic nature and goals in general.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • lazarus51166lazarus51166 Member Posts: 601 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.

    First off, cool it with the buzzwords. You're getting dangerously close to over the top sjw crazy talk there. That aside nothing you said there makes any sense at all:

    1. They do very much have good intentions. Their goal is to preserve their peoples civilization and way of life. Those are good intentions. Just because you do not approve of their methods, does not mean they do not have good intentions

    2. Calling them 'far right' makes you sound crazy and has no basis in fact. First, nothing they have done thus far in any way indicates being 'far right' by any stretch of the imagination. That isn't even getting into the fact that the federation is a heavily left leaning civilization, bordering on an absurdly unrealistic version of communism. It does not make logical sense for an organization dedicated to the survival of said left leaning civilization to be 'far right.' By your logic one could call stalin and mao 'far right ultranationalists' because they took extreme measures and did horrific things to keep their own countries and civilizations alive. and I don't think any sane person is going to claim either of those people are 'far right'

    3. They are not 'ultra nationalist' any more than any other organization related to national security is. and you say that like it is a bad thing. The instant such a civilization ceases to put its national interests first is the instant they take the first step toward ceasing to exist.

    4. One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. Terrorism is subjective. They believe the ends justify the means but they are not a terrorist organization. and when it comes down to it they are correct, the ends usually do justify the means when it comes down to a matter of survival. As a civilization you can accept that you must do whatever you need to in order to survive, or you can inevitably fall to the civilization next door who doesn't share your view of what is right and wrong. Do you think the CIA is full of nice people?

    5. The blood and soil reference is nonsensical. That is literally straight out of mein kampf, and i'll say it again, the federation is a left leaning civilization and therefore it does not make logical sense for any organization dedicated to doing whatever it takes to protect it to take that kind of stance
    Underhanded things Starfleet Intelligence does:
    Research cloaking devices. Okay, it’s an illegal act, but seriously, all they were doing was an R&D project on a technology the Federation already understands. And it’s not like the Romulan Star Empire has any problem pushing the limits of its half of the treaty: for Prophets’ sake, they tried to invade a Federation core planet during the same series. (An incompetent act of war is still an act of war.)
    Send Miles O’Brien undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. I think we can pretty much all agree this is a good use of covert operations even if there hadn’t turned out to be a Dominion connection.
    The rest of their remit is mostly just the normal information-gathering and counterintelligence stuff that every government does.

    Underhanded things Section 31 does:
    Start witch hunts and disrupt the normal operations of a major allied forward operating base, as a recruiting tactic. (“Inquisition”)
    Use an officer of an allied nation as a typhoid Mary to deliver a biological weapon with the intent of genocide. (Odo/Changeling arc)
    Frame a foreign elected official for treason, probably getting her shot, on the suspicion that she might stop liking you at some unknown point in a future that may or may not happen. (“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”)
    Plant operatives at high levels of the civilian government of your own country. That’s suggestive of a planned coup d’etat. (“Extreme Measures”)

    In other words they did nothing any other intelligence agency wouldn't do when the stakes were high enough. Hell they did nothing the CIA wouldn't do today, or literally any other publicly existing intelligence agency
    That is Section 31. It’s a rogue agency driven by an ultranationalist ideology.

    Again, no it isn't. and I very much doubt its as rogue as people seem to think it is
    It doesn’t just not officially exist, it’s not supposed to exist

    It is supposed to exist, its even mentioned as being part of the original federation charter. Hence the name
    It probably began as a one-off project created in secret for a single critical mission, but when that mission was over, there was power to be had.

    ....What? Again, part of the original charter. I'm starting to wonder if you are as familiar with it as you think you are at all
    to be legitimately a tool of a polity, an agency must be accountable.

    to be accountable, it must have Oversight.

    to have Oversight, it must be answerable to higher authority.

    If the Federation Charter is the "Law of the land" for the United Federation of Planets, if it is the document that legitimizes the functions of the Federation? Then Section 31 is either a legitimate agency with oversight and accountable for its actions, or it is a rogue organization and a threat to the principles, and even very existence, of the United Federation of Planets.

    Who says it has no oversight? Nobody really knows how it operates save for its members. I'll say it yet again, its part of the original charter and has some kind of overall direction and goals, which means someone is in charge and directing its actions
    Historically, the claimed ends almost never justify the means. They are used as "Justification". (also, Tyranny is only hypothetically more efficient, they're also one of the fastest ways for a government to become corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, as happened to the Soviet Union, and as happened with Germany in the period between 1938 and 1945.)

    Historically the ends do justify the means alot more often than people think. Also comparing how the soviet union operated to how germany operated is absurd. Totally different systems. and on that note, the germans went from being a collapsing nation in 1933 to being capable of waging a prolonged world war in six years through careful control of the economy. That is not inefficient by any stretch. Stalin on the other hand spent the 20s and 30s enacting programs that killed tens of millions to force rapid industrialization. Hardly efficient and not something one would condone. But in the end it ended up saving the country from being steamrolled when the germans invaded. That prevented the destruction of the country and enslavement of its people. Do the ends justify the means under those circumstances? Nuking japanese cities twice prevented an invasion that would have resulted in the deaths of millions if not tens of millions of people. Thousands died so millions wouldn't have to. Its never as simple as good or bad, ethical or unethical. Be careful who you condemn
    Hunh? What are you talking about? Oh right... The sheer number of people in the Federation who were part of the plot to infect the Founders with the Morphogenic Virus. What makes you say they were plants? I don't see any reason to think they are. Which suggests that Section 31 has official backing.

    Indeed. Assuming everyone associated with S31 is somehow a member or a plant is questionable at best. Several people who we know are not members have been involved in their activities. Admiral ross for example. They clearly have some oversight and defacto sanction, aside from being part of the charter. Common sense alone should tell you that after the whole control incident
    Azrael, you're flatly wrong. NSDAP may have used the word "socialist" in their later name, but in fact they and their leader were staunchly anti-socialist, to the point of executing socialists.

    Anti communist much more than anti socialist actually. When they fought/killed/sent socialists to camps it was usually because most were against the current government and allied with the actual communists if not backed by the soviets themselves. Its complicated tbh. That said, the actual government policies were quite socialist by the standards of the time and even goebbles flat out said many times early on that 'n,a,z,i,s and socialists are essentially the same thing' and was for a time an outright socialist himself (as were many early party members)
    Sorry jon but there is no real difference between left and right politics, only the labels they use. So if the call themselves socialist then they are. Stalin was far more fascist than Hitler (and killed way more people), and both labelled themselves socialist. Their actions and ideologies were functionally the same.

    Yeah pretty much this. People say 'fascist' and 'socialist' and and far right and far left like they are entirely separate entities that somehow operate entirely independently in their actions. There is significant overlap in policies and methods
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,290 Arc User
    Hell they did nothing the CIA wouldn't do today, or literally any other publicly existing intelligence agency
    In fact, by real-world standards S31 has exhibited admirable restraint. Unlike the CIA, for instance, they tend not to experiment upon their own citizens without consent. And so far as we are aware, they've never engaged in vivisection of captured prisoners, unlike the infamous Unit 731 in the Second World War. (We won't even go into the abuses of the KGB and Stasi - far too commonplace and workaday, sadly.)
    Lorna-Wing-sig.png
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 2,632 Arc User
    All that does not make S31 any less ultranationalist. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that nationalists believe in the principles their own government is based on, but that is typically not the case. The fact is that they generally hold a very skewed, inverted version of those principles and have little more than contempt of their government, often seeing it as broken, corrupt, and weak (it is that which drives them to try and "purify" it some way). Nationalists are all about that "strengthening" and "purification", they are not patriots they are another form of revolutionary that is adept at fooling themselves.

    As Roddenberry said quite often, the Federation is NOT communist, it is a very open, very advanced loose republic. They vote in representatives for the day to day tasks of government and while the lawmaking rests at the top (in a true comunist system lawmaking is a local consensus that trickles upward and blends with similar solutions from other localities) it is still very responsive to the will of the people.

    What gives a lot of people the mistaken idea that it is communist is the fact that it is both post-scarcity and the economy is not directly visible. The economic system is actually not "moneyless", it has "credits" as a unit of money but there is no need to carry tokens around to represent it, the machines are equipped to recognize the person and dispense things without the rigmarole. People do not go wild hoarding things because everything they need is easy to get and accumulating piles of things long term just weighs one down.

    As for S31s intentions, they actually are only "good" from their point of view, to anyone else it is a mixed bag at best and very corruptive and damaging to the Federation in the long run. It is essentially the same as the Tal Shiar, and thinking like that is what led the old Romulan republic to fall into an autocratic imperial model (the same as the real world Roman republic fall into empire that the Romulans are based on).

    They do not actually believe in the Federation, they think it is an illusion for the masses that must be maintained by what they see as "stronger" methods (but that actually run counter to what the Federation is about). That setting themselves apart and above is what makes it so bad for the nation they give lip service to, even if in the short term their operations give the Federation a strategic advantage.

    Just listen to the dialog in DS9, it is quite plain what they represent.
  • skhcskhc Member Posts: 353 Arc User
    azrael605 wrote: »
    Sorry jon but there is no real difference between left and right politics, only the labels they use. So if the call themselves socialist then they are. Stalin was far more fascist than Hitler (and killed way more people), and both labelled themselves socialist. Their actions and ideologies were functionally the same.

    I could label myself a Socialist (or a Fascist, or an Environmentalist etc.), but I wouldn't actually be one unless my actions were in keeping with socialism. Beyond a centrally planned economy, Hitler's weren't.

    As for Section 31, I'm not going to even get into the argument about their ideology, whether it's presented as positive or necessary thing etc. I just found that having them as a central plot element, to the point where they were more or less publically integrated into Starfleet in Disco was unsustainable. It made zero sense whatsoever. And considering they're pulling from the same writers for the S31 series, I'm expecting more of the same. So unless this drops and gets reviews across the board as the best Star Trek ever, I will probably give it a miss.

    Maybe my view is tainted by the fact that I never liked the S31 fanboys going on about how great they are.
  • redvengeredvenge Member Posts: 1,425 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.
    I'm not sure they are "ultra-nationalists". They always seemed to be a self-serving discount "illuminati" organization that had to "save the Federation from itself". Meaning they would use their power and influence against forces outside or inside the Federation that Section 31 thought was a "threat" to the "future" of the Federation (whatever nebulous criteria that may be).

    They always painted themselves as the evilest "necessary evil" that had to exist to "do the evil that needed evil-ing because they said so". I'm certain the only reason they exist is because some "proto-iluminati" group got them inserted into the Federation Charter. People who want power are the ones you need to keep the closest eye on; not give them free reign with no oversight.
  • lordgyorlordgyor Member Posts: 2,817 Arc User
    > @azrael605 said:
    > > @starswordc said:
    > > (Quote)
    > > First of all, it isn't.
    > > (Image)
    > >
    > >
    > > Secondly, Section 31 is a fascist fantasy that only has any value to Star Trek as a villain to defeat. Making them the protagonists of a series is a grave error.
    >
    > There was no nudity in that scene, she is in prosthetic makeup, that is the same as Clooney's bat nipple costume. No part of her skin is exposed.
    >
    > As to S31, I have hated it since it was introduced on DS9, the worst Trek series, but I'll be watching this show.

    DS9 as the worst Star Trek? !?!?!? Heretic!
  • lordgyorlordgyor Member Posts: 2,817 Arc User
    > @starswordc said:
    > (Quote)
    >
    > They don't have good intentions and they never did. They're a far-right ultranationalist terrorist group: they only believe in the Federation as a line on a map, "blood and soil", not as a system of government based on a common set of values.
    >
    > Section 31’s introduction was justified by Ira Steven Behr with an argument that basically boils down to, “every nation needs spies”. I don’t have a problem with that argument… and neither did Ron Moore, which was why he introduced Starfleet Intelligence back in TNG. (Over GR’s strenuous objections, I might add. Roddenberry insisted “the good guys don’t go sneaking around”, but Moore just just kept adding it to scripts until they gave up trying to stop him.)
    >
    > That’s the missing piece of the puzzle, right there: the “necessary evil” was already covered by Starfleet Intelligence. So what’s left over? The unnecessary evil.
    >
    > Underhanded things Starfleet Intelligence does:
    > * Research cloaking devices. Okay, it’s an illegal act, but seriously, all they were doing was an R&D project on a technology the Federation already understands. And it’s not like the Romulan Star Empire has any problem pushing the limits of its half of the treaty: for Prophets’ sake, they tried to invade a Federation core planet during the same series. (An incompetent act of war is still an act of war.)
    > * Send Miles O’Brien undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate. I think we can pretty much all agree this is a good use of covert operations even if there hadn’t turned out to be a Dominion connection.
    > * The rest of their remit is mostly just the normal information-gathering and counterintelligence stuff that every government does.
    >
    >
    > Underhanded things Section 31 does:* Start witch hunts and disrupt the normal operations of a major allied forward operating base, as a recruiting tactic. (“Inquisition”)
    > * Use an officer of an allied nation as a typhoid Mary to deliver a biological weapon with the intent of genocide. (Odo/Changeling arc)
    > * Frame a foreign elected official for treason, probably getting her shot, on the suspicion that she might stop liking you at some unknown point in a future that may or may not happen. (“Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”)
    > * Plant operatives at high levels of the civilian government of your own country. That’s suggestive of a planned coup d’etat. (“Extreme Measures”)
    >
    >
    > That is Section 31. It’s a rogue agency driven by an ultranationalist ideology. It doesn’t just not officially exist, it’s not supposed to exist. It probably began as a one-off project created in secret for a single critical mission, but when that mission was over, there was power to be had.
    >
    > Deep Space Nine's strength was in the recognition that the Federation couldn’t possibly be politically homogeneous, and wasn’t nearly as perfect a society as early-season Picard liked to think it was. They licked food and energy scarcity, but people are still people, even if they’re better-behaved than we are. Never mind the fact that in TOS and TNG every other flag officer is corrupt, insane, or both. So there’s more than enough preexisting room for a Babylon 5-style corruption arc.
    >
    > The problem is actually that later writers, probably influenced by the post-9/11 militarization of our culture, took Sloan at his word without considering that, hey! He’s a frakking spy! He lies for a living!
    > (Quote)
    > (Quote)

    Counter arguements, Section 31 had an agent around the former president for his protection, after what Admiral Layton did, the Presidency of the Federation was vulnerible to outside attack.

    And Section 31 was far from Ultranationalist, Ultranationalists tend to display Xenophobia, and Section 31 showed no signs of that.

    Section 31 in its own twisted way believed in the ideals of the Federation, which is why they made no attempt to over throw it or its democractic government when they were well placed to do so at any time. The truth is Section 31 could have done a Coup at any time, but they didn't, because they wanted to protect the Federation, not just as a place, but as an idea they believed in. It's just that Section 31 knew those ideals made the Federation vulnerible as much as it made the Federation amazing and important, so Section 31 took upon itself to do the immoral acts that needed to be done, to protect not just the existance Federation, but the moral purity of the rest of its citizens, so they never become as dark and treacherious as Section 31 and much of the rest of the universe has.

    Argueable Section 31 save the Federation during the Dominion War, if the Federation didn't have a cure to offer, the female changeling would have had no reason beyond her own life to make peace, they war could have gone on for years, but the cure gave the federation the perfect bargaining chip.
Sign In or Register to comment.