Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

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patrickivan
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Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by patrickivan » Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Do you have an obsession with Section 31, and a get a hard-on (erection for you teetotallers out there) for their appearance in future Trek episodes, be it Discovery, or other?

Why do so many people find S.31 so fascinating? What is so interesting about a clandestine organisation that is apparently always clad in black, and accountable to no one in the Federation?

Personally, I find the entire concept despicable and quite antithetical to the principals of Starfleet and the Federation.

Don't you lock this thread down because I mentioned boners! Don't you do it!

---edit----

I actually don't want to hear about any actual circumstances involving physical arousal :lol: ...
Last edited by patrickivan on Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by patrickivan » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:48 pm

If you are pro S.31, please post photos of conspiring characters and ships... Preferably with evil goatees. On the people. Not the ships.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by kobayashimaru » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:19 pm

"Do you like Section 31?"
A: Yes, sorta... they're like the MIB, the 'majestic' Section 31,
they're among the few pre-2063 organizations which knew of or were in contact with Aliens. :D
Prior to Zefram's flight, the existence of sentience elsewhere in the cosmos was flat-out denied by 'the authorities'.
so, Section31 is a coverall which allows select organizations from that epoch to continue.
(ie, hint it may be a term for more than 1 organization, as is strongly implied).

I think Section31 has a place and a purpose, a raison d'etre.
that being, "to keep things happening as they oughta" <--- The Desiderata, often quoted by Section31 members
and preventing the Universe-Wide TEOTWAWKI events, for all sentient beings.
"It's not a great gig but, somebeings gotta do it".
They're not trying to untangle the whole tangled ball of yarn - they're trying to determine which parts of the ball of yarn
are supposed to be in what state, and that it remains the way it should be.
It's not quite a fools-errand, though it's up there <--- as said by Q.

-----
"Accountable to no being in the Federation"
A: on the contrary,
Section31 is held more accountable, not only to the Federation, but each locale per action.
it's "bites at the cherry";
so, 1 intervention might be: 1 x federation, 1 x Andorian, 1 x Romulan, ~= 4 reprimands.
Rest assured, Section31 is not allowed to have its cake and eat it too.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by WarpNein » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:27 pm

Here you go.
Image

Section 31 is one of the best things DS9 gave Trek, and that's saying a lot. The interactions between Sloan and Bashir are among the highlights of the later seasons. Section 31 tempers the Federation's idealism with a monstrously practical realism. The universe can be a harsh place, with some species that see humans as nothing more than a resource to be exploited or a threat to be eliminated. Section 31 are the Few Good Men on the wall, doing what they see as necessary to enable people like Bashir to have their ideals. Sometimes they can take things too far, but even then their willingness to go where none would dare (at least officially) has value. I doubt the Founders would have been as amenable to surrender had they not been dying of the disease 31 infected then with.

Odo was correct in his observation. Every great power has an organization like 31. Bashir's question of what that says about the Federation actually rebounds on him when you think about it. The difference between the Tal'Shiar, the Obsidian Order and Section 31 is that the former are formally acknowledged by their governments, even if their activities are not always known. 31 isn't acknowledged by Starfleet or the Federation, even though their activities cannot have escaped notice and unofficial sanction. In answer to Bashir's question, the relationship between the Federation and 31 implies the Federation acknowledges the same need for such an outfit but wants to pretend otherwise, which implies a duplicity.

I liken it to owning a gun. Guns are made to kill. That's their purpose. The purpose of 31 is to destroy the Federation's enemies. Killing is sometimes necessary, if regrettable (which is why sensible cultures acknowledge the existence of lawful self defense and justifiable homicide). The Cardassians and the Romulans are frank about this. Their organizations are meant to destroy their enemies. And while we bellyache about 31's intended genocide, the eradication of the Founders was the express purpose of the joint Cardassian/Romulan mission into the Gamma quadrant that the Federation was in no hurry to stop. It's almost as if the admirals were okay with the Founders' eradication as long as the protoplasm wasn't on their hands. Vice Admiral Toddman said as much: "I never hope for war Major, but if it comes I want to be on the winning side." The Federation's relationship to 31 is like an Everytown campaigner keeping a Beretta on his nightstand. They should drop the pretense and just officially recognize the organization. While their image would suffer for a time, it would also grant the Council some sway over 31's operations, and with the Federation's more evolved sensibilities probably preclude genocidal operations like the Founder disease.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by Tesral » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:00 am

patrickivan wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:34 pm
Do you have an obsession with Section 31, and a get a hard-on (erection for you teetotallers out there) for their appearance in future Trek episodes, be it Discovery, or other?

Why do so many people find S.31 so fascinating? What is so interesting about a clandestine organisation that is apparently always clad in black, and accountable to no one in the Federation?

Personally, I find the entire concept despicable and quite antithetical to the principals of Starfleet and the Federation.

Don't you lock this thread down because I mentioned boners! Don't you do it!

---edit----

I actually don't want to hear about any actual circumstances involving physical arousal :lol: ...
I agree wholeheartedly here. And I wan thew goatees on the ships. Made of actual goats.

Section 31 is a bad guy that is not needed. One cannot uphold;d a principle while breaking it.
Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
"I saw it done on Voyager" is no excuse for anything, even breathing.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by patrickivan » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:29 pm

Tesral wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:00 am
patrickivan wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:34 pm
Do you have an obsession with Section 31, and a get a hard-on (erection for you teetotallers out there) for their appearance in future Trek episodes, be it Discovery, or other?

Why do so many people find S.31 so fascinating? What is so interesting about a clandestine organisation that is apparently always clad in black, and accountable to no one in the Federation?

Personally, I find the entire concept despicable and quite antithetical to the principals of Starfleet and the Federation.

Don't you lock this thread down because I mentioned boners! Don't you do it!

---edit----

I actually don't want to hear about any actual circumstances involving physical arousal :lol: ...
I agree wholeheartedly here. And I wan thew goatees on the ships. Made of actual goats.

Section 31 is a bad guy that is not needed. One cannot uphold;d a principle while breaking it.
Exactly. To suggest that an intelligent organisation would NEED something like S.31, is insulting the intelligence of the Federation members. It suggests that everyone is SO naïve, that they NEED something in the shadows to do dirty work. When in reality, it's people who are presupposed to WANT to get into !!!!!!!! without accountability, that is the real issue. It goes for both sides really and seems to be a light for extremists to justify their existence.

How naïve must the Federation and Starfleet be to just ignore the existence of an organization like S.31? I don't think that they are. And it does fly in the face of idealism. Of course the Federation has to make tough choices to defend themselves. S.31 stories are just shitty excuses to do shitty things. But in the dark, without accountability is the true !!!!!!!! that I'd like to think we as a society would evolve out of at some point.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by Tesral » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:16 pm

patrickivan wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:29 pm
How naïve must the Federation and Starfleet be to just ignore the existence of an organization like S.31? I don't think that they are. And it does fly in the face of idealism. Of course the Federation has to make tough choices to defend themselves. S.31 stories are just shitty excuses to do shitty things. But in the dark, without accountability is the true !!!!!!!! that I'd like to think we as a society would evolve out of at some point.
In my writing I will use people of that point of view. They do not have a whole organization to back them. But they are Nationalists, and firming believe in the ends justifying the means. The protagonists will be arrayed against their actions. I never portray such people as heroic figures.

I do not portray the Federation as so tone deaf as to have a Section 31. That is like the Catholic Church having a secret devil worshiping arm to promote Jebus. Orgies for virginity, stuff like that.
Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
"I saw it done on Voyager" is no excuse for anything, even breathing.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by TrekMD » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:45 pm

An obsession? No. The occasional story about them is fine with me.
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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by WarpNein » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:17 pm

Tesral wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:00 am
Section 31 is a bad guy that is not needed. One cannot uphold;d a principle while breaking it.
patrickivan wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:29 pm
When in reality, it's people who are presupposed to WANT to get into !!!!!!!! without accountability, that is the real issue. It goes for both sides really and seems to be a light for extremists to justify their existence.
The problem I see is that value systems can be tested to breaking by situations. To strive to uphold one's personal ideals at the expense of one's friends, one's crew and one's nation/organization/whatever you want to call the Federation can veer into selfishness and blindness just as easily as revenge can. It is rarely so clear cut as Good Guys and Bad Guys, with the Bad Guys doing bad because they were defective from the beginning. And if we're going to indict people for failing to uphold their ideals, all of Our Heroes have failed at some point.

Quark nailed the issue in "The Siege of AR-558" regarding "hewmons:" They're a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time, and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.

We can look at a few episodes and movies to try and determine exactly what the Federation's values are, and how well each captain does at upholding them.

Picard is an interesting example. Being in command of a large and comfortable ship that mostly operates in known space puts him on the wonderful, friendly side of Quark's spectrum. In "Pen Pals" he's willing to engage in a planet-altering operation to save Sarjenka, but in "Homeward" he's willing to let the entire Boraalan race die. What is the difference here that would make his value system consistent? Sarjenka can call for help in a way the Enterprise can hear, and the Boraalans can't. But any thinking, feeling person could infer a call for help from the Boraalans. So what is the value? Is the worth of life proportional to its technology? That's a pretty supremacist view isn't it? Picard later laments the death of Vorin. Why didn't Picard simply have his memory erased, given he did the same thing to Sarjenka? And why lament a death that happens on your ship when the same death on the planet was a certainty? Is Picard willing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of a people he doesn't know?

Which brings us to "Insurrection." In "Journey's End" Picard was hesitant, but ultimately defers to the Council and leads the mission to move the colonists of Dorvan 5 to prevent another war with the Cardassians. Yet in "Insurrection" he rebels against the Council to protect the Ba'ku even though the stakes are far higher: the promise of metaphasic radiation is immense and the Federation is already in a terrible war they had no guarantee of winning at that point. Picard observes that the race they induct in the beginning was a decision made by the Council out of desperation: "in view of our losses to the Borg and the Dominion the Council feels we need all the allies we can get these days." So what is the value here? Federation citizens can expect less protection from the Federation than non-citizens can? I see some real world parallels, but I rather think the metaphasic radiation has stimulated in Picard certain rebellious tendencies common to youth which are affecting his judgment. After all, Anthwara was nowhere near as sexy as Anij.

In "The Hunted," once Picard discovers the relationship between Danar's outcasts and the Angosians, he bows out of the situation and leaves them to figure it out. Why does he not do the exact same thing once he learns the Ba'ku and the Son'a are the same race? It's their blood feud to solve, which existed well before the Federation ever arrived, given the Son'a split off a century ago. "Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people" he rages at Dougherty. How is Picard so certain the Son'a returning to expel their elders isn't the next course of evolution for these people, especially given the Son'a obviously originated the plan since they already have all the technology to pull it off? The fact that the planet is in Federation space is irrelevant in this scenario since the Baku have been there since before the Federation even existed. So why doesn't Picard just pull out as soon as he's aware that two sovereign, technologically advanced halves of the same race have bad blood to settle?

How about Sisko? He's much closer to the nasty and violent side than Picard is (as jokingly acknowledged by Q), owing to his position on a frontier hinterland surrounded by hostile races and his subsequent embroilment in the worst conflict in Federation history. He poisons Solosos III to capture Michael Eddington and tricks the Romulans into the war against the Dominion.

Janeway is even farther out on the nasty and violent side of the spectrum than Sisko, as her situation is even more dire. She goes on a rampage after Captain Ransom for murdering aliens in "Equinox" to make his journey home a little easier. Isn't that exactly what she does to Tuvix? Tuvix is a new life, precisely the object of the Federation's mission. Yet she kills him to regain her tactical officer and friend, whose presence will make the journey home a little easier. She's willing to avoid the Krenim's border at the end of "Year of Hell" following the restoration of the prime timeline, yet she brazenly violates the alien border in "The Swarm" because it's just too long for her to go around it. Given their situations, I sympathize a lot more with Janeway and Sisko, both of whom frankly carry far heavier burdens than Picard. Janeway especially, given that her writing makes her kind of bipolar. She goes through depressive episodes where she isolates herself in her quarters, then manic episodes where she grabs a phaser rifle and starts blasting everything in sight.

The point of all this is to try and get at exactly what the Federation's value system is. Picard's actions in "Pen Pals" and "Homeward" imply that the Federation places more value on technologically advanced life than it does primitive life. Picard says they cannot ignore Sarjenka's plea for help. Why not? Why is her extinction any less a natural evolution than the Boraalans'? Why is the Son'a's destruction of the Ba'ku any less a natural part of their evolution? Or is there some distinction between nature and technology, which gets to a larger philosophical issue. Does a species having the technology to avoid its own extinction constitute a violation of the natural evolution, or a continuation of it? What about a species having the technology to effect another species' extinction? Things get even messier when time travel is thrown into the mix. In "Children of Time" the Defiant's crash landing leads to an 8000-strong colony of the crew's descendants. Sisko and company decide they cannot sacrifice those 8000, even though a war that threatens 900,000,000,000 (according to Bashir's estimates) is currently raging. And once time travel is a part of the equation, there's no such thing as an "accident." Everything becomes a predestination paradox, which leads us again to question what constitutes the next course of evolution.

The problem with the Federation's ideals is that its ostensible respect for the Natural Order is Religion By Another Name, and just as problematic for self-determination. Why are the Boraalans' lives not worth saving? And what happens if the Natural Order determines that your number is up? The Federation has been threatened with destruction numerous times. Why wasn't that the next course of our evolution, and who the hell were the various captains who stopped it to determine otherwise? If the Boraalans cannot save themselves, there is no duty laid on the Federation to intervene on their behalf. What happens if, say, an angry Douwd arrived to exterminate the Federation, who cannot possibly save themselves in that scenario? That's the central philosophical problem for the Federation. One can never be sure whether one's action or inaction is in support of the Natural Order or in contravention of it. To paraphrase Troi in "Who Watches the Watchers," isn't that the problem with deferring to the Natural Order? Trying to figure out what it wants?

Edit:
Tesral wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:16 pm
I do not portray the Federation as so tone deaf as to have a Section 31. That is like the Catholic Church having a secret devil worshiping arm to promote Jebus. Orgies for virginity, stuff like that.
Err, that's nice and all, but your headcanon aside, the Federation does have Section 31.

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Re: Section 31 Obsession. Not Me Though.

Post by Tesral » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:07 pm

WarpNein wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:17 pm
Err, that's nice and all, but your headcanon aside, the Federation does have Section 31.
They also have Spock's Brain, Shades of Gray, and a good deal of Voyager. Just because some tone deaf writer invented it does not mean I must agree or practice it.

And if I had my say on the Prime Directive.
Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
"I saw it done on Voyager" is no excuse for anything, even breathing.

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