ATTENTION: The Boards will be closed permanently on May 28th, 2014. Posting will be disabled on April 28th, 2014. More Info

the borg as symbolism

Trajan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 137

Report this May. 17 2011, 1:23 am

Quote: parrothead117 @ May. 16 2011, 9:16 pm

>

>Yes, I think they do.  And I think it's unfortunate, because it's a fairly shallow, predictable, and even anachronistic thing for them to have done, regardless of your feelings about communism.  Your personal views on the matter have been noted -- not that they are relevant to the issue of what ST writers intended the Borg to represent.

>


It was not shallow, nor preictable, nor was it anachronistic.


My post wsa relevant in general to this topic, and more specifically to your initial post.


Your disagreement with another's opinion does not make said opinion irrelevant.  Unless you are the head of a communist party, that is.  In which case my voice of dissent would be stifled, by force if necessary.

Matthias Russell

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 17 2011, 4:35 am

Quote: Trajan @ May. 16 2011, 6:50 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 16 2011, 9:44 am

>

>As I said, the ideals of communism are lofty but they would NOT get rid of individual creativity and limit personality. Its interpretation of it has, though. The problem with idealist political, religious, and social philosophy is that people have the natural inclination to oppress and control others. A perfect system of happy people cannot exist when operated by thoroughly flawed humans. And, duh, the "roman" in romulan is obvious, but the comparison to communist china HAS been made by individuals within the franchise.

The ideals of Communism are not lofty.  They're stupid.

And anyone who HAS compared the Romulans to Red China have NO CLUE what they're talking about.  There is absolutely zero connection there.

In fact, I'd like a source or quotes from anyone "within the franchise" who have made this comparison.  It is probably one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard in relation to the Star Trek franchise.  Which is saying a lot.


 


China is not a ture Communist country.  None of the communist countries or communist parties have been.  In both China and Russia, there have been a rich and priveleged elite which flies in the face of a basic communist principle.  At least the Borg ARE all equals (except the queen). If a society has both Bourgeosie and Proletariat (like China) it is not communist.  It is also a misconception that America is democratic when it is a republic; if it were democratic, every citizen would have a say in governement policy and there would be no elected officials.


 


I stand corrected on the Romulans, creator Paul Schneider based them solely on the Romans.  I remember someone quoting before that the TOS villains were based upon the cold war adversaries.


parrothead117

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 299

Report this May. 17 2011, 8:40 am

Quote: Trajan @ May. 17 2011, 1:23 am

>

>It was not shallow, nor preictable, nor was it anachronistic.

>


It's totally fine for us to disagree on that.  I just didn't understand why you were bringing up the unrelated issue of your disapproval of communism.  Where you or I stand on communism doesn't have any bearing on how we interpret the intended symbolism of the Borg.


In fact, for me, it doesn't even have any significance on my judgment of the symbolism's success.  I'm no fan of communism either, but the Borg-style critique of communism is not a sophisticated, accurate, or helpful one, in my opinion.  However, this is not the forum for that debate.


"We must strive to be more than we are, Lal. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards." - Data, "The Offspring"

Trajan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 137

Report this May. 17 2011, 7:36 pm


China is not a ture Communist country.  None of the communist countries or communist parties have been.  In both China and Russia, there have been a rich and priveleged elite which flies in the face of a basic communist principle.  At least the Borg ARE all equals (except the queen). If a society has both Bourgeosie and Proletariat (like China) it is not communist.  It is also a misconception that America is democratic when it is a republic; if it were democratic, every citizen would have a say in governement policy and there would be no elected officials.



 


1.) You are right that China (or any other country) is not a true Communist country, because it isn't possible.  No one ideology is ever going to win out in government, or any other human institution.  Nor should it.


But the country is based on Maoism, which in turn was based on Marxism. This particular form of government, no matter how it is applied, is a proven failure.  


In its endeavor to "make all men equal," it strips the intelligent and the hard-working of their hard-won success, and redistributes said wealth among top party officials.


The right to vote, the right to dissent, the right to a differeing opinion, are all outlawed. And to even suggest such a thing, much less enact it, is a "crime" punishable by death.


These are not "lofty ideals."  And I simply do not understand how the disenchanted youth of western civilization could go so far as to claim it as such.


 


2.) Actually, the United States is a deomcracy, because all of her citizens have a say in government decisions.  Our ability to vote and to protest give us this say.  A 'republic" is one form of democracy.  In the United States, these terms are interchangeable, because both apply.


 



"I stand corrected on the Romulans, creator Paul Schneider based them solely on the Romans.  I remember someone quoting before that the TOS villains were based upon the cold war adversaries."



 


The Klingons were. They were based on the Soviets.


If it makes you feel any better, there was an episode of TOS that had villains based on Red China.  It was the episode featuring "Yangs" and "Kons."  

Trajan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 137

Report this May. 17 2011, 7:49 pm

Quote: parrothead117 @ May. 17 2011, 8:40 am

>

>It's totally fine for us to disagree on that.  I just didn't understand why you were bringing up the unrelated issue of your disapproval of communism.  Where you or I stand on communism doesn't have any bearing on how we interpret the intended symbolism of the Borg.

>


I gave my opinion on Communism because others here, including you, had done the same.


When you use phrases like "America's ideological caricature of communism" and "shallow, predictable, and anachronistc" to descirbe other's viewpoints on communism, you yourself are venturing forth an opinion.


You must know that you leave yourself open for debate at this point.  Especially with a topic as sensitive as politics.  Doubly so on a forum that is dedicated solely to discussion and debate, and populated by semi-coherent and even sometimes coherent members.


If you no longer wish to exchange ideas or opinions regarding this particular vein of thought, then by all means, walk away.  But don't throw out buzz words like "ideological caricature" and expect no response.

parrothead117

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 299

Report this May. 17 2011, 8:57 pm

Quote: Trajan @ May. 17 2011, 7:49 pm

>

>When you use phrases like "America's ideological caricature of communism" and "shallow, predictable, and anachronistc" to descirbe other's viewpoints on communism, you yourself are venturing forth an opinion.

>


Not an opinion on communism, though.  An opinion on Star Trek's treatment of communism via the Borg.  There's a big difference.  I have no interest in discussing the former.  The latter, however, is an interesting topic and is the heart of this thread.


I enjoyed Q Who, the Borg were creepy, but the ham-fisted attempt to link communism to a loss of identity was very 1950s, and not nearly as sophisticated as one would have liked (again, I think this is true regardless of your feelings about communism.)  I feel the same way about the episode "Conspiracy," in which Remmick uses the "peaceful coexistence" line that was associated with a much earlier era of communism, and Riker and Picard look at each other knowingly, as if to say, "We've heard that before" -- even though, in fact, even neoconservative Cold War historians like John Lewis Gaddis would admit that the USSR intended no deception regarding this policy statement.  The Trek writers hadn't gotten the memo.  It was cheap, predictable, and not at all Trek-like, in my opinion.  And again, this has nothing to do with my judgment of communism's validity; only my judgment of the Trek writers' depth of comprehension of communism from a historical perspective.  There are much more intelligent, accurate, and pointed ways to critique communism than the routes they took at this early stage of TNG's run.


Ironically, given your interest in China, the Borg could also be used as an ideological caricature of Chinese and other East Asian communalist societies.  Had Star Trek come out prior to 1949, and had the writers wanted to represent China, I wouldn't be surprised if they had come up with something almost exactly like the Borg.  That was the cliche view of Confucian cultures.  This observation is neither here nor there, except it indicates that the use of the Borg to represent communists was really quite shallow, uncreative, and off the mark.


"We must strive to be more than we are, Lal. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards." - Data, "The Offspring"

Ezri Janeway

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 2510

Report this May. 18 2011, 7:34 pm

Quote: luvy4532 @ May. 16 2011, 10:34 am

>

>( whoever was an origional borg besides the Queen? )


The two first ever Borg were humans who were part of a Starfleet crew which got stuck on a planet...


"Let me see if Ive got this straight. You're risking the ship, the crew, and the mission on the assumptions that Helkara and Leishman are engineering geniuses, Tharp is a piloting savant, our transporter chief can work miracles, and the Breen are unwilling to sacrifice themselves in a kamikaze attack?" "Yup." "Damn I LOVE this job."

Matthias Russell

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 19 2011, 4:53 am

Weren't there 3?  And the female of the group was specifically overtaken by the female Caeliar?

luvy4532

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 187

Report this May. 19 2011, 2:57 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 19 2011, 4:53 am

>

>Weren't there 3?  And the female of the group was specifically overtaken by the female Caeliar?

>
   May I ask where this information come from?  I don't  know anything about this and would like to learn. Thanks.


live long and.....

Trajan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 137

Report this May. 19 2011, 7:43 pm

Quote: parrothead117 @ May. 17 2011, 8:57 pm

Quote: Trajan @ May. 17 2011, 7:49 pm

>

>

>When you use phrases like "America's ideological caricature of communism" and "shallow, predictable, and anachronistc" to descirbe other's viewpoints on communism, you yourself are venturing forth an opinion.

>

Not an opinion on communism, though.  An opinion on Star Trek's treatment of communism via the Borg.  There's a big difference.  I have no interest in discussing the former.  The latter, however, is an interesting topic and is the heart of this thread.

I enjoyed Q Who, the Borg were creepy, but the ham-fisted attempt to link communism to a loss of identity was very 1950s, and not nearly as sophisticated as one would have liked (again, I think this is true regardless of your feelings about communism.)  I feel the same way about the episode "Conspiracy," in which Remmick uses the "peaceful coexistence" line that was associated with a much earlier era of communism, and Riker and Picard look at each other knowingly, as if to say, "We've heard that before" -- even though, in fact, even neoconservative Cold War historians like John Lewis Gaddis would admit that the USSR intended no deception regarding this policy statement.  The Trek writers hadn't gotten the memo.  It was cheap, predictable, and not at all Trek-like, in my opinion.  And again, this has nothing to do with my judgment of communism's validity; only my judgment of the Trek writers' depth of comprehension of communism from a historical perspective.  There are much more intelligent, accurate, and pointed ways to critique communism than the routes they took at this early stage of TNG's run.

Ironically, given your interest in China, the Borg could also be used as an ideological caricature of Chinese and other East Asian communalist societies.  Had Star Trek come out prior to 1949, and had the writers wanted to represent China, I wouldn't be surprised if they had come up with something almost exactly like the Borg.  That was the cliche view of Confucian cultures.  This observation is neither here nor there, except it indicates that the use of the Borg to represent communists was really quite shallow, uncreative, and off the mark.


 


1.) I'm not sure if this is an attempt at blatant subterfuge on your part, or if you truly cannot comprehend what has been said.


Your phrase "The Borg represent American's ideological caricature of communism" was not merely an indictment of the writers of Star Trek, it was a broad indictment of Americans, period.


If you've had an epiphany, or some other form of enlightenment that has shown you the gross error in your previous statement, or if you simply are unable to defend your opinion, then by all means, walk away from this discussion.


But do not throw out the absolutely ridiculous response that "Oh, I'm not talkng about this because it is not the point of this thread."  You made it a point when you vomited out the stereotypical, ridiculously broad generalization that "The Borg represent American's ideological caricature of communism."


 


2.) You keep referring to the link between the Borg and communism as "ham-fisted."  As I stated in the beginning, I do not think the Borg WERE representative of communism.  And many others here agree.


What I think IS ham-fisted, is the way you used a discussion about the Borg to crap out some half-baked generalization you have regarding American "ideology."


 


3.) I have zero interest in China, other than the job that has currently placed me here.  Another ill-informed assumption on your part.  And I honestly don't know what you're on about with the Borg now representing "Confucian cultures," but I have absolutely ZERO desire to discuss Confucius, or "Confucian theory."


If I wanted that sort of tepid conversation, filled with thoughtless superlatives and gross mis-understanding, I'd step outside my door and have it with someone more "informed" on the subject than yourself.


Good day. 

Matthias Russell

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 20 2011, 4:43 am

Quote: luvy4532 @ May. 19 2011, 2:57 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 19 2011, 4:53 am

>

>

>Weren't there 3?  And the female of the group was specifically overtaken by the female Caeliar?

>
   May I ask where this information come from?  I don't  know anything about this and would like to learn. Thanks.


 


The Destiny trilogy by David Mack.  It crosses over TNG and Titan with elements of Ent and DS9 to tell the story of the origin and fate of the Borg.  The 3 books pretty much reshaped all following books and changed the face of the alpha quadrant when the Federation has a final showdown with the Borg.


luvy4532

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 187

Report this May. 20 2011, 2:23 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 20 2011, 4:43 am

Quote: luvy4532 @ May. 19 2011, 2:57 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 19 2011, 4:53 am

>Thanks, for the info.

>

>

>Weren't there 3?  And the female of the group was specifically overtaken by the female Caeliar?

>
   May I ask where this information come from?  I don't  know anything about this and would like to learn. Thanks.

 

The Destiny trilogy by David Mack.  It crosses over TNG and Titan with elements of Ent and DS9 to tell the story of the origin and fate of the Borg.  The 3 books pretty much reshaped all following books and changed the face of the alpha quadrant when the Federation has a final showdown with the Borg.


live long and.....

Borg-81of1138

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3

Report this May. 31 2011, 10:40 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 17 2011, 4:35 am

Quote: Trajan @ May. 16 2011, 6:50 pm

>

 

China is not a ture Communist country.  None of the communist countries or communist parties have been.  In both China and Russia, there have been a rich and priveleged elite which flies in the face of a basic communist principle.  At least the Borg ARE all equals (except the queen). If a society has both Bourgeosie and Proletariat (like China) it is not communist.  It is also a misconception that America is democratic when it is a republic; if it were democratic, every citizen would have a say in governement policy and there would be no elected officials.


Well said, my friend.  I'm not personally a communist, but I've always respected the initial ideals of communism, marxist, socialism, and so on...  Communism especially, because of its commitment to equality among citizens, in a class without class or reptillian-brained status/heirarchy. 


Personally, I've always seen the Borg as analagous to social conformity.  I know that may differ from their intent, but the best thing about fiction is that you really can't be wrong when it represents something to you.  Science fiction is the best genre for this particular thesis.


nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'

Ezri Janeway

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 2510

Report this Jun. 01 2011, 9:29 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 19 2011, 4:53 am

>

>Weren't there 3?  And the female of the group was specifically overtaken by the female Caeliar?

>


Its been awhile so as I recall it there were two very lonely and desperate Caeliar left, who created the first Borgs out of a human male and female of Starfleet. I dont remember a third but Id have to dig the book out to want to put money on it.


"Let me see if Ive got this straight. You're risking the ship, the crew, and the mission on the assumptions that Helkara and Leishman are engineering geniuses, Tharp is a piloting savant, our transporter chief can work miracles, and the Breen are unwilling to sacrifice themselves in a kamikaze attack?" "Yup." "Damn I LOVE this job."

Matthias Russell

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7705

Report this Jun. 03 2011, 5:26 am

If I remember correctly, there were also 3 Caeliar but the 2 weaker ones gave their essence to the female one since she was stronger so she could survive longer. Once the humans returned, she immediately inhabited the female human and infected the other 2, making them drones.


Forum Permissions

You cannot post new topics in this forum

You cannot reply to topics in this forum

You cannot delete posts in this forum