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Which Star Trek Species is the True Embodiment of Evil? Parallels of World History/Star Trek


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Report this Jun. 09 2013, 2:30 pm

Hello! I'm a new member to this site. I've been a fan of Star Trek since I was a kid. Being a 90s kid, Star Trek: The Next Generation was syndicated to what it seemed to be every channel. Being a kid, the only sci-fi I was into were the Star Wars movies; however one day I was sick from school and was watching TV. I had it on FOX and The Next Generation was showing after my morning cartoons. I was too lazy (and sick) to find the remote, so I ended up watching it, and I immediately was fascinated. I still remember the episode- "A Fistful of Datas"- A hell of a show to pop my cherry, since my dad brought me up to love Spaghetti Westerns, lol. 

Anyway, I digress...

I'm doing my yearly marathon of The Next Generation on Netflix (a godsend) and last night, I actually had a bad dream that the Borg was coming after me so I can be assimilated. It was a terrifying nightmare in which I couldn't go back to sleep. 

Then it got me to thinking, the Borg may be a representation of an unstoppable force aiming at assimilating all species and will stop at nothing. It reminds me of colonization- for example, the Spanish conquistadors invading a land and forcing the natives to assimilate to them so they can serve the Spanish and their God. They did this all in the name of God (the Hive) and will ultimately think alike (the Collective). The Spanish did the kind of the same thing with the inquisition. If you were a non-believer and didn't want to convert, you were simply burned at the stake. What you truly want is irrelavent to their cause. World history shows that this happened many, many times. You have the British Empire invading America, India, Burma, etc.; the Nazis invading Europe; the Portuguese in Brazil; Dutch/Germans in Africa and so on and so forth. 

I think this is a form of evil, since a powerful empire had no wish to embrace different cultures and religion and forced everyone to be like the majority. They, like the Borg, do not have any interest in politics or diplomacy.

You can say the same for super-right wing regimes as well, like the Nazis (you can also make more comparisons to the Nazis and Cardassians), and people like Bryan Fischer, or whoever is a nationalist. There are many people who think society would be better if a nation consisted of 100% the same ethnicity of people with the same religion and language while fiercly protecting their borders. They embrace no multiculturalism and openness of other people who are different. 

And of course, Gene Roddenberry had a vision that humanity all came together as one people, in a utopic society, without religion or racism.

So the question is- what villainous species is the ultimate embodiment of evil? And can you make any comparisons to what humanity experienced in history in contrast with these species? 

Did you hear that the crew of the Enterprise is getting married? They have engaged the Borg.


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POSTS: 1023

Report this Jun. 09 2013, 3:04 pm

Your analysis of the Borg as a depiction of imperialism is right on. "Your culture will adapt to service ours" could sum up every empire in history. However, I think calling them "evil" slightly misses the mark, since evil is an emotionally loaded expression and the Borg are anything but emotional. Which is precisely what makes them scary: they're not assimilating you out of malice, but because they're striving to attain some form of perfection by using technology to augment organic life. They're less a villain and more of a virus.

The Dominion, from DS9, are perhaps a more pure expression of evil. Their goal is to impose order on a chaotic galaxy. Like the Borg, they don't care who has to get hurt on the way. Unlike the Borg, they're very aware of how much damage they're causing and how many people they're killing. The more people they wipe out, the more orderly the galaxy will be.

I never found their motivation totally satsifying, and certainly not as nuanced as the Borg were initially portrayed. 

Most other races on Star Trek -- including the Cardassians -- were multifaceted rather than good or evil. Even the Borg had Hugh, who becomes an individual once he's separated from the Collective. I think that has always been one of Trek's strengths, even when it contravenes the laws of drama.


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POSTS: 177

Report this Jun. 09 2013, 3:11 pm

The Borg are the obvious answer, but they don't have a "society" in the traditional sense. As much as I love the Klingons, I'm surprised their society was ever able to reach warp flight. TNG/Ds9 romanticized them, but honor or no honor, they're violence obsessed barbarians. They're even worse than the Cardassians in my book.

As for real world parallels-

In TOS the Klingons were supposed to represent the Soviet Union (imperialist, hyper-nationalistic, used espionage in TOS) and the Romulans were supposed to represent China (isolationist, cerebral/philisophical, strong honor code). Many of the traits of Romulans/Klingons were switched around in the TNG era, which makes the analogy less clear.

Cardassians as Nazis is pretty obvious. The Ferengi are a straw man/parody of American capitalism.

I've always thought of the Borg as communism in the abstract, or as the kind of decentralized, super-violent communist revolutions that happened outside of the better known Communist nations like Russia, China, or Cuba. Depictions of the Borg changed quite a bit from First Contact onward, but the Borg were initially supposed to be a leaderless horde that only wanted you to join them or die. Communism was still on people's minds in the late 80's even though the Cold War was ending. That was going to be the first thing that jumped into people's minds when they heard the Borg's signature speech for the first time. But, like the Klingons and Romulans, I don't know if you can say they represent any one nation/idea in their later depiction.


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Report this Jun. 10 2013, 1:51 pm

I agree that the Borg are the obvious answer but I think of them more like a zombie apocolypse than I connect them to any political ideology. They spread in a fashion similar to zombies when they assimilate other people. They even look and move like the undead with their greyed out skin, slow lumbering movements, dark clothing, and shadowy lairs. Certainly, they differ from zombies in that they're "smarter" for being controlled by a collective intelligence whereas regular zombies are animalistic and don't see themselves as belonging to a collective. 

Tryin' the 2G6 circuit...

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