Federation or Ferengistan: the Choice is Yours
“Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.” – Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #13
Fear exists for one purpose: to be conquered – Captain Janeway (Voyager)
If like me you’re a Star Trek fan (particularly Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise), it would hardly be surprising that at some point you’ve thought to yourself: why hasn’t our world evolved enough yet to match what we see of life in the Federation? A few transporter beams here, warp engines there…are we really that far off? What’s stopping us?
Why is it that life on today’s Earth bears a greater resemblance to that of the Ferengi than of the Federation?
Our current System seems allergic to the presence of independent-minded mavericks because they’re seen as a threat to control. Fact is, mavericks represent no threat whatsoever. The fear of mavericks is a phantom one and is symptomatic of a system defined by paranoiac megalomania.
The masses do not want change or any type of social revolution. God forbid! No, they’re happy with the system as is, thank you very much. Sure they have their occasional gripes, but those are easily contained and are not directed towards the system as a whole, and as such represent no real threat.
Those who exercise common sense by pointing out the fatal flaws of the system are not embraced by the masses. Far from it. They are seen as disruptive smart-asses who should simply shut their mouths and love their countries. Today’s administrative class would be wise then to avoid making martyrs of this tiny common sense minority by marginalizing and persecuting them.
Unfortunately for the Administrators, their obsessive, megalomaniacal drive to eliminate perceived competition induces them to shoot themselves in the foot through secrecy and deception, which would otherwise be unnecessary if they weren’t overestimating the power of the awakened, common sense minority. As a result, through unnecessary repression, the System ends up fomenting the very revolutionaries it wishes to suppress, even though history has shown that there’s no revolution they can’t hijack when it suits them.
But that’s a time consuming and expensive operation. Surely there could be more productive use for that energy.
Comparative mythologist John Lamb Lash from his September 30 2013 “Navigator Briefing #89 Correction Comes True, discusses how not unlike the body’s immune system response to the threat of disease, trauma can induce some members of the species to activate a process of pattern recognition in the endopsyche (subconscious) which helps deconstruct the nature and origin of that trauma.
In other words, the more the system attempts to traumatize the masses through such violent and deceptive acts as 9/11, 7/7, Boston Bombing, Sandy Hook, etc., for the purpose of redirecting the energy of the masses toward desired goals – and does in large part achieve those goals – the more by that same action it inadvertently and correspondingly creates a class of unwanted pattern-recognizers capable of seeing through the system’s increasingly obvious trauma-inducing modus operandi.
So on the one hand, you have a secretive, non-disclosing Administrative class with a relatively compliant majority who fear change and wish to maintain the status quo at all costs, while on the other hand there exists a non-compliant, pattern-recognizing minority who feel like they’ve been backed into a corner, thus finding themselves with no other choice but to save themselves by attempting to save a human race that does not wish to be saved.
While no plausible explanation is made in the Star Trek series for how Earth was able to evolve from present conditions to advanced intergalactic member of the Federation of Planets, the question of how it might have been accomplished seems to be worth contemplating. I’m of the opinion that this happened in stages.
Throughout known human history, there has existed and continues to exist a majority of the species that is fearful of change and will never embrace it. At the same time there is and always has been a small but constant minority of those who would rather die than exist without the thrill of uncertainty, possibility, exploration and play. Efforts to convert one group’s values to the others have been utter failures and should be scrapped immediately.
The time for a two-track system that reflects the reality of these two distinct groups, while not a perfect solution and by design a transitional one, could help reorient the planetary culture into a system more reflective of these vital and obvious character differences found in the human system.
This “Two for One System” that I would like to see implemented could be called:
1) Ferengistan: comprised of Administrators and Citizens; and
2) The Federation: no central government; constituents call themselves Trekizens.
Let’s take a moment to imagine what this system might look like.
“A contract is a contract is a contract (but only between Ferengi).” –Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #17
In such a two-pronged system, Administrators of the Ferengistan Citizen System would no longer need to worry much about the threat of popular revolt. They would no longer need to operate in a complete state of non-disclosure, since terms of the social contract would be laid out in an actual social contract that each Citizen would be required to sign.
While citizens of most countries today have few qualms about the current debt-based, non-disclosure model of governance based on commercial law, the proposed Federation of Trekizens would favor a transparent, asset-based economic system founded on common law, the honor-system, merit, and a decentralization of power.
“Expand or Die.” –Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #45
If it so happens that the Ferengi Citizen System fails to generate enough popular interest to sustain itself, it can either incorporate some of the most effective aspects of the Federation Trekizen system, or simply die a natural death due to lack of demand. Fears of that happening should be largely unfounded.
At the same time, those choosing the Trekizen model will be free to live the way they wish as long as they don’t harm anyone, which is the most fundamental principle of common law. They’ll understand that nothing will be given to them by the State, and they’ll have to earn their keep through work and cooperation with other members of the group.
Not only will Trekizens no longer feel like round pegs in square holes, they will also be able to once and for all let go of the idea of having to “save humanity” in order to free themselves from an oppressive system.
“Mr Kim, we’re Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job.” -Captain Janeway (Voyager)
No doubt in such a two-track system, it would be inevitable that some would fall through the cracks and find themselves in limbo, but this is not a utopia, and nothing is perfect. It would be up to those people to find their own happiness while living according to the rules of whichever system they choose for themselves.
If such a choice were possible, the big question for our current Administrators would be:
What percentage of the present citizenry would elect to forego the familiar benefits of Ferengistan for the uncertain rewards of The Federation?
One would have to suppose that this would depend on the success of the latter, but it seems unlikely that the Federation would ever consist of anything more than a small minority of the overall population, and as such should never represent any real threat to the monopoly of power enjoyed by Administrators over the Citizens of Ferengistan.
“Deep down everyone is a Feregi.” –Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #284
Those who choose to remain as Citizens of Ferengistan would do so willingly and as such would be less likely to object to its form of governance based on an exchange of freedom for benefits.
So is it realistic to think that such a world system as Ferengistan/Federation could actually come to fruition?
“Once you have their money, never give it back.” –Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #1
Unlikely, since first of all, it makes too much sense, and second of all, monopolists who have for thousands of years fought like banshees to maintain control over the output of their human livestock are not prone to ceding power, no matter how short-sighted that strategy may prove in the long run.
But let’s try not to mire ourselves in pessimism; if for no other reason than for the fact that if we can imagine it, we can create it.
“The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination.” –Garak, (Deep Space Nine)
This should help get you psyched up for Federation living: Farewell Ferengistan by Banco de Gaia
About the Author
Committed to raising the curtain on illusion in order to reveal the beauty of unadorned truth wherever he can find it and communicating it to whoever dares to listen, with an appetite for ceaseless exploration, Balzac invites readers to join him on a fun-filled journey of investigation into the strange and wondrous worlds of art, history, philosophy, psychology, politics and the law.
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– Ferengi Rules of Acquisition – http://www.sjtrek.com/trek/rules/
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