Self-sufficiency is an illusion and it is not coincidence that the people who are most obsessed with being independent are right-wingers, be it plain old nationalists or hyper-federalists who play their militia games in American forests. It is also the key reason for a hawkish foreign policy, you are self-sufficient and beat everybody else into submission instead of creating a cooperative international order. Over here a conservative politician once said something similar than Hitler to a youth organization, it is a pity that there will be no war anymore (as a war cleanses all the decadence and makes us able to start from scratch).
In Fight Club you have the same theme, the good emancipation from a boring and decadent life (isn't that what the supposedly decadent Picard achieves with his discipline and asceticism?) descends into fascism.
The illusion of self-sufficiency also exists in the case of Trek. The settlers are not self-sufficient, they are citizens of the Federation. They have the right to democratically fight for the interests and they have the duty to obey the decisions of the Federation Council. Of course there are exceptions: if something is illegal like the decision of the Council concerning Ba'ku democratic citizens have the duty to resist and if something is legal but not legitimate/just a citizen has the obligation to consider civil disobedience.
It is obvious that Federation ignorance/tolerance of Cardassian violence was wrong and the colonists had every right to notice the Federation of their suffering. I am even fine with initial acts of violence against Cardassians as it is the old Intifada logic of the Palestinians (you can also take the IRA), their counterviolence created publicity. But once you have established the publicity you have to consider political solutions lest your counterviolence becomes a self-runner. The Maquis violence became such a self-runner, no political solution was even considered anymore. I am not against violence, as I just showed it can be a useful tool. But to achieve long-run changes violence is more often than not useful.
It is clear that the initial kind of peace was not proper peace as there was no peace for the colonists. Yet the actions of the Maquis did not amend this unacceptable situation but made it worse.
The other way to read it is to claim that the Federation implicitly acknowledged that their citizens in the DMZ will be mistreated, i.e. that it was a 'land for peace' treaty, and then the obvious path of action for the colonists is to get out of there before the Cardassians start to bully them.
This is not a lifestyle but a political issue. You can live whatever life you want in the Federation but when it impacts the way other people live it stops being a matter of lifestyle and becomes a political issue. And one's political opinions clearly influence how one perceives this problem. Of course you are not a fascist but using fascistoid arguments about real men who want a hard life and self-sufficiency you are on a slippery slope (Goebbels total war speech is the ultimate example of masochism. He asks the audience whether they wanna work 12, 14, 16 hours and they enthusiastically cry yes.). What the fu*k is wrong about not having to worry about your material and existential well-being? There are ample of other challenges in a peaceful and prosperous world and as already mentioned above, Picard is a great role model in this respect.
My position is an olf-leftish one, I am for good centralized progressive rule which implies that people have to give up their way of life if it serves the common good. This is the only way in which the fictional humans in Trek could achieve United Earth, you have to stop being a bourgeois and start being a citoyen.
Last edited by horatio : 06-03-2013 at 09:17 AM.