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A question about the Borg


Ser Vilari
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Does anyone else see the Borg Collective as a tie in to the USSR?

Great enemies of Star Fleet(a tie to the USA)

More emphasis on the group than the individual

The higher powers have luxury while the lower powers have none (the borg queen has individuality to an extent, drones do not)

Or am I just making a connection that isn't there?

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I think it is possible to draw comparisons between the Borg and Earth history of that time period.

Although my knowledge of the USSR is limited, I would think that the motivations of the USSR and the Borg are vastly different.

To me the USSR seem intolerant of other nations to the extent of engaging in war with them. The Borg however are more accepting of other cultures and their technologies as it further enhances the Borg collective "toward a state of perfection" as one Borg queen stated. Having said that they don't have a problem with annihilating whole worlds that are seen as threats.

Ultimately though there are too many Star Trek episodes and movies that seem to have our history scattered through them. Perhaps it was a way for the writers to express political and moral opinions in a fashion that would be accepted by the public.

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I was actually thinking that there is a line between "assimilation" like the Borg and Conquering like any warring faction anyway.

Technology developed or stolen as commonly as happened by one faction to another is not really assimilation. To me anyway.

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That's very true I find that most Author's try to slip in something that is relevant to their specific time.

I think it's more than just that :) The basis of science fiction, when looking at it from a literary perspective, is trying to analyze current events through fresh eyes to understand them better.

One very clear example: TOS, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," which was all about race relations and trying to show people how utterly absurd segregation was.

You can also look at "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" as being directly related to the fall of the USSR. Here you had a former enemy (the Klingons/Russians) suffering from a societal collapse, resulting in "old warriors" (Kirk/Gorkon = America/Russians) having to learn how to trust each other in this new reality. The frozen prison planet in the movie, Rura Penthe, is even referred to as a "gulag" by the Klingon who greets Bones and McCoy as they arrive. Gulag, of course, was the government agency that administered the Soviet forced labor camp systems.

I think there's certainly a case to be made for the Borg signifying communism, generally, as they made their first appearance in 1989, which was before the fall of the Soviet Union. Looked at the in cultural context of the time, it's possible that the Borg also represent a fear of technology , and perhaps even fear of consumerism mentality. Zombies fulfill this role today, acting as a metaphor for the idea that we're all just becoming mindless drones who use brains as food.

Interesting to think about, either way :)

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Personally, I've always looked at the Borg as an allegory for those elements of modern society who would require all immigrants to assimilate into the majority culture upon arriving in their new country, rather than retaining any of their own.

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Personally, I've always looked at the Borg as an allegory for those elements of modern society who would require all immigrants to assimilate into the majority culture upon arriving in their new country, rather than retaining any of their own.

That is a much more interesting viewpoint than previously encountered, Species 5618. Your ideas will be adapted to serve as my own opinion.

The way the Borg ignore that which they considered irrelevant always annoyed me. I suppose that is equally a commentary on modern society, where people are ignorant of their next door neighbors and whatever does not make it into the newsfeeds they scan on the internet, but people know what celebrities are doing and about whatever political factions are vocal about at the whim of the lobbyists.

The Borg are also sort of a backwards approach to a concept as old as TOS - That of cultures advancing on their own to a higher state. In TOS, there were quite a few energy beings, societies who had advanced culturally and as individuals enough to transcend material bodies. Apparently quite a few different cultures achieved "perfection" this way, more likely than not each through their own means. The Borg are kind of an affront to that established cycle of development. Having evolved, if you will, as far as they could technologically, they then applied their existing knowledge and skills to harvest other cultures for their knowledge. But as Whale points out, much of the meaning of a culture and its technology is lost without the understanding which only comes from preserving identity. Essentially, with their "efficiency" or whatever, the Borg reduce high technology to garbage and other races and cultures to slaves.

Still, I consider the Borg to be a kind of lame enemy. For the most part they were too powerful (which is bull — Kirk encountered way more powerful beings) to interact with meaningfully. This is why TNG's "I, Borg" is one of the only Borg-heavy plots I could get behind. "I, Borg" was compelling in that the Enterprise rescues a Borg drone whose death The Collective would have considered of negligible importance, and then (a la TOS) the crew and the alien both learn something about each other. In a symmetrical development of understanding, both Hugh and the Enterprise crew are forced to realize that the Borg are individuals. The Federation may see them as a unified force of interchangeable parts, but this is not the case. Since separation, Hugh has been able to regain some sense of identity; logically the same must be true for all (or at least a majority of) the Borg Collective. The races and drones making up the Borg are pitiful slaves to omnipresent technology, and never was this more apparent than in this story from TNG.

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