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The Shogun Principle

"How did it go?"


"Not well," Joy told her friend Crystal. "He considers the Prime Directive to be a platitude rather than a set of rules of engagement or a mission statement. He didn't understand how the Prime Directive applied to the current situation, and he used the R word."


"Futz. Are we going to have to go through that again?"


"Corizon may not be into abstract political philosophy, but he's trainable. On the other hand, he may have maneuvered himself onto the sidelines. He'll still have influence on the station, but he has waited a bit long to get the Excalibur back."


Crystal nodded. "So where are we pushing?"


Joy considered. "The orders that got out here are quite ambiguous, which implies the 3.0 people have someone in place between here and Council massaging orders. They seem to be trying to creating enough ambiguity to implement the 3.0 mission statement."




"Sorry. With the monolithic militarist cultures unable to expand, the Federation is entering a new phase of basic strategy, or could if we aren't careful. 2.0 is a rule of engagement, a limit on what an officer is supposed to legitimately do. Do not interfere with the normal development of any society. 3.0 is a mission statement. Do not allow any society to interfere with the normal development of any other society."


"Ah." Crystal paused. "Can we do that? 3.0?"


"Frankly, in the opinion of Council, no. If we try to free all the cultures assimilated by the militarist powers during recent centuries, the militarist powers will unite to block us. The Federation is not strong enough to overtly try to free everyone who has been conquered. Corizon knew that at a basic balance of power level. We shouldn't be starting any wars that we can't win. Not everyone agrees. Some will be trying to promote uprisings, thinking the violence and death morally justified in order to free various peoples."


"Isn't it justified?"


Joy sighed. "Perhaps. How does one trade off the certainty of suffering and death against the possibility of freedom? The possibility of blocking interference with normally developing societies? It might be justified... if one can win. The problem is that neither the Klingon or Romulans are interested in Gamma Quad wars just now, or in helping societies develop normally. The balance of power is shifted. If we want to push wars of rebellion, we'd be pretty much on our own."


"Ah. The Shogun principle," said Crystal. "There is only one justification for rebelling against one's overlord."


"And this is?"


"If you win."

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