Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Borg Perfection

Okay, so I'm gonna be geeky, and do a blog on the Borg, and the Voyager episodes that were on yesterday. I got to thinking, about the whole Borg storyline, and trying to connect it all together. And sure, this is the way to justify television programs with plot holes and seemingly unconnected events, but in this case, it makes sense. the Voyager episodes deals with 7of9's encounter with the Borg Queen. The social heirarchy of the Borg is one of an extreme pyramid. At the top, the Borg Queen rules everything, working the entire minds of the collective. Below this is the collective itself. This heirarchy is much like ants or bees on Earth.

What makes the episode interesting is the reasons that the Borg Queen contacted and persuaded 7 to meet with her. It was, she said, an experiment to see how a Borg drone would survive if cut off from the collective, and then was re-attached. Of course, it is every bad guys' intention to make everyone think it was his/her idea to make the good guys think he/she let them win. But if you think of it as a science-fiction geek would... it makes perfect sense.

The whole idea of individualism as a disease first occurred in the TNG episode with Hugh, the Borg. Go to Star Trek's Web Site to read about the episode. When Hugh was reconnected into the collective, the idea of individualism spread throughout the hive as a virus and ended up on a planet, seduced by Lore. Now, while the obvious plot hole is that before the drones were assimilated, they were individuals, but we won't concern ourselves with this. Memories can be erased, covered up.

The Borg Queen then decided to add to the race's perfection and eliminate the threat of individualism by seeing what effects it would have on a drone that was reassembled into the hive and then carefully controlled and examined. That is what 7 was supposed to accomplish. The ironic thing is that the Queen herself is an individual. It is this "fault" of hers that causes her to take such an active stance toward the destruction of the human race. She has been thwarted so many times by humans that she takes extraordinary steps to try and take over Earth. (That, and since we live here, it makes for better TV ratings.)

We can take this a step further (and you know I would), in seeing how Roddenberry's vision of the future fits in with the Romantic philosophy. In the Star Trek universe, society has been consistently viewed as a source of deception (thus the intelligence agencies of the Romulans, the Cardassians..etc), while the individual has been held in the highest regard. To the Borg, the individual was considered a great threat. And ultimately, it was the individual that was the Borg's undoing (either the Queen or Janeway.) Similarly, Star Wars had the same plot line, in that the Death Star was a weapon from an evil government, the Empire, but it was an individual, Luke Skywalker, that destroyed it.

I think that this, more than anything, is what makes science fiction so appealing, in that it is the individual that truly makes the difference (Fantasy, too, i.e. The Hobbit). The individual grows, learns, becomes more than what they ever thought they could be. Would that we could do the same, and grow beyond the society that we live in. It's a lesson that governments should learn as well: that individuals make more of a difference than numbers and demographics and the majority ever could.

It was just a brief thought, but one worth examining. In the Borg mindset, Society must be perfect, while it is the flawed individual that truly takes a race forward. This is why the Borg, for all their enhancements with technology (another topic to compare Star Wars, Star Trek, and the real world), and all their desire for efficiency and perfection, missed the evolutionary steps that only could come with one person making a flawed leap of faith. Without taking risks, they make no steps forward. This is why the Borg were ultimately doomed, because a society concerned with perfection and the grinding wheels of the majority, cannot anticipate the risks taken by the individual with the need to take a risk, the faith to try the unknown.

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