History of the Union

The Wonders of Discipline and Eidetic Memory
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Shada Dukal
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History of the Union

Postby Shada Dukal » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:27 am

Tret Akleen founded the modern Cardassian Union in 1871. He is accredited with creating the tri-party model but in fact, some of the institutions or at least their precursors existed even before so he simply reshaped them and created levels of accountability and check of powers. In fact, the sources explain the formation of the Union quite differently. The Cardassian Sourcebook states that the Cardassian Central Command existed even before and in 1871, the Detapa Council was established to control it. Memory Alpha and Beta claim that all institutions were jointly created in 1871.

Without splitting hair over canonicity, nothing can be canon when it refers to events that took place 500 years before the timeline we saw on screen, what are your versions? How do you imagine the creation of the Union and the interplay between its branches? So how did the early tri-party model work and what changed later? What was the structure of these institutions, how they developed, I don’t think they were the same 500 years ago.
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Shyak
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Re: History of the Union

Postby Shyak » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:04 am

Phew … that's a pretty tricky task ...
But I try to put into words, what kind of "construction" has built up inside my head.

Before Akleen’s seizure, prevailed on Cardassia a feudal system – an oligarchy - and a few prominent and powerful families shared prosperity and influence. Not in a peaceful way of course; bloody conflicts were common.
The Central Command, as we know it today, did not exist. The armed forces were in the hands of the powerful, who could afford to pay for their maintenance. Therefore, the military consisted of paid mercenaries.

Due to the lack of resources, the common people were affected by famine and diseases.
The wrath of the masses against the unjust system was getting stronger and the revolutionary ideas of Akleen and his comrades found more and more followers. Also among the military - for the ordinary soldier came from the common people and not one of them had not already lost a family member to the plight.
When it came to rebellion the majority of the armies turned against the authorities and joined the Revolution. Many of the powerful families were killed during the riots. (However some of these families survived – the Tain-Family for example)

After initial difficulties and discussions about the name, finally “The Cardassian Union” was founded.
To overcome the lack of resources and the resulting famine it was decided to operate an aggressive policy of expansion towards the stars.

The various armies were combined under a central command and thus “The Central Command" was born.

Akleen took the view that the Cardassian Union had powers separated so that no one could usurp complete power.
With the intention to give the people a democratic voice Akleen founded the Detapa Council.
Akleen did actually specify that "the independence of the Detapa Council has to be real, and not apparent merely".
The Cardassian Central Command was generally seen as the most important of powers and was considered dangerous. Therefore the Obsidian Order was founded under the direction of the Detapa Council, to control the balance of power between the Detapa Council and the Central Command.
But the Central Command was soon surpassed by the Obsidian Order. The Order was infiltrated by the surviving “aristocratic” families and developed a momentum of its own - independent and unchecked - he became uncontrollable from the two other powers.
Worse than that, the Obsidian Order took more and more control over the two others.
And this led to the dangerous “power vacuum” after Tain's failed attack on the homeworld of the founders and the following almost complete dissolution of the Obsidian Order.

Long story short: To my opinion Akleen changed the political landscape significantly and there was no tri-party model before 1871.
There never was a war that was not inward, never a heart conquered from without. What is our innocence, where is our guilt? Where is the courage for the unanswered question that in misfortune, even in death, can defeat our mortality?
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Re: History of the Union

Postby Shyak » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:26 pm

Thank you. I had a rough idea but I never tried to express it in meaningful words before.
I'm glad, it makes sense at all. :lol:
There never was a war that was not inward, never a heart conquered from without. What is our innocence, where is our guilt? Where is the courage for the unanswered question that in misfortune, even in death, can defeat our mortality?
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Shada Dukal
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Re: History of the Union

Postby Shada Dukal » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:50 pm

Yes, I really like your variant, it makes perfect sense, having in mind that there is hardly an official version.

Both the Obsidian Order and the Central Command were intended to operate under the auspices of the Detapa Council. They did not become that autonomous for overnight. I guess Akleen created the Detapa Council as a balancing power, to make sure that the aristocrats, the military elite, and the lobbyists serving particular oligarchic interests did not infringe the national agenda – colonization and feeding the population. The Obsidian Order was to ensure the internal stability and state security of the newly unified Cardassia. However, the Detapa Council soon fell prey to its dependence on the military elite that carried out the colonization projects and provided the resources. The Obsidian Order made the most of this imbalance and cleverly used it to ensure its autonomy by supporting or tripping up the various civilian and military factions involved.

The problem with rogue organizations is that at some point they become “a state within a state” so one never knows the exact amount of efforts that the organization devotes to gathering information, intelligence and counterintelligence data, espionage or interrogations and how much of their potential goes into petty institutional vindictiveness. That is why most countries have at least two intelligence services so that the constant bickering between them prevents each one from gaining a decisive advantage. I guess the Central Command is the counterbalancing structure which prevents the Obsidian order from gaining too much power for its own good. They might keep their secrets, in fact the more data they have, the better, but the moment they try to meddle into strictly military and governmental matters, they will lose. Their job is to collect data, provide analyses, carry out infiltration missions and keep tabs on dissidents and dissenters.

When Tain used his knowledge separately and carried out the attack against the Founders, that only led to a weaker and disunited Cardassia because the Order was practically decapitated. No one is that independent, some mutual check of powers ensures that each of the three parties does not exceed its sphere of competence.

The Cardassian sourcebook says that the Detapa Council consists of 15 members and each two years 5 seats come up for an election. There is no limit to the number of terms a Legate might serve. Cardassia was called a Union because it encompassed the last big nation states existing on Cardassia. The Detapa Council was supposed to ensure more equal distribution of the colonial loot. The proto-version of the Central Command was in charge of the early steps in space and the colonization aimed at neighboring planets and it was founded in 1713. The Obsidian Order was created as early as in 1572 by an ambitious mistress.

What I don’t like about this source is that it presents the development of the Cardassian civilization too rapidly and assumes that they ventured in space in 17-18 century. The reference book "Star Trek : Star Charts" states that Cardassia Prime became warp capable in 1925. What I like is the great historical detail and the quite plausible political moves that led to unification of the existing Cardassian nations. It also provides a great insight into the internal machinery of the Detapa Council, the Obsidian Order and the Central Command. I guess readers have to draw their own conclusions by comparing all available sources.
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Shyak
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Re: History of the Union

Postby Shyak » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:17 pm

The Sourcebook is not the Catechism ...

... not that I believe in Catechism at all, but it was something my mother always used to say to my brainwashed little brother:
"You know, your sister is not the Catechism, don't take everything she says serious!" :)

The Sourcebook is written with much love and devotion. I appreciate this. But I think we all have our own little stories and versions of the greater history inside our brains and therefore we should feel free to pick out what ever we like and leave the rest for the others. (Just like a buffet)

I bet, the writers didn't take it too serious themselves ... with all those silly anagrams ... :D
Originally it was a set of rules and background stories for a role-playing game, if I'm not mistaken ...
I really admire the effort and work behind it.
There never was a war that was not inward, never a heart conquered from without. What is our innocence, where is our guilt? Where is the courage for the unanswered question that in misfortune, even in death, can defeat our mortality?
Aman Evek

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Shada Dukal
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Re: History of the Union

Postby Shada Dukal » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:32 pm

Exactly, Shyak. I don’t agree with everything in the Sourcebook. Apart from the Sourcebook, there is also The Cardassian Orientation College, there is Memory Beta. Nothing is canon, the idea was to hypothesize and speculate about possible events that took place five hundred years ago. It was not in the series so we had to use the available sources, no matter how imperfect they might be and come up with our version.

Apart for you and me, no one tried. Apparently, Amroth did not like my version, so she might propose hers and we can discuss it. But instead of that she tries to pick on in other threads. As I said reading and analyzing is much more difficult than childish petulance.
I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!
Jim Morrison


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