GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Alliance - Capitalist or Communist?

POSTED BY: CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG
UPDATED: Saturday, August 13, 2005 02:24
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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:31 AM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


I don't think this has been addressed before, but if the Alliance is a fusion of America and China, a capitalist and a communist nation, what is the Alliance? Is it one of these or has it developed a new economy based on the fusion of the two? If so, how would that work?


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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:40 AM

GREEKTOOMEY


I'd vote for capitalist, as it seems to be owned by Blue Sun.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:48 AM

EMBERS


I would vote for facist, since they are trying to control the way people live (notice that the core planets are all spotless and clean and no one dares to step out of line)...
but this is one of the beauties of Joss' writing,
we can imagine the Alliance as any huge government/military system who oppresses people and only recognizes the 'rights' of the rich and powerful.
A conservative or libertarian would see this as Big Government taxing and giving nothing back.
A liberal would see it as Gov't/Military sold out into the hands of Special Corporate Interests

It will be interesting for me to see in sequels exactly how far Joss Whedon will go in revealing The Alliance.


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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:53 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chronicthehedgehog:
I don't think this has been addressed before, but if the Alliance is a fusion of America and China, a capitalist and a communist nation, what is the Alliance? Is it one of these or has it developed a new economy based on the fusion of the two? If so, how would that work?

It might could work either way, however I think I would have to go with Embers’ analysis. I don’t think the show ever ran long enough for there to be enough information to make that determination, but I have always thought of it as more of a national socialism. There does seem to be corporate enterprise, such as the Blue Sun thing. But since the Alliance seems to be in the background of everything, these corporations would seem to be heavily centralized on the government, which is a criterion of national socialism. So if I had to choose between your examples I would say Communist, since that is the only one requiring centralization of the economy.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 6:23 AM

SUNYATSEN


I posted this in regards to some miscellaneous Blue Sun Room item I can't even remember, but here goes:


My hypothesis is that the Alliance is closer to fascism than communism for a number of reasons. First, it's clearly closer to totalitarianism than any participatory system. The government has shadowy mechanisms to keep deviants in line, and, as far as we can tell, there's no voting, free press, etc.


It's important to note that communism a la Marx has never existed. The communist systems in China, Russia, Cuba, etc. are not what Marx had in mind. Then again, it was never clear that Marx had a solid idea of what communism was supposed to be.


The difference, however is this: in communist systems, propaganda is designed to tell citizens how equal and wonderful things are. Even if the system is corrupt, and even if bureaucrats get the lion's share of resources, the govenment nevertheless emphasizes the equality of the system.


Clearly, the differences between the rim and the core are vast, which is not surprising, even in a communist system. The difference, however, is that the Alliance doesn't even pretend.


On another note, check out Finding Serenity's "Asian Objects in Space" by Leigh Adams Wright on the absence of Asians on Firefly. The fact that the Firefly-verse has Chinese influence may be entirely unrelated to its current political system. BTW, some have argued that China's current system is more fascist than communist; it has largely abandoned its command economy, and pretty much forgotten about the plight of its rural farmers (the backbone of any communist nation), while at the same time not having any individual rights.


Edit: I wanted to state my appreciation for such an insightful topic. Not that I have anything against "What's your favorite episode?" threads, but this seems to have a bit more meat to me.


Also, I definitely see where Ember is coming from. The Alliance seems to be Rorschach-like in terms of what we see.


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Sunday, August 7, 2005 9:24 AM

BATMARLOWE


Given what Joss' inspiration was for FIREFLY, I thought the Alliance/core planets were kind of like the Union and the outer planets the Confederacy. But the war the Browncoats lost doesn't seem to have been a revolution or a civil war, or a rebellion, but rather a war to prevent occupation. You know, a war war.

After watching the show it seems to me that corporations influenced the government so much that they became one in the same. In other words the corporation controls the state (Corporatism) rather than the state controlling the economy (Communism).

One of the things that remains to be seen is is the Alliance the enforcement tool of the Blue Sun Corporation or is the Alliance and the Blue Sun Corporation the same thing?

Either way it seems the Alliance is Corporofascist.

Another question is does the Alliance actively control all planets or are they in the process of actively trying to control the outer planets or are they just letting them be so long as they don't get any funny ideas?

Let's look at Whitefall. Does the Alliance actively control it? Or do they just want to eventually? Or are they content to let Patience be the Mayor of Whitefall as long as she shows the proper respect towards the Alliance?

In "The Train Job" it seems that the Alliance doesn't really care what happens in that town/moon/planet (I can't remember the name of it) just so long as they cooperate when the Alliance is around. But it doesn't look like the Alliance is actively running that place.

If the Alliance isn't actively seeking to control all planets then I'd say they're Corporofascist in the core planets and only show their muscle in the rim if you don't recognize their authority.

If the Alliance is actively seeking to control all planets (or already does) then I'd say they are Corporofascists.

I guess we just don't know enough history yet. The core planets were formed first. It looks as though they decided peacefully to form an Alliance and then decided to unpeacefully expand it.

Hope we get to find out.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 10:25 AM

CITIZEN


China is moving further towards Capitalism and away from Quasi-Communism, so I think its not as simple as a communist nation 'fusing' with a capitalist one.
So anyway to my mind the Alliance is more sort of a corporate run dictatorship, something along the lines of the Society in Aliens, with Wayland-Yutani basically running the show, and perhaps a puppet goverment.

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 12:05 PM

REGINAROADIE


Capitalist, definitly.

Although, one thing that I liked reading about in one of the essays in FINDING SERENITY was the idea that the Alliance win over the Independents was phyrric and that they've bitten off far more than they can chew, which (not to pimp my own work) I hypothesized that if the Alliance were to crash, it wouldn't be from another war, but from within. If the Alliance has a corporate mentality, then maybe it would become like Enron and it would collapse from within due to inflation, overflowing corruption and overexertion.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And wow! Hey! What's this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like ... ow ... ound ... round ... ground! That's it! That's a good name - ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 1:03 PM

RYSH1


The one assumption here is that the alliance subscribes to any one governing philosophy.
The simple fact is that allies have always to a lesser or greater degree had different governing bodies or different agendas. The term alliance only signifies powers that are allied.
The breakdown here seems to actually be somewhat simple:
alliance = power for its own sake
independants = self determination

when you have power you wish to maintain power and you do not want a threat to arise that can go toe to toe with you.
the reason the alliance attacked the independants was to maintain superiority.
the reason the independants lost is that the alliance squashed them before they became a threat (even if it was not as easy of a victory as they assumed).
they do not care about the border planets yet as they are not a threat to their power,military,economic or otherwise.
when the border planets progress to the point that they can interfere with those who are in power then the alliance will attack and expand.
As all our worlds governments move further away from their own philosophies and more towards a single goal of maintain the status quo,it is not unreasonable to assume that this will be the way of the future.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 1:03 PM

RYSH1


The one assumption here is that the alliance subscribes to any one governing philosophy.
The simple fact is that allies have always to a lesser or greater degree had different governing bodies or different agendas. The term alliance only signifies powers that are allied.
The breakdown here seems to actually be somewhat simple:
alliance = power for its own sake
independants = self determination

when you have power you wish to maintain power and you do not want a threat to arise that can go toe to toe with you.
the reason the alliance attacked the independants was to maintain superiority.
the reason the independants lost is that the alliance squashed them before they became a threat (even if it was not as easy of a victory as they assumed).
they do not care about the border planets yet as they are not a threat to their power,military,economic or otherwise.
when the border planets progress to the point that they can interfere with those who are in power then the alliance will attack and expand.
As all our worlds governments move further away from their own philosophies and more towards a single goal of maintain the status quo,it is not unreasonable to assume that this will be the way of the future.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 1:55 PM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by batmarlowe:
Another question is does the Alliance actively control all planets or are they in the process of actively trying to control the outer planets or are they just letting them be so long as they don't get any funny ideas?



Joss definitely was inspired by the US Civil War, but as all good writers he brought his story out into an arena of more universal application.

I have always seen the relationship between the Alliance and the outer planets as that of a colonial power with its various colonies.

As a modern super power you terriform a planet/moon, but you don't know if it will actually support life (if there will be radiation disease or other complications) so you allow the poor or unwanted of your society to pioneer the newly terriformed planet or moon.

If they all die horrible lingering deaths, then well...no loss. BUT if they thrive and prosper, then they clearly owe taxes, and allegance to the Alliance (and what ever Corporate body that was paying for the experiment).

But, as I said in my earlier post...this is all theory and my own personal impressions, Joss has played it very close to the vest. I hope that there will be many sequels in which he can explore all these subjects and many others.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 2:21 PM

THIEFJEHAT


I have argued before that the Alliance is a capitilist government. However, it's a government that is highly unregulated.

Think of the nature of 18th century England. In that nation you had a government (parliment) and an aristocracy (king and nobels). You also had strong business interests (East India Company among others) that influenced these 2 forces. As a triad you see a form of capitilism where each part of the triad influences and corrupts the other 2.

The Alliance is quite similar. Here we have a central Alliance government much like Parliment. Then also you have extremely strong nobility influences (Think about the Shindig ball) and corporations like Blue Sun and others.



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Sunday, August 7, 2005 2:33 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


I thought the Alliance and the Blue Sun thing were directly related somewhere behind the scenes. Is that my imagination or is there something in the show that supports that?

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 2:36 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by batmarlowe:
it seems the Alliance is Corporofascist.

That's perfect!!!
A logical and horrible outgrowth of the facist mentality used to maximize corporate profits!

That's brilliant!

Can I use it?

Copyright Chrisisall

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 2:54 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Yeah, it’s also a bit loaded. It’s a common term used by anti-globalization types on the internet. It usually precedes the word “neocon.” I’ve been accused of it a couple of times myself.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 4:24 PM

CHRISISALL


I would see Corporofacism to mean a system of Uber-capitalist conglomerates that would, for example, have the ability to have me, Signym, HK, and most other people here that question their integrity swiftly 'erased' to contain such thinking.
That's just how I would take it's meaning, and we're nowhere near that....yet. Give it a few decades, and some administrations more extreme than Bush's, and I say it's possible (however unlikely).
You Finn, on the other hand, I see as an Independant conservative with a slight tendancy toward liberal (not leftist) leanings. How does that sit with ya?

I used the 'L' word Chrisisall

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:12 PM

BATMARLOWE


Yes, Chrisisall, you can use it as soon as you start watching Season 5 of BUFFY. But not until then.

Embers, you and I had different preconceptions as to how the planets came to be terraformed.

I saw it as Those Who Came From Earth-That-Was started terraforming some planets. These first planets got the lion's share of what it would take to allow them to grow and prosper. While those planets were growing and prospering, those who came from Earth-That-Was continued outward and terraformed planets but there was less and less to give out as their resources got used up. Thus the further they got from the core the less developed those planets were and the terraforming stopped when Those Who Came From Earth-That-Was ran out of resources.

Meanwhile the prospering first terraformed planets (the core planets) continued to get stronger, more developed and more "civilized". They then formed an alliance (known as "The Alliance") and decided that those other planets out there should be under their wing and if they didn't like it, then the Alliance would have to force them to be under their wing. The outer planets saw the Alliance as invaders and they banded together (ironically forming their own alliance) to fight the invaders and lost.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you see it as the terraformers of the outer planets was the Alliance itself. In which case yes, the outer planets would be more like colonies. If this is the case it makes explaining the back story a lot easier. My version is clunkier.

So do you think Mal and Zoe and their brothers and sisters in arms were fighting a war to keep the outer planets from being colonized or were they fighting a war to overthrow their colonizers?

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:27 PM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by batmarlowe:
So do you think Mal and Zoe and their brothers and sisters in arms were fighting a war to keep the outer planets from being colonized or were they fighting a war to overthrow their colonizers?


I saw them as rebels trying to make the 'colony' independent of the Alliance.
I have thought that the 'control' of the central government was almost non-existant while they are all poor and struggling. That they had to achieve a level of financial and cultural sophistication before it was worth the while to collect taxes, and exert control.

I thought Mal & his fellow rebels thought it would be easy to fight off the distant power, that maybe it wouldn't be worth the money and man-power to send troops so far out to the border planets....
But of course they were wrong, the Alliance had no intention of allowing any rebels to stand against them, bringing inspiration to others who might want to break free.

but of course I could be totally wrong.
LOL


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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:41 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
I would see Corporofacism to mean a system of Uber-capitalist conglomerates that would, for example, have the ability to have me, Signym, HK, and most other people here that question their integrity swiftly 'erased' to contain such thinking.

I’d just call it fascist or criminal, but then I’ve never been that creative. I have a lot of definition issues, anyway.
Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
You Finn, on the other hand, I see as an Independant conservative with a slight tendancy toward liberal (not leftist) leanings. How does that sit with ya?

Hell of a lot better then being called fascist!
Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
but of course I could be totally wrong.
LOL

I doubt there’s anyone in this thread that is totally wrong about anything.

How could the rebels have staged an effective offensive against such a heavily entrenched military and economic power without some “core” planets of their own? Has anyone ever wondered that? We’ve seen several battle scenes from the war and the impression that I get is that the rebellion, while ineffective, was actually quit large and well organized.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:47 PM

SERGEANTX


I always saw the Alliance as pretty much the equivalent of the current day US. And I don't mean that in a bad way neccessarily. Keep in mind that we saw the Alliance pretty much through Mal's eyes. If you watch 'between the lines' though, the vast majority of the 'feds' they run into were relatively neutral, even benign, given that fact that Mal and crew were criminals.

I've always been of the opinion that there were the seeds of a gradual transformation in Mal. The Message hinted at it heavily. Of course we may never know if the series doesn't come back.. but that's another thread.



SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:51 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
How could the rebels have staged an effective offensive against such a heavily entrenched military and economic power without some “core” planets of their own? Has anyone ever wondered that? We’ve seen several battle scenes from the war and the impression that I get is that the rebellion, while ineffective, was actually quit large and well organized.



That's a good point. It might be related to what I just mentioned, namely that we tend to see the 'verse through Mal's eyes, filtered by the hopelessness and despair that he struggles with. Hmmm, yeah, surely the destitute situation of the rim worlds is as much a result of the war than of conditions that preceded it. Otherwise it would have been over very quickly.

SergeantX

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:56 PM

EMBERS


Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
I always saw the Alliance as pretty much the equivalent of the current day US.


Now see...I thought the Alliance MIGHT be the exact same thing as The Federation on Star Trek (without the aliens of course)
benign (from their point of view),
they want a perfect world with no disease or poverty...
or litter or desent or non-conformists...
and there are just a lot of humans
(particularly the misfits and riff-raff who colonized the out-lying planets)
who just can never fit into that perfect world.


Of course we may never know if the series doesn't come back.. but that's another thread.
SergeantX


no no, I don't think we need the series to return;
don't get me wrong: I WANT the series to return.
But I think that Joss can manage to tell his stories in the form of movie sequels and lots of comic books....


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Sunday, August 7, 2005 6:09 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
I always saw the Alliance as pretty much the equivalent of the current day US. And I don't mean that in a bad way neccessarily. Keep in mind that we saw the Alliance pretty much through Mal's eyes. If you watch 'between the lines' though, the vast majority of the 'feds' they run into were relatively neutral, even benign, given that fact that Mal and crew were criminals.

So our heroes may actually not necessarily be as noble, relatively speaking, as they are portrayed, but rather that we see the morality of the show through Mal’s eyes, who is basically a criminal and views the Alliance from a less then objective position. That’s may be one of the most astute assessments I’ve read on this. That’s really pretty smart.
Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
That's a good point. It might be related to what I just mentioned, namely that we tend to see the 'verse through Mal's eyes, filtered by the hopelessness and despair that he struggles with. Hmmm, yeah, surely the destitute situation of the rim worlds is as much a result of the war than of conditions that preceded it. Otherwise it would have been over very quickly.

Yeah, I’ve always found it hard to believe that the “rim” worlds could support an offensive against the Alliance. If one or two of those rim planets were actually the remains of a much larger economic/political institution, then that would make a lot of sense. Or maybe the rebellion was actually fought between the core planets, and the rim planets had nothing to do with it. We’re simply assuming that the rim planets were the source of the rebellion; maybe that was never the case.

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 8:09 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
no no, I don't think we need the series to return;
don't get me wrong: I WANT the series to return.
But I think that Joss can manage to tell his stories in the form of movie sequels and lots of comic books....



I heartily disagree with that one, but it's not worth debating. The movies will be good, but having seen the first one, I think it's clear they'll be telling different kinds of stories at a different pace. I'll always be a fan, of the movies and the series, but justice won't be done until Joss gets to do the serial story arcs that Firefly deserves.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 8:31 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
So our heroes may actually not necessarily be as noble, relatively speaking, as they are portrayed, but rather that we see the morality of the show through Mal’s eyes, who is basically a criminal and views the Alliance from a less then objective position.



More or less. I mean, they're pushed to the wall, and doing the best they can, which is what being hero is in many ways but... they did kill people and steal things for a living. That's pretty much what the message of 'The Message' was.

The main thing I was saying though, is not that Mal isn't heroic, but that the Alliance isn't some monolithic font of badness. Look at the opening scene of the pilot (after the war flashback). Mal and crew get caught red handed pulling illegal salvage. But after they launch the cry baby, the commander of the Alliance ship very quickly makes the decision ("let's go help these people") not to chase Serenity in favor of saving lives.

Or in Bushwhacked, when they're caught again. They weren't beaten or tortured or anything. Looked like a fairly respectful interrogation. And after Mal saves his life the commander lets them go free. Now, I'm not saying the feds are all warm and fuzzy huggy-bears, but they aren't exactly Nazis, even if they do dress like them.

There's plenty of legitimate Alliance bad guys too (blue hands, operatives, etc), but it seems to me Joss deliberately dropped hints that it wasn't as black and white as Mal made it out to be.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Sunday, August 7, 2005 11:31 PM

SHANYU


Well from what ive seen in the show i have to disagree with many of you and say that they are Communist. Like what Mal says to the sherif in the train job

"Thats sounds like the alliance, unite all the planets under one rule so everybody can be interfered with or ignored equally."

Sounds like a capitalist society and the fact that Mal and Zoe fought for the Independants which reminds me of a United States Type of thing they were fighting for.

"You can live with a man for fourty years , share his meals, talk on every subject, then tie him up, and hold him over the volanoes edge. And on that day, you will finally meet the man"

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Monday, August 8, 2005 1:00 AM

CITIZEN


You've got quite a unique viewpoint there SergeantX, and now I think about it it seems pretty logical to me.

Quote:

Originally posted by SergeantX:
There's plenty of legitimate Alliance bad guys too (blue hands, operatives, etc), but it seems to me Joss deliberately dropped hints that it wasn't as black and white as Mal made it out to be.


One note, the CIA have been caught out doing some pretty, uh shall we say dodgy things, and from my own neck of the woods I'm sure the British intelligence agencies haven't been beyond the odd bit of 'dodgyness' themselves.
So blue hands and operatives could just be the slightly dodgy last resort fellas that get the job done, perhaps?

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Monday, August 8, 2005 4:16 AM

WARKNIGHT


I think the word everyone is looking for is oligarchy. Posably 4 or 5 large businesses got together. I do think the Civil War comparison is a good one. The outer planets send the raw materials to the core planets. Even though they look down on the core planets they would cease to exist without them.

"I was on the losing side I am still not convinced I was on the wrong side"

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Monday, August 8, 2005 5:41 AM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.



But wait, frog gonads are located inside their body cavities, and those gonads are not green. . . ;)

And now back to the serious thread.

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Monday, August 8, 2005 5:53 AM

SERGEANTX


Some people know things. Things that shouldn't be known.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Monday, August 8, 2005 7:23 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Diego:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.



But wait, frog gonads are located inside their body cavities, and those gonads are not green. . . ;)

And now back to the serious thread.



I really, really, really don't want to know how you know that...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Monday, August 8, 2005 8:31 AM

FIVVER


"His brains are in terrible danger!"

Fivver

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Monday, August 8, 2005 9:05 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ShanYu:
"Thats sounds like the alliance, unite all the planets under one rule so everybody can be interfered with or ignored equally."


LOL, that's how I mostly feel about the U.S. government right now!
But to be fair, it's not all that bad, there are a great many great things about my country, it's just when the IRS comes a callin' to say I earned money I've never seen, then tells me they can't tell me where I got this phantom buckage, but that it's set in stone that I owe them more, or they'll take my car, house, etc, I really get to seein' my government as an 'Alliance'. And don't get me started on the corrupt FDA, FCC, or black bag CIA ops in Central America, and the like.
I think Joss was goin' for a very close parallel to our own government with the Alliance, just one that can be like the U.S. government at it's most severe, and with fewer checks and balances, fueled by corps like Blue Sun.

For a free 1000 word dissertation on the subject, please send an sase to: Chrisisall

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 7:29 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
I’ve always found it hard to believe that the “rim” worlds could support an offensive against the Alliance.

I thought it was much like our Civil War, with roughly half of the core and rim planets involved on each side; Mal was just in one of the ugliest front lines.

And as far as the hero/criminal thing goes, check this out:
http://www.affbrainwash.com/archives/020132.php
Courtesy of embers on another thread.
I pretty much agree with it's view of our beleagured band.



Union Chrisisall

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 9:03 AM

CITIZEN


But then not all Rim worlds are backwards...
Persephone seems fairly well developed for instance, and I think its reasonable to assume that there are other worlds as well developed as Persephone. Rim worlds are just not as well developed as the central planets. Indeed the Browncoats at least appear to be less well funded than the Alliance, as Browncoat equipment seems more ad hoc, held together by spit and a prayer, where as, on the otherhand Alliance personell seem much better equiped.

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:57 AM

ECLIPTIC


People should realize that in a government the size of the Alliance, multiple factions and orginizations will spring up.

I agree that we are seeing the Alliance from Mal's view point. But the first episode I watched when they launched cry baby burned an impression of the Alliance in my mind. They aren't really bad guys.

They definitely don't seem to be facist nor communist. In neither social structure can a man succede on his own skills and motivation. They show in Ariel and throughout with Simon that the government is based around capitalism. I think alot of people take Mal's and the other crew's word for verbatim. Alot of what they say about the Alliance is usually exagerated simply because of their viewpoint.
There is no proof one way or the other wether it is a democratic or republic society.

Also, communism and fascism is not far away from each other on the political spectrum. They both have many of the same qualities. Both forms of government control the buisnesses that operate in their territories.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:25 AM

CITIZEN


Communism and Fascism are at polar opposite ends of the pollitical specturm...
Fascism is extreemly rightwing, and communism extreem left...
In fact communism is a socialist goverment form, where as Fascism is strictly Anti-socialist.
You seem to be confusing the fact that facism is by nature Totalitarian, and communism often breaks down into totalitarian goverments.

Something I thought about recently is the Blue gloved fella's chasing River... They wear blue gloves which indicates to me that Joss might be hinting that Blue Sun is running the show, at least from the blue gloves point of view...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 2:58 PM

BROWNCOATFAN1


i would say capitalist. the people have some freedoms like owning there own homes and this like that.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:19 PM

TALLGRRL


Quote:

Originally posted by chronicthehedgehog:
I don't think this has been addressed before, but if the Alliance is a fusion of America and China, a capitalist and a communist nation, what is the Alliance? Is it one of these or has it developed a new economy based on the fusion of the two? If so, how would that work?




the alliance is neither capitalist or communist.
actually, since the alliance is corporate as government (blue sun), that would make it fascist.
one of the points of fascism is that corporate power is protected over the citizenry. in the case of blue sun, the corporation is the government.

"The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite."


"Take me, sir. Take me hard." -- Zoe

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:22 PM

TALLGRRL


Quote:

Originally posted by browncoatfan1:
i would say capitalist. the people have some freedoms like owning there own homes and this like that.



"freedoms like owning...homes"?
you can "own a home" and have your mail tampered with, your phone tapped, your internet usage watched, your book purchases monitored by the FBI...
oops!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 3:36 PM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

I really, really, really don't want to know how you know that...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.



I've taught comparative vertebrate anatomy, and have cut many a frog open and even stuck pins in their organs and quizzed students on them. The external design is pretty much a mammal thing.

I could tell you all manner of distubing things, but . . . I will refrain. ;)

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 6:15 PM

CARDIE


In an early interview, Joss said that we only get to see the Alliance through Mal's eyes, and that one way to look at it would be to see the Independents as the Viet Cong and the Alliance as the US. Our motives for being in Vietnam weren't all bad, but if you were someone fighting to be free of all outside powers, we sure looked like evil incarnate.

I think that the Independent worlds weren't necessarily the ones out on the rim where Mal tries to fly below the radar. The "take me out to the black/tell them I'm not coming back" would seem to indicate that Mal headed out for the territories after U-Day. That doesn't mean that some of the more populated planets weren't once on the side of the Independents.

Cardie

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Thursday, August 11, 2005 7:18 PM

BLUEBOMBER


OK...this is gonna be a rather lengthy response, but....let's look at some definitions.

FASCISM = An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
AUTHORITARIAN = favoring strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom.
COMMUNISM = a political theory advocating a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to his or her abilities and needs.
CAPITALISM = an economic and political system in which trade and industry are controlled by private owners, rather than the state, for profit.

Applying these definitions, the Alliance is not a fascist entity. Though decidedly nationalistic, we see that there are planets that, while under Alliance law, have considerably less of an Alliance presence; that is, the government doesn't have a "direct" hand in its affairs (similar to Constitutional powers deferred to the states in US government). An authoritarian entity would demand complete control over all regions under its domain, but we see that on Jiangyin, Persephone, etc., this is not so. Patience is free to "run her little world" as long as she doesn't directly contradict Alliance law. So, the Alliance is not fascist.

We can also say that the Alliance is not a communist state, since individuals are free to own property and earn money. Mal and Co. deal trade freely (as evidenced in "Safe"), and we also see evidence, at least on some planets, of a middle class ("Serenity," "Shindig," "Ariel," etc).

Given the evidence, the Alliance is closest to capitalism; however, I hesitate to make that declaration with 100% certainty. We are left hanging as to the exact history and structure of the Alliance. I agree with Sargeant X that the information we do have is colored through Mal's point of view. It may well be the case that, 500 years into the future, the Alliance government would take a structure completely different from anything we've ever known (although the historic parallels many of you have brought up to the US Civil War, British colonization of America, etc. are very fascinating to me).

As to the subject of Blue Sun, again, we're left hanging. There is simply not enough evidence to confirm or deny that Blue Sun Corporation is in bed with the Alliance. River's "attack" on the corporation's logo (the cans in "Shindig," Jayne's shirt in "Ariel") isn't enough to support a connection, and so any speculation beyond that is pure conjecture.

OK, I'll stop boring you now. This is a fun discussion!

"Mwah ha ha ha...mine is an evil laugh. Now die."

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Friday, August 12, 2005 5:39 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Diego:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

I really, really, really don't want to know how you know that...

Quote:

Originally posted by BlueBomber:
As to the subject of Blue Sun, again, we're left hanging. There is simply not enough evidence to confirm or deny that Blue Sun Corporation is in bed with the Alliance. River's "attack" on the corporation's logo (the cans in "Shindig," Jayne's shirt in "Ariel") isn't enough to support a connection, and so any speculation beyond that is pure conjecture.


I don't know, this is a show, not real life (not being patronising bear with me). In Real life those events could really mean nothing, but in a show, specially one by Joss who has shown an talent for 'subtle hints' they, imho, indicate that Blue Sun has a very strong presence in what happened in River.
The fact that Blue Sun logos are literally everywhere in FireFly would also seem to suggest that Joss is setting them up as a strong presence within the story line.

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.



I've taught comparative vertebrate anatomy, and have cut many a frog open and even stuck pins in their organs and quizzed students on them. The external design is pretty much a mammal thing.

I could tell you all manner of distubing things, but . . . I will refrain. ;)


I SAID: I really, really, really didn't want to know how you know that...


Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 11:13 AM

DIEGO




I SAID: I really, really, really didn't want to know how you know that...

.


Ah, but I could tell you didn't REALLY really, really not want to know.

Besides, do you see me not telling you other morbid and creepifying things? I think it's quite an impressive feat for a bio geek such as myself!

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Friday, August 12, 2005 11:15 AM

CITIZEN


I am warped, you cannot sicken me!!

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 11:17 AM

DIEGO


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
I am warped, you cannot sicken me!!



See? And I knew that like it was via ESP.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 11:22 AM

CITIZEN


Its funny, people always seem able to tell that...
I wonder why...
No! I will not feed you now! Back in your cage Britney...

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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Friday, August 12, 2005 2:14 PM

BLUEBOMBER


Setting aside the question of frog gonads for just a minute...

Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

I don't know, this is a show, not real life (not being patronising bear with me). In Real life those events could really mean nothing, but in a show, specially one by Joss who has shown an talent for 'subtle hints' they, imho, indicate that Blue Sun has a very strong presence in what happened in River.
The fact that Blue Sun logos are literally everywhere in FireFly would also seem to suggest that Joss is setting them up as a strong presence within the story line.



While what you say is likely true (the thought crossed my mind myself), I don't like to think along those lines, and prefer to keep my logic in terms of the universe presented in the story. Discussing it in terms of "Joss wrote it that way so there must be a connection" cheapens the experience for me.

Besides, even considering the recurrence of Blue Sun in "Firefly," one can still only guess. Joss and staff may very well have planned a big twist concerning Blue Sun and the Alliance that we wouldn't expect. In fact, I really hope that they do. After all, which is more fun to watch: a plot point that everyone has speculated on and seen coming a mile away, or something new and completely different?

"Mwah ha ha ha...mine is an evil laugh. Now die."

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Friday, August 12, 2005 2:20 PM

CITIZEN


If the plot lines had been allowed to continue, its likely that the twist of which you speak would have already happened .

The refrences aren't that obvious until you look at it alot .
Would we have all seen it before the twist if we hadn't been starved of new FireFly episodes to watch?

Q: What do you have when you are holding two little green balls in your hand.
A: Kermit's undivided attention.

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