We break down and explain why a popular YouTube video claiming the Federation from Star Trek is fascist is wrong.
Youtuber The Film Theorist have a new video in which they explain why they think the Federation from Star Trek is fascist.
Now obviously this was a controversial video made to get views; and it worked, the video has over 1 million views so far. So good for The Film Theorist for getting their views in, but their theory has some major flaws.
Even if this video was just made for clicks and views, we wanted to go through it and take a look at what it said. Some of the arguments made by the video are interesting, if a bit flawed.
First here’s the video, and then below we’ll go through the points made and refute them one by one.
Ok, so let’s break down each point made the video:
Star Trek is fascists because of the captain’s log.
The first argument made by The Film Theorist is that the stories of Star Trek are only told from the Federation’s point of view. The video claims that the the captain’s log trope means that all the films and shows come from an inherently biased perspective.
Now this argument is flawed because in all entertainment the central figures or human characters of the story are the center of the story, it’s a story written for humans. To claim that something is fascist because it centers on the central characters is ridiculous. Is Sherlock Holmes fascist because Sherlock Holmes is the main character?
Let’s put aside the fact that in order to make this argument the video makers ignore the fact that all television shows and movies have main characters that we see the world through the eyes of, the argument still fails.
This argument would only hold water if we never got to see the motivation behind the foes of the Federation, if we never got to know them. Fortunately we do get to know the forces opposed to the Federation, we know their belief systems and their personalities. Their are so many Star Trek episodes focused on developing Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians. Star Trek rarely presents you with a villain and then doesn’t let you understand where that villain is coming from.
Let’s take the Founders of Deep Space Nine for example. The Dominion is a truly fascist empire, but by the end of the series we know why the Founders want to control everything and impose order. The Founders, who are changelings, were once persecuted by species that could not change shape. This persecution led to the Founders believing that they had to impose order on a chaotic universe.
In the very same captain’s log that the video decries we also see main characters constantly talking about and questioning the philosophical stances of the Federation and their own actions. In a Fascist society there wouldn’t be any questioning by officials, especially not on record.
We clearly disagree with this first point made by the video, so let’s look at the second point…
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