Star Trek Morality

Warning: There be spoilers ahead, potentially.

My favorite part of Star Trek Into Darkness was how it commented on the drone issue. The moral thing to do was capture the criminal and have a trial. The immoral plan was extra-judicial murder via remote missile (into someone else’s territory, no less). Bravo for that.

2 thoughts on “Star Trek Morality

  1. Lloyd Nebres

    Interesting. Movies/Hollywood have done this oblique commenting on current charged sociopolitical issues for a while now, and I’ve always appreciated this.

    On the issue itself, it’s clear that when the Obama Administration did its cost-benefit analysis, they concluded that drone warfare was far less costly than an actual declared war (say against Iran or Pakistan, or continuing in Afghanistan). That it’s turning out to be palatable to the American public was probably also a something they figured in their calculations. Is it immoral? Sure. But realpolitik trumps morality any day—and that is what we’ve come to now. Hardly a surprise, however, given the path we all went down, after the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal had their way. The only real question in my mind is what exactly is the long game Obama is playing—is the long arc of his narrative bending towards justice, or not?

  2. Shawn R. McDonald Post author

    I think the drone attacks are, on balance, hurting America more than helping it. If the other option is all-out war, then yes, the drone attacks are better, but there have to be other options. I pretty much gave up on Obama being the voice of justice when he gave up on closing Guantanamo. Perhaps with more pressure, he would put more effort, just as he “evolved” on gay marriage. American opinion will have to change on torture and drones first.

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