What might a Terran Empire education system look like? What about their family structures or arts and culture? Our crew looks at what we know and speculates on what we don’t know about Star Trek’s Mirror Universe.
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Hosts: Jarrah, Kennedy, Sue
Great episode, and while I agree it’s terrifying to think about the world, I think looking at its structure is useful from our perspective, if uncomfortable. I do think there’s a very real chance that we are closer to mirror than prime in the current world, and examining the darker structure of the Terran Empire can help us see our own bad tendencies.
The discussion about education and art was most interesting, and I think we see parallels in both our real world and to some extent in other races in the prime canon. From our own world, there have been quite a few fascist, brutal regimes that funded education fairly well, in service to the state – Germany in the 1930’s was very educated, in a specific way heavy on the indoctrination. As was mentioned, they need skilled and unskilled labour to power the regime, so I can easily see a military school type environment that was very “accessible” but also very regimented and state focused to push children early into certain tracks. There would be nationalist (speciealist?) youth groups that served similar purpose in non-academic areas as well.
That also spills over into art, for children identified as gifted in some way at least. In extreme cases in our own world (say, North Korea) we can clearly see how that works producing works of artistic propaganda, with state run TV and grand pageants for the Leader.
I also think there are some intended parallels in prime canon, with Cardassia being one of the most obvious. All the depictions we get of Cardassia include the omnipresent monitors blaring propaganda out into the cities. We don’t really see the pageantry with Cardassia much, but some of the discussions between Bashir and Garak about Cardassian literature also point to that state-oriented art.
My final add is that I think the Enterprise opening for In a Mirror, Darkly actually does show that the two streams run parallel to a degree, as opposed to a split. At the very least, the split was long before the moon landing. The opening credits start with primitive raft, then a sailing vessel, before immediately going into a hyper-aggressive sequence of naval battles from hundreds of years ago. While the “violence” doesn’t really start until the age of ocean navigation in the opening sequence, that is a clear divergence from the original Enterprise opening that would seem to indicate the universes diverged at LEAST that far back.
Fascinating show, but ya, it’s pretty terrifying to think about, but more terrifying that bits of it are happening and have happened in our own real world universe.