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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Dec 13, 2017

Star Trek and Human Rights.

Star Trek’s progressive, humanist outlook has always involved the extension of legal protection to a wide range of non-human entities. The courtroom battles fought by Data and Voyager’s EMH reflect how legal status is called into question in our own world as a way of justifying exploitation. Although Starfleet—for the most part—upholds the same moral principles enshrined in the UN and European rights charters, other species, such as the Cardassians, show a systematic disregard for the rights of individuals—human or not.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Guinevere Nell of The Briar Patch and Clara Cook for a special episode to mark International Human Rights Day, recorded live at the London School of Economics. We consider how Star Trek has engaged with real-world debates about human and animal rights, the impact of war on our most dearly held principles, and the limitations placed on the Federation’s role as an interstellar moral police force.

Intro (00:00:00)
Rights for Non-humans (00:09:37)
Moral Dilemmas vs. Legal Debates (00:29:20)
Rights in Other Cultures (00:34:40)
Cardassian Rights Abuses (00:41:50)
When the Laws Fall Silent (00:57:00)
Privacy (01:02:25)
Collective Rights (01:08:00)

Duncan Barrett

Clara Cook and Guinevere Nell

Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)