Star Trek: 10 Most Manipulative Governments, Ranked
While Star Trek is known for being a positive lens on the future of humanity, soaring through the stars, there's also quite a bit of darkness to it. There are quite a few characters, planets, entire empires that push the optimism of the future. Think of the Borg alone; they terrify anyone they set their sights on.
However, some of the most troublesome species are ones that have manipulative governments. They insidiously sink their claws into the Star Trek universe and cause so much trouble for the good guys. But, most of the time they think of themselves as the good guys, don't they?
Here are the 10 most manipulative governments, ranked.
10 Breen Confederacy
Until the final season of DS9, the Breen were this weird, mysterious species that people talked about but nobody saw. They were a reclusive much that didn't want to bother with others and only wanted to protect their personal interests.
Because of that, The Federation was tricked into thinking the Breen weren't too much of a threat when they joined The Dominion. Wrong. The Breen added a lot of troubling firepower to The Dominion's assault and were relentless is battle.
They are manipulative in a very small, subtle way, but considering the body count on The Dominion War? Their government deserves some credit.
9 Klingon Empire
At face value, the Klingon Empire is a warrior race of energized, bloodthirsty, war-loving people. Their government is just is place to keep their own houses from causing endless civil wars.
So it seems, at least.
However, the Klingon Government is more manipulative that people would expect. For example, even though they knew house Duras betrayed their own people to the Romulans, their house is powerful and influential. If the government called them out, it was splinter the Empire and possibly cause civil war.
Instead, they blame a nobody house, House Mogh, and act like that's all good. They have their own manipulative ways, underneath the guts and glory.
8 Ferengi Alliance
Meet a Ferengi for a few minutes and anyone can tell they are manipulative. Their entire system is based on monetary gain and greed, and they weedle it into most conversations (especially with new people AKA prospective clients).
The second that the DS9 wormhole was stable, Ferengi were going in and trying to make profit. And the Ferengi lost in the Delta Quadrant? Also using the locals to make themselves very wealthy men.
As a people and as a government, they delight in manipulating others to make their lives better. The only plus side is that they are very open, honest, and proud of that fact.
7 Vulcan High Council
While Vulcans believe in logic, that does not mean they believe in total honesty. Particularly when humanity was new to the galaxy, Vulcans used their own advanced capabilities to influence and manipulate humans and other nearby species like the Andorians.
This kind of behavior caused a lot of tension and mistrust, despite their goals of bringing people together.
Their superiority compelx was their downfall, assuming the other species could never figure out the things they were doing and weren't worthy. This includes their treatment of Sarek's human-influenced children, Michael and Spock.
Over time, Vulcans improved and became less manipulative, but this time in their people's government deserves noting.
Starfleet may look like the good guys, and they may do most things with good intentions, but boy are they manipulative. Running around the galaxy trying to impart their morals and ideals on other people? Peacekeeping is an admirable goal, but it's been shown several times that Starfleet logic simply doesn't work for everyone. That, or can get people executed by their own for dissenting.
With all their speeches, they do manipulate a lot of people. Even the times that end in positive results don't change the fact that Starfleet is changing people to be more like them.
Still pretty imperialistic, no matter how much all the fans love their Starfleet. Also, they were pretty late to the galaxy game, but managed to take over the bulk of The Federation. That's a little spooky.
5 Romulan Star Empire
Even though they hate their Vulcan cousins, and definitely hate Cardassians, they are a sort of bizarre hybrid of the two. Instead of following logic, though, Romulans follow paranoia and secrets. Their secret organizations have secret organizations. They are territorial and don't trust anyone. They will destroy anyone who gets near the livelihood they are desperate to protect.
However, unlike Cardassians and Vulcans, they are reluctant to push too far outside their boundaries or make any sort of alliances. Unless they have complete control of the situation, they're not a big fan of putting them in any vulnerable position.
It's no surprise the destruction of Romulus has completely shocked the Romulan Empire to its core, even if its secret organization survived.
4 Orion Syndicate
Of all planets in the galaxy, the Orion Snydicate is arguably the most corrupt. A planet-wide gang, basically, the black markets there are impeccable. While most other manipulative governments had some sort of idealogy and order, the Orion Syndicate is just about money and getting what they want. They are driven by greed, not some ideal of the "glorious Orion" or whatever.
This does mean they have less effective organization, but because they more are about money, they do have their hooks in almost every part of the Alpha Quadrant. There's always at least one corrupt politician everywhere, right?
Somebody's being manipulated by them somewhere, always.
3 Cardassian Union
When it comes to secret orders, Romulans and Cardassians are about equal. However, overall? Cardassia does a lot more to keep its people (and anyone it presides over) in check. They do war to conquer others, their justice system is a joke to cover up an efficient execution system, and the Obsidian Order is willing to do anything to get what it wants.
Even though The Federation had a treaty with Cardassians, that itself was just a manipulation so that Cardassia wouldn't lose all its territory. They still oppressed the Bajoran people as it pleased them. After all, they were "lesser beings" right?
Let's just say Cardassians as a whole make people uncomfortable for a reason.
2 Xindi Council
Ever heard of the Temporal Cold War?
The Xindi were the orchestrators behind the conflict. A collective of five different species that evolved on one planet, they always worked together to put their planet first. They deliberately used other agents to get their work done, their goals, to try to ensure their peoples' survival.
Even if it included making other races and species suffer.
While they eventually turned around to peace, they were manipulated and manipulated others. It was a mess that almost led to the destruction of Earth itself.
That's a yikes.
1 The Dominion
Most of the governments on this list are a lot more secretive about the ways they manipulate people. The Dominion? not so much. They literally dominated other species and forced them to rely of them. They crippled the Vorta and coerced their people into revering them like gods, making them perfect little worker bees for them. The Jem'Hadar were genetically manipulated and forced to be addicted to Ketracel White, making them perfect, subservient soldiers to their whims.
Even the Cardassian empire was brutalized before accepting The Dominion's allegiance.
Which isn't really allegiance, it's just becoming another one of their assets.
The Changelings had every right to fear other people, but they went completely overboard in becoming a cruel, domineering people.