Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Protocols of the Elders of Ferenginar

Over at Gene Expression Scifi, a discussion on whether or not the Ferengi were designed to fit into the antisemitic stereotype of a Jew.
Gene Roddenberry definitely hated capitalism, as the only major race that was in any way capitalistic was the Ferengi, who were at best good only because they overcame their innate nature and who we are supposed to believe improved their society greatly when toward the end of Deep Space 9 they started becoming more Federation-Like (i.e. more socialistic).
Obviously, some comparisons aren't helpful in determining if Jews in particular were a target of Roddenberry. While the portrayal of the Ferengi as greedy little pigs was also a stereotype of Jewish people, it is far too unspecific; lots of people are greedy, and there's no reason why portraying a group of people as greedy should have anything to do with comparing them to the stereotypes of otehr groups.
On the other hand, if you read the comments section on the blog, there are a lot of parallels between the Ferengi and between characteristics that were either common among Jewish people or at least which were often unfairly and maliciously attributed to them.
Of course, even if the Ferengi were designed based on Jewish stereotypes, it might be because Roddenberry thought the stereotypes, if separated from an actual people, were fun to work with.

That is all.

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