The Hutet-class Battleship
The Cardassian Hutet-class starship was a powerful battleship designed by the Cardassians around the time of the Dominion War. The Cardassians were a resource-poor polity that was ever-expanding its empire to remedy that lack of resources. Ironically, this expansion meant a further drain on their empire’s resources, thus fueling further expansion.
How many times have we seen the same vicious cycle at work here on Earth? Resource scarcity begets war begets resource scarcity begets war. Perhaps the only way to truly reduce or eliminate this vicious cycle here on Earth is to expand out into space and acquire resources from other worlds in our own solar system. The cynic in me, though, would only surmise that we would just expand our wars into space. The optimist in me, however, would hope that we could spin the exploration of space as a conquest requiring the unity of all humanity to succeed.
The Bajorans were first introduced into Star Trek as a species of refugees, their homeworld having been taken over by the reptilian-like Cardassians. What was the Federation, that all-inclusive beneficent civilization in part founded by enlightened human beings seeking to do no harm, doing while the Cardassians were strip-mining the Bajoran homeworld for decades and enslaving its people? Nothing. You see, the Federation has this policy of non-interference (called the Prime Directive) that forbids them from interfering in the affairs of other species, particularly if that species is less-technologically advanced. That seems reasonable, as otherwise we might have situations where we’d be equipping the Mongol warriors of 1000 A.D. with Abrams tanks, grenade launchers, and machine guns.
But in some ways, the Prime Directive seems like the ultimate coward’s way out. As Burke and some others said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” How often have we been guilty of just that? Standing by and letting something we know to be wrong go on? Why? Perhaps because we fear we are ourselves wrong.
Below is just one type of ship used by the beleaguered Bajorans.
My wife and I just moved into our new house yesterday, and I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that 90 degree heat + steep driveways + stairways + heavy furniture & boxes = More sweat in 4 hours of moving than an entire weekend of hiking in Grayson Highlands Virginia state park near White Top.
I can now better understand, just barely, some of the difficulty faced by Bajoran laborers under Cardassian rule. So below you will find a space station used by the Cardassians for something other than forcing Bajorans to process ore.
The Cardassians are another somewhat tragic object lesson in Star Trek. Prior to expanding out into space, the Cardassian people were renowned for their art and sophisticated culture. Through mismanagement of their own planet, their resources dwindled to almost nothing and they were forced to look beyond their planet for the resources they needed. Ironically, they ended up subjugating another artistic culture, the Bajorans, for their resources. Still, for decades after they were resource poor and looked on enviously at the neighboring Federation and Klingons, to the point that wars were fought with both powers. This of course led to even more resource depletion in an already resource poor political state. By this point in time Cardassian culture was very clearly no longer focused on the arts, they had morphed into a police state where enemies of the state were considered guilty before their trial even began.
In a final bid for power, the Cardassians joined the biggest police state known in the galaxy, the Dominion. Through the course of the Dominion War between the Dominion and the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, the Cardassians would come to taste what it was like to live in a police state (with the Jem’Hadar as the policemen) and not be the one in charge. Inevitably, the Cardassians rebelled, but tragically this would result in over 800 million Cardassians dead at the conclusion of the Dominion War.
It’s an interesting object lesson for us, the people of Earth, for we now fight over the limited resources of our own world, with equally tragic results.
So here are some starships for the Cardassians and some of their allies and foes: