The Collective Consciousness: the Borg

Growing up, my family was Star Trek: The Next Generation fans: Trekies. I must admit that I like Star Trek pretty well. When the series aired regularly on TV, one of the Grand Finales was when the Captain Jean Luc Picard was captured by the Borg and programmed to become part of the Borg’s collective consciousness – to date, they were one of the deadliest aliens and almost annihilated the Next Generation.

I will never forget the gasps of my parents as the revealing of Locotus was dramatically exposed on our television screen with the words TO BE CONTINUED in white letters on the screen as the former beloved Star Trek Captain said in his machine assembled state: “I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us.”

For non-Trekies, the Borg are an antagonistic alien race that form a collection of species that are half human – half machine. Obsessed with perfection (although objectively, the Borg are far from perfect), the Borg use a process called assimilation to dehumanize a species into joining their collective hive. TV Guide named the Borg #4 in their 2013 list of the 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.

But how did the Star Trek’s captain get involved with such a violate species? Well, during the Borg’s mission to assimilate Earth, they decided that a human voice was necessary to facilitate their introduction into human society. Despite Picard’s insistence that he would resist the Borg with his last ounce of strength, that resistance proved futile and he was assimilated into the Borg Collective. He was rescued, but became one with the hive mind  he could still “feel” the Collective years after his abduction.

Gene Roddenberry’s inspiration for the creation of the Borg was based on the premise of mechanical mind control. In general, mind control is a belief that subjects can be indoctrinated in a way that causes involuntary reeducation of basic beliefs and values. In short, the Borg objectified other species.

Oh, the Borg. I will never be undone.

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