Class Perspective

One nuance to Cylon society that has been commented on before became a centerpiece to the plot in the episode 'Six of One': despite the all but impervious argument that the original Human-Cylon War was a war of liberation for the Cylons, a hierarchy within Cylon society still exists, by which the "skin-jobs" have placed controls on the raiders and centurions.

This has opened the door for a discussion on class.

So in this episode we see that, again, all decisions are made by the humanoid models. The centurions and raiders due what they are told. The humanoid models vote in blocs, however, along with their models. So there are seven blocs that vote over decisions. No copy has ever broken ranks with their model.

4 of the 5 mythical five Cylons have been revealed. They have been among the fleeing human fleet unaware of their own nature until just recently. All along they believed they were human. In a Cylon attack on the human fleet one Cylon raider scanned one of the 5 and called off the attack. What did this mean for Cylon society? Since raiders aren't allowed to make such strategic decisions how could this have happened? 3 of the models believed that the raiders had began to "exceed their programming" and voted that the raiders, as cybernetic beings, should be lobotomized. they only saw the raiders as tools. Another 3 models interpreted this to mean that the "final 5" were among humans so caution should be taken, but also that raiders were sentient beings that should not be viewed as tools. The aforementioned 3 models thought this to be just superstition. There was a deadlock vote.

Decadence and Fracture:

But, one of the copies from the model lines who were defending the acts of the raiders broke rank and voted with the pro-lobotomy faction. This has never happened before. I don't know how else to interpret this except a breaking out of individuality.

The pro-lobotomy faction had a majority and began to implement their program. All voting from here on out would be futile because it would seem that these two factions have become a permanent fissure in Cylon society and this would determine all future decisions. The pro-lobotomy faction has a majority. realizing the permanent grip on power the pro-lobotomy faction had, the anti-lobotomy faction removed the devices that prevented the centurions from using reason. They now became fully sentient and a revolution was staged where the anti-lobotomy faction with the centurions massacred all of the models in the other faction. What is also of interest here is that the centurions were rebelling because of what was happening to the raiders, and not because of their belief in the final 5; the seemingly "reformist" demands of the working class instituting revolutionary change.

That is where that episode left off: on-the-ground change becoming a reality because of the self-activity of the seemingly most marginalized and incapable sections of society and being trailed by liberal tendencies within the ruling class, the decadence within official Cylon society - that is its inability to govern in the same way it had in the past, and the resulting fracture only occurring because of a cross class alliance between the "liberal" tendency within the ruling class and the self-activity of the workers and foot soldiers.

So now how will the remaining models govern along side the self-activity of the raiders and centurions? Unfortunately I foresaw the writers glossing over this all-important detail in the next episodes putting the remaining models in complete control over the raiders and centurions without explaining how they were able to re assert that control, and I was right thus far the writers have displayed either an inability or willingness to probe deeper into the ginormous social questions they broach. Part of this stems from a desire not to restrict the plot, as well as the constraints of time, but it is dissatisfying all the same.


1 comment

Large 1323446677 14042011110

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

May 19, 2008 3:21AM EDT

Excellent point. I'm a little puzzled about why the raiders and the cylons were happy knocking lumps out of Anders,the Chief and the rest of them with no apparent inner feeling that they were part of the Cylon team. I guess they hadn't read far enough ahead in the script!Yes, what's to stop the toasters taking control of the skin jobs? They seem to be the ones with the weapons, if not the good looks. And by the way, the point of developing Cylons to look like humans was to infiltrate - once their face is known why not just scrap the model - it is effectively no longer fit for purpose...

Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!