Uplifting primitives? Bah. Where’s the profit in that? Selling them our obsolete technology however…

stellaris 8 - Uplifting primitives? Bah. Where's the profit in that? Selling them our obsolete technology however...

I recently re-watched the DS9 episode "Little Green Men". For those unfamiliar with it, a trio of Ferengi (Ruthless Capitalists to the extreme.) End up on earth during the cold war and are very eager to sell their technology to the Americans. Excerpt as follows.

QUARK: My name is Quark, Chief Financial Officer of the Ferengi Alliance. And I've got a business proposition for you.

(Denning is peering into Quark's ear.)
DENNING: I don't see any universal translator.
QUARK: Trust me, it's in there.
DENNING: So this gadget of yours is what makes it possible for us to understand each other? How's it work?
QUARK: It's simple, if you know how. You'd be surprised at the kind of things you can do with the right technology. Which brings me to why I'm here.
DENNING: I was wondering about that.
QUARK: I've been sent by my people to open up a market for advanced Ferengi technology.
DENNING: What kind of technology you talking about?
QUARK: How would you like to travel beyond the stars at speeds you never even dreamt were possible? Or to transport yourselves from one place to another in the blink of an eye?
DENNING: You know how to do that?
QUARK: That's only the beginning. We can give you the medical knowledge to cure your deadliest diseases. We have machines that can produce food and clothing out of thin air.
DENNING: What about weapons?
QUARK: Weapons? If you want weapons, I'm the man to see. We can teach you to make phasers, disruptors, photon torpedoes or even quantum torpedoes. A little more expensive, but worth it.
DENNING: What do you want in return?
QUARK: That depends. What do you use for currency around here? Latinum? Dilithium?
DENNING: We use dollars.
QUARK: Dollars? Never heard of them. Don't you have any gemstones or precious minerals?
DENNING: You mean like gold?
QUARK: Gold? Gold is good.
DENNING: How much gold are we talking about?
QUARK: Seeing how we're going to be advancing your culture about four hundred years overnight, I'd say a couple of million bars would be about right as a good faith deposit.
DENNING: You know, Quark, you might be some kind of Martian
QUARK: Ferengi.
DENNING: Whatever. But the more we talk, the more you remind me of my brother-in-law.
QUARK: Is he a businessman?
DENNING: He's a car salesman, and not a very good one.
QUARK: Then he's nothing like me.
DENNING: The bottom line is, I don't trust him and I don't trust you. So before we sit down and sign any contracts, you are going to tell me just what the hell you people are really doing here.
QUARK: I just told you. We're here to open up trade negotiations. If you're not interested, just say so. I'm sure I can do business with one of your planet's other nation states.
DENNING: In other words, if we don't play ball, you're going to sell those advanced weapons of yours to the Russians.
QUARK: I'd rather it didn't come to that. To be honest, I'd much rather work with you Australians.
DENNING: Americans.
QUARK: Whatever. But if you won't do business with me, and the Russians will, who am I to say no?
DENNING: I'm not saying we can't do business, but I don't have the authority to make this kind of decision. I'll have to er, well, I'll have to get clearance from the President.
QUARK: I can wait. (coughs on the cigar smoke) In the meantime, let me give you some free advice, just to show I'm on your side. You people should take better care of yourselves. Stop poisoning your bodies with tobacco and atom bombs. Sooner or later, that kind of stuff will kill you.
DENNING: What do you know about atom bombs?
QUARK: My people have been watching your world for years. We know all about you. Baseball, root beer, darts, atom bombs. It's quite a fascinating culture you humans have here. And with a little Ferengi technology, it could be even better. Now, why don't you go talk to that president of yours?**

Read:  The Siege of Drifting Isle (story)

So, given that we have a mega-corporation expansion, I find it outrageous that we can't sell primitives advanced technology! Think of the possibilities. You get a reasonable chunk of minerals/energy credits/influence and/or trade value and in return their progress is rapidly accelerated in a distinctly non-benevolent way, unlike the uplifting process. They could suddenly annihilate themselves, one faction could take over or you could get events where you decide to sell weapons to all the 'nation states' for an increase in resources but they'll distrust you if they ever reach the point where they can become their own power. They could try to reverse engineer the tech, you might discover they're just a little more cunning than you realise, or if they're only in the bronze age you could end up with a bunch of techno-barbarians raiding their way across space. You could even try to set them up as debt-bonded serfs in exchange for your "benevolent" elevation of their society.

Anyway, I'm sure you can all see what I'm driving at; more capitalistic megacorp ways of interacting with primitives! What do you think?

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