Quote of the Day: Your Enemy’s Enemy Edition

Was watching Babylon 5, when a quote came up. It reminded me of The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries | Schlock Mercenary

My favorite Babylon 5 villian, Psi Cop Alfred Bester (played by Walter Koenig, usually known for playing the character of Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek) gave the usual quote of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is from the Sanskrit treatise on Statecraft, Arthashastra.

I prefer the more pragmatic statement, from The Seventy Maxims.

29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.

Try not to get confused over the issue. One common goal, does not make an alliance.

And I love the fact that Commander Susan Ivanova (played by Claudia Christian) voices that position near the end of episode. (Season 3, episode 14, “Ship of Tears.”)

I’m never sure if Babylon 5 is great TV or not, even by the standards of the late 1980s. Given the fact that Star Trek: The Next Generation was sucking all the oxygen out of the universe, and that TV executives are clearly insane – they hated Star Trek when it was new, but since they had seen it before they believed in it – it is pretty amazing story-telling. That and the fact that it is more like something you would see produced on Netflix today, in that they didn’t hit reset at the end of every episode. I only like the 1st 4 seasons, because those seasons tell a unified story.