17

In his first two appearances, Brunt is the antagonistic representative of the Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA). The first few times we see him:

  • He investigates Quark's mother for doing business & earning profit.
  • He investigates Quark's bar and the 'rumors' of the worker strike and unionisation.

Although his demeanour could be considered stuck up/deliberately antagonistic, in these cases he's really just doing his job as an agent of the FCA.

But then the next time we see him, he's deliberately going out of his way to destroy Quark: he takes great pleasure in shutting him down - revoking his business license for breaking a contract to buy Quark's remains, which he had planned to desecrate... for some reason.

Memory Alpha's description on Brunt only had this to say:

After these two encounters with Quark, Brunt grew to hate him.

Why does Brunt despise Quark? I mean, he's a slimy businessman sure, but why the open hatred? Why is disgracing Quark's remains worth 500 bars of latinum to him? Is it only because he's managed to wriggle out of the FCA's grasp more than once or is there something else going on?

  • I always thought it was primarily his mother's continuing "bad" behavior for a Ferengi female (she also wore clothes in defiance of Ferengi cultural norm), but also being the one who keeps getting away. – Anthony X Feb 6 '17 at 4:35
  • @AnthonyX - Yeah that's kind of what I meant when I said "he's just doing his job" - as in he had to investigate Quark, but I wasn't sure why Quark angered him so much - surely this isn't the first Ferengi that's shirked the line in the search for profit! – Robotnik Feb 6 '17 at 4:45
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    I don't know, but the character is annoying. – Ham Sandwich Feb 6 '17 at 8:43
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    Lobe size disparity. – Organic Marble Feb 6 '17 at 23:21
28

Brunt himself answers this question explicitly in "Body Parts" (emphasis mine):

Brunt: Nothing you've ever done to me has been more than a minor inconvenience. No. Protecting your mother from an FCA audit, and secretly settling with your striking employees were nothing more than symptoms of a vile and insidious weakness. A weakness that makes me loathe you, not for what you've done but for who you are, what you are.

Quark: A bartender?

Brunt: A philanthropist. [...] You've gone Starfleet. You might as well be wearing one of their uniforms. It's people like you that give honest Ferengi businessmen a bad name.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4 Episode 25: "Body Parts"

It's not merely that Quark is a bad businessman: his relative generosity (a later line reveals that Quark gives his employees vacation time, of all things) is an affront to Brunt's traditionalist Ferengi values. His very existence is insulting to Brunt's deeply-held beliefs.

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    Ahh, ok. It's been a while since I watched that episode, I just watched the one where the Grand Nagus and Moogie were together, and was wondering why Brunt was so vindictive. So he's kind of a 'hard-conservative', upholding what he perceives to be "Ferengi values"? – Robotnik Feb 6 '17 at 4:41
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    My impression was that Brunt's views were relatively normal by Ferengi standards and it was Quark/Rom/Moogie who were considered unusual, in part because Quark and Rom have been living on DS9 for so long. On the other hand, the Grand Nagus managed to introduce some very non-traditional policies at the end of the series, so Brunt may care about those views more than most Ferengi. – Ixrec Feb 6 '17 at 9:40
  • But wouldn't the Ferengi who increases their long-term profit by giving their employees vacation time be the most Ferengi of all? – JAB Feb 6 '17 at 15:28
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    @JAB - It's not just Profit. Ferengi also uphold Greed. ROA #10 "Greed is eternal", also remember ROA #211 "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." Brunt isn't considering long-term profit, that's not the point to most Ferengi. It's not a ROA, but Quark has an illuminating quote in Little Green Men: "The speed of technological advancement isn't nearly as important as short-term quarterly gains." Brunt is a traditional Ferengi, and they aren't shown as have good long-term planning skills. – ench Feb 6 '17 at 16:34
  • @Robotnik Keep in mind also that the Nagus changed a lot because of Moogie's influence – Izkata Feb 7 '17 at 4:26

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