Go Back   Star Trek Online > Information and Discussion > Ten Forward
Login

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
02-16-2010, 06:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
Uh....no, you're not. The Federation is still a recogniseable government, you can kind of spot by the name. It's a federation. In fact, out of all the governments on Earth....it's most like the United States, except the members have a legal right to leave.

While the Federation has a lot of freedoms and you have a lot more thanks to replication technology and efficient energy generation, it's still not minimally governed to the point that there's no such thing as power there. *LOL* In fact, a lot of the more ruthless aliens they've worked with are more than happy to complain about the amount of rules and regulations the Federation imposes!
Very good point, and I guess that post kinda got away from me a bit in the end... But the power being used in the Federation is being applied for the greater good, despite what the ruthless aliens may think. If anything, the more ruthless species could be compared to the typical modern-day politician: only wanting power to enhance the standing of themselves and those few they care for, while the rest of the world rots.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
02-16-2010, 06:40 AM
I really don't think the author has any clue as to how the Federation works. It has adopted the Symbol of the United Nations but instead of Earth it uses the stars. This is my understanding of how the Federation functions as an entity. Please feel free to correct me or contribute further.

The Federation is made up of 150 planets all contributing to one overall entity for mutual benefit

I imagine that its setup is similar to the European Union we currently have. (Interestingly, Federal in European terms means Government that is not centralized)All planets agree to a charter where they guarantee rights to all citizens including civil rights, trade rights, protection, freedom of movement, freedom of expression and probably more. As all planets and species have their own culture they are free to govern themselves as they please as long as they adhere to the Federation Charter.

Earth is the capital of the Federation and Starfleet is the main military force. This role was adopted by the humans as they were the newest (and some may say most naive of the space faring speicies) and were also pretty neutral. As talented negotiators and warriors they were able to gain the respect of all species and as they were heavily involved in bringing the Federation into existence it makes perfect sense that they are at it's heart. At no point though is it explained where the Federation's administration takes place. This can be done at local or at a central level or a mix of both.

As with the European System, member states contribute resources into a collective pool and they are used to further common goals. The EU is currently trying to organise a single currency, single foreign policy, single economic policy and a unified military force. The Federation probably has similar system allowing member worlds to contribute what they can without paralysing themselves.

Other roles are filled by other species. The Vulcan Science Academy seems to be the focal point of alot of Federation research. Star Trek: Birth of The Federation had different species performing different research. Andorians focusing on weapons, humans on computing, etc. I am unaware if this is canon or not but it seems that member planets have put aside one-upmanship (sp?) and are focusing on a common purpose.

As someone has already said The Federation is highly advanced. Capable of replicating or obtaining any resource it requires. Populations no longer want for anything and welfare isnt an issue as energy, food, water, housing are infinite. This allows people to focus on bettering themselves and the rest of humanity(pretty sure thats a Picard quote).

With regards to membership in Starfleet, it does seem to show humans are massively involved. But this is in only what we have seen, Star Trek Online has shown that alot of Admirals are alien. T'Nae is Vulcan and Quinn is Trill (either that or he has really bad liver spots). Maybe not all species are interested in flying around in space? Human's have always yearned to learn and explore. Maybe some prefer learning from the comfort of their own home. Maybe there are all Vulcan ships? All Andorian? This has been mentioned before.

Anyway I am rambling...Im not in anyway educated on this topic....just my observation. And I dont lean left or right! Any other input would be greatly appreciated as I'd like to see other interpretations of the Federation.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
02-16-2010, 06:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daevan
Very good point, and I guess that post kinda got away from me a bit in the end... But the power being used in the Federation is being applied for the greater good, despite what the ruthless aliens may think. If anything, the more ruthless species could be compared to the typical modern-day politician: only wanting power to enhance the standing of themselves and those few they care for, while the rest of the world rots.
Ah, but you see, saying something is 'for the greater good' is entirely subjective, and a slippery slope. I may consider a police state to be for the greater good. Do you? When you saw Insurrection, did you think it was ok to hurl a species off their own planet because the greater state of the Federation wanted to plunder the unique resources there?

And while you point out the lack of merit in enhancing personal standing of the self and those you care about....that's the Federation writ large. That is what those ruthless aliens you're quick to denegrate are seeing. You say the greater good.....but you mean the Federation good.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
02-16-2010, 06:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
Ah, but you see, saying something is 'for the greater good' is entirely subjective, and a slippery slope. I may consider a police state to be for the greater good. Do you? When you saw Insurrection, did you think it was ok to hurl a species off their own planet because the greater state of the Federation wanted to plunder the unique resources there?

And while you point out the lack of merit in enhancing personal standing of the self and those you care about....that's the Federation writ large. That is what those ruthless aliens you're quick to denegrate are seeing. You say the greater good.....but you mean the Federation good.
The simplest, purest and most logical definition of evil is 'that which causes the greatest amount of harm to the greatest amount of innocent people'. Good may be subjective, but harm most certainly is not. Murder, theft, oppression, the lack of personal freedoms- all these things are harmful, wouldn't you agree?

Taking your Insurrection example, no, I wouldn't consider that alright. I would also consider it slightly out-of-character for the Federation. But how often do examples like that truly come up? How often do you see senseless murder, theft and oppression being performed by the Federation?

There's a difference between defending yourself and your ideals and imposing them. The Federation seems to lean more on the 'defending' side, at least the majority of the time. As for the ruthless aliens fighting against the 'Federation' good? Can you honestly say the majority of Federation citizens- and the galaxy- would be better off under Klingon rule? How about the Romulans? The Ferengi?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
02-16-2010, 07:09 AM
Those who know good and evil lose the ability to be naked.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
02-16-2010, 08:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
Ah, but you see, saying something is 'for the greater good' is entirely subjective, and a slippery slope. I may consider a police state to be for the greater good. Do you? When you saw Insurrection, did you think it was ok to hurl a species off their own planet because the greater state of the Federation wanted to plunder the unique resources there?

And while you point out the lack of merit in enhancing personal standing of the self and those you care about....that's the Federation writ large. That is what those ruthless aliens you're quick to denegrate are seeing. You say the greater good.....but you mean the Federation good.
I think the difference is how the Federation applies their version of the greater good. Insurrection was the exception rather than the rule, and was sufficiently against Federation ideals that one of the most respected ships in the fleet essentially went AWOL to stop it. Most of the time, everyone works towards the greater good of the Federation, and will offer to share some of their bounty with non-federation members in times of need, but if someone doesn't want to join the Federation and isn't aggressive towards the Federation, they're quite happy to leave those people alone.

A perfect example is Bajor. During the Dominion war, having Bajor on side as a Federation world would have been a major boon towards defending the Wormhole. But Bajor said they didn't want to join the Federation. So starfleet just accepted their descision and carried on with what they had. (DS9 had, I believe, been given to the Federation by the Bajorans earlier, so it was already a Federation facility, and the bajoran descision didn't affect it)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
02-16-2010, 08:38 AM
removed by me
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
02-16-2010, 08:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceFork
This post has been edited to remove content which violates the Cryptic Studios Forum Usage Guidelines ~Dionaea.
Typical "progressive" liberal response; insult the person when you cannot produce a logical argument to the idea. (Keep in mind, I am in no way a Neo-Con either. Both ends of the spectrum are busted.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
02-16-2010, 09:43 AM
Well, I'm glad to see we got some good posts in.

Quote:
Why would anyone bring a link to that insulting, biased piece of political fodder, that was written by someone who obviously has seen a total of one episode,
Because its about Star Trek.

Quote:
My political views more or less do not care about this discrepancy, because I have the mental fortitude to realize that it's really just a budget constraint thing with TV programming that most aliens look only marginally different than humans, and to shrug it off.
Fair enough, but I didn't post the article to determine whether or not anyone agreed with the author. Rather I wanted to see the unique ways in which people think of Star Trek.

Quote:
Economic debate between socialism and capitalism arises because of one reason: resources are limited. Current society is built around that concept. If that concept is changed and resources are made near infinite, then the economic regulations, tax codes, currency systems, and squabbles over resources become meaningless. Poverty is eliminated, everyone's needs are fulfilled, and the so called class struggle becomes a thing of the past.
I would disagree with this sentiment, though I think its conclusions are reasonable. Theoretically the removal of scarcity would produce the result you suggest, but there is more to the equation that just the scarcity of resources. Consider the fact that the sum of total of global agricultural output is - today - sufficient to feed every man, woman, and child on the planet Earth. Though we have the capacity and resources to feed everyone, millions still die of starvation every year. Much of the socialist critique of our system is rooted precisely it Capitalism's capacity to hoard resources that abundant. If tomorrow we invented replicators, then the next day they would be patented and used by a handful of corporations for their own aims. Nothing about the invention of replicator technology necessitates the free and universal public use of it.
Quote:
But all the other claims about the Main characters role or view of him as well as who the Na'avi actually are sposed to be other than a 10 foot tall blue alien who is in tune with Nature through a Telekenetic process are getting a really stretched.
Authors, film makers, and artists have been using symbolism and fantasy to comment on things in an indirect manner since time immemorial. Hell, The Undiscovered Country was about the Soviet Union and its collapse. While its true that some of the reviews of Avatar have been hokey, I don't think its fair to write off the possibility that Avatar has some meaning to it - which is why it is shaking things up so significantly. If we deny the existence of greater meanings in some works of art the ultimately we are denying ourselves a richer and more impressive view of the art we take in.

Quote:
The thing is that well ultimately in the end, through our civilization our hopeful outcome to our planet is to eventually evolve into a Utopian society.
I want to touch base on this real quick. The word "utopia" seems to come into play alot here. Are the ideals and ways of the Federation REALLY your definition of "perfection"? I only ask because it seems as though that today, any change to our system seems to be described as "Utopian" in its aims.

Quote:
The majority of the people we've seen in the Federation, both in starfleet and out of it, have contributed to society. They have been scientsts, politicians, beuracrats (and not always in the bad way), diplomats, chefs, journalists, etc. When was the last time you saw an unemployed Federation citizen? On top of that the Federation realizes that artists, poets, writters and their ilk are actually contributing to society.

If anything the Federation's greatest achievement is that people can do what they want, and no one looks down
So far this is the only aspect of Star Trek that seems Socialist to me. Socialism is about the removal of all classes with the exception of the working class. This means building a world where everyone works and the work itself is is self rewarding. Its about emphasizing the contribution we bring to the world rather than emphasizing the generation of goods. The formal organization of the Federation seems very unsocialist in my eyes, but this aspect seems spot on.
Quote:
Roddenberry and Co.'s point, I think, is that we can do that... but we're not ready for it.
For around 99% of the existence of the human species (read: the Paleolithic era) humanity existed in purely democratic, egalitarian cultures where modern conceptions of individualism and ownership were entirely alien. Considering this, the "realities" of the human condition as we see it - war, greed, class division - are a new and bizarre twist in the story of Humanity. I am not sure we are "not ready for it". Surely there is a demand for a world like Star Trek, the question we should ask ourselves are: what are the obstacles to that world and what is holding us back to this one? I think an honest answer to those questions will take us much further than we imagined to be possible.

Quote:
They're talking about the United States version which I find abhorrently stupid. Being a big ol' fan of government centralisation and effective authority does not mean I give the slightest damn about religious values or that I don't rather like universal healthcare and social support. It means I feel that civilisation itself is a wonderous thing that allows us all to live in exceptional comfort and happiness over the alternative to civilisation, which is scratching out a subsistence life of hunting and gathering before dying of dysentry at 30
The division between the Left and the Right is determined by one's belief in Collectivism v. Individualism. The division between Authoritarianism and Libertarianism is determined by one's belief in relative truth/morality v. universal truth/morality. While its true that you may not care about religion or social welfare, this doesn't mean that the fundamental aspects of the flack conservatives receive isn't applicable to you. You have a particular view of what constitutes Civilization, as do your American counterparts. Both of you believe in an allegiance to that civilization and therefore elements which question that allegiance are necessarily your mutual problem to some extent.
Quote:
Or maybe they're terrified because they don't see a place for themselves in such a world.
I do believe this is key. The fundamental assertion of the Star Trek world is that science, cooperation, and multiculturalism will bring us into a wonderful future. This are conceptions which many people spend their whole lives opposed to. While your point about power is a good one, I think a distinction needs to be made between the ruling class and people like the author. The author is just like you or mean, helpless to the forces that control and shape our world. While he no doubt has a fear of a phantom "Liberal Elite" the fact of the matter is that he considers the basics of our society to be good - Capitalism, Liberal Democracy, Constitutionalism. In a world where these things are not seen as THE reason we progress, what relevancy could a man who has built a life around espousing their superiority have? Conservatives very much fear change, but this man's fear is not rooted in a loss of power but rather orientation. His beliefs will be called into questions, he may have to admit that all along he really has been a roadblock to change. I think all of us might respond in a similar, denialist manner if we faced the same problem.
Quote:
it's most like the United States, except the members have a legal right to leave.
What is your basis for that conclusion?

Quote:
The simplest, purest and most logical definition of evil is 'that which causes the greatest amount of harm to the greatest amount of innocent people'.
But that is the essence of the previous posters point and the movie. If we relocate one group of people and give the blind a chance to see, the sick a chance to be healthy, the dying to live - is that not putting the "needs of the many before the desires of the few" Or conversely, what is the greater harm - denying millions of wartorn people to suffer and die or moving a small community"?
Quote:
Can you honestly say the majority of Federation citizen
I can say that the show has an obvious point which has been used to construct two dimensional opponents to demonstrate the benevolence and moral superiority of the author's ideal world. How many positives of opposing factions are we shown? I can think of only one or two instances. The scenario is biased in favor of your perspective but I will point out that "we're better than everyone else" doesn't necessarily mean "we're good".
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
02-16-2010, 09:53 AM
Imagine that someone found a suit you could put on that, in wearing it, you'd never want for food, never need worry about other clothes, and would feel perfectly comfortable in any kind of weather. Further, imagine that you could push a button on the suit and it would instantly replicate itself so that you could give it to others and they could have the same boon and pass it on as well.

Would the distribution of this boon be a conservative or a socialistic act? Either, both, something to a greater or lesser degree?

Who would be the enemy of such a move? Would it matter what we called him?

I think of Star Trek as the place where people found the suit.

If everybody on the planet had essentially "F*** You Money" along with a sufficiently elevated consciousness as to the effect of their own actions, then it could change the world.

The sadness is that such a suit would probably have to come with an impenetrable shield as well.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:34 AM.