Ensign
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 16
I can't quite put my finger on it...

The only Alpha and Beta quadrant factions technically capable of destroying Starfleet & United Federation of Planets are all described or portrayed as 'antagonists' or 'bad guys' by canon, Wikipedia, Memory Alpha and trekkie sources in general.

Most other factions, besides Starfleet & UFP, which are described as the 'good guys', are typically portrayed as weak and helpless, waiting to get absorbed into the hegemony and lose their sovereignty.

Someone in another thread mentioned that losing your sovereignty is the 'least bad' of all the options, supposedly because you are at the mercy of all the 'bad guys' out to get you.

Most, if not all, of these so called 'bad guy' warp-capable factions existed before Starfleet & UFP. Why haven't they fully conquered the Alpha and Beta quadrants by now? Take a look at the galaxy map: notice how much blue there is compared to the rest of the colors. Something is off...

The Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites would not be able to stop these factions by themselves. And even if they or anyone else could, why aren't all the 'good guys' joining their factions instead? Starfleet and Federation were founded in San Francisco...

I've seen statements like this: What you should be asking is why you shouldn't join Starfleet & Federation, not why you should!. Many websites have almost an evil cult like euphoria when speaking of Starfleet and Federation. To quote Dr. McCoy from ST5: Sounds like brainwashing to me!

A few who suspect that something is off are usually reluctant to speak about it in fear of persecution.

Starfleet won't let us talk about that...

Why is that?

Starfleet says that all other factions except Starfleet are bad, and we shouldn't talk to them. If we do, we'll be put in ... the patch. It's a bad bad place...


(Paraphrased from "Sanitarium")

Something is very off...
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,060
# 2
07-02-2013, 07:35 AM
The Federation is basically the Myth of America in space. While the real America does some incredibly evil things in order to force open markets for it's corporations like all good empires have in the past, mythical America does all of this by being really awesome and cool.

The Federation expands it's territory by being really awesome and cool. And within the context of the universe they ARE awesome and cool. Which is why they needed to invent Section 31 and the occasional corrupt admiral: It presents what is normal for governments as something only rogue elements do. It certainly isn't the Federation proper, because they're awesome and cool.

It's basically cultural delusion legitimized through fiction.
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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,630
# 3
07-02-2013, 07:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by krulltek View Post
I can't quite put my finger on it...

The only Alpha and Beta quadrant factions technically capable of destroying Starfleet & United Federation of Planets are all described or portrayed as 'antagonists' or 'bad guys' by canon, Wikipedia, Memory Alpha and trekkie sources in general.
This is not true. The First Federation, for example. The Sheliak were not antagonists, the Federation had barely heard from them since signing the treaty, and really Picard was closer to being the bad guy there, threatening to use force to defend a colony which was illegal under their treaty.


Quote:
Most other factions, besides Starfleet & UFP, which are described as the 'good guys', are typically portrayed as weak and helpless, waiting to get absorbed into the hegemony and lose their sovereignty.

Someone in another thread mentioned that losing your sovereignty is the 'least bad' of all the options, supposedly because you are at the mercy of all the 'bad guys' out to get you.
Members of the Federation don't appear to lose a great deal of sovereignty. There are some laws forced on the entire Federation, but the shows have given some interesting glimpses into what isn't forced on them. Several Federation member worlds are shown to use money, at least one has some form of nobility (possibly titles only like most remaining European nobilities), Bajor's close linking of church and state was not even addressed when it almost joined the Federation before the Dominion War, during the war several planetary militaries belonging to member worlds were mentioned, and while Bajor's militia was going to be incorporated into the Starfleet command structure, it was still going to exist. Possibly most interesting even the founding members have their own ambassadors between one another and to/from the Federation government itself, and member worlds even had the right to ask Starfleet to leave.



Quote:
Most, if not all, of these so called 'bad guy' warp-capable factions existed before Starfleet & UFP. Why haven't they fully conquered the Alpha and Beta quadrants by now? Take a look at the galaxy map: notice how much blue there is compared to the rest of the colors. Something is off...

The Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites would not be able to stop these factions by themselves. And even if they or anyone else could, why aren't all the 'good guys' joining their factions instead? Starfleet and Federation were founded in San Francisco...
The major difference between the Federation and most of its antagonists is population. All of those antagonists are dominated by a single species - they alone take part in government, military expansion, defense, garrisoning occupied worlds, etc, with other species being limited to labor. This puts strict limits on their power which the Federation does not share. It limits expansion, as each new conquest diminishes military force slightly to establish a garrison. It limits the size of your military to what you can recruit from a single population. And so on.

The Federation started with five species, at least three of which had some degree of interstellar expansion and a military fleet, and grew to hundreds - all of whom take part in government and military. During the Earth-Romulan war, none of the alliance members could likely have resisted the Romulans alone, but their combined forces and manpower exceeded the Romulans'. New additions increase potential military power by adding new recruitment opportunities, rather than diminishing it.

There's also no small amount of the standard sci fi human technological supremacy trope. Star Trek isn't the only universe where the galaxy seems to be in slow motion with humans just blowing by with rapid technological development. It's not even the worst, Enterprise largely showed humans getting kicked around the quadrant by hopelessly superior forces. Compare to Mass Effect, where humans opened their mass relay and almost immediately encountered the Turians, the backbone of the Citadel Fleet for over a thousand years with a military that outmatches five to one almost any other in the galaxy. Which they then fought to a stalemate, without allies, before whining their way to a level of power than most species needed thousands of years to achieve.

It's not that bad in Star Trek, but still, from the 22nd to 23rd Century we see the Federation go from being the galacitc backwater to being fairly on par with most major threats. By the mid 24th Century we see them outmatching anyone except the Romulans, Borg, and Dominion, and by the end of Voyager we see them pretty solidly outclassing the Romulans, and by the 26th Century they appear to be the ultimate galactic superpower and only seriously threatened by a new extragalactic arrival.


Quote:
I've seen statements like this: What you should be asking is why you shouldn't join Starfleet & Federation, not why you should!. Many websites have almost an evil cult like euphoria when speaking of Starfleet and Federation. To quote Dr. McCoy from ST5: Sounds like brainwashing to me!
Now THIS is actually a really good point. There is a lot of cultist mentality with the Federation slogans (Starfleet is not a military, we don't need money, we work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity, etc). There were cracks in all of them, of course, but also the occasional glimpse into just how little the people saying the slogans understood them. For example, from In the Cards:

"We don't need money, we're not obsessed with material possessions. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." (every level of this episode's plot is about humans seeking material possessions).
"And what does that MEAN, exactly?"
"Well... uh... it means... I guess... It... It means we don't need money!"
"Well if you don't need money, you certainly don't need MY money."

Last edited by hevach; 07-02-2013 at 07:56 AM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
# 4
07-02-2013, 10:32 AM
Agree with the post above - it seems that the UFP is meant to be more of the UN in space, rather than the USA.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 367
# 5
07-02-2013, 10:41 AM
UFP is good, bow to UFP
2010 is my join date.

Last edited by zarxidejacko; 07-02-2013 at 11:19 AM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 14,317
# 6
07-03-2013, 01:33 PM
My thoughts on the rapid advancement of federation science is are that it's semi-inevitable.

You have hundreds of worlds with equally diverse approaches to solving problems. if you can get the people to cooperate, then you can solve problems that would otherwise take decades.
HAIL HYDRA!

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Commander
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 257
# 7
07-03-2013, 03:02 PM
Let's just say WW2 had some impact Gene Roddenberry during his service career. The Federation is more of a romanticized UN in space than a USA, I agree. Remember the times. WW2 left people with hopes for a future where we could all work together without such horrible conflicts and the UN represented an attempt to make that happen. People invested their faith in it for a time as an ideal and you see how that affected his futuristic sci fi writing. Like any TV show produced around the world it is strongly influenced by the principles of the viewing audience its aimed at in the local market. It is an American TV show. So it is of little surprise how Trek seems American to global viewers just like Doctor Who is so strongly UK. I am not sure why that would ever be a bone of contention.
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