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Old August 5 2011, 01:52 AM   #4
Sci
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

MrBorg wrote: View Post
[rant]
The Federation is corrupt. It needs to be destroyed, and started over again. This time without that Prime Directive bullcrap, without their holier-than-thou attitude, and with a little less pacifism.

[/rant]
You know, I think the Federation is flawed. I agree that it tends to turn a blind eye in the name of not interfering with other cultures' internal affairs, I agree that it's arrogant about its value system, and I agree that one of its goals is to persuade that other cultures should join it.

But to sit there and say that that makes the Federation unworthy of existence?

Please. That's being worse than the Federation itself has ever been.

No culture is perfect; every culture is going to have flaws, some big and some small. It's just part of life.

When we look at the United Federation of Planets, we're looking at a fictional society that is of interstellar scope, yet has universal personal liberty and self-determination; in which there is either no class system or a very weak class system; in which there is no poverty; in which nobody is hungry; in which nobody wants for basic necessities of life; in which civilization and the natural environment co-exist in harmony; in which there is freedom of speech and of the press; in which there is no racism, nor, apparently, speciesism; in which there is no religious bigotry or religious domination; in which diversity is a valued principle, and homogeneity is not seen as superior; in which there is no caste-based discrimination; in which there is an incredibly strong democratic tradition; in which the right of the individual to protection from self-incrimination is venerated; in which there are no giant corporations to dominate the government and subvert democracy; in which there are, however, privately-owned businesses with genuine equality of opportunity; in which people who stand accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty; in which the accused are entitled to a trial by jury of their peers on indictment from a grand jury; in which those found guilty are afforded rehabilitative care rather than the systematic torture we find in most developed countries today; in which local governments have much more forms of guaranteed autonomy than we often find in modern federations; in which the commitment to egalitarian foreign policy is so strong that it bends over backwards to avoid any tendencies towards imperialism.

Does the Federation have major flaws? Of course. All societies do. But the vast majority things that most cultures today get wrong, the Federation gets right -- while not giving up the things we get right today. To say that its flaws, which are modest in comparison to those suffered by the United States and its allies today, mark him as fundamentally corrupt, is just disgusting.

Meanwhile, on the astropolitical scene, it's surrounded by a feudal dictatorship (the Klingon Empire), a aristocratic oligarchy (the Romulan Star Empire), a plutocracy (the Ferengi Alliance), and a military dictatorship (the Cardassian Union). It is clearly superior to its neighbors if someone values liberty, democracy, equality, and justice.

By any reasonable standard, the Federation is a wonderful, amazing society that manages to find a much better balance between personal freedom and egalitarianism than societies in real life do. Does it have flaws? Sure. There will be no society without flaws. But it's a damn sight better than anything that's ever existed in real life, and a damn sight better than its fictional alternatives. I would love to live in a society as free and egalitarian and just as the United Federation of Planets.
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