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Old August 7 2011, 04:17 AM   #78
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

^If by consistency, I mean "lack of hypocrisy"--and I do--of course!

If you don't practice what you preach--it means that, subconciously (at the very least), you don't take what you preach seriously.

As for the rest of your refutation--I think the central element of our disagreement comes from this:

No, institutional practices create the foundations for cultural problems. And institutional practices tend to reflect preexisting cultural mindsets -- it becomes a vicious circle.
Our disagreement is where the circular path begins. You think the foundations--and therefore, the solutions--for cultural problems are found in the institutions--I think it is other way around. As you yourself admit, here: "Iinstitutional practices tend to reflect preexisting cultural mindsets."

You could "fix" the institutions all you want--and do it beautifully--but if you fail to focus your concerns on the "cultural mindsets"...the society's problems will continue to simmer beneath the surface.

Then I really don't know what Federation you've been watching. I've been watching a Federation that reached out the hand of friendship to its mortal enemies when they were in need; that was willing to admit that the foundation of its society, warp drive, was destroying space-time and to work to fix it; that has institutionally banned racism and discrimination, even when it would be easy to discriminate. The Federation looks to me like a much more self-reflective, self-correcting culture than any that exists today.

Again, nonsense. If Federation institutions were that inflexible, the Khitomer Accords would never have happened; the Federation wouldn't have sent the Enterprise to try to negotiate lasting peace with the Romulans in NEM; Federation Admirals wouldn't have refused to drink to the deaths on Cardassia at the end of the Dominion War; the Federation Council wouldn't have been willing to admit Kirk's saving the Earth in ST4 as mitigating circumstances in his trial. The Federation is extremely flexible as an institution.

I think you're misunderstanding what I was saying. When I asserted that the institutions of the Federation fail to take a hard look at the problems of society--I am referring to its look at internal bigotry. After all--it failed to anticipate Cartwright's conspiracy to destroy the peace talks--and it failed to anticipate the consequences of the treaties with the Cardassians.

Actually, if anything, the Federation's willingness to hand over so many worlds to the Cardassians is stronger evidence of their lack of bigotry. The Federation Council was so eager to make peace with the Cardassians that they didn't pause and consider that people on the periphery of the Federation were much more likely to experience anti-Cardassian bigotry, and thus engage in anti-Cardassian violence, than the average Federate. That's stronger evidence that personal bigotry within the UFP is relatively rare.
Actually, that is evidence of my own point--that the Federation has a tendency to naively blind itself to the mindsets espoused by the less "pure" of its citizenry--and thus to underestimate the extent of such mindsets.

And we should also bear in mind that the Federation displayed enormous flexibility in its willingness to recognize the civilian government of Cardassia once it overthrew the military dictatorship, and then in its willingness to recognize the threat Cardassia posed once the Dominion took over. They're hardly a government incapable of reacting to changing circumstances, or of recognizing when they've gotten something wrong.

No, not incapable....

But I'm curious: has the Federation admitted to being wrong on the Maquis issue--which had arisen due to, not Cardassian politics--but the Federation's own arrogantly innocent misconceptions?
"The saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia.... 'Needs and abilities' are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to 'the State shall take, the State shall give'."
--David Mamet
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