Paper Moon wrote:
My point: it woud not be surprising to me if most of these conflicts had very few reverberations throughout the majority of the Federation, and might present a distorted view of the level of conflict present in Federation history. On the other hand, when you're in proximity to these conflicts, either spatially or temporally, they're big deals.
It's a fair argument to make that a war may not end up being large enough to affect the entire Federation given its vast size. But:
1. A war that isn't "relatively" large enough to affect the entire Federation may still end up being huge in absolute numbers. You may have a war that lasts for years and years and encompasses four or five sectors of space without affecting most of the Federation -- but that war may end up with hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of victims.
In a way, we're even familiar with analogous situations. Obviously the Federation is one unified sovereign state and the planet in real life is a collection of sovereign states, but you might compare it to, say, the Second Congo War
, which lasted five years and killed almost five and a half million people, but which barely affected anyone in Europe or North America. So clearly the idea that a war can be huge and kill millions yet not affect those who aren't close to it is one with which we're familiar.
2. But even so -- you're kind of missing my point in the post you quote. My point was not to say that those conflicts were Dominion War-level events. (Indeed, my first post in this thread identifies the Borg Invasion and Dominion War as outliers in the history of large interstellar conflicts.) My point in the post you quote was to argue that the conflicts the novels tend to depict (with the exception of the Borg Invasion, naturally) are roughly analogous in size and impact to the conflicts TNG and DSN depicted the UFP as having fought canonically, and that thus if the canon and the novels both depict a serious of similarly-sized conflicts, it is unfair to say that one is necessarily more optimistic and one is necessarily more pessimistic. In particular, it was my intent to illustrate that the novels are not
darker than the canon (and it was not my intent to say that the canon is actually dark); a body of work can depict dark events but still be optimistic.