So after the Federation becomes this happy-perfect place, what then? Utopia is boring. Utopia leads to stagnation. How many times was that point made in TOS?
I think you have totally misinterpreted the point made in TOS. NONE of those societies were true Utopias. They were fictional, often computer controlled [and imposed] prisons under the guise of Utopia. The Federation is nothing like that and I think you should perhaps rewatch a few of those episodes.
A true Utopia would not lead to stagnation. Hypothetically, with everyone able to pursue their own interests and better themselves unmolested, the potential for improvement and advancement is limitless.
Thank you; I don't need to rewatch them. I've seen them many times over the decades, I've read the Blish adaptations, and other articles and stories that explore those situations and themes.
WE don't see the Landru society as a utopia, but the people who live there do. Same as the people of Vaal; to them, everything is perfect. To us, it's stagnation.
Utopia implies a state of perfection. Kirk makes several speeches throughout the series where he points out that humans are not meant for this state of being; we need challenges.
As for the Federation being this wonderful, perfect society where everyone is happy and able to fulfill their highest potential... BS. Really. How many times did we see or hear of Federation planets (or portions of the society on some of these worlds) where things are not
this happy, fulfilled existence?
Earth in the 24th century seems idyllic, but how long can such a society be sustained? Sooner or later, everything
changes. The Federation may last for many centuries or even millennia, but it won't last forever. Nothing will.
Even if you have watched them a million times: I think you are completely misinterpreting Kirk's point, as CorporalCaptain
also seems to realize.
Those societies were not Utopia's. They were artificial prisons designed to keep the population 'fixed': the people merely carrying out their own little roles with no independent thought. That's not a Utopia, it is an artificial prison and Kirk highlighted that and the stagnation it brings.
The Federation is nothing like that. To imply the Federation does not allow people to fulfill their potential is simply ludicrous. Of course some Federation worlds are not exponentially happy: the reality is some outer worlds will require work to bring them up to the standards of Andor, Earth, Vulcan, Betazed etc.
This however, is not forced. You want to colonize a newly terraformed 'blank-slate'? Fine. The Federation lets you. It would also let you leave it and go live on Earth and enjoy lazy days on Hawaii. It is obscenely cinical to criticize the Federation for not being 'perfect'. It gives you AMPLE opportunity to do as you wish.
owever, I don't agree with this. For example, although, in the post-TNG time frame, DS9 depicted the Romulans cooperating with the Federation for the limited objective of defeating the Dominion, there was never any indication anywhere within canon continuity that the Romulan Empire would be absorbed by the Federation. Ditto even for the Klingon Empire. On the contrary, the only indications were that they would remain separate, even if allied, entities.
I'm thinking on a much broader scale though. Indoctrination, propaganda and war has helped the Klingons & Romulans 'hate' the Federation however we HAVE seen Federation-sympathizers from both sides. Do you really think century after century will pass, where the Federation gets stronger, its influence spreads and all throughout the quadrants it is referred to as a super-liberal, free, non-oppressive state, and heads wont begin to turn towards it?
Eventually revolution can happen. Empires can crumble. I cant see any other eventuality than every other race eventually turning to the Federation. The ideals of the Federation are universal. Even aliens dont want to be oppressed, told what to do, killed by their governments etc.
I really cant see anything else than Romulan colony worlds, Cardassian & Klingon conquered species....all looking at the far greener grass of the Federation and simply biding their time to jump ship. How many Shinzon incidents [to name but one of dozens] can the Romulan populace tolerate [we never really see the average Romulan civilian, however we have seen multiple officers tired of the Empires warlike tendancies] before the start to demand greater freedoms? Greater Liberties? Greater rights?
It may not happen in the 24th or 25th centuries....but it is inevitable. And, again I will state, I think it is an underlying theme of the franchise, that the Obsidian Order's and Tal Shiar's all know of this.
Quark once made a point about the Federation and root beer which I think perfectly sums up my point....