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Old September 8 2008, 11:57 PM   #16
KRAD
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Somehow, I find it very, very hard that Earth's local space military could ever have accepted the name "UE Space Probe Agency". Militaries do not accept wussy, sissy, completely nonmilitary and nonpatriotic names like that. They just don't.
You had me right up until "unpatriotic." Okay, I'm lying, you didn't have me at all, but I can see the argument for wussy, sissy, and completely nonmilitary, but how exactly is UESPA -- the first words of which are the name of the nation to which it belongs, to wit, United Earth -- nonpatriotic?????
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Old September 9 2008, 01:44 AM   #17
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

KRAD wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Somehow, I find it very, very hard that Earth's local space military could ever have accepted the name "UE Space Probe Agency". Militaries do not accept wussy, sissy, completely nonmilitary and nonpatriotic names like that. They just don't.
You had me right up until "unpatriotic." Okay, I'm lying, you didn't have me at all, but I can see the argument for wussy, sissy, and completely nonmilitary, but how exactly is UESPA -- the first words of which are the name of the nation to which it belongs, to wit, United Earth -- nonpatriotic?????
Presumably in the same sense that the "National" in "National Aeronautics and Space Administration" is unpatriotic....?
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Old September 9 2008, 02:45 AM   #18
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

LutherSloan wrote: View Post
I'm not sure. From TOS onward, we no longer see any indication that the Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians had their own fleets, at least non-Earth style vessels. We know that the Vulcans had transport craft, but it generally doesn't seem to make much sense that each of these worlds would continue to build their own ships after the founding of the Federation. It makes more sense to have one singular Starfleet charged with exploration and defense of the various member worlds/systems.
I don't see how that makes sense, because the Federation is just that, a confederation of sovereign nations cooperating for mutual benefit and defense. It's not the United States writ large. It's more like the European Union (though not exactly, just relatively). If they still consider themselves sovereign nations, it stands to reason that they'd want to be responsible for their own defense and transportation capabilities as well as cooperating in mutual defense.

And we do have evidence of one all-Vulcan starship, the Intrepid. Fans have assumed for decades that it was one of the Constitution-class fleet, and there's behind-the-scenes material reinforcing that assumption, but the bottom line is, we never actually saw the ship. It could've been a Vulcan design. Also, there's the Vulcan-made shuttle and warp sled in TMP, although the shuttle portion conforms to familiar Starfleet designs.

I think there was some indication of Vulcan having its own capital ships in "Unification" or "Gambit" or some such episode. Once at a Trek museum exhibit, I saw a Rick Sternbach design drawing for a TNG-era Vulcan starship, something that had familiar Starfleet technology elements but a more Vulcan design overall. It was designed for one of those episodes, I think, but ultimately not shown.
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Old September 9 2008, 04:57 AM   #19
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post
LutherSloan wrote: View Post
I'm not sure. From TOS onward, we no longer see any indication that the Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians had their own fleets, at least non-Earth style vessels. We know that the Vulcans had transport craft, but it generally doesn't seem to make much sense that each of these worlds would continue to build their own ships after the founding of the Federation. It makes more sense to have one singular Starfleet charged with exploration and defense of the various member worlds/systems.
I don't see how that makes sense, because the Federation is just that, a confederation of sovereign nations cooperating for mutual benefit and defense.
Erm.... No. If it was, it would be called the "United Confederation of Planets." That it is called the "Federation" means it is exactly that -- a federal state.

The UFP displays all of the traits of a state, to boot. It has its own territory; it has a legislature capable of making Federation-wide law (eg, the Warp 5 speed limit from "Force of Nature"); it controls foreign policy towards non-Federation polities; it has a well-defined bureaucracy that's quite extensive; it holds a legal monopoly on the use of violence; its government is capable of instituting martial law on Member States' territory without needing to consult that Member State; it has its own military.

The United Federation of Planets is rather plainly a sovereign state in the same way that Canada or the United States or the Commonwealth of Australia are.

It's not the United States writ large. It's more like the European Union (though not exactly, just relatively).
Hmmm. Gonna have to disagree with you on that. The EU hasn't really taken its final form -- Europe's still going back and forth on EU statehood. But while the Federation's Member States may have more autonomy than US states, it's pretty clear that the Federation is a federal state in its own right, just like the US or Canada or Australia.

All this to say nothing of the fact that the Federation has rather explicitly been described as a nation in its own right in novels like Articles of the Federation.
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Old September 9 2008, 01:56 PM   #20
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sci wrote: View Post
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I don't see how that makes sense, because the Federation is just that, a confederation of sovereign nations cooperating for mutual benefit and defense.
Erm.... No. If it was, it would be called the "United Confederation of Planets." That it is called the "Federation" means it is exactly that -- a federal state.
Ben Sisko said onscreen in "Battle Lines" that the Federation is "made up of over a hundred planets who have allied themselves for mutual scientific, cultural and defensive benefits." It is a federal republic -- I didn't mean to imply otherwise -- but it's one where the individual worlds are still largely autonomous.

After all, we're talking about whole planets, each one of which would have billions of citizens, thousands of regional and cultural subdivisions, etc. Look at how difficult it is to govern even one large country on the surface of a single planet. Imagine how much harder it would be to do that for an entire planet. Now imagine how exponentially harder it would be to do that for a hundred and fifty planets at once, especially when they're separated by vast distances in space and whose populations belong to whole different species with different values and priorities.

Trying to regulate all that with a single, monolithic government would be like herding cats. It's totally beyond the realm of practicality. The only way a system like that can work at all is if the individual worlds take the bulk of the responsibility for their own governance, economy, and internal affairs, with the federal government limiting itself to matters of mutual concern such as interstellar trade and diplomacy, overall defense, and so forth. Maybe a better analogy would be the US under the Articles of Confederation -- a federal union, but a loose one in which the states retain much autonomy. Nothing more is practical on an interstellar scale.
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Old September 9 2008, 05:02 PM   #21
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

^That was certainly the feeling I always got from the shows. I always thought that the way that they talked about it and handled things in different episodes made it seem more like an alliance of worlds, rather than one big nation itself.
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Old September 9 2008, 05:57 PM   #22
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I really wish that ENT had considered taking a look at how the SFU Federation goes about its early evolution.


In that setting, there is a distinct division between the Earth ships built in the years prior to the foundation of a unified Star Fleet, and the saucer-and-nacelle designs which were built to supersede them - and the other single-race ship designs.

The development of the new generation ships not only made the racial ships they superseded (mostly) obsolete, but they were more efficient for a growing Federation to use, as they had more standardized parts for their ships which could be stored at planets and bases across UFP space.

And while major member worlds (such as Vulcan and Andoria) retained some racial ships 'to facilitate training' (or in the case of the Vulcans, for exploration purposes, since their ships were best suited for such a task) as the overall technology level of the UFP progressed, even they were mostly phased out, and the member worlds turned to older saucer-nacelle hulls as their new National Guard ships.

And in political terms, in the case of the Federation (and in that of the Interstellar Concordium, another multi-species alliance, which will have some of its pre-unified racial hull designs published in the upcoming SFB Module Y2) the foundation of the unified Star Fleet represented a major shift in the way the allies were bound together - by uniting their chief military and scientific wings under a joint command, the founding of Star Fleet helped forge the UFP into a more closely-knit federation, i.e. by shifting more power and authority to the federal government (as the ISC Navy did for the Concordium).


(But even then, the relative power and influence of Earth in the UFP, and the durability of the Terran-design light cruiser, saw that design refitted and used in Star Fleet service for several decades afterwards - and the Police used modified Terran vessels for their purposes.)

Indeed, that distinction between the Terran-designed and unified hulls can be seen with the Republic of Aurora - a lost Fed colony in a distant corner of the galaxy, which ended up building its new ship designs based on the Terran-hull cruisers and frigates it inherited when the colony was lost, as opposed to going with the increased reliance on saucer-nacelle-configuration ships that Star Fleet adopted.
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Last edited by Nerroth; September 9 2008 at 06:08 PM.
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Old September 9 2008, 06:06 PM   #23
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't see how that makes sense, because the Federation is just that, a confederation of sovereign nations cooperating for mutual benefit and defense.
Erm.... No. If it was, it would be called the "United Confederation of Planets." That it is called the "Federation" means it is exactly that -- a federal state.
Ben Sisko said onscreen in "Battle Lines" that the Federation is "made up of over a hundred planets who have allied themselves for mutual scientific, cultural and defensive benefits." It is a federal republic -- I didn't mean to imply otherwise -- but it's one where the individual worlds are still largely autonomous.

After all, we're talking about whole planets, each one of which would have billions of citizens, thousands of regional and cultural subdivisions, etc. Look at how difficult it is to govern even one large country on the surface of a single planet. Imagine how much harder it would be to do that for an entire planet. Now imagine how exponentially harder it would be to do that for a hundred and fifty planets at once, especially when they're separated by vast distances in space and whose populations belong to whole different species with different values and priorities.

Trying to regulate all that with a single, monolithic government would be like herding cats. It's totally beyond the realm of practicality. The only way a system like that can work at all is if the individual worlds take the bulk of the responsibility for their own governance, economy, and internal affairs, with the federal government limiting itself to matters of mutual concern such as interstellar trade and diplomacy, overall defense, and so forth. Maybe a better analogy would be the US under the Articles of Confederation -- a federal union, but a loose one in which the states retain much autonomy. Nothing more is practical on an interstellar scale.
I would certainly agree that the Federation Member States retain considerably more autonomy than the constituent parts of most federal republics in existence today. But by the same token, I think that the Federation government is a bit more powerful than a mere alliance or confederation; it's pretty clear, for instance, that the Federation gets to conduct foreign relations for its Members without actually consulting them. If Andor objected to the Khitomer Accords, it's obvious that they still have a legal obligation to abide by them and that the Federation as a whole doesn't have to listen to them, and has the legal authority to use force to compel obedience to Federation law.

The Federation is definitely a federal republic, and its Members are much more autonomous than tends to be the case in real-life federal republics. But by the same token, the Federation is a state and retains all of the powers of one, and has far more legal authority than even the US under the Articles of Confederation.
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Old September 9 2008, 07:33 PM   #24
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

^^The exact nitpicky details of its government are beside the point, and all the real-world analogies were stated up front to be approximate at best. The point is that there's no reason to assume these worlds would completely abandon all spacefaring operations of their own simply because they were affiliated with a larger government.
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Old September 9 2008, 08:57 PM   #25
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^^The exact nitpicky details of its government are beside the point, and all the real-world analogies were stated up front to be approximate at best. The point is that there's no reason to assume these worlds would completely abandon all spacefaring operations of their own simply because they were affiliated with a larger government.
I've always assumed the UFP leant itself more to the European Union/United Nations model of governance or the lack there of sometimes!

Also, didn't Reeds family, including his father belong to a long line of Royal Naval officers, even after the creation of a more unified Planetary Government on Earth, so why can't that be the case when each of the individual planets joined the Federation, they would keep there space navies as well as having one big fleet.
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Old September 10 2008, 12:45 AM   #26
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^^The exact nitpicky details of its government are beside the point, and all the real-world analogies were stated up front to be approximate at best. The point is that there's no reason to assume these worlds would completely abandon all spacefaring operations of their own simply because they were affiliated with a larger government.
Oh, yeah, agreed completely. Hell, US states today retain their own defense forces, so there's no reason to think that Federation Member State couldn't retain their own spacefaring operations.

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^^The exact nitpicky details of its government are beside the point, and all the real-world analogies were stated up front to be approximate at best. The point is that there's no reason to assume these worlds would completely abandon all spacefaring operations of their own simply because they were affiliated with a larger government.
I've always assumed the UFP leant itself more to the European Union/United Nations model of governance or the lack there of sometimes!
This is going to sound really nitpicky of me, so bear with me here, but as an anal-retentive Political Science guy, I really can't let this pass:

It's important to understand that you can't really compare the Federation to the United Nations, because the UN is in no way a government or state. The UN is an intergovernmental organization (IGO), in the same legal sense that, say, La Francophonie or the Commonwealth of Nations are IGOs. It is not a government, it is not a state; rather, it is an organization dedicated to providing a platform for the peaceful resolution of disputes between sovereign states, and for the launching of joint ventures and the facilitation of international law. The United Nations explicitly describes itself as being a tool of its member states.

Equating the Federation with the UN is a bit like equating it with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; it's just important to understand the distinction between a state and an IGO.

Interestingly, in 24th Century Star Trek, there are no IGOs, no neutral interstellar organization to which the Federation, Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union, et al, can go with their disputes. In fact, the only IGO I'm aware of in Star Trek would actually be the Coalition of Planets from the ENT era.
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Old September 10 2008, 03:01 PM   #27
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

You had me right up until "unpatriotic." Okay, I'm lying, you didn't have me at all, but I can see the argument for wussy, sissy, and completely nonmilitary, but how exactly is UESPA -- the first words of which are the name of the nation to which it belongs, to wit, United Earth -- nonpatriotic?????
Oh, I just meant that, especially if it was supposed to be argued that UESPA was the Earth-specific combat element of the greater Starfleet, its name would be likely to make use of the usual outwardly expressions of patriotism - "defense", "security", "guard". The local militia would not hide behind the pretense of being for "space probes", it would celebrate its role in spatial mayhem in no unclear terms. Indeed, it would try and outshine the mother organization in that sense, showing that Earth defends Earth with more enthusiasm than anybody else does. Which brings in the patriotism angle.

Semantic games would probably feature in the greater business of this thread, too: the "United Federation" might in reality be anything but, in a slightly more benevolent way than the People's Democracies or the Holy Roman Empire weren't. In real-world terms, I'm not sure how much "United Federation" originally was a play on the idea of the Union and the Confederation being on the same side, but in Trek-universe terms I could easily see this rather silly and redundant name being the result of an attempt to please the proponents of a loose alliance and a tight federal state alike.

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Old September 10 2008, 03:20 PM   #28
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
You had me right up until "unpatriotic." Okay, I'm lying, you didn't have me at all, but I can see the argument for wussy, sissy, and completely nonmilitary, but how exactly is UESPA -- the first words of which are the name of the nation to which it belongs, to wit, United Earth -- nonpatriotic?????
Oh, I just meant that, especially if it was supposed to be argued that UESPA was the Earth-specific combat element of the greater Starfleet, its name would be likely to make use of the usual outwardly expressions of patriotism - "defense", "security", "guard".
Those are not expressions of patriotism. Militarism does not equal patriotism.
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Old September 10 2008, 03:23 PM   #29
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Oh, but for all practical purposes it does.

That is, unless you are willing to go militant about your country, you aren't being patriotic for real. Or so will be argued by the militant patriots, who generally have the more commanding voice on this matter. The meek just don't get a break at this inheriting the Earth thing...

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Old September 10 2008, 04:20 PM   #30
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Oh, but for all practical purposes it does.

That is, unless you are willing to go militant about your country, you aren't being patriotic for real. Or so will be argued by the militant patriots, who generally have the more commanding voice on this matter. The meek just don't get a break at this inheriting the Earth thing...

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Yes, of course, the militant patriots define militarism as patriotism. That's what they do.

Doesn't make them -- or you -- right.
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