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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 10 2008, 06:55 PM   #31
TheAlmanac
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sci wrote: View Post
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.
The feature films, in particular, seem to imply that the Federation (despite the potential bias) acts as a de facto IGO in such disputes. The Klingon Ambassador demands the extradition of "renegade and terrorist" Admiral Kirk before the Federation Council in Star Trek IV, and the Federation President includes the Romulan Ambassador in discussions around the assassination of Gorkon and its aftermath in Star Trek VI, even though the Romulans aren't directly involved (to his knowledge at the time, anyway).

OTOH, the subsequent conference takes place on Khitomer because it is "a neutral site," even though it is later known as a Klingon colony, so YMMV...
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Old September 10 2008, 08:09 PM   #32
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

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

Doesn't make them -- or you -- right.
Essentially, it does. I mean, what alternative expression is there for patriotism? None that wouldn't be laughed out of court, or dismissed as unpatriotic wussiness. Alas.

You can be patriotic about all sorts of things, but to express it still calls for you to either wave the flag and sing the song, or then go kill people. And it's very, very difficult to separate the first alternative from an embracing of the second, as all the other possible contents for the inherently rather content-free act of flagwaving tend to be easily dismissible.

Patriotism as a concept is fine with me. It's just that the word itself can no longer be used the way it was intended, no matter how loud or clearly one speaks. It's ruined for good.

OTOH, the subsequent conference takes place on Khitomer because it is "a neutral site," even though it is later known as a Klingon colony, so YMMV...
One might even argue that it is a Romulan site, considering the building has Romulan symbols on the outside, not Klingon and UFP ones. Then again, the interior has predominantly UFP symbols, in addition to the collection of flags on the wall. And the hall is divided in four, after basic colors: a strange green group of human-looking folks with an aurora symbol, and then red Klingons and blue Feds separated by the yellow of Romulans and/or Vulcans in the middle, again suggesting a host/mediator role for the "neutral" Romulans.

If Khitomer is a Romulan colony, then it would understandably be considered "neutral" here - and it would make sense for the Romulans and the Klingons to quarrel about it in the pre-TNG era, with the ownership changing every now and then.

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Old September 10 2008, 08:21 PM   #33
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Yes, of course, the militant patriots define militarism as patriotism. That's what they do.

Doesn't make them -- or you -- right.
Essentially, it does. I mean, what alternative expression is there for patriotism? None that wouldn't be laughed out of court, or dismissed as unpatriotic wussiness. Alas.
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Old September 10 2008, 08:46 PM   #34
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

TheAlmanac wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
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.
The feature films, in particular, seem to imply that the Federation (despite the potential bias) acts as a de facto IGO in such disputes. The Klingon Ambassador demands the extradition of "renegade and terrorist" Admiral Kirk before the Federation Council in Star Trek IV,
And Ambassador Kamarang makes that demand of the Federation itself, not any particular Federation Member State. IGOs can't extradite people; only states (or the constituent parts of federal states) can.

and the Federation President includes the Romulan Ambassador in discussions around the assassination of Gorkon and its aftermath in Star Trek VI, even though the Romulans aren't directly involved (to his knowledge at the time, anyway).
Well, no, he specifically includes Ambassador Nanclus in discussions of a military attack, which again is a trait of states; IGOs don't have standing militaries like the Federation, and on the rare occasions when they do coordinate military strikes or wars, the constituent soldiers continue to fight under the flags of their own states. In any event, Nanclus's presence is the sort of thing that might happen between two states that are officially or unofficially militarily allied if one is thinking about committing an act of war against a third state. (What WAS odd was including Nanclus in the initial presentation to the President rather than waiting until the President had decided to commit to the attack before revealing that they were thinking about it to the RSE.)

In any event, one of the defining traits of an IGO is that it is supposed to not be a party to any given conflict -- but in those cases you cited above, the Federation is clearly a party to the conflict, and has IGO to which it and the Klingons can appeal for providing a neutral platform for the peaceful resolution of their disputes. The Federation is very clearly a state in the films -- the Federation President is depicted as having operational control over Starfleet, Starfleet is depicted as being a military, etc.

OTOH, the subsequent conference takes place on Khitomer because it is "a neutral site," even though it is later known as a Klingon colony, so YMMV...
Exactly. The Federation is not a neutral IGO, it is a state that is party to the conflict. There are no IGOs in the 23rd Century.
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Old September 10 2008, 08:52 PM   #35
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Not on the level of the major "nations", I guess. Doesn't mean the concept couldn't exist at several other hierarchial levels, with e.g. the UFP being an IGO for its members.

The idea that, say, Capella IV and the Klingon Empire would be considered political entities on the same level is pretty absurd. Both may be analogies to what we today see as a nation, but they just don't hold the same sort of weight. Even Monaco and the United States would be a more balanced pair...

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Old September 10 2008, 08:59 PM   #36
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Not on the level of the major "nations", I guess. Doesn't mean the concept couldn't exist at several other hierarchial levels, with e.g. the UFP being an IGO for its members.
If I understand things correctly, you're either one or the other, you can't be both.
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Old September 10 2008, 09:03 PM   #37
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

But that would depend on the viewpoint, as long as the definition of "nation" was flexible in your universe. The UFP should by all rights be able to define itself as a nation in the context where it interacts with other "major" nations, but as an IGO in the context of interacting with its members or other "minor" nations that are considering joining.

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Old September 10 2008, 09:26 PM   #38
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Yes, of course, the militant patriots define militarism as patriotism. That's what they do.

Doesn't make them -- or you -- right.
Essentially, it does. I mean, what alternative expression is there for patriotism? None that wouldn't be laughed out of court, or dismissed as unpatriotic wussiness. Alas.
I was unaware the English language was on trial here. And frankly, I think you've been hanging around Scalia and Alito too long if your hypothetical court puts such emphasis on anti-wussiness.

You can be patriotic about all sorts of things, but to express it still calls for you to either wave the flag and sing the song, or then go kill people. And it's very, very difficult to separate the first alternative from an embracing of the second, as all the other possible contents for the inherently rather content-free act of flagwaving tend to be easily dismissible.

Patriotism as a concept is fine with me. It's just that the word itself can no longer be used the way it was intended, no matter how loud or clearly one speaks. It's ruined for good.
Sorry, no. I refuse to cede the word to the neo-brownshirts who insist you must wear a lapel flag pin or else risk being branded a traitor.
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Old September 11 2008, 12:12 AM   #39
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Timo wrote: View Post
Not on the level of the major "nations", I guess. Doesn't mean the concept couldn't exist at several other hierarchial levels, with e.g. the UFP being an IGO for its members.
Only if you're using the most liberal definition of "IGO." I mean, by that logic, the United States government is an IGO for US states, or the Canadian Parliament is an IGO for Canadian Provinces. It's certainly not a meaningful definition of the term "IGO" if you start applying it to sovereign states' relationships with their federalist constituent divisions.

The idea that, say, Capella IV and the Klingon Empire would be considered political entities on the same level is pretty absurd.
In terms of relative power, they aren't. But it's pretty clear that both Capella and the Klingon Empire are sovereign states, possessing a defined territory, the power to make compulsory law within their territory, and the legal monopoly on the use of violence within their territory. Legally, they're both states.
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Old September 11 2008, 12:14 AM   #40
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

And hunchback assistants are IGO between mad scientists and their creations.

Hmm. Something looks a bit off...

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Old September 11 2008, 05:39 AM   #41
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I'd just like to jump in here and point out that I really, really hate the UESPA. Not the concept - just the name. 'United Earth Space Probe Agency' - it just sounds so damn ridiculous, like something out of a cheesy pulp novel. Just like the dozen other names considered for the Enterprise's operating authority in TOS - gems like 'Space Command', 'Star Service', etc. Those all sound just as stupid as UESPA, in some cases even more so. In fact I'm surprised the writers could even utter those phrases without laughing.

'Starfleet', on the other hand...that makes sense. Simple, honest, direct, *efficient*. And it DOESN'T sound like something from a pulp, or from stuff like "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger".
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Old September 11 2008, 05:54 AM   #42
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

^ Don't be dissin' the pulps, yo.
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Old September 11 2008, 06:28 AM   #43
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I think we're just used to it. It's still got that sweet pulpy texture if you spell it the old-fashioned way, "Star Fleet".
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Old September 11 2008, 07:04 AM   #44
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I mean, really, there's nothing you could call it that doesn't sound pulp-y. I mean, really -- "Star Fleet?" "Space Force?" "Space Command?" "Star Command?" "Extrasolar Command?" Etc.

I mean, if you follow the name construction of the aeronautical military forces of most countries -- "Air Force" -- and apply it to space, what do you get? "Space Force." "Star Force." Etc. It sounds a bit silly. I'm sure that to people living in 1887, the term "Air Force" would have sounded ridiculous, too.
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Old September 11 2008, 07:51 AM   #45
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sorry, no. I refuse to cede the word to the neo-brownshirts who insist you must wear a lapel flag pin or else risk being branded a traitor.
That's what I think is wrong with the world today: your refusal (or mine) has no power over anything. Call yourself patriot in any context, and your NRA member card or Little Red/Green/Black Book materializes out of thin air and sticks to your hand, which automatically and inevitably extends in a military salute.

I mean, think about the practical aspects of this: how can you call yourself "patriotic" in public without the above consequences? What would be the practical circumstances where that would be possible?

In terms of relative power, they aren't. But it's pretty clear that both Capella and the Klingon Empire are sovereign states, possessing a defined territory, the power to make compulsory law within their territory, and the legal monopoly on the use of violence within their territory. Legally, they're both states.
But we have already agreed that there's no inter-powers law or rule above the level of major powers such as the UFP or the Klingon Empire. "Legal" sort of loses its meaning in a situation where there is no agreement over what constitutes a law...

In this practical example, I find it hard, nay, impossible to believe that the Klingon Empire would recognize Capellan sovereignity or monopoly for use of military force, even when the UFP might. Planets with precious raw materials and primitive militaries on them are just prey, not nations, to players like Klingons - even when said Klingons may perfectly well recognize the "nationhood" of honorable and substantial opponents, and play by the associated rules there.

That's always been part of the real-world setup as well, of course - the sovereignty of a nation or parts thereof is not for it or them to decide, but for the de facto most powerful player in the region, as demonstrated over the past few years in various parts. It would just be several degrees more extreme in the Trek universe.

We don't know yet whether the UFP would believe in some sort of equal rights for all "nations" (which I guess means any at least planetwide unified culture). We do have reason to suspect that the UFP would be alone in this among the major Trek players, though.

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