RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 135,675
Posts: 5,212,685
Members: 24,201
Currently online: 661
Newest member: KieBH84


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Welcome to the Trek BBS! > General Trek Discussion

General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 7 2011, 02:28 AM   #76
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: State of Maryland/District of Columbia
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Part One:

cwl wrote: View Post
The Federation once described by the Klingons as a 'homo sapiens only club' is not an alliance of worlds but a Federation of worlds.
True.

Which implies some sort of top down rule.
False! Federalism means shared sovereignty between the central and constituent governments. It means that there are some areas the constituent governments (be they U.S. states, Canadian provinces, German lander, or what-have-you) have exclusive dominion over, and some areas the central government has exclusive dominion over.

That's why in the U.S., for instance, we have a situation where, say, in the State of Ohio, LGBT Ohioans cannot marry, but in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, LGBT Massachusans can.

a lot of the smaller worlds could be seriously impacted by membership in a negative way by policies they dont agree with.
Well, that depends on the world and the policy, and that's why Membership is something that that would would have to apply for after serious consideration as to whether or not they want to yield some of their sovereignty. It's the nature of any form of political association that no one gets everything they want and sometimes the good of one group has to be balanced against the good of another.

The question is not, "Will the Planetary Republic of Zog sometimes find that the Federation's decisions are not always something we Zog always support?" That's inherent. I promise you, the Federation probably makes decisions that Earth doesn't support sometimes. The question is, "Would it, on balance, be better for the Planetary Republic of Zog to join the Federation as a Member State than to stay independent?"

MrBorg wrote: View Post
I admit I over-exaggerated a bit on how the Federation must die. I meant that it needs to be "rebooted".
What does that mean? The Federation is a federal republic of over 150 worlds, not a laptop computer.

About the Federation wanting people to join: While it wouldn't be wrong if they didn't try to force their morals on the members, they do.
I don't think that's necessarily wrong. Let's take the idea of caste-based discrimination being banned, for instance.

We know from "Accession" (DS9) that the Federation Charter bans caste-based discrimination. If a planetary state wants to become a Federation Member State, they have to abolish it. So when the Republic of Bajor briefly instituted caste-based discrimination, its admission to the Federation was endangered.

But the Federation did not actually impose its morals on Bajor. They didn't threaten to invade, nor even to impose economic sanctions. What they did say was, in effect, "Bajor has the right to run its society as it wants. But if Bajor wants to become part of our society, then it needs to conform with our laws. Federation society is constitutionally designed to function a certain way, and no independent society can become part of our society if they violate that way."

That's not a bad thing. It gives Bajor choices, but it doesn't violate Bajor's rights.

They also, as far as I know, take away the cultures ability to have its own military, leaving them under the protection of Starfleet
Sort-of. We know that the Bajoran Militia would be "integrated" into Starfleet, but what does that mean? We know the Vulcans have maintained their own intelligence service. That strongly implies that Federation Member States get to maintain their own militaries alongside Starfleet.

And in point of fact, that's how it works with real-world federations, too. The United States Armed Forces are primarily responsible for defending the U.S., but each state has their own Army National Guard and Air National Guard, plus their own State Defense Forces, under the command of the state governments. No reason that, for instance, the Bajoran Militia can't continue to function alongside the Federation Starfleet in defending the Republic of Bajor if it becomes a Federation Member State.

About the not interfering with internal affairs: If someone is committing genocide, do you just stand by and watch while millions, possibly billions, of innocent people are killed? Of course not.
Oh?

So the United States should invade Syria to stop the slaughter in Hama today? Should we also have invaded Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur, at the same time we were bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan?

At what point does that switch from wanting to protect the innocent into a new form of imperialism?

I'm not suggesting the Federation has found the right balance. I'd argue that it has not and needs to reform some of its foreign policies towards interference. But I also think that the idea that it's as simple as, "You should always intervene to stop mass murder" is wrong too.

I exaggerated about how they should die. But not about how corrupt they are.
Yes, you did exaggerate about how corrupt they are. The Federation is not perfect, and it has its struggles with corruption, certainly. But it's far less corrupt than any society that has ever existed in real life.

sonak wrote: View Post
I notice that when people try to defend the PD, they jump to the use of military force in a political scenario as an example of potentially bad inteference.
Because that's its primary policy goal: To provide an effective roadblock to keep the Federation from engaging in imperialism.

Leaving aside the question of weighing the costs and effects of military intervention, we see plenty of examples in Trek of planet-wide NATURAL disasters that the UFP refuses to intervene in out of allegiance to the PD. And of course no one on this thread is bringing that up, because then the bankruptcy of the PD is revealed a lot more obviously.
I don't think Federation refusal to intervene in cataclysmic natural disasters of pre-warp civilizations is an indicator that the Prime Directive is inherently bankrupt. Rather, it's an indication that the Federation has become too zealous in its interpretation of the Prime Directive -- that it's become so fixated on this idea that there's a pristine "natural" state for a culture to be in that it's inadvertently falling into the same sort of paternalism that used to justify imperialism.

It's an indication that the Federation needs to reform and change its interpretation of the Prime Directive, but not an indication that the idea that you shouldn't interfere with another culture's internal affairs is inherently bankrupt.

MrBorg wrote: View Post
sonak is also correct that the Federation will turn a blind eye to a natural disaster even if it would wipe out the species. Specifically if it was a pre-warp civilization. We see this in "Pen Pals" (TNG). Picard does not want to help the civilization, even though billions of people could die.
Interestingly enough, both times the Federation comes across a pre-warp culture about to be destroyed by a cataclysmic natural disaster, it ends up breaking its own laws and intervening... and the officers who do so suffer no consequences. To me, this strongly implies that that provision of the Prime Directive is highly controversial and likely to undergo change as more and more Federates come to oppose it.

And we have yet to see the Federation actually not intervene in a pre-warp culture's natural disaster. They keep saying they won't and then doing it anyway.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I do not think the Federation needs to be destroyed, but I think some internal political turmoil--some serious self-examination--is in order to flush out the immense amount of political detritus (bad precedents, bad politicians, possible unconstitutional decisions and legal code). Some unrest may be very beneficial.
VOY's "Author, Author" seems to imply that there's a growing unrest within the Federation, at least with regards to its use of sentient holoprograms for slave labor.

Actually, I think the best thing that could happen to them would be a credible rival. Not another "we want to conquer the galaxy" type rival, but a political and trading adversary that offers a different but legitimate point of view. Something that has to be given serious thought and cannot just be dismissed out of hand.
You might be interested in the Typhon Pact arc in the current novels. That's just what the Pact is -- an egalitarian alliance of states both previously hostile to and allied with the Federation: The Gorn Hegemony, the Tzenkethi Coalition, the Breen Confederacy, the Tholian Assembly, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya.

cwl wrote: View Post
with the Federation you get the vision that it's Earth's empire. Dominated by Earth and set up for earth.
What evidence do we have that the Federation is dominated by Earth? Out of four Federation Presidents we've seen so far -- Jonathan Archer (established on the computer screen in "In A Mirror, Darkly," -- this is questionable but I'll use it for the sake of argument), the President in TVH, the President in TUC, and Jaresh-Inyo in DS9's "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" -- only one is confirmed to be from Earth. Two of them aren't even Human. One appears Human -- though he may have been Ardanan, Betazoid, Risian, or any number of other Human-looking aliens that are part of the Federation.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Even if there are occasional instances of personal speciesism, it seems pretty clear that the Federation's institutions do not engage in institutional speciesism. There's no reason to think that a Ferengi immigrant to Earth would be mistreated by officials, or that you'd have any trouble catching a cab in New York City if you're green, or that you'd be paid a lesser, unfair wage for being a Andorian chan.
Perhaps not. However, my concern is that, frankly--one would think that such speciesism would be actively discouraged in a society valuing diversity.
And it probably is. Sisko moved to squash Jake's emerging speciesist feelings about Bajorans at the end of DS9 Season One, for instance. No society is perfect, and there are inherently going to be deviations from the social ideal, but the idea that Federation society as a whole doesn't try to fight speciesism just because we've occasionally seen Federates misbehave is silly.

This is what I mean by "deep denial". The Federation assumes that, since speciesism is not "institutional", it therefore is not a problem within the Federation.
I don't agree. And, further, I think you're overlooking something:

Institutional racism (or speciesism, if we're speaking in-universe) is actually much worse than personal racism. Institutional racism creates the environment that provokes personal racism. When institutional racism against a group no longer exists, personal racism tends to diminish.

And sure enough, what do we see in the Federation? Well, some Humans have some speciesist feelings against Ferengi, but the institutional anti-speciesism of the Federation gives Nog a chance to prove himself -- thereby directly countering feelings of anti-Ferengi bigotry within Federates, and thereby lending institutional weight to the battle against anti-Ferengi bigotry.

I believe Nog himself noted in "Homefront" that it was very difficult for him to find acceptance among the other cadets--due to his being a Ferengi.
Yet within a few years, he had become one of the most valued cadets, and then officers, in the entire Federation Starfleet, and instances of anti-Ferengi bias against him virtually disappeared.

And we see in Sisko's insistence that it is not dumb a counter-weight to Jake's attitudes. And we see in Kirk's professed faith in a monotheistic God in "Who Mourns for Adonis?" what sounds like Christianity.
Interestingly enough--Kirk's line said "We find the one quite adequate." While I admit it was a relief, considering Roddenberry's...misgivings...still, to this day, I'm not entirely sure exactly what he was trying to say to Apollo.
Seems pretty obvious that he's referring to the Judeo-Christian God to me. It's a bit arrogant of him to speak on behalf of all Humans, though -- he's ignoring numerous polytheistic Humans, such as Hindu Federates. But it was the 60s, so I'll forgive.

We see Christianity confirmed in Kassidy Yates noting that her mother would prefer to see her daughter married by a minister. It's never been confirmed beyond any doubt, but I'd bet you dollars for doughnuts that McCoy's a Protestant.
Well...while books aren't canon--and the Crucible trilogy is out of synch with the normal TrekLit continuity--still, in the McCoy Crucible book, he notes to the girl he comes to marry (in the alternate timeline where he saves Edith Keeler), "Don't you know I don't believe in a heaven?"
I don't remember that scene, but I'd point out two things:

1. Not believing in an afterlife is not the same thing as not believing in God.

2. I don't agree with that characterization for McCoy. I'd bet you good money the man goes to church every Sunday when he's back home in Georgia.

Still, your point about some instances of Christianty being seen/mentioned is fair enough.
Thanks.

Fair enough. But what of Picard's remarks in "Who Watches The Watchers?"
I take that in the same spirit I take references to women being more emotional than men and unfit to command a starship from TOS: I creatively re-interpret it, since it's obviously not in line with Star Trek's egalitarian spirit, and since it also contradicts other episodes.

My re-interpretation: Picard wasn't upset that they had a religion per se. Picard was upset that they had revived a religion that did not previously exist anymore in response to Starfleet's presence, and did not want them worshiping him or his crew as gods. Throwing off religion wasn't a sign of advancement, but adopting a religion once discarded in response to contact with a more technologically advanced culture is a backslide, since it denies the adopters the ability to recognize that they have merely come into contact with a different set of mere mortals.

And "Who Watches the Watchers?" is literally the only instance in Star Trek where we find our heroes advocating the idea of religion itself being a bad and unevolved thing. We see numerous instances of Federates throughout the Trekverse practicing religion -- from Vulcan mysticism and prayers at Mount Seleya to Native American religious practices by Chakotay.

Meanwhile, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation has any form of religious domination or discrimination. There's no evidence that it forces Atheist Federates to support having "In God We Trust" on Federation Credits, or that there are Federation Days of Prayer. There's no evidence that Federation Councillors hold hearings of the Federation Security Council on the threat of Prophetic law against the Federation Constitution from Bajoran immigrants. There's no reason to think that there's widespread social pressure to belong to any religious organization, no reason to think that anyone's religious beliefs are used to justify denying equal access to civil marriage, no reason to think people are beaten up for professing their belief in God or for being Christian, no indication that there's any inhibition whatsoever on freedom of, or from, religion.
Institutionally, no. But again--though the law does not discriminate, the mindset still exists.
Again, the institutional bias is more important than the personal. When the law is for egalitarianism, the culture will shift. When segregation was outlawed, the segregationist mindset began to die out.

And, again, Picard's was the only time we've ever seen a truly anti-religion mindset in Star Trek. So I don't think it's fair to attribute that to the entire Federation culture.

Again, if the Federation truly valued diversity, would it not make a constant effort to educate its populace on the values and importance of such?

Again, my concern is simply that the Federation as a society prefers to tell itself that everything is fine--because it doesn't want to have to do the hard work required for such education.
You know, we saw the Federation go from viewing the Klingons as its implacable foes to reaching out the hand of friendship to the Klingon Empire and negotiating a peace treaty with them that lasted for the better part of a hundred years.

We've seen the Federation work to broker peace between itself and its neighbors numerous times, and between warring factions on numerous occasions.

I really, truly do not think that it's fair to say that the Federation does not make a constant effort to encourage diversity.

In the end, the problems of a society come from the culture. Institutional problems are merely a symptom--not the disease.
No, institutional practices create the foundations for cultural problems. And institutional practices tend to reflect preexisting cultural mindsets -- it becomes a vicious circle. If the Federation institutions are anti-racist/anti-speciesist, doesn't that imply that Federation culture is anti-speciesist/anti-racist, even if individual Federates aren't always living up to that?

I mean, seriously, why wouldn't the Federation Starfleet institutionally discriminate against Ferengi unless Federation culture at large is biased towards the idea that diversity is a good thing?

But that is the key difference: The Federation wants to persuade other cultures to join it. It does not want to coerce them. And if another culture says no, the Federation will accept that.
And I'm not against that. I'm simply pointing out the contradiction in putting "diversity" on such a high pedestal--and then saying that one's own way is superior.
To a point, certainly. No culture is 100% free of contradictions. I mean, hell, up until the 1960s, the United States was a culture based on the twin pillars that all men are created equal and all blacks are inferior to whites.

But by the same token, I don't think a belief in diversity is incompatible with a belief that certain values are superior to contradictory values. If I'm running a company that values diversity, I may well want to recruit people from different backgrounds -- people who have different ideas about economics, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, people who have different ideas about the best way to conduct business, people who have different ideas about the morality of how to relate with other cultures and how to use the natural environment. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to be unwilling to say that some values such as feminism are superior to other values such as patriarchy; it doesn't mean I'm going to hire someone who mis-treats my female employees or who thinks that my Latino employees should be afforded lower status than my white employees.

It's about finding a balance. About recognizing that homogeneity is not a virtue and diversity is, while also recognizing that no group can function if it is not willing to say that these are the values it holds dear and that those values are superior to contradictory values.

CONTINUED
__________________
This dream must end, this world must know:
We all depend on the beast below.
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 02:30 AM   #77
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: State of Maryland/District of Columbia
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Part Two:


And for all that the Federation and its citizenry can sometimes be dismissive of or condescending to aspects of foreign cultures with which they disagree -- there's no evidence the Federation ever tried to coerce those cultures into changing. So far as I know, the Federation never issued a trade embargo against the Ferengi Alliance for its treatment of women, for instance.


Here's my problem: where do you cross the line from mere intolerance into bigotry? Somehow, I doubt the Federation has ever really bothered to try and answer that question.


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.


The Federation, like all societies, is very flawed. But the Federation is also very adaptable and self-reflective.


To that, Sci, I would point to your separation of institutional bigotry from individual bigotry. Namely--we see individuals engaging in self-reflection--showing the guts to admit when they're wrong. But I don't really see much evidence of the institutions themselves taking a hard look at the problems of the society.


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.


Indeed, Sisko himself discussed the willing blindless in "The Maquis, Part I". He notes to Kira that Starfleet Command in general, and Admiral Nechayev in particular, are so used to the idea of paradise, they possess a naive kind of "sainthood", assuming that all living in "paraside" are therefore saints. But as Sisko himself concludes...the only reason everyone looks like saints is that "It's easy to be a saint in paradise."


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.

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.


And meanwhile -- whatever its flaws, the idea that they're so great that the Federation deserves to die is just absurd.
Again--I do not in any way endore that notion. I do think those flaws run deeper than most would care to admit--but such flaws warrant reform, not destruction.


Agreed on this. But I also don't think its flaws run so deep as you seem to think.


Gary7 wrote: View Post
Captain Benjamin Sisko: 
"We live in a galaxy that has borders, and those borders have to be guarded by space stations and ships with weapons. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Bajorans and you curse the Federation. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that the occasional death of the innocent, while tragic, probably saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that border, you need me on that border. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to someone who rises and sleeps under the Federation blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand on guard. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."


I know that Jack Nicholson is very charismatic, but I do wish that people would remember that the entire point of A Few Good Men is that Nicholson's character is a pathological narcissist who thinks that his position in the United States Marine Corps gives him carte blanche to break the law whenever he wants. He's a character who thinks he's above the law and above morality, not a character to be admired.


Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And that right there is a very disturbing thing: that the Federation counts conquerors like the Klingons as its allies. That to me proves that the Federation, for all its ideals, is almost as pragmatic in practice as the Cardassian Union.


In the novel A Time for War, A Time for Peace by Keith R.A. DeCandido, that contradiction between Federation ideals and Klingon imperialism becomes the deciding issue in the 2379 Federation Presidential Election. Federation Special Emissary Arafel Pagro of Ktar advocates sundering the Khitomer Accords and breaking the alliance, in response to Klingon imperialism.

Cestus III Governor Nanietta Bacco, on the other hand, advocates continuing the alliance -- pointing out that since allying with the Federation, Klingon expansionism has decreased, and conditions for the conquered peoples of the Empire have improved. She argues that the alliance helps maintain Federation security, and that the Federation has successfully been able to influence the Klingons into gradually abandoning their imperial designs on the galaxy.

Within two years of Bacco winning the election, in that novel's sequel, Articles of the Federation, she is eventually able to talk Chancellor Martok into abandoning any plans he might have for continuing to expand the Empire by conquering new worlds, in response to economic incentives.

The idea being: It's a slow process, but the Federation is gradually introducing egalitarian, democratic ideas into the Empire, and Klingons are gradually choosing to adopt them.


sonak wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
No, I'm saying that the Cardassians probably forced whoever the Bajoran Government was at the time into formalizing the annexation (disruptor to the head negotiation) so it would all be legal under whatever standard Galactic Law is in those circumstances to prevent outsiders from intervening.

And there would be no proof that it was under duress except from those whom would be written off as terrorists, knowing how the Cardassians are with puppet governing.

So the Feds couldn't just go in and say they conquered them without violating Galactic law, since Bajor was legally signed over to Cardassia.

There's some other realpolitik at hand here too, since the Romulans and Klingons also have enslaved worlds in less legally binding manners and the liberation of Bajor would make them nervous about the Feds future intentions towards THEIR conquests which had less legitimacy.


Again, no Galactic Law worth anything would allow annexation by force just because there's a treaty.


Well, the thing to remember is that if we're talking about "galactic law," we're essentially talking about the equivalent of "international law." And the thing about international law is that it takes place within a framework of anarchy -- there is no higher authority to lend legitimacy to a given treaty. There is only what the traffic can bear.

Which means that even if the Federation doesn't view a Cardassian-Bajoran Treaty allowing Cardassian forces to occupy Bajor, the Federation doesn't get to dictate what is or is not legal for the Cardassian Union and the Republic of Bajor. They're foreign states, and the UFP doesn't get to tell them what kind of relationship they should have, or that their treaties are invalid, or that the Bajoran government is illegitimate.

For the record, the novel Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers depicts the Cardassian Occupation happening on Bajor as a result of the subversion of Bajor's government. Cardassian civilians, including a persecuted Cardassian religious minority, are allowed onto Bajor, and then the Cardassians offer their military to be station in Bajor as "protection" from attacks from the Tzenkethi, while the Cardassians begin gradually bribing or blackmailing members of the Bajoran government to support them. Eventually, the Cardassians fake a Tzenkethi assassination of the First Minister, and the new First Minister is firmly in the Cardassians' pocket when he allows the Occupation to begin.

In other words, the Federation is rendered legally unable to help -- because the Government of Bajor, the same legal entity that existed before Bajoran contact with the Cardassians and had governed Bajor for centuries, wanted the Cardassians there. It was the equivalent of the Vichy Regime: Universally recognized at the time as the legitimate government of France, and only later seen as traitorous once there had been a coup d'etat against it.


Nerroth wrote: View Post
I think part of the issue is how relatively rarely we are shown other star-faring democratic societies in the Franchise in general, or ones comprised of several species in particular.


This is probably a function of the fact that most of the liberal democracies in known space eventually decide that they want to join the Federation.


Sisko4Life wrote: View Post

If it is between morality and survival, Survival will and should always win.


Oh? Is that so?

(Also: Who determines when it's about survival? What does "survival" mean?)


Yes, Dr., because if we clung to the rules of war and morality there would BE no Federation.


Is that so?


Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Indeed. Say what you will about the "black hats"--but at least they're consistent.

Or at least...more consistent than the UFP.




I am reminded of a quote from comedian Stephen Colbert, speaking at the White House Press Correspondents Association's annual dinner on then-U.S. President George W. Bush:

"Say what you will about this man, but he's consistent. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday -- no matter what happened on Tuesday!"

Is consistency always a virtue?
__________________
This dream must end, this world must know:
We all depend on the beast below.
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 04:17 AM   #78
Rush Limborg
Vice Admiral
 
Rush Limborg's Avatar
 
Location: The EIB Network
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?
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Rush Limborg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 09:17 AM   #79
Gary7
Rear Admiral
 
Gary7's Avatar
 
Location: Near Manhattan ··· in an alternate reality
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Sci, are you a professional writer? You've written so much content in this thread, it could easily make a multi-part article in some publication.

Sci wrote:


I know that Jack Nicholson is very charismatic, but I do wish that people would remember that the entire point of A Few Good Men is that Nicholson's character is a pathological narcissist who thinks that his position in the United States Marine Corps gives him carte blanche to break the law whenever he wants. He's a character who thinks he's above the law and above morality, not a character to be admired.


I was making a joke... when someone went on about how Sisko is sitting outside paradise (paraphrased). Of course Sisko != Jessup.

Jessup was a very sad case. The front line fighting military have to be very tough and thus go to some extremes to ensure the men will be able to fight successfully without risking the lives of others. He crossed the line, ordering that code red. The loss of investment in him for the military was huge... all because he couldn't see how he was taking things a little too far. Fortunately the Federation doesn't need that kind of practice to ensure people are capable of doing the job.
__________________
Remembering Ensign Mallory.
Gary7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 04:35 PM   #80
jgalley
Lieutenant
 
Re: The Federation Must Die.

no offense but this post is born out of ignorance.

What you're saying would be akin to the United States IGNORING several of it's Generals, Colonels, and varying "grunts" all leaving the US Armed Forces and joining a group like Al Quada (sp) (imagine if Al'Quada didn't attack the US..but still did EVERYTHING ELSE they do) and saying that the US should just let them go and have no kind of ties or obligation to stop them.

It's "cool" to root for the bad guys now-a-days isn't it?

No if this happened the US WOULD be obigated to stop those men that THEY TRAINED from doing harm to others...it's NO DIFFERENT.

Is the Federation perfect? no. But your reasoning and examples make no sense and, no offense, are not well-thought out at all.

The Maquis may not attack the Federation, but they are FILLED with ex-Fed OFFICERS that were TRAINED by Starfleet. So YES, the federation DOES have reason and an obligation to stop them. Afterall the federation are the ones that TRAINED those men to DO WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
jgalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 05:55 PM   #81
Paradon
Rear Admiral
 
Paradon's Avatar
 
Location: Huckleberry Hound;California Love;the golden state
Re: The Federation Must Die.

No, offense! But your post really is the one born out of ignorance.

The Al Quada was created because of U.S. meddling with foreign politics. We help trained terrorists to fight a war against the Soviet invasion and now they've turned against us and use the training we taught them to commit terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other western nations. This is what the CIA calls a blow back. The U.S. should have known better than to do business or allied themselves with a bunch terrorists and thugs. This is what happened. In Cambodia the U.S. put a thug named Pol Pot in power and back him to fight the communists that were taking over the country. AFter the communist thread was defused Pol Pot his men turned around and killed millions of Cambodians whom he though might challenge him. If you were even suspected of being educated or wore glasses, that's enough for them to hall you away, tortured you and then killed you. This is what happened when you interfere in foreign politics. There's no easy quick fix and it is irresponsible. And what happened if the people in those countries won't surrender and refuse to listen? ARe you going to shoot at them until they do? Look at Vietnam War.
__________________
"This is not about who has the biggest gun or more powerful ships... A friend in power is a friend lost."
Paradon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 06:33 PM   #82
jgalley
Lieutenant
 
Re: The Federation Must Die.

I know Al Quada wasn't the best example, but served to prove my point.

so i'll dumb it down so you can understand.

Let's say the "Paradon" form over in...Italy. They attack..Poland..for atrocities committed in a (this is made-up remember) war against the U.S. and Italy. The "Paradon" don't like the peace that was formed with the U.S. So "Paradon" continue to attack and kill Poland regardless of the peace treaties. Several U.S. Generals, Colonels, and "normal" soldiers defect from the U.S. Armed Forced and join "Paradon" HELPING them attack and kill Poland military/government/citizens. You're actually saying that the U.S. has NO RESPONSIBILITY to stop their ex-soldiers..that are capable of doing what they're doing BECAUSE OF the TRAINING they RECEIVED in the U.S. AND carry U.S. Military secrets since this "Paradon" group doesn't actually attack the U.S.?

it's poorly thought-out. false. and an idiotic stand-point. fact.

The Federation going after the Maquis is similar to this. They ARE responsible for the defectors training and abilities..tactics...know-how..etc. Not to mention they have a PEACE TREATY with the Card's.

So pick apart my example if that's all you can (obviously) do. because even that holds no merit. As whether my Al Quada example (or even the above one) is off...the POINT is valid and accurate.

and again it's "cool" to criticize the "good guys" isn't it? fight the power brother!
jgalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 07:53 PM   #83
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: The Federation Must Die.

cwl wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And that right there is a very disturbing thing: that the Federation counts conquerors like the Klingons as its allies. That to me proves that the Federation, for all its ideals, is almost as pragmatic in practice as the Cardassian Union.

the Klingon Empire is a most great and honourable Empire.
You gotta be kidding me! Klingons are bigger hypocrites than humans, even. DS9 covered this pretty well in the latter S7 eps. Klingons are a highly varied bunch, ranging from truly honorable guys like Martok to dishonorable weasels like the Duras gang to out and out psychos like Gowron.

Klingon blather about honor and courage is comparable to Starfleet blather about Federation values: take it with a cargo-bay full of salt.

And the Klingon comment about the Federation being a human club is just self-serving baloney. For starters, what do Klingons know about the Federation? Most likely, that was a comment about Starfleet, the part of the Federation Klingons are most likely to encounter on a regular basis. Starfleet definitely is skewed human, but that may just signify that Earthers are the suckers of the Federation, taking all the risk while everyone else gets largely a free ride.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Nerroth wrote: View Post
One day, it would indeed be interesting if the Franchise was able to take a look at a compelling counterpart to the Federation, in the sense of there being another multi-species democracy out there that would have its own set of ideas as to how to go about their business; but finding the right place for such a story to be told would be the real trick.
Exactly the point I was making: the writers never had the courage to show what the Federation looked like in comparison to other "white hats." We only saw them compared to tyrants and outright bigots, so of course the conclusion people draw from that--before looking deeper--is that the Federation is a perfect knight in shining armor. Credible opposition would reveal the ugly side fast.
I think the implication is, when Starfleet encounters a white-hat culture, it swiftly incorporates them into the Federation, which after all is a good deal: you get your space defense handled for you, while not having your internal affairs interfered with.

That is, assuming your culture lines up pretty well with the Federation - the Bajorans are a good example, their religious hierarchy may suffer from some degree of corruption, but as long as there's no blatant social injustice happening, they can be a Fed world. If your culture is a poor fit for Fed values, the match won't work, but then you aren't a white hat, are you? Or, here's a great example of what I mean:

We know from "Accession" (DS9) that the Federation Charter bans caste-based discrimination. If a planetary state wants to become a Federation Member State, they have to abolish it. So when the Republic of Bajor briefly instituted caste-based discrimination, its admission to the Federation was endangered.

But the Federation did not actually impose its morals on Bajor. They didn't threaten to invade, nor even to impose economic sanctions. What they did say was, in effect, "Bajor has the right to run its society as it wants. But if Bajor wants to become part of our society, then it needs to conform with our laws. Federation society is constitutionally designed to function a certain way, and no independent society can become part of our society if they violate that way."
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 08:16 PM   #84
Paradon
Rear Admiral
 
Paradon's Avatar
 
Location: Huckleberry Hound;California Love;the golden state
Re: The Federation Must Die.

jgalley wrote: View Post
I know Al Quada wasn't the best example, but served to prove my point.

so i'll dumb it down so you can understand.

Let's say the "Paradon" form over in...Italy. They attack..Poland..for atrocities committed in a (this is made-up remember) war against the U.S. and Italy. The "Paradon" don't like the peace that was formed with the U.S. So "Paradon" continue to attack and kill Poland regardless of the peace treaties. Several U.S. Generals, Colonels, and "normal" soldiers defect from the U.S. Armed Forced and join "Paradon" HELPING them attack and kill Poland military/government/citizens. You're actually saying that the U.S. has NO RESPONSIBILITY to stop their ex-soldiers..that are capable of doing what they're doing BECAUSE OF the TRAINING they RECEIVED in the U.S. AND carry U.S. Military secrets since this "Paradon" group doesn't actually attack the U.S.?

it's poorly thought-out. false. and an idiotic stand-point. fact.

The Federation going after the Maquis is similar to this. They ARE responsible for the defectors training and abilities..tactics...know-how..etc. Not to mention they have a PEACE TREATY with the Card's.

So pick apart my example if that's all you can (obviously) do. because even that holds no merit. As whether my Al Quada example (or even the above one) is off...the POINT is valid and accurate.

and again it's "cool" to criticize the "good guys" isn't it? fight the power brother!

No, offense! But going after people that left the Federation and chose to stay with the Cardassians is really isn't an option either. They are no longer the responsibility of the Federation. The whole mess was born out of the ignorance of the Federation government thinking they can force people to accept their point of view at their expense.

Anytime you send in military forces into another countries, it pisses the people off to no end. Believe it or not, people in other countries do feel patriotism for their countries and they get pissed off when they see foreign soldiers on their homeland. This is why most countries, especially middle eastern nations, don't like the U.S. They don't give a fuck shit what Americans think. When They see your troops in their countries, it could be seen as an act of war and disrespecting them. The Federation already made enough mess, so they need to fucking stop and shut the fuck up because nobody wants to hear them preaching like they needed to be told how to behave and act...like they can't do anything right. If they think their officers may defect to them, then the Federation need to keep better taps on them.

The problem is: you can't make peace by war. To achieve peace you must earn the other parties respect and trust by open communication and good dialoques. People will repect you if you respect them. The more people you kill, the more pissed off they get. Eveerybody gets pissed off when their love ones die!
__________________
"This is not about who has the biggest gun or more powerful ships... A friend in power is a friend lost."
Paradon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 08:39 PM   #85
Rush Limborg
Vice Admiral
 
Rush Limborg's Avatar
 
Location: The EIB Network
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Sci, are you a professional writer? You've written so much content in this thread, it could easily make a multi-part article in some publication.
Don't know about Sci--but I myself am a paid writer for a political blog site....

Sci wrote:


I know that Jack Nicholson is very charismatic, but I do wish that people would remember that the entire point of A Few Good Men is that Nicholson's character is a pathological narcissist who thinks that his position in the United States Marine Corps gives him carte blanche to break the law whenever he wants. He's a character who thinks he's above the law and above morality, not a character to be admired.


I was making a joke... when someone went on about how Sisko is sitting outside paradise (paraphrased). Of course Sisko != Jessup.

Jessup was a very sad case. The front line fighting military have to be very tough and thus go to some extremes to ensure the men will be able to fight successfully without risking the lives of others. He crossed the line, ordering that code red. The loss of investment in him for the military was huge... all because he couldn't see how he was taking things a little too far.
Y'know, my thoughts about Jessep are that, had he been using his mind when hearing about the general incompetence of Santiago, he'd have simply wondered how the heck a guy that sickly got past MARINE basic traning. Then, he'd have confronted that doctor that somehow pronounced the lad completely fit for duty....

The thing about Jessep's speech is--though, as Sci points out, the point of the fims was to condemn his attitude--like Olver Stone's Wall Street, it actually had the opposite effect from the intended one. As you may be aware, Wall Street actually became an inspiration to the "corporate raiders" Stone was trying to condemn--and it became a nice recruiting tool for the Street.

In the case of the speech--approve of Jessep's actions or not, there is something to what he says. Though he uses those words to defend his grave error in judgement (he should have simply busted the kid out of the Corps, with a dishonorable discharge for his sorry conduct)--still, by itself, the speech is a winner.
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Rush Limborg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 08:45 PM   #86
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: State of Maryland/District of Columbia
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
The thing about Jessep's speech is--though, as Sci points out, the point of the fims was to condemn his attitude--like Olver Stone's Wall Street, it actually had the opposite effect from the intended one. As you may be aware, Wall Street actually became an inspiration to the "corporate raiders" Stone was trying to condemn--and it became a nice recruiting tool for the Street.
That's only because some people are bastards.

In the case of the speech--approve of Jessep's actions or not, there is something to what he says.
No, there isn't. Defending the country doesn't give you the right to break the law.
__________________
This dream must end, this world must know:
We all depend on the beast below.
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7 2011, 08:50 PM   #87
Rush Limborg
Vice Admiral
 
Rush Limborg's Avatar
 
Location: The EIB Network
Re: The Federation Must Die.

^Again, I am separating Jessep's actions from the speech.

His words could easily be spoken by a black-ops agent--that the public can't know the truth, because they couldn't handle it.

Frankly, in the speech, he doesn't mention breaking the law, per se. He mentions doing dark things which some might consider morally wrong--but not necessarily illegal. His actions were illegal, but his speech didn't refer to that.
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Rush Limborg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8 2011, 02:00 AM   #88
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Re: The Federation Must Die.

Sci wrote: View Post
No, there isn't. Defending the country doesn't give you the right to break the law.
So if obeying the law result in the country ceasing to exist, that preferable to breaking the law?

You're kidding right?

T'Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8 2011, 02:27 AM   #89
Paradon
Rear Admiral
 
Paradon's Avatar
 
Location: Huckleberry Hound;California Love;the golden state
Re: The Federation Must Die.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
No, there isn't. Defending the country doesn't give you the right to break the law.
So if obeying the law result in the country ceasing to exist, that preferable to breaking the law?

You're kidding right?


There's more than one ways to do things depending on what kind of results you are hoping for... Before anyone starts acting like a bunch of pigheaded morons, try to do the right thing. You always have choices, so pick the best one according to the situation. Don't think...I can't! If that's how you think you always have to break the laws when you are in the hot seat, then that's what you will always do, and the crime rate probably will increase by 200%. [chuckle] There are more than ways to do things. Think before you say and do something.
__________________
"This is not about who has the biggest gun or more powerful ships... A friend in power is a friend lost."
Paradon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8 2011, 08:06 AM   #90
Arpy
Rear Admiral
 
Re: The Federation Must Die.

The public can't handle the truth? Nonsense. Enlighten them. ...That's the same crap they used to say about why the American for of government wouldn't work. The world's adjusted fine to democracy. I think that it'd adjust equally well to greater openness.

And Jessup was an asshole - in word and action. He had options in dealing with Santiago, but he chose instead to do something dangerous, and it bit him in the ass. Instead of owning up to his actions he tried to conceal them.

...Harrumph, and why not try to when you have people arguing for secrecy at the expense of justice? Everyone wants to be a gangsta these days.
Arpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
corrupt, federation, space-hippies

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.