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Old May 8 2013, 11:30 AM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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United Earth? No Thanks.

I'd be wary of the Star Trek future in which the whole Earth falls under one government. It's apparently a prerequisite for us to found the Federation, in which every planet counts as one member (but we're the big dog and don't forget it ). Even so, it has disadvantages.

A single government for the Earth would have so many citizens that it simply could not be responsive to them. We'd be ruled by distant elites who would not necessarily share our values and priorities (much like the European Union today, in the eyes of many of its people).

And those elites wouldn't need to be responsive. A government with six billion constituents would not have to answer to any of them. Assuming you even had an elected representative in the legislature, he would either be powerless because the legislature is so large, or he would have so many constituents that you would mean nothing to him.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:34 AM   #2
Deckerd
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Politically I think each country would run itself much as before, surely? I always imagined the purview of the Federation is planetary representation rather than government.

This is in direct contrast with the setup in B5 where the administration is explicitly called EarthGov and had a much less appealing stranglehold not only over Earth but also colonies.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:57 AM   #3
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Politically I think each country would run itself much as before, surely?
The central government would always want to exert some control to establish uniform standards and generally work its will in policy matters.

And regardless, you'd be paying taxes to a planetary government that you had no say in.

The United Federation of Planets extends the reach of government power, and reduces the ability of actual people to have a say, even further. It's a dream or a nightmare, depending on how much you trust distant elites to decide everything for you (what wars to fight, where to send foreign aid...).
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Old May 8 2013, 11:59 AM   #4
Deckerd
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Well unless some nerd turns up with the Federation Constitution chapter and verse, I guess it's vague enough for individuals to draw their own conclusions.
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Old May 8 2013, 12:06 PM   #5
RoJoHen
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
And regardless, you'd be paying taxes to a planetary government that you had no say in.
I didn't have a say in the founding of America, either, but I still pay taxes to it.
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Old May 8 2013, 12:19 PM   #6
The Johnson
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Does everyone on earth speak English in the star trek future?
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Old May 8 2013, 12:31 PM   #7
Jefferies
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

The Johnson wrote: View Post
Does everyone on earth speak English in the star trek future?
It is implied that at least by the 24th century the vast majority speak English as their first language. Hell even the French do! But then again high quality universal translation makes this a fairly minor issue.
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Old May 8 2013, 01:00 PM   #8
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
[I didn't have a say in the founding of America, either, but I still pay taxes to it.
The advantage of a couple of hundred government (as opposed to just one) is you can change your citizenship to somewhere else.

Multiple Earth gov's can pressure a bad one to moderate it's bad behavior. Sometimes it work, sometimes not. A single Earth gov could basically run wild.

Earth turns into Ardana.

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Old May 8 2013, 01:24 PM   #9
marksound
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Star Trek portrays a central government in a generally positive light. Firefly looked at a central government as invasive and oppressive.
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Old May 8 2013, 01:58 PM   #10
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

After WWI the League of Nations was established, after WWII the United Nations. The big problems of the 21st century, climate change, overpopulation, resource shortages, can only be solved via more international cooperation.
Same in the fiction history of Trek. No way to get rid of hunger and war (and build starships!) without a world government.

As historically speaking all democratic progressive forces were about centralized rule I see no need to worry about a world government being more in danger of becoming anti-democratic than a local government.
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Old May 8 2013, 02:27 PM   #11
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
And regardless, you'd be paying taxes to a planetary government that you had no say in.
What do you mean, you'd had no say in it? If United Earth had a federal government, you'd elect your planetary, national, regional and local authorities.
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Old May 8 2013, 02:49 PM   #12
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post

And regardless, you'd be paying taxes to a planetary government that you had no say in.
1) What makes you think you'd have no say in it? You would presumably have representation in the government.

2) There is no money in the future, so no taxes.
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Old May 8 2013, 02:58 PM   #13
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
A single government for the Earth would have so many citizens that it simply could not be responsive to them. We'd be ruled by distant elites who would not necessarily share our values and priorities (much like the European Union today, in the eyes of many of its people).
Just take a look at your own country, at the constitutional founding of the country the population was about 1/100 of the contemporary size and yet the political system has remained basically unchanged. Despite this massive population increase it is a well-functioning democracy. There are of course anti-democratic forces but they have little to do with the population size of the country and more with a concentration of wealth and power.
About distant elites, if you take a look at the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement it becomes obvious that it was the central government which fought against slavery and discrimination.

Nothing of this is particularly surprising, human values are universal (you can play the postmodern game but I am not willing to excuse something like genital mutilation with "culture" or "local values") so only a universal government can enforce them. Last time I checked we also try to move into this direction in the real world, international law, holding leaders who slaughter their own population accountable and so on.
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Old May 8 2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

I think a United Earth would work simply because of warp drive. That would allow any element that couldn't play with the majority to leave and set up their own -ocracy elsewhere.

I'm sure by the time there is a United Earth, there Planet Talibania, Planet Kim Jong, Planet Unionist, and the like out there. By the 24th Century, they did show Planet Native American not wanting to be too tied to the Federation anymore...
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Old May 8 2013, 03:08 PM   #15
royalfan5
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

The Laughing Vulcan wrote: View Post
I think a United Earth would work simply because of warp drive. That would allow any element that couldn't play with the majority to leave and set up their own -ocracy elsewhere.

I'm sure by the time there is a United Earth, there Planet Talibania, Planet Kim Jong, Planet Unionist, and the like out there. By the 24th Century, they did show Planet Native American not wanting to be too tied to the Federation anymore...
I agree, once anybody could take their ball and go to Ceti Gamma XX or what not, with all the benefits of technology, why would they stick around, especially with the noted fun haters of the Federation. Of course the Federation might deed you to the Cardassian's later, but them's the breaks.
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