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Old May 25 2013, 08:29 PM   #166
iguana_tonante
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Thanks for bringing it up. I can totally see how it could read as a personal slight instead of a general statement. Damn English language and its "general you".
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Old May 25 2013, 10:00 PM   #167
MacLeod
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

So where we?

We have to remember the UE was formed following first-contact with another species, WWIII, numerous other conflicts that had occured. No doubt the survivors of those periods have a different viewpoint than we would have. Perhaps once again we have to look to history to see what changes were brought about following major conflicts in our history.
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Old May 25 2013, 10:39 PM   #168
Count Zero
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

True, Picard states very clearly in First Contact that said first contact changed everything and that it played a pivotal role in unifying humanity.
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Old May 26 2013, 12:19 AM   #169
TheGoodNews
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
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.
ZapBrannigan,

You're assuming that a central bureaucracy or hegemony is ruling over the Earth, when the Earth itself could be a Federation of democratically Self-Governing autonmies. What in anarchist terminology is called FEDERALISM (see Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "What is Property?") Proudhon was the first anarchist who advocated a decentralized federation of self-governing districts to prevent any centralized power structure from rising. If you look at the anarchist Free Territory of the Ukraine, it was organized along these principles.



Star trek's earth may have a global council made of recallable delegates rather than a government.
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Old May 26 2013, 03:29 AM   #170
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

TheGoodNews wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
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.
ZapBrannigan,

You're assuming that a central bureaucracy or hegemony is ruling over the Earth, when the Earth itself could be a Federation of democratically Self-Governing autonmies. What in anarchist terminology is called FEDERALISM (see Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "What is Property?") Proudhon was the first anarchist who advocated a decentralized federation of self-governing districts to prevent any centralized power structure from rising. If you look at the anarchist Free Territory of the Ukraine, it was organized along these principles.



Star trek's earth may have a global council made of recallable delegates rather than a government.

Interesting, but...

In the ST universe, somebody is deciding for the whole Earth how to produce and allocate resourses, how much to tax from each part of the Earth for central use, how much of our resources (whether money or physical goods) shall be given to the United Federation of Planets (for building Starfleet, etc).

Then somebody in the UFP is deciding what Starfleet is supposed to do and not do. They're deciding who is allowed to colonize desirable uninhabited planets, the ones with good air, water, and soil that are not too far away. Somebody is deciding what constitutes grounds for war with the Romulans, and what should be tolerated as the price of peace.

These are contentious, irksome issues. There will never be perfect harmony in figuring them out and coming to decisions. Somebody will be very unhappy with each decision. There must be a final authority that imposes its will on the various parts of the Earth, and also a UFP authority that imposes its will upon the Earth and other planets.

I'm afraid your "No centralized power" concept would mean no United Earth and no UFP.
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Old May 26 2013, 10:34 AM   #171
iguana_tonante
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Of course, you realize that you are pulling all that out of your... bag of holding, right?
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Old May 26 2013, 12:17 PM   #172
Lynx
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
If I were you, I wouldn't scold people for "exaggerations and lies" after:

Lynx wrote: View Post
[In the EU] the once independent nations have been turned into Soviet Republics
Lynx wrote: View Post
[The EU is] a centralized, Soviet-style bureacracy
Lynx wrote: View Post
[Václav Klaus is] a freedom fighter for his country, not a traitor or corrupt sell out who lick the boots for the hotshots in charge of the EU.
I also liked how you defended the policies of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing populist who amended the (already self-tailored) Hungarian constitution to increase his own power, curb civil rights, limit the independence of the judiciary, and allow prosecution of political dissidents and religious minorities.

If he, Vladimir Putin and Vaclav Klaus are your paragons of "political decency", then I am afraid I can't offer any European politician who can compare with those titans of democracy.
The way that you dump Václav Klaus together with Putin and Orban shows that you have very little knowledge about different European countries and their politicians.

And I never defended the politics of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. I only stated that the EU bosses don't dare to expel Hungary because it would led to a domino effect with more and more countires leaving the EU when they discover that Hungary, like Iceland, Norway and Switzerland can manage without the Union.

I can also tell you that there are certain EU countries which have certain "rules" for their press which constantly omit certain acts of criminality and misuse of power because it's not politically correct to report about such things. So Hungary is not alone.

Once again, I would like to know what's so incredibly good about the European Union and the politicians who support the Union.

If I allow myself to go back on topic, I can see that the world in the Star Trek Universe has manage to get rid of poverty, opression, unjustice, environment destruction and over-population and such non-functioning systems like Capitalism and Communism. I suppose that without all that, it would be much easier to have some sort of World Government, especially when the Earth has become a member of an inter-stellar "family" which the Federation is.

Still, I do think that even an united world with some sort of World Government would be based on a confederation between the countries of the world, a confederation which has developed during the centuries and not being forced upon the citizens by some half-authoritarian World Government. Personally I believe in cooperation between countries and I do see a Star Trek-like World Government as a possibility in a future.
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Old May 26 2013, 12:24 PM   #173
Cookies and Cake
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Nothing in Star Trek ever suggested that the United Earth government was forced upon the people of Earth. On the contrary, there is every suggestion that its existence was the will of the people.
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Old May 26 2013, 04:26 PM   #174
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Merchant capitalism dates back to the ninth century in the Arab world. Market economies (on Earth) have been around for thousands of years.
No.
Actual yes.

Markets have always existed ...
Which is what I said.

... but modern free market economies have only existed for about 200 years.
Which has what to do with what I said?

Merchant capitalism is over eleven centuries old, coined money to be used in commerce is twenty-five centuries old.

The shekel, as a standardized unit of weight to be used in trade, commerce and wages, is about fifty centuries old.

You mistake capitalism / market economy, a system which has only existed for about two centuries and turned out to be the most dynamic one, with markets. Just because there are markets doesn't imply that you have a market economy as markets exist in ALL economic systems, be it the tribal tradings of humans 20.000 years ago, feudalism or communism.

A market can be highly inefficient, be it because of externalities, informational-incentive problems (Stiglitz's old sharecropping paper basically points out why feudalism, a system with extreme land inequality, is inefficient and the incentive problems in communism are obvious) or lack of competition (I already mentioned gilds).
In modern market economies these inefficiencies are historically speaking relatively low which is why we have had steady output growth for about two centuries.
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Old May 26 2013, 06:48 PM   #175
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Nothing in Star Trek ever suggested that the United Earth government was forced upon the people of Earth. On the contrary, there is every suggestion that its existence was the will of the people.
You have eloquently stated Gene Roddenberry's biggest fantasy: that in the future, all of mankind would adopt the religious, economic, and political preferences of Gene Roddenberry.

Then there is no need for a squabble, because every last person on Earth has wholeheartedly joined the same single faction.

Last edited by ZapBrannigan; May 26 2013 at 07:14 PM.
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Old May 26 2013, 07:14 PM   #176
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
In the ST universe, somebody is deciding for the whole Earth how to produce and allocate resourses, how much to tax from each part of the Earth for central use, how much of our resources (whether money or physical goods) shall be given to the United Federation of Planets (for building Starfleet, etc).

Then somebody in the UFP is deciding what Starfleet is supposed to do and not do. They're deciding who is allowed to colonize desirable uninhabited planets, the ones with good air, water, and soil that are not too far away. Somebody is deciding what constitutes grounds for war with the Romulans, and what should be tolerated as the price of peace.
What is your point, this is the case in the fictional realm of Trek as well as in the real world. You cannot avoid aggregating individual preferences and thus making some people unhappy, this happens in any kind of political system.

Given that your dream is, unlike Roddenberry's, a literal utopia, i.e. not possible at all, given that no political system can respect your personal preferences (besides in its aggregated form) I fail to see which part about "centralized progressive democratic worldwide government which ends wars and hunger" you don't like.


ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Then there is no need for a squabble, because every last person on Earth has wholeheartedly joined the same single faction.
No. Journey To Babel has shown that Federation politics can be pretty nasty so United Earth politics is probably similar. Just because you form one political entity doesn't mean that there will be no political conflict, no politics anymore.
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Old May 27 2013, 01:47 PM   #177
Merry Christmas
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
In the ST universe, somebody is deciding for the whole Earth how to produce and allocate resourses ...
Except of course the ST universe makes no such assertion. Resources can be allocate by other means, for example by way of trade and commerce. Central government planning has never been a valid method of determining what needs to be produced.

However, a limited world government could be of use in say trade matters, instead of be in overall control, the world government would orchestrate and facilitate trade matters.

Not only on Earth but also with incoming and outgoing interstellar trade as well. The world government could provide customs services

... how much to tax from each part of the Earth for central use ...
Which can be accomplished through sovereign nations paying into an established international fund to finance a world government, and not through any form of direct taxation.

The ability of the Earth's many sovereign nations to control the purse strings of the (hopefully) limited world government will be one of the ways to ensure that it remains within it's internationally agreed upon bounds. A governing body with a short list of duties and responsibilities.

World government doesn't have to automatically mean "all controlling."

... how much of our resources (whether money or physical goods) shall be given to the United Federation of Planets (for building Starfleet, etc).
This likely would be one of the world government small list of responsibilities.

The representative (or team) that Earth sends to the Federation Council would go through the world government.

The world government could provide Earth-interstellar customs services and inspections.

Provide a Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) like organization.

Co-ordinate Earth's off world activities, things like colonies, also ongoing relationships with former colonies. In the TNG episode Justice, there was a newly established Earth colony.

Ambassadors directly with other Federation Members (we've seen this). And direct diplomatic relationships with political entities outside the Federation (we've also seen this).

Offworld there will be a need for something like the US Marshalls.

There will also be a need for something like the US Coast Guard in space, while it's possible that Starfleet could do this, it might make sense for it to be locally managed. If Earth maintains a "Home Fleet" defense force, it would be managed through the world government.

**************

There must be a final authority that imposes its will on the various parts of the Earth ...
Hopefully this will never happen. The future should hold more freedoms, not less. Who wants a future with a population of billions of peons?

... and also a UFP authority that imposes its will upon the Earth and other planets.
If the Council ever attempted this (impose it's will) the people of the Federation should immediately remove all of their representatives on the Council, these persons could then be sent to various penal colonies.

The Federation should serve the needs it's Members, not the other way around.

I'm afraid your "No centralized power" concept would mean no United Earth and no UFP.
That isn't necessarily true. It would depend on what the people of Earth (for United Earth) and the people of the Federation as a whole (for the UFP) want these organization to do, and be capable of doing.

They're deciding who is allowed to colonize desirable uninhabited planets, the ones with good air, water, and soil that are not too far away.
In cases of Starfleet locating new colony worlds, the Council would determine "who gets it."

Somebody is deciding what constitutes grounds for war with the Romulans, and what should be tolerated as the price of peace.
Providing for the common defense would be one of the prime reasons the Federation was brought into existence in the first place, and why new Members would wish to join. A united front in other interstellar matter too.

There would be things that the Members would not require the Federation to provide for them. Example, planets and cultures that obtain membership with the Federation are highly advanced, warp capable societies, they probably already have their own school systems. So there would be no need for a "Federation Bureau of Education."

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Old May 27 2013, 02:13 PM   #178
stj
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

There's an extraordinary amount of vicious nonsense in this thread. It would take an awful amount of effort to comment on it all and highlight the best rebuttals. But, fortunately, the fundamental problem is encapsulated in the OP.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
A single government for the Earth would have so many citizens that it simply could not be responsive to them.
How many is too many? The US is already too large according to political conservatives. There is no intellectual content in this objection. This is merely a covertly disguised attack on the concept of representative democracy.

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).
I wish this had no intellectual content. Unfortunately, what it is saying is that, instead of respected leaders honestly carrying out democratically formulated policies, what is wanted is people like the OP, whose selection validates his personal prejudices. You can run down the wide and extensive list of prejudices aka "values" that might be offended by the existence of "elites" on your own.

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.
And this means that the OP doesn't want the human majority to rule over his (likely enough imaginary) local plurality.

I think the OP imagines that the US is going to exercise de facto rule over the world and merely detests the notion of the lesser forms of humanity having any rights. The US and its capitalist system are far too backward and has failed too grossly to rule in the fashion that such utopian dreamers as the OP hope. Yet, the prospect of endless war brush wars is insane, because they cannot be endlessly contained. There is in this time more chance of nuclear war. My estimate is that it is virtually certain in the long run. Unlike the Cold War, when there was at least one sane party to help maintain stability, today men ruled by delusions possess the power to damage the material prerequisites for human civilization itself.

A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
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Old May 27 2013, 02:22 PM   #179
Cookies and Cake
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Nothing in Star Trek ever suggested that the United Earth government was forced upon the people of Earth. On the contrary, there is every suggestion that its existence was the will of the people.
You have eloquently stated Gene Roddenberry's biggest fantasy: that in the future, all of mankind would adopt the religious, economic, and political preferences of Gene Roddenberry.

Then there is no need for a squabble, because every last person on Earth has wholeheartedly joined the same single faction.
John Lennon imagined, too....

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Old May 27 2013, 03:55 PM   #180
sonak
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Nothing in Star Trek ever suggested that the United Earth government was forced upon the people of Earth. On the contrary, there is every suggestion that its existence was the will of the people.
You have eloquently stated Gene Roddenberry's biggest fantasy: that in the future, all of mankind would adopt the religious, economic, and political preferences of Gene Roddenberry.

Then there is no need for a squabble, because every last person on Earth has wholeheartedly joined the same single faction.

not necessarily, I don't think it's "utopian" that in a society with access to abundant resources, that has eliminated poverty, and where high-quality education is available to all, that there wouldn't be a large faction clamoring for a return to unrestricted capitalism and massive exploitation. There may be dissident groups like the Maquis from time to time that reject the political order, but I doubt it would be very common.
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