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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old July 1 2013, 09:21 PM   #166
solariabsg25
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The fact is, whichever side of the fence you are on, Starfleet does not have a equivalent to any modern military. It's mission purview is so outside of any Earth-bound experience, it makes any direct comparison impossible.

It has been referred to ON SCREEN as both a military organization AND non military. Most of the military evidence comes from the TOS era, like Kirk specifically claiming he's a soldier, them using military courts-martial etc, a science-vs-military argument in TWOK. Roddenberry's original pitch included the reference to Horatio Hornblower, stories of a military officer on a military vessel. How much of that was his real intent, or just flim-flam to try to sell the series to TV execs who wanted an action show, I doubt we will ever know.

What is plain is that his statments then changed, and everyone tried to conform to the new "not-military" directive.

The argument does seem to just be going around and around in circles, and IMHO it will never lead to a true consensus as all we can do is state the "it is" and "it isn't" statements, both of which are just as valid as the other.

Starfleet is therefore either a military organization, who due to the nature of a space service, spend most of their time in an exploratory and/or scientific role.

Or an exploratory/scientific organisation, who due to the nature of a space service, are also responsible to undertake the responsibilities of the military arm of The Federation.
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Old July 1 2013, 09:31 PM   #167
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Picard: "Starfleet is not a military organization."
Belz: "I disagree!"
Gardner: "I'm surprised Archer requested military officers to the Enterprise..."
Belz: "Starfleet IS the military, stupid!"
Scotty: "This is clearly a military mission! Is that what we are now?"
Belz: "You were always a military! What are you talking about?"

You don't agree with what Starfleet says about itself, so why would I expect you to believe me?
You know, two can play the cherry-picking game, as you've well seen in this thread, so why do you still insist on playing it ?

I'll offer once more TUC as a counter-example: as soon as the Klingon peace prospect is brought up, someone mentioned they might mothball Starfleet. I wonder why they'd say that, right ?
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Old July 1 2013, 09:41 PM   #168
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I agree. It is BOTH depending on, like other Trek related conflicts, the demands of the story being told at the time.

Isn't this why TOS isn't consistent within itself, it placed the needs of the story over continuity?
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Old July 1 2013, 09:57 PM   #169
M'Sharak
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Heh. This entire debate reminds me of something Mimi Panitch wrote at least a decade ago, that being a Star Trek editor was like being the Pope during a period of extreme doctrinal dispute. Everybody interprets the sacred texts slightly differently--and are convinced that all other interpretations are heresy.
Sounds familiar, that does.
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Old July 2 2013, 01:23 AM   #170
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Jewish sages who wrote the Talmud wrote that the Old Testament could be interpreted in four different ways. They were:
* Peshat - simple, literal interpretation of the work
* Remez - hints and allusions in the work
* Drush - deeper meanings in the work
* Sod - esoteric, mystical meanings in the work

I feel that many discussions of Star Trek often work at the Peshat, Remez, and, occasionally, Drush levels. Rarely, I have seen people working at the Sod level.

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/4...the-Torah.html
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Old July 2 2013, 03:27 AM   #171
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post

Starfleet is therefore either a military organization, who due to the nature of a space service, spend most of their time in an exploratory and/or scientific role.

Or an exploratory/scientific organisation, who due to the nature of a space service, are also responsible to undertake the responsibilities of the military arm of The Federation.
That sounds about right.
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Old July 2 2013, 03:29 AM   #172
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Since WWII, Japan is constitutionally prohibited from having a military. They nonetheless have forces to fulfill necessary functions of a military, of course. But these forces are not legally a military, and they aren't called that. They're called the Self Defense Forces. I don't see why Starfleet can't appear and act as a military (and thus be understandably referred to as one by outsiders) and still at least technically not be one.
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Old July 2 2013, 03:33 AM   #173
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
I'll offer once more TUC as a counter-example: as soon as the Klingon peace prospect is brought up, someone mentioned they might mothball Starfleet.
Which was a strawman, not a serious suggestion, considering Spock never said anything about the ships, only the neutral zone outposts.

It's a bit like when someone suggests "I think we should pull out of Afghanistan" and somebody replies "You mean we should let the terrorists win?"
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Old July 2 2013, 04:43 AM   #174
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
Since WWII, Japan is constitutionally prohibited from having a military. They nonetheless have forces to fulfill necessary functions of a military, of course. But these forces are not legally a military, and they aren't called that. They're called the Self Defense Forces. I don't see why Starfleet can't appear and act as a military (and thus be understandably referred to as one by outsiders) and still at least technically not be one.
Which is a very good point, and is precedent for what we see in the Federation after all.

As I said in another thread, given the reaction to the "Post Atomic Horror," United Earth probably has laws prohibiting the formation of a military force in space (in fact, we already HAVE laws like that, but World War III would have certainly reaffirmed the reasons for them). The same laws wouldn't prohibit the formation of a scientific research agency, and thus Earth Starfleet was created, modeled as a spaceborne version of NOAA. When the need arose for inter-system law enforcement actions, United Earth turned to the only agency with any warp-capable spacecraft and allowed them to arm those ships with weapons. When the Death Star Mini drew a smiley face on Florida, Earth again turned to the only agency with warp capable starships (and the only man who seemed to have only idea what the hell was going on), provided them with still BETTER weapons and sent them to deliver the Xindi a strongly worded letter.

Starfleet grew into a paramilitary organization very VERY slowly, over a number of years and through a number of acts of pure convenience. It isn't so much that the Federation (or maybe just Earth) avoided making them a formal military organization, they simply never BOTHERED to, as Starfleet was able to do exactly what they needed it to without changing it from what it originally was in the first place.

If Japan had an oceanographic research agency that was as well armed as the JSDF, they wouldn't need a military force of any kind.
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; July 2 2013 at 05:06 AM.
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Old July 2 2013, 05:12 AM   #175
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
Just take Kirk's comment to John Christopher literally "we're a combined service" (IIRC).

Starfleet is a multipurpose organization whose military functions come to the fore when needed but otherwise recede into the background when other duties arise. It's not really all that complicated a concept.
Works for me.
Except that what everyone seems to forget about Kirk's conversation with Captain Christopher is that Kirk's combined service comment was in response to Christopher asking if Kirk was part ogf the Navy, so Kirk seemed to be saying Starfleet was an organization that was more of combination of all the military branches.

They never really went into whether Starfleet was a military or not in that episode.
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Old July 2 2013, 07:01 AM   #176
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
Just take Kirk's comment to John Christopher literally "we're a combined service" (IIRC).

Starfleet is a multipurpose organization whose military functions come to the fore when needed but otherwise recede into the background when other duties arise. It's not really all that complicated a concept.
Works for me.
Except that what everyone seems to forget about Kirk's conversation with Captain Christopher is that Kirk's combined service comment was in response to Christopher asking if Kirk was part ogf the Navy, so Kirk seemed to be saying Starfleet was an organization that was more of combination of all the military branches.

They never really went into whether Starfleet was a military or not in that episode.
Your interpretation is probably correct regarding the original episode's writer's intent. I just meant, rather than go one for hundreds of posts round and round in a circle, if we took Kirk's words literally, there is no real reason to argue. Starfleet is a multipurpose institution that includes military, diplomatic, exploratory and scientific duties. As it is a fictional institution, there is no need for it to be classified as more one of those things than the other a priori--the institution merely serves whatever function the story calls for.
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Old July 2 2013, 11:26 AM   #177
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which was a strawman, not a serious suggestion
How would you know ? This is the only time we see that officer and they are discussing a very serious subject. You are, again, making stuff up.
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Old July 2 2013, 02:00 PM   #178
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
Since WWII, Japan is constitutionally prohibited from having a military. They nonetheless have forces to fulfill necessary functions of a military, of course. But these forces are not legally a military, and they aren't called that. They're called the Self Defense Forces. I don't see why Starfleet can't appear and act as a military (and thus be understandably referred to as one by outsiders) and still at least technically not be one.
As I understand, Japan's defense force is just that, a defense force with no offensive capabilities. While Starfleet might not always go on the offensive, they do have offensive capabilities.

Also, when someone in Japan's defense force finds themselves in legal trouble, the matter is dealt with in civilian court. Starfleet officers face court martial.
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Old July 2 2013, 04:23 PM   #179
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Starfleet is both 100% a space military and 100% a space exploratory agency. It depends on what the situation is and what the narrative demands.

It is both. And neither. Starfleet is its own beginning. Its own ending. A gateway to our own future, if we wish.
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Old July 2 2013, 04:25 PM   #180
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
I'll offer once more TUC as a counter-example: as soon as the Klingon peace prospect is brought up, someone mentioned they might mothball Starfleet.
Which was a strawman, not a serious suggestion, considering Spock never said anything about the ships, only the neutral zone outposts.

It's a bit like when someone suggests "I think we should pull out of Afghanistan" and somebody replies "You mean we should let the terrorists win?"
From the script

SPOCK: Good morning. Two months ago a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon Praxis. We believe it was caused by over-mining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone. They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in approximately fifty Earth years. Due to their enormous military budget, the Klingon economy does not have the resources to combat this catastrophe. Last month, at the behest of the Vulcan Ambassador I opened a dialogue with Gorkon, Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. He proposes to commence negotiations at once.

CARTWRIGHT: Negotiations for what?

SPOCK: The dismantling of our space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone, an end to almost seventy years of unremitting hostility with the Klingons, which the Klingons can no longer afford.

MILITARY AIDE: Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?

C in C: I'm sure that our exploration and scientific programs would be unaffected, Captain, but...

CARTWRIGHT: I must protest. To offer the Klingons a safe haven within Federation space is suicide. Klingons would become the alien trash of the galaxy. And if we dismantle the fleet, we'd be defenceless before an aggressive species with a foothold on our territory. The opportunity here is to bring them to their knees. Then we'll be in a far better position to dictate terms.
The lines clearly indicate that they feared dismantling Starfleet, yet leaving the exploratory and scientific branches open, a military viewpoint and reference. This possible threat to Starfleet was the reason for the conspiracy in the first place, so hardly a straw-man argument if Cartwright and other officers believed the threat was real enough to act against their own government.

HOWEVER although this is more evidence to the military-side of the argument, this IS from TUC, which as you have pointed out, is under Meyers more "Starfleet is Military" outlook.

I still stand by my assertion though, on-screen evidence supports both options equally, so both viewpoints are equally as valid.

How can we, as fans, make a final assessment when even the characters (occasionally even the SAME character) have differing opinions ??
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