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Old October 17 2013, 10:15 AM   #121
grendelsbayne
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
It's not clear how much direct democracy is really needed in the 24th century. There are few references to elected officials, many more to those who are more likely appointed. I would not be surprised if GR had a cynical view of federalism and decentralization. Perhaps election would be limited to voting for representation to the Federation Council and Federation President. If that were the case, things like USA and UK might only exist if they are useful for administrative purposes, but might have no political existence. It's even possible that the 24th century economy would make devolved governance inconsequential.
Outside of Starfleet admirals and Federation envoys/diplomats, both of which are fairly clearly oversampled simply due to the nature of the stories we're watching, what 'most likely appointed' authority figures were ever shown on Star Trek? The only Federation authorities I remember seeing were the President and the Federation Council - both of which certainly seem to have been elected.
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Old October 17 2013, 10:33 AM   #122
Merry Christmas
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
It's not clear how much direct democracy is really needed in the 24th century.
Certainly by the 24th century, much of modern day, day to day, bureaucracy will be gone, replaced with computer information systems.

The citizen populace will decide on general policies and guidelines for the government. Direct democracy.

The elected officials and remaining bureaucracy will figure out how to implement these policies and guidelines, and also be there as well to make fast decisions in emergency situations.

If that were the case, things like USA and UK might only exist if they are useful for administrative purposes, but might have no political existence.
Countries are not simply their governing mechanisms, they are groups of people who have shared common experiences and possess a national identity. A common culture, ethnicity, descent, and history.

So when considering the OP's question of "USA and UK surviving into the Trek era," it isn't solely a question of whether these countries governments will still be there. Will the countriesas nations still exist?

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Old October 17 2013, 04:31 PM   #123
Bad Thoughts
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
It's not clear how much direct democracy is really needed in the 24th century.
Certainly by the 24th century, much of modern day, day to day, bureaucracy will be gone, replaced with computer information systems.

The citizen populace will decide on general policies and guidelines for the government. Direct democracy.

The elected officials and remaining bureaucracy will figure out how to implement these policies and guidelines, and also be there as well to make fast decisions in emergency situations.
I never said there would be no direct democracy, but that it might be contained on particular levels. What if there are only elections to planetary and interplanetary governing bodies, but that other responsibilities and competencies are parceled out by appointments? There are references to mayors and governors, but nothing in those titles requires the positions to be filled by direct elections. In many places, the mayor (or first selectman) is chosen by a vote of a (directly elected) municipal council, not by the direct vote of the residents of the city or town.

The bigger problem that I am trying to enlighten is that there are very few references from the series or the films that tells us anything about how sub-planetary politics work, and that whether or not a given country exists as we know it today depends greatly on how much use there would be for actual politics at that level. Just because there would be federalism between planets doesn't mean that there would be federalism within planets. (The dialogue of Attached suggests that the UFP would be leery of sub-planetary units having too much independence.)
Unspeakable wrote: View Post
If that were the case, things like USA and UK might only exist if they are useful for administrative purposes, but might have no political existence.
Countries are not simply their governing mechanisms, they are groups of people who have shared common experiences and possess a national identity. A common culture, ethnicity, descent, and history.

So when considering the OP's question of "USA and UK surviving into the Trek era," it isn't solely a question of whether these countries governments will still be there. Will the countriesas nations still exist?

Nations-states are historically inscribable phenomena. Most are barely a century old (even when the country is older or the notion of the country has been around for some time). There's no guarantee that they will survive, either in this fictional future or in the real world. Moreover, having a common identity does not guarantee that there is a corresponding state for them--even in the current world.

If there were more evidence of direct democracy at sub-planetary levels, it would suggest that the old nations were more or less still extant, if not necessary. There would exist an arena wherein different priorities between people of one area could be defined against those of another. Instead, there is an incomplete picture of what politics and governance looks like, but I think that it is strongly technocratic. Moreover, I suspect that at least a few people who defined the franchise, Roddenberry among them, felt that resolving scarcity erased all divisions around which conflict might arise, including nations. (There must be a Roddenberry quote out there that says something to this effect, one way or the other.) On the other hand, does the Federation require more democracy than just at the planetary level? Vulcan had a quasi-military ruling group just before the formation of the Federation. And the one place where I might expect that the federation might impose democratic requirements, DS9, appeared to have none: no mayor, no council, just a flimsy comment from Quark about the station's chamber of commerce.
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Old October 17 2013, 06:24 PM   #124
Merry Christmas
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

On another website I read a posters opinion of why we relatively rarely see federation member civilians, and so many Starfleet, even though Starfleet is likely only a fraction of one percent of the total population.

According to the poster it's because the civilians are irrelavent.

It probably the same with the members governments at different levels, for the purposes of the story all that's required is to refer to "The Council." There are only a hand full of mentions to the federation even having a President. We do know from the example of Ardana that member worlds do have functioning governments. In Journey to Babel, Sarek spoke of "my government," clearly not meaning the federation council, but the government of Vulcan.


^(oo)^
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Old October 17 2013, 07:52 PM   #125
Bad Thoughts
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

^Wow! That's cynical. I'm not sure that it squares with Kirk's embrace of the ideals of the US Constitution in Omega Glory.

Funny thing about Sarek: they play fast and loose with his position. In Journey to Babel, he's the ambassador for Vulcan. In Sarek, he is a Federation ambassador from Vulcan. The idea that Vulcan might need an ambassador doesn't trouble me: the separate states of the Wilhemine Empire conducted diplomacy with other German states as well as other countries. What I find more troubling is that he might advocate for both Vulcan and the Federation, depending upon the mission.
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Old October 17 2013, 08:12 PM   #126
Merry Christmas
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
^Wow! That's cynical.
I think what was meant (at least how I read it) was the civilians were irrelavent to the story, not to the in-universe society.

Sarek was pulled out of retirement, most likely he was representing only the Vulcan Ggovernment, and had no connect at the time to the federation.

At various times in his quite long career he could have been at different times, the Vulcan ambassador to the federation, the federation ambassador to a federation member, the Vulcan ambassador to a species or government outside the federation, and the federation ambassador to an outside species or government.

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Old October 19 2013, 10:48 PM   #127
TheGoodNews
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Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

They could still exist as nations with their distinct heritage and cultural identities intact, but not as nation-states as we know and accept them today.
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