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Old May 27 2013, 04:23 PM   #181
MacLeod
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Location: Great Britain
Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Well it is likely that every few years the UE government holds elections, now we obviously don't know how this governemnt is formed, how many parties there are etc..

But even if you say there are only 2 main parties, it does not mean that they are broadly similar. But in any democratic system sometimes we don't end up with the givernment we would prefer, but guess what in x years time we get another cha nce to help get them into government.
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Old May 27 2013, 06:30 PM   #182
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
... 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.
They tried that with the Articles of Confederation. Didn't work. There's a reason the Revolutionary generation replaced the Articles with a U.S. Constitution that gave extraordinary taxation powers to the new federal government.

This is also how the large international joke called the United Nations is funded. It's basically only a good system if your goal is to create a bureaucracy that has no ability to actually govern.

... 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 problem with this is that it is essentially the same thing as saying, "No democratic government should ever reach a decision us locals don't like." Representative democracy means that sometimes the federal government reaches a decision supported by the majority but opposed by a minority; you don't get to take your ball and go home just because your side lost. That way lies social collapse.

stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
This. This. A thousand times, this.
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Old May 27 2013, 07:15 PM   #183
Captain Verata
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

United Earth? Yes Please! As communication around the world gets better, traveling gets easier/faster, economic globalization increases, and the collective education levels around the world get better, we are getting getting closer to a culturally and economically unified Earth. There are global problems with international solutions that will bring and have brought countries together. Eventually people will realize the efficiency of having a global institution dealing with our collective issues then people will probably want a democratic say in this institution. United we stand, divided we fall.
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Old May 28 2013, 05:27 AM   #184
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Lots of of thoughtful discussion in this thread! At turns I can almost be swayed by some of the things being said in favor of a United Earth.

I'm still against it though, at least for our day and age. And I think it's gonna be a long, long time.

A couple of concerns:

1) A huge swath of the eastern hemisphere is populated by a faith quite foreign to me, going on 1.6 billion people. It's not a shrinking group, they're not going anywhere, and when they hold elections they often put governments in place that don't permit freedom of religion or even freedom of opinion. Do I really want to add them to the voting pool that governs me? Should they get a vote on whether my sister can own property? I'd rather they have their political systems and we have ours.


2) Large parts of our world have a long way to go in terms of developing their human potential. Even assuming that the problem suggested by this study...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_and_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Na...Inequality.png


...is difficult to quantify with high confidence, it still gives me pause to think that my government, its direction and principles and so forth, should be selected by the votes of people who, let's face it, are not very smart.

I think we're better off playing it cool on the whole "United Earth" thing until some future day when the global intellectual level is better cultivated.

And even then, my concerns stand about a too-distant government, responsive to so many billions of people that it would not reflect our culture, and might spend much of its energy transferring wealth from my part of the world to somebody else's in a grand leveling scheme. Frankly, I can't get behind that.
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Old May 28 2013, 06:46 AM   #185
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Lots of of thoughtful discussion in this thread! At turns I can almost be swayed by some of the things being said in favor of a United Earth.

I'm still against it though, at least for our day and age.
I don't think anyone has argued that the world is ready for a united government yet. Even those of us who would favor it generally argue it's a long-term goal to be reached after many social changes.

A couple of concerns:

1) A huge swath of the eastern hemisphere is populated by a faith quite foreign to me, going on 1.6 billion people. It's not a shrinking group, they're not going anywhere, and when they hold elections they often put governments in place that don't permit freedom of religion or even freedom of opinion.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism -- often called Islamism -- coupled with nationalism and extremism is certainly a valid concern. But let's put it into context, too -- most of these nations have been dominated by Western-backed secular dictatorships. For many people in that region, having an "Islamic" government is a way of asserting national independence and identity, and they're skeptical of the idea that Western-style democracies -- the sort which had been the patrons and puppet-masters of the brutal tyrants they've only just overthrown -- are the best way to bring about freedom.

They are wrong, but this is a function of the immediate historical circumstances. It is not an inherent function of Islam, nor intrinsic to any majority-Muslim country.

Nor, for that matter, do majority-Christian countries have any particular monopoly on freedom of religion and of thought. One need only look at the numerous instances of discrimination faced by Atheists in the modern era, or Jews in the near past, to see this.

2) Large parts of our world have a long way to go in terms of developing their human potential. Even assuming that the problem suggested by this study...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_and_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Na...Inequality.png
Did you seriously just try to argue that some nations are smarter than others? Really?

...is difficult to quantify with high confidence, it still gives me pause to think that my government, its direction and principles and so forth, should be selected by the votes of people who, let's face it, are not very smart.
I'm sorry, but this sort of elitism is morally unacceptable. Governments derive their authority to govern from the consent of the populaces they govern. This is why democracy is the only legitimate form of government -- and why anything less than universal adult suffrage is illegitimate. Who are you to decide who is or is not "very smart?"

And even then, my concerns stand about a too-distant government, responsive to so many billions of people that it would not reflect our culture, and might spend much of its energy transferring wealth from my part of the world to somebody else's in a grand leveling scheme.
Gasp! The horror! A government that tries to relieve human suffering and demands that our plutocratic overlords stop hoarding all the world's wealth for their own benefit! How tyrannical!
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Old May 28 2013, 07:17 AM   #186
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Sci wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
... paying into an established international fund to finance a world government ...
They tried that with the Articles of Confederation. Didn't work.
Money was a serious problem yes, but the real problem was that they tried to have basically thirteen sovereign countries, and at the same time a national government, you can't have both. They had to choose one or the other. Which they did.

This would be a problem with a world government, because there would be no pretense that it was the national government of a one nation Earth.

It's basically only a good system if your goal is to create a bureaucracy that has no ability to actually govern.
What I was describing would be a world government as a international entity that would facilitate activities between sovereign nations, provide a few services, and also manage Earth's collective interstellar affairs. Strictly speaking no, it wouldn't have the ability to "actually govern" the entire Earth. But it would be a governing body with a limited mandate.

If the Council ever attempted this (impose it's will) the people of the Federation ...
The problem with this is that it is essentially the same thing as saying, "No democratic government should ever reach a decision us locals don't like."
If the Council ever tried to impose it's will on the entirety or the majority (not just a minority) of the people of the Federation, yes in that event the Council should be quickly replaced.

What I'm essentially saying is the Federation would be a larger version of what I propose for a Earth world government. As such it would largely lack the power to impose it will on the Membership, outside of a few areas. It would facilitate trade and other relationships within the interstellar community of the Member worlds, provide for a common defense, speak with a common voice in external Federation matters, and there woud be other functions too.

Representative democracy means that sometimes the federal government reaches a decision supported by the majority but opposed by a minority
Which wasn't what I was referring too.

you don't get to take your ball and go home just because your side lost
Actually, I believe that Federation Membership would alway have the ability to do just that.

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Old May 28 2013, 01:21 PM   #187
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
1) A huge swath of the eastern hemisphere is populated by a faith quite foreign to me, going on 1.6 billion people. It's not a shrinking group, they're not going anywhere, and when they hold elections they often put governments in place that don't permit freedom of religion or even freedom of opinion. Do I really want to add them to the voting pool that governs me? Should they get a vote on whether my sister can own property? I'd rather they have their political systems and we have ours.


2) Large parts of our world have a long way to go in terms of developing their human potential. Even assuming that the problem suggested by this study.
The first boils down to Islamophobia (the autocratic governments in the Middle East are not so because of Islam and a country like Indonesia has been authoritarian for a long time because of Western interference) and the second is just racism.
Neither is thus an actual argument against a United Earth, they are rather dubious rationalizations of being against worldwide cooperation and governance.
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Old May 28 2013, 02:49 PM   #188
iguana_tonante
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

I bow to CZ's request to tone it down, but I offer my final comment on topic:

Lynx wrote: View Post
Once again, I would like to know what's so incredibly good about the European Union and the politicians who support the Union.
For the same reason I think Earth, Vulcan, Andor and Tellar formed the UFP: we are stronger together than alone. There might not be a Romulan Star Empire at the door, but the global market will be ruled by the most powerful economies. Switzerland and Norway manage pretty well on their own, but you don't see them as main players on the international stage. If we want to compete with economic titans like the US or China, we have to do it together. And the EU, for all its problems and shortcomings, is out best shot at that.
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Old May 28 2013, 03:30 PM   #189
sonak
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Location: in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Lots of of thoughtful discussion in this thread! At turns I can almost be swayed by some of the things being said in favor of a United Earth.

I'm still against it though, at least for our day and age. And I think it's gonna be a long, long time.

A couple of concerns:

1) A huge swath of the eastern hemisphere is populated by a faith quite foreign to me, going on 1.6 billion people. It's not a shrinking group, they're not going anywhere, and when they hold elections they often put governments in place that don't permit freedom of religion or even freedom of opinion. Do I really want to add them to the voting pool that governs me? Should they get a vote on whether my sister can own property? I'd rather they have their political systems and we have ours.


2) Large parts of our world have a long way to go in terms of developing their human potential. Even assuming that the problem suggested by this study...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_and_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Na...Inequality.png


...is difficult to quantify with high confidence, it still gives me pause to think that my government, its direction and principles and so forth, should be selected by the votes of people who, let's face it, are not very smart.

I think we're better off playing it cool on the whole "United Earth" thing until some future day when the global intellectual level is better cultivated.

And even then, my concerns stand about a too-distant government, responsive to so many billions of people that it would not reflect our culture, and might spend much of its energy transferring wealth from my part of the world to somebody else's in a grand leveling scheme. Frankly, I can't get behind that.

(1) I don't understand that argument as an objection. It would seem to me that more international cooperation and integration would be part of the solution, not more isolationism. You're also making ridiculously large generalizations about massive groups.

(2) that's just pseudoscience masquerading as empiricism.
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Old May 28 2013, 05:39 PM   #190
Belz...
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Location: In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

What's "human potential" ?
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Old May 28 2013, 05:42 PM   #191
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

So the response is to insist that Islam has nothing to do with the problems that Islamists present us with, and to ignore any study whose results are not politically correct. Deny, deny, deny.

Okay; all this means is that we have failed to persuade each other. It happens.

Sci wrote: View Post
I don't think anyone has argued that the world is ready for a united government yet. Even those of us who would favor it generally argue it's a long-term goal to be reached after many social changes.
That's good enough for me.
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Old May 28 2013, 05:51 PM   #192
Nightdiamond
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I'm still against it though, at least for our day and age. And I think it's gonna be a long, long time.

2) Large parts of our world have a long way to go in terms of developing their human potential. Even assuming that the problem suggested by this study...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_and_intelligence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Na...Inequality.png

...is difficult to quantify with high confidence, it still gives me pause to think that my government, its direction and principles and so forth, should be selected by the votes of people who, let's face it, are not very smart.

I think we're better off playing it cool on the whole "United Earth" thing until some future day when the global intellectual level is better cultivated.
It's true, it would have be a totally different world than what is now for that to happen.

I pointed out in an earlier post that a lot of cultural and religious baggage would have to be dumped in order to achieve the united earth Trek talks about.

But this area is potentially dangerous.

This area is rife with controversy. There are accusations of weird generalizations, ignoring data that contradicts already held conclusions etc.

Ironically, immigrants from the sub Saharan regions have the highest rate of college graduation in this country, which would seem odd for a people with an IQ of only 65.

It's true, there are many countries and cultures that are simply screw ups, but there are some things data gathering and statistics can't always easily explain.

Another irony is how long it took for this government to grant freedoms to its own citizen such as women and minorities--

Whenever Trek criticized humans they almost always lumped the 20-21st century US along with other countries as being 'primitive' and 'un-evolved'.
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Old May 28 2013, 06:30 PM   #193
MacLeod
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Location: Great Britain
Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
I bow to CZ's request to tone it down, but I offer my final comment on topic:

Lynx wrote: View Post
Once again, I would like to know what's so incredibly good about the European Union and the politicians who support the Union.
For the same reason I think Earth, Vulcan, Andor and Tellar formed the UFP: we are stronger together than alone. There might not be a Romulan Star Empire at the door, but the global market will be ruled by the most powerful economies. Switzerland and Norway manage pretty well on their own, but you don't see them as main players on the international stage. If we want to compete with economic titans like the US or China, we have to do it together. And the EU, for all its problems and shortcomings, is out best shot at that.
Yes bu tone of the main problems in that, is differing viewpoints in just how the EU accomplishes that. I vote for less red tape and regulations.
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Old May 28 2013, 11:27 PM   #194
stj
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

The notion that a purely voluntary organization of states, as opposed to a democratic majority of humanity, could even conduct a foreign policy is a prime example of how it's the political conservatives whose ideology trumps sanity every time. It is exactly the same as saying the UN could conduct Earth's policy toward the aliens who are landing next Tuesday. (Except of course you can never, ever, be sure when a political conservative is being honest about what he or she wants, since truth is not a moral value for them.)
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Old May 29 2013, 01:55 AM   #195
ZapBrannigan
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
Except of course you can never, ever, be sure when a political conservative is being honest about what he or she wants, since truth is not a moral value for them.
That's false. But I guess you have to launch an ad hominem attack when the facts aren't there for you.
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