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Old May 29 2013, 02:48 AM   #196
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
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,
The taxation power is intrinsic to the question of sovereignty. You cannot claim sovereignty in any practical, meaningful sense if you cannot tax. The two go hand-in-hand.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
So the response is to insist that Islam has nothing to do with the problems that Islamists present us with,
I contend that Islam has has much to do with the problem of Islamism as Catholicism had to do with the problems of Fascism and Nazism, or that Atheism had to do with the problems of Soviet Communism, or that Protestantism had to do with the problems of American or South African apartheid.

That is to say: All cultures and religions carry within them the potential for authoritarianism, and most tend to have periods in history when they fall into it; none of them are special.

and to ignore any study whose results are not politically correct.
The concept is self-evidently absurd and racist on its face.

It is also based on incompatible sets of data, which is basic to establishing scientific credibility.

And that's to say nothing of the more fundamental problem with trying to "measure" intelligence -- as though it were some linear, ordinal trait like height -- in the first pace.

The great Stephen Jay Gould once criticized "the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups—races, classes, or sexes—are innately inferior and deserve their status."

If you're truly interested in objectivity, you gotta be asking yourself: Is this about being "P.C.," or is this about justifying privilege and oppression? Is this about the facts, or is it about trying to legitimize the current international social structure?

Is this about truth, or is this about power?

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.
A prime example of the sorts of things that have to change for a United Earth to come about would be the sorts of xenophobic and prejudiced statements you have made.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
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.
No one who actually tries to argue that an entire nation of people can be smarter or dumber than others has any business making this response. Yours, sir, was the ultimate in ad hominem attacks.

But, there again, I consider statements of yours like this:

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
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.
And all I can think conclude, when I consider your attempts to assert that some people are "smarter" than "those" people, is that stj was right:

stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
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Old May 29 2013, 11:55 AM   #197
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
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.
Plato and the "noble lie." Joseph de Maistre. Leo Strauss. The endless examples of political conservatives who uphold established religions.

As displayed in this post, contempt for truth is a defining characteristic of political conservatism.
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Old May 29 2013, 12:27 PM   #198
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?

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Old May 29 2013, 08:31 PM   #199
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
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.
Just like the Federation.

(Kidding aside, no argument from me about that. The EU needs some pretty vigorous shaking to get into working shape. But it's still a worthwhile endeavour to me.)
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Old May 29 2013, 10:29 PM   #200
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Belz... wrote: View Post
What's "human potential" ?
These days? It's how much booze a person can hold.
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Old May 29 2013, 10:38 PM   #201
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

RandyS wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
What's "human potential" ?
These days? It's how much booze a person can hold.
Then Britain Ireland and Russia have the most potential than the rest of the world combined!
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Old May 29 2013, 10:59 PM   #202
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?


that's a fair point. You could just as much have an Earth united under tyranny as under progressive government. Actually, had the Nazis won WWII or the Communists won the Cold War, that might have been close to what happened.
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Old May 30 2013, 01:16 PM   #203
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

sonak wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?


that's a fair point. You could just as much have an Earth united under tyranny as under progressive government. Actually, had the Nazis won WWII or the Communists won the Cold War, that might have been close to what happened.
The whole point of having national governments with the power to wage war (aka sovereign states) is to defend property for a particular local group of owners. Consider how many nations with oil have been attacked in recent years, for instance. Domestically too, states are the machinery of oppression on behalf of privilege.

How can abolishing the right of states to war with one another contribute to the fall of privilege? In the same way abolishing the right of local gunmen to collect tolls under threat of death can abolish their local privilege.

Thus the objection was not a "fair point," but a disguised way of insisting that the world should be a place where some people are worth more than others, and some people should suffer the Scourge of God, the semidivine hypostatization of God's Will, the sovereign state that can slay whom it will. (Or at least whom it can successfully get away with.)

The unfair point that is really being made is a la-la land revision of reality, a daydream from the wingnut utopia, the smuggled in pretense that national states actually exist to defend "us" against tyranny. Well, the only unified Earth that can stably exist would be one which earns the support of the human majority. This would be a legitimate democratic majority, not a tyranny.

But suppose an unjust world authority temporarily arose? Revolution against such an unjust government is the obvious remedy. The idea is no problem for me. Civil wars and the stray war of liberation are the only wars worth fighting! The idolators of the sovereign state worship it precisely because it upholds privilege and cannot abide the thought of revolutionary violence. But really that is a self-imposed "problem" that is strictly consequential to a fatuous ideology.

What lies beneath this so-called "fair point" of course is still the apparently invincible distaste for the idea of democracy. If you believe that democracy demands a virtue that some kinds of people cannot exercose, because they aren't good enough, then I suppose you must claim the moral right to murder the kinds of people you don't like. But don't expect everyone to agree with this dogma of hate and greed.

In some respects the US' is de facto claiming world government on behalf of capitalism. It effectively claims, as the world sovereign, to be the only state with the legitimate right to exercise force. Yet the moral, intellectual, financial and economic bankruptcy of capitalism means that the US cannot even exercise the most basic function of a state, keeping the peace. This is a standard of performance the Caesars and the Han emperors could achieve!

In this situation, the insistence that a unified Earth is not even an ideal, is to insist on the endless rule of capital, which means the mad anarchy of capitalism, even if it means cycling over the edge into global ecological collapse.

The funny thing is that there is a conservative argument in favor of government, that does by majority rule what private individuals cannot do. We know that individual national states cannot address global ecological crises. Thus there must be a unified world government to make the effort to save humanity. And it is well-established that a government that is not sovereign is not a government, a point acknowledged even by political conservatives.

Yet the political conservatives must steadfastly ignore what they themselves know to be true. National sovereign states exist to defend privilege for the ruling class. It is indeed true that a unified world government cannot simultaneously defend the privileges of the few from all the nations. The two reasons are the inability to compromise over privileges, as the privileged are so rarely capable of giving up any. The other of course is that without an external threat, it just becomes just the one government of privilege against the many worldwide. A world of states is a world of divide and rule by the few.
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Old May 30 2013, 02:59 PM   #204
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Are you saying that any state prevents the privileges of its constituents ? Are the states' privileges prevented by the federal government ?
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Old May 30 2013, 04:22 PM   #205
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?


that's a fair point. You could just as much have an Earth united under tyranny as under progressive government. Actually, had the Nazis won WWII or the Communists won the Cold War, that might have been close to what happened.
The whole point of having national governments with the power to wage war (aka sovereign states) is to defend property for a particular local group of owners. Consider how many nations with oil have been attacked in recent years, for instance. Domestically too, states are the machinery of oppression on behalf of privilege.

How can abolishing the right of states to war with one another contribute to the fall of privilege? In the same way abolishing the right of local gunmen to collect tolls under threat of death can abolish their local privilege.

Thus the objection was not a "fair point," but a disguised way of insisting that the world should be a place where some people are worth more than others, and some people should suffer the Scourge of God, the semidivine hypostatization of God's Will, the sovereign state that can slay whom it will. (Or at least whom it can successfully get away with.)

The unfair point that is really being made is a la-la land revision of reality, a daydream from the wingnut utopia, the smuggled in pretense that national states actually exist to defend "us" against tyranny. Well, the only unified Earth that can stably exist would be one which earns the support of the human majority. This would be a legitimate democratic majority, not a tyranny.

But suppose an unjust world authority temporarily arose? Revolution against such an unjust government is the obvious remedy. The idea is no problem for me. Civil wars and the stray war of liberation are the only wars worth fighting! The idolators of the sovereign state worship it precisely because it upholds privilege and cannot abide the thought of revolutionary violence. But really that is a self-imposed "problem" that is strictly consequential to a fatuous ideology.

What lies beneath this so-called "fair point" of course is still the apparently invincible distaste for the idea of democracy. If you believe that democracy demands a virtue that some kinds of people cannot exercose, because they aren't good enough, then I suppose you must claim the moral right to murder the kinds of people you don't like. But don't expect everyone to agree with this dogma of hate and greed.

In some respects the US' is de facto claiming world government on behalf of capitalism. It effectively claims, as the world sovereign, to be the only state with the legitimate right to exercise force. Yet the moral, intellectual, financial and economic bankruptcy of capitalism means that the US cannot even exercise the most basic function of a state, keeping the peace. This is a standard of performance the Caesars and the Han emperors could achieve!

In this situation, the insistence that a unified Earth is not even an ideal, is to insist on the endless rule of capital, which means the mad anarchy of capitalism, even if it means cycling over the edge into global ecological collapse.

The funny thing is that there is a conservative argument in favor of government, that does by majority rule what private individuals cannot do. We know that individual national states cannot address global ecological crises. Thus there must be a unified world government to make the effort to save humanity. And it is well-established that a government that is not sovereign is not a government, a point acknowledged even by political conservatives.

Yet the political conservatives must steadfastly ignore what they themselves know to be true. National sovereign states exist to defend privilege for the ruling class. It is indeed true that a unified world government cannot simultaneously defend the privileges of the few from all the nations. The two reasons are the inability to compromise over privileges, as the privileged are so rarely capable of giving up any. The other of course is that without an external threat, it just becomes just the one government of privilege against the many worldwide. A world of states is a world of divide and rule by the few.

I understand the argument about why myriad national governments may lead to continual war for competition for resources/markets, etc. and why world government could remedy that. I mostly agree with your arguments, but I maintain that, whatever the motives of the poster bringing it up, it IS a fair objection that "world government" is NOT synonymous with progressive or democratic government.


Not to Godwin the thread, but Hitler had an idea for world government that meant triumph and domination for the "Aryan master race" over the rest, and the Communist blueprint for world government was one-party elite rule by them.

Progressive, democratic world government can be a noble ideal, but you'd need a lot of safeguards in place and a fair amount of decentralization. But in a utopian post-scarcity society, you'd have less sources of conflict anyway.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:02 PM   #206
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

The merits of a world government would have to depend upon how it comes into being. If you're talking about every nation in the world willingly surrendering it's sovereignty, I just don't see it happening in this day and age. The fact of the matter is people across the world have varying values and can't and won't agree on a common system of government.

If you're talking about a group of people who advocate a "world government" regardless of ideology, who would seek to force their values on everyone else regardless if they agree with it or not, then I would resist that notion with every fiber of my being. That is the exact opposite of freedom and liberty.

The past 20 years of US foreign policy in the Middle East should make it clear you cannot force democracy(which seems to have replaced the world republic in common usage somehow) on people. A world government is a romantic notion and maybe one day mankind will be ready for it. But that's not today. Show me the United Nations can be more than just a speaking platform for totalitarian regimes, or that the European Union can function competently and perhaps I'll consider it. Advocating a world government today, while certainly sounds good in theory, would be a disaster and is just plain naive. We're not ready.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:52 PM   #207
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Sci wrote: View Post

and to ignore any study whose results are not politically correct.
The concept is self-evidently absurd and racist on its face.

It is also based on incompatible sets of data, which is basic to establishing scientific credibility.

And that's to say nothing of the more fundamental problem with trying to "measure" intelligence -- as though it were some linear, ordinal trait like height -- in the first pace.

The great Stephen Jay Gould once criticized "the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups—races, classes, or sexes—are innately inferior and deserve their status."
Gould would be more convincing if his The Mismeasure of Man would manage to have even 5 consecutive pages without factual errors on them. As it is, scientific impartiality is not one of his qualities.
See (for example) Chapter 3 of John L. Casti's Paradigms Lost (ISBN 0-380-71165-6). Or see J. Philippe Rushton's review of "Mismeasure", or Arthur Jensen's review ("The Debunking of Scientific Fossils and Straw Persons"), both of which you can find on the Web.

If you're truly interested in objectivity, you gotta be asking yourself: Is this about being "P.C.," or is this about justifying privilege and oppression? Is this about the facts, or is it about trying to legitimize the current international social structure?

Is this about truth, or is this about power?
For Gould - and for you, Sci - it most definitely is not about being objective or about the truth, but about being "P.C" and throwing the facts in the garbage bin when they don't suit you (resorting, instead, to pretty but unsupported rhetoric and ad personams).
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; May 30 2013 at 08:11 PM.
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Old May 31 2013, 06:42 AM   #208
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

sonak wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?

that's a fair point. You could just as much have an Earth united under tyranny as under progressive government. Actually, had the Nazis won WWII or the Communists won the Cold War, that might have been close to what happened.
You have discovered the distinction between a necessary condition and a sufficient condition.

R. Star wrote: View Post
The past 20 years of US foreign policy in the Middle East should make it clear you cannot force democracy(which seems to have replaced the world republic in common usage somehow) on people.
I agree -- democracy has to be a choice, including an acceptance of opposition parties and a set of civil rights and liberties protections. You cannot force democracy upon a culture which has not accepted the values democracy is based upon.

(Where I would disagree is whether or not I think the major Western nations have always internalized democratic values. I would argue that in many cases, they have powerful cultural values that are in direct opposition to democratic values, too, and that thus the history of many Western powers is driven by tension between contradictory internal value systems -- e.g., the United States and its apartheid system, or the United Kingdom and its rigid class system.)

And "democracy" has replaced the word "republic" in popular discussion about ideal systems of governance, probably because most people support, quite literally, democracy over simple republicanism. A republic, after all, can still be tyrannical, and the classical republicanism of the late 18th Century was built as much on distrust of the ability of the people to rule themselves and trust in the right of wealthy, white male elites to run society as it was in ideas like liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Show me the United Nations can be more than just a speaking platform for totalitarian regimes,
UNICEF, for one.

But mind you, it's important to remember that the U.N. provides a platform for even totalitarian regimes because we designed it that way.

The United States was the driving force behind the creation of the U.N., and we designed it to be a platform for the peaceful interaction -- and, yes, the non-violent political competition -- of all nations. Because we didn't want it to be a government, but to be a system that all governments -- democratic, monarchic, communistic, totalitarian, republican, whatever -- could use in their conduct of international relations. And while the price of doing business that way is that, yeah, sometimes you have to let the Gaddafis and Stalins and Bushes of the world have their say, I for one think that's an acceptable price.

or that the European Union can function competently
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The European Union is going to have to shit or get off the pot. It will either have to yield back the powers of sovereignty it has been delegated, or it is going to have to become a sovereign state in its own right. Only then will it become truly competent.

and perhaps I'll consider it. Advocating a world government today, while certainly sounds good in theory, would be a disaster and is just plain naive. We're not ready.
Agreed -- but mind you, when I say "we," I mean literally every nation. My own included.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:23 AM   #209
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

The diversity of multitudes of culturals, governments, and religions is what allows for breakthroughs to occur in our species as a whole. There is no inherent benefit from becoming one united group. Working together and being under one ruling body are two different things. There is in fact quite a lot of danger from turning it over to a singular government.
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Old May 31 2013, 10:52 AM   #210
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Sci wrote: View Post
But mind you, it's important to remember that the U.N. provides a platform for even totalitarian regimes because we designed it that way.

The United States was the driving force behind the creation of the U.N., and we designed it to be a platform for the peaceful interaction -- and, yes, the non-violent political competition -- of all nations. Because we didn't want it to be a government, but to be a system that all governments -- democratic, monarchic, communistic, totalitarian, republican, whatever -- could use in their conduct of international relations. And while the price of doing business that way is that, yeah, sometimes you have to let the Gaddafis and Stalins and Bushes of the world have their say, I for one think that's an acceptable price.
Quoting this because it is often lost on many. I've heard many complaints about the UN being a "stage for dictators", and being ineffective at "policing the world" (which was never its purpose). Usually the same people would scream at the top of their lungs if the UN tried to meddle with their own affairs.
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