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Old November 7 2013, 09:10 PM   #46
R. Star
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

So why does Obi-Wan declares he defends democracy? Why did Padme say this is how democracy dies? Neither of them seemed the type to soft-pedal the issue. Though to be fair she said she was asked by the Queen to be Senator. That could be either to run or an appointment though. And she did specifically say she was elected Queen.

Either way, the bloated nature of the Senate in Star Wars is a great example of the Federation's future as it keeps expanding. You're either going to have a body that get so insanely bloated it can't accomplish anything, or a body in which each person is supposed to be representing more and more people that there is no way they can know their constituents and their needs. If not both.

Heck, the Federation already had a near miss crisis with the Maquis. Those people had the choice of being forcefully relocated, or thrown to the wolves with no legal alternative other than the state department signed a treaty. Either they had no representation at all on the Council, or it was overriden and ignored and that resulted in a near civil war.
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Old November 7 2013, 11:03 PM   #47
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

R. Star wrote: View Post
So why does Obi-Wan declares he defends democracy? Why did Padme say this is how democracy dies? Neither of them seemed the type to soft-pedal the issue. Though to be fair she said she was asked by the Queen to be Senator. That could be either to run or an appointment though. And she did specifically say she was elected Queen.
Because Lucas didn't inject his story with any real political awareness, just canned talking points to substitute for an in depth discussion. Remember, his focus is the heroic saga, in which the individual imposes solutions. And the fact that there is a senate (elected or not) does not make the Galactic Republic automatically democratic. Rome's Senate remained long after power slipped over to the Princeps (and later, the Emperors).

Either way, the bloated nature of the Senate in Star Wars is a great example of the Federation's future as it keeps expanding. You're either going to have a body that get so insanely bloated it can't accomplish anything, or a body in which each person is supposed to be representing more and more people that there is no way they can know their constituents and their needs. If not both.
I think it's worth noting that the societies that join the Federation must be prepared to do so. From what can be seen, some change in the political mentality is required. At the very least, we've seen that the process of creating the Federation changed both Humans and Vulcans, the latter being more interested in order ( la Founders) than they would be by TOS.
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Old November 7 2013, 11:28 PM   #48
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

I notice you ignored my point on how they hung the Maquis out to dry. Not to mention Picard himself said they were loosening up the rules during the admission process because of the Dominion War in Insurrection. Things change, especially when a crisis develops.
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Old November 7 2013, 11:31 PM   #49
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

^I was initially addressing the notion that somehow the Galactic Republic was obviously democratic. However, I still think the UFP is nowhere near the GR, especially if one corrupt individual can bring down the latter.
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Old November 7 2013, 11:55 PM   #50
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

I think in the rolling bar introduction in the Star Wars prequel, it says something about the Republic representing freedom democracy, blah blah blah...

All the 'bad powers' that practiced things like slavery and piracy and war were all outside the republic.

With that said, it was obvious the Republic was prosperous, but bloated and distant from each other.

Imagine planet 700 joins the Federation and at this point there are too many cultures for the average citizen or individual to keep track with.

And to be honest care about??

LEYTON: We've created a paradise here and we're willing to fight to protect it.

SISKO: And you think the President isn't willing to fight?

LEYTON: I think the President is a long way from home. This isn't his world. We can't expect him to care about it the way we do.
Uh oh.....That sounds almost like the Republic's situation.

When Naboo was invaded, the senate did nothing, because they were so bloated and distant from each other.

They also didn't really care as much since there were so many worlds, and Naboo was just another small part of the Republic.

What happens when planet 700 joins the Federation and it's now boring and just another planet to the other members?
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Old November 8 2013, 12:43 AM   #51
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
^I was initially addressing the notion that somehow the Galactic Republic was obviously democratic. However, I still think the UFP is nowhere near the GR, especially if one corrupt individual can bring down the latter.
As Nightdiamond said above, the signs are there already at 150 planets. Only the "hero effect" stopped Leyton, the parasites, the UC conspirators and so on. A few people light years away just randomly handed a whole bunch of planets full of citizens over to a hostile power with no vote, or anything. During the Dominion War this same happy go lucky government abetted genocide when things got rough.

The cracks are showing as is. Imagine when they get really big.
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Old November 8 2013, 01:21 AM   #52
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

^^ Don't forget the most important political feature of the Galactic Republic, which Palpatine exploited to establish his fascist government: The presence of giant corporations and economic inequality. Hell, corporations in the Republic were so powerful that they literally had their own seats in the Galactic Senate. Could you imagine if ExxonMobile or Goldman Sachs had their own seats in the U.S. Senate or if Royal Duch Shell had its own seat in the U.K. House of Commons?

The Federation has its problems, but it has its huge advantages, too.
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Old November 8 2013, 01:35 AM   #53
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

^Your making the assumption that corruption is a sign of the irreversible decay of democracy or a republic regime. It's not. Indeed, I would suggest that the US is not less democratic in spite of many incidents in which corruption was allowed to undermine the rights of various groups (like Native Americans and African Americans) or in which certain truths were withheld or manufactured in order to justify armed intervention (like the Maine Incident). Democracy is far more advance in the US than it was an the signing of the Constitution. The larger issues is not the fact that corruption occurs, but what response their is when it comes to light. Problematic things happen in the ST universe, but it is not clear how they were dealt with. On the other hand, there are many times that ST characters affirm and defend the rights of individuals, communities and societies, some that are explicit, some that are implied. Is the corruption seen in the 24th century the sign that the UFP slipping toward a less democratic or a more chaotic future? Maybe, but it's not necessary.
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Old November 8 2013, 02:14 AM   #54
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

True, it's the people that fight against the corruption that defines the Federation.

But some of the actions it takes to protect itself and some of its attitudes are interesting.

Starfleet-- was going to seize Data and take him apart and study him, even against his consent.

The funny thing is very few people at the time considered it immoral, unethical or illegal, except Picard and his crew.

They intended to mass produce him, put him on star ships, labor etc, --think Clone soldiers from Star Wars.

Later on they tried to take Lal, his daughter, away without his consent.

What if Picard didn't care and Data was dissected, experimented on, and was mass produced? It's a chilling idea of what the Federation would have looked like later on.

StarFleet-- after coming seriously close to losing the war, Sisko tricks the Romulans into going to war--with Starfleet's complete consent.

In order to do this, the highest levels of Starfleet and the Federation had to back up the plan.

And just for debate, (not to be conspiratorial or anything )

--why is Starfleet, admittedly not the military or political organization, making all these important decisions-- where are the professional politicians, law makers, representatives..

Last edited by Nightdiamond; November 8 2013 at 02:33 AM.
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Old November 8 2013, 03:21 AM   #55
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

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Indeed, I would suggest that the US is not less democratic in spite of many incidents in which corruption was allowed to undermine the rights of various groups (like Native Americans and African Americans)
I'm sorry, but I find that statement laughable. When the United States was founded, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. Women -- 50% of the population right off the bat -- were not allowed to vote. Neither were African Americans or Native Americans, both of whom were the victims of crimes against humanity -- slavery, and invasion and genocide -- that rank right up there with the Holocaust in terms of the scales of immorality. Indeed, I would argue that the United States did not become a real democracy in any meaningful sense of the term until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Up until that point, the best way to describe the United States under slavery and then Jim Crow would be "pseudo-democratic apartheid state."

You're not a democracy if you prevent an entire race of people from voting. Period.

The larger issues is not the fact that corruption occurs, but what response their is when it comes to light. Problematic things happen in the ST universe, but it is not clear how they were dealt with. On the other hand, there are many times that ST characters affirm and defend the rights of individuals, communities and societies, some that are explicit, some that are implied. Is the corruption seen in the 24th century the sign that the UFP slipping toward a less democratic or a more chaotic future? Maybe, but it's not necessary.
This I agree with, however -- in part because the problems we see in the Federation do not represent the sort of systematic oppression that we find in institutions like Jim Crow or slavery.
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Old November 8 2013, 03:35 AM   #56
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

Sci wrote: View Post
Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
Indeed, I would suggest that the US is not less democratic in spite of many incidents in which corruption was allowed to undermine the rights of various groups (like Native Americans and African Americans)
I'm sorry, but I find that statement laughable. When the United States was founded, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. Women -- 50% of the population right off the bat -- were not allowed to vote. Neither were African Americans or Native Americans, both of whom were the victims of crimes against humanity -- slavery, and invasion and genocide -- that rank right up there with the Holocaust in terms of the scales of immorality. Indeed, I would argue that the United States did not become a real democracy in any meaningful sense of the term until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Up until that point, the best way to describe the United States under slavery and then Jim Crow would be "pseudo-democratic apartheid state."

You're not a democracy if you prevent an entire race of people from voting. Period.
Perhaps I didn't write clearly, but it seems we agree: the US was less democratic at its founding that it is today.
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Old November 8 2013, 12:38 PM   #57
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
StarFleet-- after coming seriously close to losing the war, Sisko tricks the Romulans into going to war--with Starfleet's complete consent.

In order to do this, the highest levels of Starfleet and the Federation had to back up the plan.
After the cure for the sickness imposed upon the Founders was discovered, the federation council decided to withhold it (a decision I agree with). The federation is allowed to look after it's own interests, it's own population, first.

Sisko maneuvered a sworn enemy of the federation into fighting (and dying) for the federation's cause, why would Starfleet, or the council, disapprove?


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Old November 8 2013, 07:59 PM   #58
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

I think we're slipping toward splitting hairs a bit. The crux of the debate is how long the Federation will last, not what its stated values are and how often they've been upheld. The central point is that the vulnerabilities of the system are not, as they're presented, immune to forces which could indeed undermine it if the "hero" factor is subsequently not in play.

And these things question whether a body as vast (and likely to become much more vast) as the UFP can endure eternally or even for several millennia. Perhaps its susceptibility to corruption diminishes over time, but this seems in contradiction to on-screen evidence which shows no decline in powerful corrupt Federation/Starfleet officials' ability to game the system. And that's notwithstanding the persistent threats from outside the alliance.

I believe that reforms could be made which could help them mitigate some of these issues. They could:



These and other reforms could place the alliance in much stronger stead to weather the passage of time and the immensity of size.

* = All that said, I don’t find the UFP’s human-centrism to be problematic, as humans are obviously the Mary Poppinses of Trek.
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Old November 8 2013, 08:10 PM   #59
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

Being fictional, the Federation will last as long as the writers want it to. So therefore, if it should ever fall, it is only because a writer made it so. None should ever want to make it so. That's my view.
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Old November 8 2013, 08:26 PM   #60
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Re: How long should the Federation last?

*Vulcan neck pinches Mr. Laser Beam*
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