Scotty and his military comment

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. solariabsg25

    solariabsg25 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And this is the problem with the military/non-military argument.

    If we take Kirk literally at his word from TOS then he is:-

    A decorated soldier in a military or combined service commanding an Earth or Federation ship working for the UESPA or Starfleet or Federation defending the well-established borders against enemy aggression while conducting a peaceful exploration mission of completely unknown and unexplored space.

    Even in TOS it was all self-contradictory, but by TNG when Roddenberry had decided "military=bad", it was impossible.

    He was initially fine with Franz Joseph including purely military vessels (destroyers and dreadnoughts), until later.

    As to modern Starfleet "not building warships" that's a bit incorrect.

    Of course, during times of peace their vessels are multi-role, such as the Galaxy, Excelsior, Constellation etc.

    After Wolf 359 we start seeing the smaller, more military craft, and no mention of families on starships for the long-term exploration missions, unless of course anyone can argue that the Akira's 15 torpedo launchers is standard for an exploration vessel?

    From Sisko's description of the Defiant though, there could even be speculation that all the non-military stuff spouted by Starfleet is just PR BS!

    "Officially, she's an escort..."

    But one line regarding one ship doesn't make that speculation concrete proof!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    See, I don't get this "Starfleet is more than just a military" line that gets tossed around in these debates. Everything Starfleet does has been done by militaries in real life. Historically, exploration was handled by navy ships. Navy ships and military aircraft are used to transport dignitaries and other VIPs. Hell, the US President's personal airplane belongs to the Air Force and his helicopter belongs to the Marines.

    Modern day militaries do have science and research programs. Granted, Starfleet does place a larger priority on science than most militaries do today, but that's because they're in space and space has all kinds of funky stuff which requires scientific professionals on hand, not because they aren't military.
     
  3. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I think that Mr. Roddenberry demonstrated naivete when it came to the issue we are discussing. Human beings, regardless of how advanced they are, will need to protect what is theirs from others, and that is the purpose of a military. I believe that Mr. Roddenberry had the right to be called the creator of this franchise, but it was the work of others who made it possible for the franchise to be both believable and sustainable. When Mr. Roddenberry exerted his influence, as happened in TNG, he created unrealistic hurdles that hurt the storytelling potential of the franchise.

    I think that TOS is no more contradictory than what has happened historically. The British Empire would send out captains to explore uncharted regions of the globe, and, when a call to arms was announced, that these same captains would answer their empire's calling and defend the empire. As an example, there is Captain James Cook who saw action in the Seven Years War and would later chart the Pacific.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Roddenberry came up with the idea of Star Trek, that's it. It was a good idea, which spawned the very franchise which is so near and dear to us all, but the idea was all he did. It was his writing and production staff that took that idea and developed it into the show we all know and love. Hell, a lot of Trek's more memorable and popular aspects actually come to us from folks like Gene L Coon and DC Fontana.

    Roddenberry's delusions of how the future should be with TNG aren't necessarily the problem, but rather the god-like reverence Paramount held Roddenberry in and refused to contradict that vision. Even then, quite a bit of his ideas were abandoned over time. Star Trek never went in for his ideas of future sex, Deanna Troi did not have four breasts or whatever. Even his idea that religion be abandoned in the 24th century, which was basically the premise behind Who Watches the Watchers and which Picard speaks of at great length is seemingly ignored later on when we learn Native Americans still practice their spiritual beliefs and on DS9 it's implied Christianity is still being practiced.

    Two of Roddenberry's ideas are still clung to and will never be ignored. 24th century humans do not have conflict with each other, which is adhered to so strictly that we do a prequel series to get some conflict and when that fails we reboot the whole damn thing. Starfleet is not a military, which we are still adhering to even after a damn reboot.
     
  5. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Invariably? I know that Columbus had Crown backing, but was his ship military? What about Marco Polo?

    Isn't most military research contracted to private third parties? And isn't it almost universally practical rather than pure research?

    I also don't understand your last argument. You first seem to argue that Starfleet is exclusively the military because historically, the military has performed every function Starfleet performs. But you then go on to use that claim to seat a further claim that Starfleet, somehow, is exclusively the military because it is operating in an environment which differs sharply from those historically operated in by the military. That seems contradictory to me.

    A lot of the 'exploration' depicted on the show consists of 'mapping' various areas. The military has been involved in this historically (Lewis and Clark), but so have non-military groups and individuals (the National Geographic Society).

    While the military may be involved in, for example, extreme meaures taken against an extraordinary threat of epidemic disease outbreak, absent the actual declaration of martial law, ultimate control of those operations remains under the civilian aegis of the CDC. Similarly, I assume it's not unheard-of for the military to be involved in cleanup operations after environmental disasters, but again ultimate control of those operations would typically be under the authority of the EPA, would it not?

    So my position is that Starfleet is best conceived as an umbrella group combining the military with statutory research bodies and parts of the executive branch of government.
     
  6. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Is it? I don't remember that.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry, it's a carry-over from other times I've had this discussion, though the issue hadn't actually come up in this thread. Specifically, people often argue that Starfleet can't possibly be a military because the ships carry a decent sized science staff and there are science officers on the senior staff and in the chain of command. After all, in the navy it's unlikely you'll find a scientist with a full-time bridge position. But, given the scientific nature of space, a space military would have to have a science staff on hand, with a science officer with some authority over the crew.

    When Sisko and Kassidy Yates are planning their marriage, Sisko asks if it okay to have Admiral Ross perform the ceremony, to which Kassidy agrees despite her mother's wish of a ceremony done by "a minister." Admittedly, "a minister" doesn't necessarily mean Christianity, but it does imply someone religious, at least.
     
  8. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's just because it's not along the lines of what they're used to doing. A military operation after Vulcan where for a year everything seemed "normal."
     
  9. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Commander Red Shirt

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    At some point in DS9 O'Brien makes a reference to religion.
    Something like "lord protect us" or a similar expression.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    To be fair, expressions like "Oh my God!" or "Good Lord" or "Godspeed" or even "Jesus Christ!" don't necessarily mean that the speaker is religious. They're just common interjections and figures of speech sometimes.

    When my printer jams and I blurt "Goddammnit!", I'm not literally calling upon a higher power to condemn a lifeless mechanism to perdition--or expressing a sincere belief in an afterlife! I'm just using, as Kirk put it, "a colorful metaphor." :)

    As for quasi-military thing, Kirk said he was a soldier, not a diplomat, but Picard clearly thought of himself as a diplomat and explorer first and a military man only when necessary. Different perspective, same organization.

    I'm inclined to think that Kirk trumps Picard, but I grew up on TOS, not TNG . . . .
     
  11. Sybok

    Sybok Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    starfleet is NOT the military. starfleet's primary missions are exploration, diplomacy and has secondary roles of humanitarian relief and defense not because it's made for those but simply it already has the hardware flying through out the galaxy with the infrastructure like all the star bases so might as well plaster a phaser or two on them just in case when they are out exploring shit hits the fan.

    some points to consider:

    -captain jean-luc f***ing picard said himself starfleet was NOT military, pretty sure he knows what he is talking about, the idea he was sharing his opinion is pure rubbish. Go join the army and start walking around telling everyone "THE ARMY IS NOT A MILITARY!!"

    -people keep their same positions for 30 years (TOS crew).. in a military this does not happen - though it does happen in the civilian science world, go figure

    -oddly enough officers in starfleet outnumber enlisted a seemingly 100-1, in a military this does not happen

    -whole ship is designed for science and diplomacy - look how many windows is on and how cushy the enterprise-d is... strange for a "military" ship to look like a carnival cruise ship in space packed full of 5 star rooms and science labs and families and dolphins with only one forward torpedo launcher and a couple phaser strips... thats like the uss arizona having a lone 5 incher squeezed between a superstructure of luxury oceanside balcony suites

    -sisko makes a huge deal about the defiant being starfleets first ship designed for war... not building a warship for its first 200 years of existence does not happen in a military

    -archer had to call in help (or admiral called it in for him, i forget) the military.... kinda paradoxical for the military to be freaked out by an enemy they cant fight so they call in "the military"

    - adm marcus starts building a military for what many claim is the "military"... again rather paradoxical

    -court martial thing, well we're five years out from earth, i guess subspace mail the police a report (not)... i think it just makes sense for any organization flying around in deep space to have their own legal system

    -military dont recruit handicap people for obvious reasons (one whack by a klingon batleth and there goes your VISOR flying, youre kinda worthless now fighting, the primary mission of a military is to fight probably going to want people who dont have physical handicaps that prevent them from doing so).... geordi and bashir's girlfriend shouldnt be in starfleet

    -military ranks and organization, well go join a crew of a merchant ship (have to get licensed first) and youll be surprised to find military ranks and military structure - why? because in a ship environment that kind of organization is what works best. so if having a military nautical organizational structure makes starfleet military, then the exxon valdez was military too along with all the container and tanker and whatever else in the world

    my personal opinion is starfleet is like a massive space faring version of the NOAA Corps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Oceanic_and_Atmospheric_Administration_Commissioned_Corps

    liie with the merchant marine there could be some sort of reserve military authorization clause that can transform starfleet into a military during a crisis like during the klingon cold war in the tos movies (could explain the sudden change in uniforms and atmosphere we saw in Wok through TUC) or during the timeline in yesterday's enterprise were starfleet was pretty much explicit stated it was a military. but in peace times the merchant marine reverts to being civilian, i think the same happens to starfleet.

    but in its normal times starfleet is not a military

    KDF Roms, and the cardies on the other hand have outright militaries and its pretty explicit in the show that they are militaries theres no question
     
  12. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Of course it is.

    Picard was also prone to to yammering about how humans were "more evolved now," and what a boatload of nonsense that proved to be.

    You might want to verify the definition of "martial".

    (Hint: "military" is a synonym. "Soldierly" is another. "Court martial" literally means "military court".)

    Nope.

    While Starfleet may at this time or that perform scientific or exploratory or humanitarian/relief/rescue or diplomatic or civil engineering tasks, all of those are secondary to (and, as necessity dictates, superseded by) its military function. Just like the military of today, or like the military of 48 years ago.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    And, again, Captain James f***ing Kirk said he was soldier, not a diplomat. I'd call that a draw at the very least! :)
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Picard also said humans no longer believe in religions, which I pointed out above was later contradicted, mostly in DS9 and Voyager. Actually, TNG itself also did.

    Both of which are a reflection of ignorant writers, not proof Starfleet isn't military.

    Which is also capable of separation for combat purposes.

    Some Navy people sometimes refer to the Army as "the military" despite the fact they themselves are in a branch of the military. Admittedly, Enterprise was a bit sloppy with the MACOs, due to writer's ignorance. If one wants to rationalize things, the MACOs could possibly be special forces of United Earth's Army or something and given their more specialized training were assigned to Enterprise for the Xindi mission.

    Again, writer's ignorance. Although it's worth noting that in Trek XI rather than outright state that Starfleet isn't military they decided to dance around the issue by calling Starfleet a humanitarian peacekeeping force.

    Well, in the case of Geordi, I always assumed VISORs were supposed to be as common as glasses, and people with glasses do serve in the military. And besides, there is a eye implant alternative. Melora, I got nothing.
     
  15. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, that would be silly, wouldn't it ? Saying that a military organisation isn't one ?

    And is blistering with weapons.

    Do you know what "martial" means ?

    My opinion is that Starfleet is a multidisciplinary organisation, which includes military duties, and that there is no other such organisation in the Federation, ergo they are the military arm of the UFP.

    By that logic, the US army is not the military in peace time either.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Works for me.
     
  17. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TWOK, Carol Marcus reminds David that Starfleet has kept the peace for over one hundred years. So, keeping the peace is one of its duties. You need an armed force to keep the peace, so by definition, Starfleet is a military organization of some kind.

    It could also be that Starfleet only mobilizes militarily at times of conflict. At least before the Cold War, there was a long tradition in the United States of keeping a small military during peacetime, and increasing and mobilizing it only for imminent war. Marcus was obviously trying to increase the military posture of Starfleet based on what he perceived as a real threat even in a time of peace. That he has a model of the Vengeance on open display in his office was a symbol that the extent of the military role of Starfleet must've been an open question at many levels in the post-Vulcan Federation.

    Scotty has to know that part of the price of joining Starfleet and getting to explore the galaxy is that you may be called into duty to defend the Federation. It's not like he doesn't know the ship has phasers and photon torpedoes and may find itself in armed combat. He only objects to Marcus's photon torpedoes and their mission. I think what Scotty objected to was the idea of using Starfleet as an offensive or pre-emptive force. The ethics of killing Harrison aside, it wouldn't take a scholar to know that firing 72 missiles at Kronos would start a war. Starting wars is probably not in Starfleet's mission statement.
     
  18. solariabsg25

    solariabsg25 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Although I agree with Starfleet=military, this isn't what that was supposed to mean.

    Carol Marcus was talking about the military-vs-science debate, not literal peacekeeping duties.

    From the script:-
    LATER -

    AND THE EXCHANGE YOU REFER TO:-


    Starfleet is a military organisation, but has kept it's scientific responsibilities to the fore.

    [LEFT]By the very nature of the Federation, the space military cannot conform to any known modern military organisation. They have all the trappings of the modern Navy, but their mission statement is totally different to today. It's closer to the Royal Navy of Captain Cook's time to the US Navy of USS Ronald Reagan.
    [/LEFT]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I know I already dissected this post, but something else occurred to me. You claim the presence of dolphins aboard the Enterprise D as proof that Starfleet's not military. And yet the first time in which a dolphin presence was mentioned on screen (as "cetacean ops") was in Yesterday's Enterprise, in an alternate timeline where the Enterprise was intentionally depicted as a warship.
     
  20. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Dolphins ? Where ?