United Earth? No Thanks.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, May 8, 2013.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd be wary of the Star Trek future in which the whole Earth falls under one government. It's apparently a prerequisite for us to found the Federation, in which every planet counts as one member (but we're the big dog and don't forget it :)). Even so, it has disadvantages.

    A single government for the Earth would have so many citizens that it simply could not be responsive to them. We'd be ruled by distant elites who would not necessarily share our values and priorities (much like the European Union today, in the eyes of many of its people).

    And those elites wouldn't need to be responsive. A government with six billion constituents would not have to answer to any of them. Assuming you even had an elected representative in the legislature, he would either be powerless because the legislature is so large, or he would have so many constituents that you would mean nothing to him.
     
  2. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Politically I think each country would run itself much as before, surely? I always imagined the purview of the Federation is planetary representation rather than government.

    This is in direct contrast with the setup in B5 where the administration is explicitly called EarthGov and had a much less appealing stranglehold not only over Earth but also colonies.
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The central government would always want to exert some control to establish uniform standards and generally work its will in policy matters.

    And regardless, you'd be paying taxes to a planetary government that you had no say in.

    The United Federation of Planets extends the reach of government power, and reduces the ability of actual people to have a say, even further. It's a dream or a nightmare, depending on how much you trust distant elites to decide everything for you (what wars to fight, where to send foreign aid...).
     
  4. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Well unless some nerd turns up with the Federation Constitution chapter and verse, I guess it's vague enough for individuals to draw their own conclusions.
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I didn't have a say in the founding of America, either, but I still pay taxes to it.
     
  6. The Johnson

    The Johnson Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Does everyone on earth speak English in the star trek future?
     
  7. Jefferies

    Jefferies Captain Captain

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    It is implied that at least by the 24th century the vast majority speak English as their first language. Hell even the French do! But then again high quality universal translation makes this a fairly minor issue.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The advantage of a couple of hundred government (as opposed to just one) is you can change your citizenship to somewhere else.

    Multiple Earth gov's can pressure a bad one to moderate it's bad behavior. Sometimes it work, sometimes not. A single Earth gov could basically run wild.

    Earth turns into Ardana.

    :borg:
     
  9. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Star Trek portrays a central government in a generally positive light. Firefly looked at a central government as invasive and oppressive.
     
  10. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    After WWI the League of Nations was established, after WWII the United Nations. The big problems of the 21st century, climate change, overpopulation, resource shortages, can only be solved via more international cooperation.
    Same in the fiction history of Trek. No way to get rid of hunger and war (and build starships!) without a world government.

    As historically speaking all democratic progressive forces were about centralized rule I see no need to worry about a world government being more in danger of becoming anti-democratic than a local government.
     
  11. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What do you mean, you'd had no say in it? If United Earth had a federal government, you'd elect your planetary, national, regional and local authorities.
     
  12. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    1) What makes you think you'd have no say in it? You would presumably have representation in the government.

    2) There is no money in the future, so no taxes.
     
  13. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Just take a look at your own country, at the constitutional founding of the country the population was about 1/100 of the contemporary size and yet the political system has remained basically unchanged. Despite this massive population increase it is a well-functioning democracy. There are of course anti-democratic forces but they have little to do with the population size of the country and more with a concentration of wealth and power.
    About distant elites, if you take a look at the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement it becomes obvious that it was the central government which fought against slavery and discrimination.

    Nothing of this is particularly surprising, human values are universal (you can play the postmodern game but I am not willing to excuse something like genital mutilation with "culture" or "local values") so only a universal government can enforce them. Last time I checked we also try to move into this direction in the real world, international law, holding leaders who slaughter their own population accountable and so on.
     
  14. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    I think a United Earth would work simply because of warp drive. That would allow any element that couldn't play with the majority to leave and set up their own -ocracy elsewhere.

    I'm sure by the time there is a United Earth, there Planet Talibania, Planet Kim Jong, Planet Unionist, and the like out there. By the 24th Century, they did show Planet Native American not wanting to be too tied to the Federation anymore...
     
  15. royalfan5

    royalfan5 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, once anybody could take their ball and go to Ceti Gamma XX or what not, with all the benefits of technology, why would they stick around, especially with the noted fun haters of the Federation. Of course the Federation might deed you to the Cardassian's later, but them's the breaks.
     
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    The main problem with the EU is not so much different values and priorities, though that maybe part of it, it is that the elected officals have a disconnect with the electorate. Even in the some more pro-EU countries in recent years if there has been a referendum on an EU matter it has been rejected (not always). All this means is that the politicans didn't do a good enough job of explaining what benefits it would bring. Remember the EU grew out of a free-trade zone (i.e. economic community) most Europeans don't have an issue with it acting as a free-trade zone.

    As for how the United Earth Government works in ST, we know virtually nothing about how it works. Though ENT hinted that it was a Parliamentary based system. For all we know there is a lot of devolved power to regions on Earth. Who handle the day to day matters, whilst the United Earth Government handles intersteallar matters for the most part.
     
  17. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Location? What is this?
    But don't forget -- everyone is enlightened. There are no wars on earth, so there are no haters. Nobody would have a desire to use a warp drive to set up their own -ocracy. Everyone is holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" (with the words "my Lord" replaced with "my friend," of course).
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Assuming that Earthgov is a representational government, instead of say a meritocracy where "the best" government officials are simply selected (by people already in the meritocracy of course) and not elected by the general populace.

    Can't have those average people making important decisions.


    :)
     
  19. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    War and hunger always impact the weakest and poorest people so how can any central Earth government but one which is far more democratic than our contemporary Western liberal democracies abolish war and hunger?
     
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, knowing that we're not alone anymore and the Galaxy was now open to us would probably serve as a wake-up call that there really was no further point to war on Earth.

    Hunger? Well, Earth by then had a seriously reduced population and plenty of extrasolar resources.
     

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