United Earth? No Thanks.

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

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    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.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    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.

    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.

    This. This. A thousand times, this.
     
  3. Captain Verata

    Captain Verata Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Space, the final frontier
    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.
     
  4. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    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:National_IQ_Lynn_Vanhanen_2006_IQ_and_Global_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.
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    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.

    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.

    Did you seriously just try to argue that some nations are smarter than others? Really?

    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?"

    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!
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    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.

    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 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.

    Which wasn't what I was referring too.

    Actually, I believe that Federation Membership would alway have the ability to do just that.

    :)
     
  7. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    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.
     
  8. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Italy, EU
    I bow to CZ's request to tone it down, but I offer my final comment on topic:

    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.
     
  9. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    (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.
     
  10. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    What's "human potential" ?
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    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.

    That's good enough for me. :)
     
  12. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    California
    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'.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    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.
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    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.:guffaw: (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.)
     
  15. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    That's false. But I guess you have to launch an ad hominem attack when the facts aren't there for you. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    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.

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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:

    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:

     
  17. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    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.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    And how would having a united Earth, as an act in of itself, prevent privilege?

    :)
     
  19. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Italy, EU
    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.)
     
  20. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Randyland
    These days? It's how much booze a person can hold.
     

Share This Page