United Earth? No Thanks.

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

  1. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's largely in the organizing principles.

    "As for the Confederation's federalism, this is not merely an aspiration or ambition: it is the very organizational and operational structure of the CNT. So much is this the case that some theorists have purported to divine a foretaste of the functioning of the society of the future in the very manner in which the unions operate and reach and implement their decisions.

    That functioning proceeds like this. The unions constitute autonomous units, linked to the ensemble of the Confederation only by the accords of a general nature adopted at national congresses, whether regular or extraordinary. Apart from this commitment, the unions, right up to their technical sections, are free to reach any decision which is not detrimental to the organisation as a whole. There are no exceptions to this principle and it can be stated that it is the unions which decide and directly regulate the guidelines of the Confederation.

    At all times, the basis for any local, regional, or national decision is the general assembly of the union, where every member has the right to attend, raise and discuss issues, and vote on proposals. Resolutions are adopted by majority vote attenuated by proportional representation.

    Extraordinary congresses are held on the suggestion of the assembled unions. Even the agenda is devised by the assemblies where the items on the agenda are debated and delegates appointed as the executors of their collective will. This federalist procedure, operating from the bottom up, constitutes a precaution against any possible authoritarian degeneration in the representative committees." -- THE CNT IN THE SPANISH REVOLUTION by Jose Peirats.

    The naysayers could note the last line about preventing a ruling elite from forming. This format applies to regional, national and global organizing. Yet there's a consensus on these boards that global organizing inevitably entails a global oligarchy.
     
  2. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    Can we "Trek up" the discussion please? For the General Trek Discussion forum? :)
     
  3. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Pretty much anyone who thinks that any United Earth government would be any different from the way the world runs now (where Bob tells Steve what to do, who tells John what to do and Jerry on the bottom interprets it--often arguing or ignoring it) is fooling themselves. We're one biosphere and everyone affects everyone.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hmmm, not sure, but perhaps that was his point?

    If something like Kellog-Briand was a major policy of United Earth (I don't see it, but hey) how would that figure into UE's response to the Xindi attack, and UE's participation in the Romulan War?

    From what we saw on screen, UE's response to the Xindi attack was immediate military action, seek and destroy. I don't recall any dialog toward attempted communication, or engaging a third party to negotiate or mediate with the Xindi. The Enterprise was loaded with the newest weapons, a squad of "Marines," and send towards where it was believed the Xindi were.

    And with the Romulan War, on screen (and pro/fan fiction too) the Romulans were confronted and had a disadvantage treaty shoved down their throats.

    A Kellog-Briand philosophy doesn't seem to be evident in the UE's make up.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    How could a Kellogg-Briand type of policy be imposed on societies that did not agree to it? Kellogg-Briand could be the governing philosophy of all nation-states on Earth, but why would it be applicable to the Romulans, who would neither be aware of it nor be constrained by it before signing it? Are you assuming that a Kellogg-Briand type of treaty would mean the adoption of complete pacifism for both internal and external conflicts?

    "Oh, sorry, Romulan ambassador, your empire is welcome to rule Earth, because we decided that fighting amongst ourselves was not smart. Therefore we won't fight anyone."
     
  6. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Equation of national sovereignty, which is the moral and legal right to wage war, to the right to self-defense, an existential necessity, is a fraud. A Kellogg-Briand pact is no more a suicide pact than the US Constitution in 1861.

    Why should it be a wrong ideal to hold that no nation has the right to wage war on another nation in pursuit of national interest? The implicit answer is the the "nation" is an incarnation of a superior people and these superior people must have rights superior to those others, including the power of life and death, i.e., war.

    This is bizarre. What really needs to be argued is the right to make revolution. That truly is an existential necessity! If the freedom of the people truly requires violence, it is revolutionary violence, not wars for policy and plunder, that will save their freedom. The large majority who repudiate revolutionary violence in favor of imperial violence, war as it normally practiced, expose the false pretensions of their moral rhetoric.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Of course it's not a suicide pact, but how could it be considered binding on people who didn't sign it, or don't even know about its existence?

    If all the people of Earth decided that resolving their differences through violence and war of any kind was unacceptable, and formalized their agreement on this one stance through a treaty, does that automatically make the treaty binding on extraterrestrials?
     
  8. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    yeah, the treaty reference was to EARTH policy, not to policy regarding its interstellar "neighbors," obviously a treaty doesn't apply to those who don't abide by it or are unaware of it.
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, an enforced Kellogg-Briand treaty interpreted that way would constitute a suicide pact in practice. No constitution or treaty can be legitimately be interpreted as demanding suicide.

    I don't really think there will be an end run around relativity cheap enough for space war. Thus it appeared to me that the argument that surrender of war as an instrument of policy is equivalent to surrendering the right to live, is meant to imply that a principle of sovereignty, the right to wage war, must be preserved. With the further implication that given war, a disunited is the only free Earth. Sorry if I read too much into this.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The philosophy is the peaceful settlement of disputes " of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be." Yet after the Xindi attack there was (on screen) no attempt by Earth to peacefully communicate with the Xindi, or to send diplomats, or to possible engage the Xindi through any third parties.

    It wouldn't, but if Earth did have a Kellogg-Briand philosophy, then they would operate by it's core principles.

    The Romulans (or the Xindi) would not have to abide by the philosophy of Kellogg-Briand, Earth would. If it were their philosophy.

    This is why I do not think that United Earth embraces that philosophy. Because we didn't obviously see them doing it.

    I'm not suggesting that the Romulan signed it, or even knew about it.

    The assumption would be that if United Earth did have a K-B philosophy, their first act wouldn't be sending a armed vessel in response.

    No it wouldn't, but wouldn't it be binding on Earth?

    Remember, I'm not talking about signing a treaty, but instead about Earth embracing a philosophy of renouncing violence and war as a way of resolving difficulties and conflict.

    Which I don't think they did.

    Because "national interest" includes things like self defense and protection of allies.

    :)
     
  11. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Apparently I did not read too much into posts.

    Perhaps another way of rephrasing is to remark that the repudiation of a legal and moral right to war as an instrument of policy is directly inimical to the interests and rights of individual human beings in general. There are only a tiny handful who will find war personally beneficial. How many are those whose hatred of other human subpopulations is virulent enough that they derive emotional satisfaction from violence against the other? A united Earth repudiating war serves the general interest of humanity.

    A nation is not a meaningless abstraction, but there is no sense in which it must hold the rights and duties of an individual. A nation which claims the sovereign right to wage war is claiming that it has the legal and moral right to attack other people. It is not the soul of a particular people. The limitation of sovereignty, the legal and moral right to wage war, does not threaten the existence of a people nor does it somehow deprive the individuals in that nation of any freedoms. The abolition of war as a legal and moral right will deprive some populations of instruments of oppression. Unlike others I do not regard this as a bad thing.

    Now, just as laws against murder do not abolish the natural right to self-defense, neither does the abolition of national sovereignty, abolish the right of a local population to self-defense. (A united Earth, by the way, has sovereignty by definition, and humanity as a whole has the natural right of self-defense. So much for the nonsense about space war.)
    However, neither individuals nor purely local pluralities (or worse, minorities) possess the legal and moral right to simply declare that their actions were self-defense, and expect this declaration must have the force of law. That is to say, they are not sovereign.

    The insistence that nations must possess that sovereignty is to insist that a national government must be free to act against the general interest of humanity, that a select portion of humanity must have the right to refuse to abide by the majority rule of humanity. Why would this be desirable? Again and again, it always comes down to the visceral hate for the very idea that other, lower forms of humanity should have the same human rights as "US."
     
  12. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    And how could there be? There was no way to even know who attacked at first, then when they knew who attacked, there was no way to contact them. What did you expect to happen? That United Earth's government should just issue a general surrender to the galaxy?

    They only have to operate on its core principles when interacting with other signatories. A treaty isn't a philosophy.

    We know there's no war on Earth, and that's all a Kellogg-Briand type of treaty would need to be - a general agreement between humans that fighting amongst ourselves isn't helpful, especially when there are dangerous aliens willing to destroy all of humanity.

    Only binding on the nation-state signatories of Earth. Again, it's a treaty, not a philosophy.

    So what is "United Earth" in your view? Another name for the United Nations? If the UE isn't a government, but a non-governmental organization, then why was there a United Earth embassy on Vulcan? Shouldn't there be an Italian embassy, an American embassy, a Brazilian embassy, etc?

    But who is there to defend against on Earth? Is North Korea still threatening everyone with nukes in the 22nd century and beyond?
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    keep in mind that an "abolition of war as an instrument of policy" doesn't have to be equivalent to some utopian "let's all hug each other" pacifism. There's a concept of juridical pacifism, whereby disputes between states could be resolved through international courts. It would be like nations agreeing to something like binding arbitration for the resolution of disputes. With mass communications and international bodies, such an idea isn't as absurd as it might have once seemed.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Quoted for truth.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What would I expect? Just what we saw, send their best ship, loaded with their best weapons. I also would have separately sent Earth's slower warp starships, just in case something happen to the Enterprise.

    However, if the United Earth's philosophy (not treaty) is the peaceful settlement of disputes, then just as the armed Enterprise was sent towards where the Xindi were thought to be, a unarmed ship would have been sent instead.

    If Earth did embrace a Kellogg-Briand philosophy (not a treaty), then there would have been a effort to attempt communications first.

    There's no philosophy behind the treaty? If United Earth doesn't embrace the philosophy of renouncing violence and war as a way of resolving difficulties and conflict, then they would not include that philosophy in their organizational make up, their "mission statement."

    Which I don't think they did. Kellogg-Briand isn't part of United Earth.

    Not an exact clone no, but an international assemblage of sovereign nations yes. More a organizing body and not a ruling body.

    One of the things I see the UE providing is a common voice for Earth's nations in interstellar affairs. Diplomacy, trade, etc.. However, any of Earth's nations could operate independently of United Earth (while still being a part of it) should they wish to, they wouldn't have to operate through the UE.

    As you see the future United Earth, as a analogy why would the (present day) counties of the United Kingdom need to enter into a agreement like the one we're discussing?

    According to a display on DS9, there was a Vulcan embassy "somewhere" on the promenade.

    Yes, there could hypothetically be an Italian embassy on Denobula.

    Now if the planet Denobula had multiple nations, it could become quite expensive for Italy to have embassies with them all, plus multiple embassies on other worlds. Going through the UE would be more economical.

    I mean if you think about it, in the 24th century, if each of the 150 plus home planets in the Federation had as many nation on them, as we have on Earth today. Italy could need up to approximately 30,000 embassies.

    :)