United Earth? No Thanks.

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

  1. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Ah, I'm late to the party, it seems. That's what you get for being a mod in 3 forums. :lol:

    I may have lost some of my sensitivity regarding cheap shots and insults thanks to the communication culture of my party (yes, I can go off-topic, too ;)) but that's very close to a flame (the part I bolded I mean). Please tone it down a notch or two. Thanks.

    Everyone, please get back on topic. While the EU can serve as an example for some aspects of a debate about an United Earth the discussion shouldn't turn into a pro and contra-debate about the EU or a discussion of certain EU politicians the way it has for the last two to three pages. Thanks.
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have a reasonable amount of self respect, but no burning need to "feel useful" on a social level. That seems like a fairly wan goal and motivation; human beings aren't utilities.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    We of course can't apply our 21st century viewpoint to having been born in the 23rd/24th century world of Star Trek. Being born and raised in that era our viewpoint would know doubt be different.

    AS Count Zero says, the EU can serve as an example for a debate on a possible UNited Earth, because no doubt many of the issues the EU has, a potential UE might face.

    I would agree that discussing certain EU politians doesn't belong in this forum, but highlighting what the EU does well/or doesn't do well can serve the debate esp. saying the title of this thread is United Earth? No Thanks. That could indicate that the OP is against such a position so highlighting why that would/wouldn't be a good thing means to a certain extend the pros-cons of the EU would get mentioned as an example. So long as it doesn't go to far. Though so far I would say most of the EU members that have commented have leaned slightly towards or are overall pro-EU.

    The EU of course comes up every now and then in debates but that is only to be expected saying that a portion of these board members are from the EU.
     
  4. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Sure enough. I just want to make it clear, I was not talking about the specific poster, but saying that various studies have shown that having a job and feeling useful is very important to one's self-esteem. That's why losing your job or being unable to have one is linked to clinical depression and identity issues. I don't expect people in the Federation to sit on their ass all day just because they can: they'll get bored fast, and they'll feel the social and psychological pressure to do something. Of course, not everybody is the same, but I think only a small percentage of people will be satisfied with masturbating on the holodeck all day long.

    You are a senior citizen. You are useful by being wise, and grumpy, and stuff. :p
     
  5. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Well, what I was trying to say was that it had gone too far and gone on too long. A few posts that are technically off-topic but started off from the main debate are okay.


    Ah, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. :)
     
  6. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for bringing it up. I can totally see how it could read as a personal slight instead of a general statement. Damn English language and its "general you".
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    So where we?

    We have to remember the UE was formed following first-contact with another species, WWIII, numerous other conflicts that had occured. No doubt the survivors of those periods have a different viewpoint than we would have. Perhaps once again we have to look to history to see what changes were brought about following major conflicts in our history.
     
  8. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    True, Picard states very clearly in First Contact that said first contact changed everything and that it played a pivotal role in unifying humanity.
     
  9. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    ZapBrannigan,

    You're assuming that a central bureaucracy or hegemony is ruling over the Earth, when the Earth itself could be a Federation of democratically Self-Governing autonmies. What in anarchist terminology is called FEDERALISM (see Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "What is Property?") Proudhon was the first anarchist who advocated a decentralized federation of self-governing districts to prevent any centralized power structure from rising. If you look at the anarchist Free Territory of the Ukraine, it was organized along these principles.

    [​IMG]

    Star trek's earth may have a global council made of recallable delegates rather than a government.
     
  10. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting, but...

    In the ST universe, somebody is deciding for the whole Earth how to produce and allocate resourses, how much to tax from each part of the Earth for central use, how much of our resources (whether money or physical goods) shall be given to the United Federation of Planets (for building Starfleet, etc).

    Then somebody in the UFP is deciding what Starfleet is supposed to do and not do. They're deciding who is allowed to colonize desirable uninhabited planets, the ones with good air, water, and soil that are not too far away. Somebody is deciding what constitutes grounds for war with the Romulans, and what should be tolerated as the price of peace.

    These are contentious, irksome issues. There will never be perfect harmony in figuring them out and coming to decisions. Somebody will be very unhappy with each decision. There must be a final authority that imposes its will on the various parts of the Earth, and also a UFP authority that imposes its will upon the Earth and other planets.

    I'm afraid your "No centralized power" concept would mean no United Earth and no UFP.
     
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, you realize that you are pulling all that out of your... bag of holding, right?
     
  12. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The way that you dump Václav Klaus together with Putin and Orban shows that you have very little knowledge about different European countries and their politicians.

    And I never defended the politics of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. I only stated that the EU bosses don't dare to expel Hungary because it would led to a domino effect with more and more countires leaving the EU when they discover that Hungary, like Iceland, Norway and Switzerland can manage without the Union.

    I can also tell you that there are certain EU countries which have certain "rules" for their press which constantly omit certain acts of criminality and misuse of power because it's not politically correct to report about such things. So Hungary is not alone.

    Once again, I would like to know what's so incredibly good about the European Union and the politicians who support the Union.

    If I allow myself to go back on topic, I can see that the world in the Star Trek Universe has manage to get rid of poverty, opression, unjustice, environment destruction and over-population and such non-functioning systems like Capitalism and Communism. I suppose that without all that, it would be much easier to have some sort of World Government, especially when the Earth has become a member of an inter-stellar "family" which the Federation is.

    Still, I do think that even an united world with some sort of World Government would be based on a confederation between the countries of the world, a confederation which has developed during the centuries and not being forced upon the citizens by some half-authoritarian World Government. Personally I believe in cooperation between countries and I do see a Star Trek-like World Government as a possibility in a future.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Nothing in Star Trek ever suggested that the United Earth government was forced upon the people of Earth. On the contrary, there is every suggestion that its existence was the will of the people.
     
  14. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You mistake capitalism / market economy, a system which has only existed for about two centuries and turned out to be the most dynamic one, with markets. Just because there are markets doesn't imply that you have a market economy as markets exist in ALL economic systems, be it the tribal tradings of humans 20.000 years ago, feudalism or communism.

    A market can be highly inefficient, be it because of externalities, informational-incentive problems (Stiglitz's old sharecropping paper basically points out why feudalism, a system with extreme land inequality, is inefficient and the incentive problems in communism are obvious) or lack of competition (I already mentioned gilds).
    In modern market economies these inefficiencies are historically speaking relatively low which is why we have had steady output growth for about two centuries.
     
  15. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    You have eloquently stated Gene Roddenberry's biggest fantasy: that in the future, all of mankind would adopt the religious, economic, and political preferences of Gene Roddenberry.

    Then there is no need for a squabble, because every last person on Earth has wholeheartedly joined the same single faction.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  16. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    What is your point, this is the case in the fictional realm of Trek as well as in the real world. You cannot avoid aggregating individual preferences and thus making some people unhappy, this happens in any kind of political system.

    Given that your dream is, unlike Roddenberry's, a literal utopia, i.e. not possible at all, given that no political system can respect your personal preferences (besides in its aggregated form) I fail to see which part about "centralized progressive democratic worldwide government which ends wars and hunger" you don't like.


    No. Journey To Babel has shown that Federation politics can be pretty nasty so United Earth politics is probably similar. Just because you form one political entity doesn't mean that there will be no political conflict, no politics anymore.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except of course the ST universe makes no such assertion. Resources can be allocate by other means, for example by way of trade and commerce. Central government planning has never been a valid method of determining what needs to be produced.

    However, a limited world government could be of use in say trade matters, instead of be in overall control, the world government would orchestrate and facilitate trade matters.

    Not only on Earth but also with incoming and outgoing interstellar trade as well. The world government could provide customs services

    Which can be accomplished through sovereign nations paying into an established international fund to finance a world government, and not through any form of direct taxation.

    The ability of the Earth's many sovereign nations to control the purse strings of the (hopefully) limited world government will be one of the ways to ensure that it remains within it's internationally agreed upon bounds. A governing body with a short list of duties and responsibilities.

    World government doesn't have to automatically mean "all controlling."

    This likely would be one of the world government small list of responsibilities.

    The representative (or team) that Earth sends to the Federation Council would go through the world government.

    The world government could provide Earth-interstellar customs services and inspections.

    Provide a Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) like organization.

    Co-ordinate Earth's off world activities, things like colonies, also ongoing relationships with former colonies. In the TNG episode Justice, there was a newly established Earth colony.

    Ambassadors directly with other Federation Members (we've seen this). And direct diplomatic relationships with political entities outside the Federation (we've also seen this).

    Offworld there will be a need for something like the US Marshalls.

    There will also be a need for something like the US Coast Guard in space, while it's possible that Starfleet could do this, it might make sense for it to be locally managed. If Earth maintains a "Home Fleet" defense force, it would be managed through the world government.

    **************

    Hopefully this will never happen. The future should hold more freedoms, not less. Who wants a future with a population of billions of peons?

    If the Council ever attempted this (impose it's will) the people of the Federation should immediately remove all of their representatives on the Council, these persons could then be sent to various penal colonies.

    The Federation should serve the needs it's Members, not the other way around.

    That isn't necessarily true. It would depend on what the people of Earth (for United Earth) and the people of the Federation as a whole (for the UFP) want these organization to do, and be capable of doing.

    In cases of Starfleet locating new colony worlds, the Council would determine "who gets it."

    Providing for the common defense would be one of the prime reasons the Federation was brought into existence in the first place, and why new Members would wish to join. A united front in other interstellar matter too.

    There would be things that the Members would not require the Federation to provide for them. Example, planets and cultures that obtain membership with the Federation are highly advanced, warp capable societies, they probably already have their own school systems. So there would be no need for a "Federation Bureau of Education."

    :)
     
  18. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's an extraordinary amount of vicious nonsense in this thread. It would take an awful amount of effort to comment on it all and highlight the best rebuttals. But, fortunately, the fundamental problem is encapsulated in the OP.

    How many is too many? The US is already too large according to political conservatives. There is no intellectual content in this objection. This is merely a covertly disguised attack on the concept of representative democracy.

    I wish this had no intellectual content. Unfortunately, what it is saying is that, instead of respected leaders honestly carrying out democratically formulated policies, what is wanted is people like the OP, whose selection validates his personal prejudices. You can run down the wide and extensive list of prejudices aka "values" that might be offended by the existence of "elites" on your own.

    And this means that the OP doesn't want the human majority to rule over his (likely enough imaginary) local plurality.

    I think the OP imagines that the US is going to exercise de facto rule over the world and merely detests the notion of the lesser forms of humanity having any rights. The US and its capitalist system are far too backward and has failed too grossly to rule in the fashion that such utopian dreamers as the OP hope. Yet, the prospect of endless war brush wars is insane, because they cannot be endlessly contained. There is in this time more chance of nuclear war. My estimate is that it is virtually certain in the long run. Unlike the Cold War, when there was at least one sane party to help maintain stability, today men ruled by delusions possess the power to damage the material prerequisites for human civilization itself.

    A disunited Earth, so that war and poverty can preserve the privileges of a few? No thanks!
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    John Lennon imagined, too....

    They weren't the only ones....
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    not necessarily, I don't think it's "utopian" that in a society with access to abundant resources, that has eliminated poverty, and where high-quality education is available to all, that there wouldn't be a large faction clamoring for a return to unrestricted capitalism and massive exploitation. There may be dissident groups like the Maquis from time to time that reject the political order, but I doubt it would be very common.