What should be the minimal requirements for Federation members?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Wadjda, May 24, 2014.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With valuable resources in general,

    Fridays Child, a prewarp society with pretty rocks, no PD.
    Horta Planet, a prewarp society (after the eggs hatch) with pretty rocks, no PD.
    Mirror Mirror, were the Halkons prewarp? Anyway no PD.

    :p
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    PD probably suspended because of Organian Peace Treaty. Unless you feel the Klingons are entitled to do the cultural damage of the indigenous society while the UFP is not.

    Regardless how the PD would deal with non-humanoid sentient beings, it was obvious that they didn't know that they were dealing with a lifeform.

    You could probably add the indigenous societies from "A Private Little War" and "The Omega Glory".

    This just illustrates why I usually don't like this retroactive continuity BS. Suddenly "prewarp" status has become the benchmark by which to retroactively judge whether our TOS protagonists did violate the PD or not.

    I hope I'm not the only one who considers that the TOS producers had something other than this "prewarp" stuff in mind. Spock's concerns in "Errand of Mercy" suggested that the UFP considered the impact on a medieval society as considerate.

    Other than that, contact between Starfleet personnel and "prewarp" indigenous cultures wasn't prohibited by the TOS era PD per se.
    The major issue was not to reveal superior technology to a less advanced culture. This became clear in "A Piece of the Action" (transtater field equipment forgotten by McCoy), "A Private Little War" ("use of our phasers is expressly forbidden") and "The Omega Glory" ("Interesting that the villagers know about phasers.").

    Kirk's log entry in "The Omega Glory" follows Spock's observation (there's not much else they learned in the short amount of time):

    "A growing belief that Captain Tracey has been interfering with the evolution of life on this planet. It seems impossible. A star captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive."

    Put simply, the TOS PD wasn't about "prewarp" but about concealing phaser or superior technology in general. ;)

    Bob
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Canonically, the criteria are vague. We know that Federation Members have to have a unified planetary government ("Attached") and must ban caste-based discrimination ("Accession"). Given the various references to a society's "maturity," I suspect it is safe to infer that Federation Member candidates must have achieved the kinds of social progress outlined as Earth's accomplishments after First Contact in ST:FC: Abolition of war and poverty, improved health care, etc.

    Personally, if I'm writing the Articles of the Federation, my criteria would be:

    - Presence of a unified government encompassing at least one planetary surface if a planet-based society
    - Presence of a unified government encompassing the culture's entire territory if the society is not primarily planet-based (a society of astroid colonies, for instance)
    - Minimum and maximum population levels, to ensure relative equality of representation on the Federation Council
    - Government must be a constitutional liberal democracy (meaning, it must function according to law, it must guarantee certain inalienable rights, and it must obtain a democratic mandate which regularly expires and must be renewed)
    - Universal adult suffrage
    - Maintenance of a welfare state ensuring minimum wealth for all citizens and residents
    - Maximum limit to the amount of wealth any citizen or resident may accumulate to prevent the evolution of an oligarchy
    - Presence of either an advanced social democratic economy (capitalism with strong socialist programs to curb excess inequality) or a democratic market socialist economy (socialism with capitalist traits to curb excesses), both designed to minimize economic oppression
    - Adoption of a strong program of ecological sustainability in the functioning of the economy and of technology, or serious attempts thereof
    - Absence of social structures built around or perpetuating privilege, racism, bigotry, sexism, heterosexism, classism, religious oppression, or other forms of oppression
    - Renunciation of militarism, jingoism, or other forms of war-mongering
    - History of social policies of serious reparations and restitution if such oppressions have existed in the past
    - Overall a relatively egalitarian social order
    - Presence of a strong mechanism to enforce and protect civil rights and liberties
    - Presence of a vibrant civil society
    - Absence of any form of slavery or forced labor
    - Presumption of innocence in criminal cases
    - Absence of capital punishment
    - Willingness to abide by the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution

    Of course, there's the question of just what the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution actually consist of.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It seems clear that a culture doesn't actually have to use, or even have, warp technology. If it's aware of the existence of same, that appears to be enough.

    For example: the Ba'ku in Insurrection. They obviously had no starships or warp drive in active use, but they knew about those things anyway. And hidden away somewhere they still did have stores of technology (which they used to try and fix Data).

    Who knows, the same thing might have applied to the Capellans. They clearly knew enough to receive alien visitors and negotiate with them. So it could be that in some cavern somewhere, they had some kind of technological base...
     
  5. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is how I tend think about it.

    Particularly since it seems like if the galaxy were as crowded as Star Trek's seems to be, any civilization reaching an early-to-mid 21st century level of development should be capable of detection of all kinds of transmissions showing life on other planets.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Obtaining warp drive technology might force the issue when it comes to first contact, determining if a culture has discovered subspace radio might be harder to figure out, especially if they listening, but not talking.

    If there is a interstellar version of the internet, just having the subspace radio would be ... interesting.

    Adherance to the PD should not depend on "everyone else" also doing so. The PD only applies to Starfleet (maybe the entire Federation too), the fact that people outside of Starfleet have their own rules, or none at all, should not effect Starfleet's observance.

    I was referring to after it was discovered that the Horta species were "people." The end of the episode contained no mention of the miners being require to evacuate the planet. The planet ample supply of pretty rocks superceded the PD's non-interferance stipulation.

    My personal take is that the PD isn't simplistic, there are conditions when it applies and when there are exceptions. Also I see it changing periodically, being reinterpeted by Starfleet Command, the Federation Council treating it as a political football. Starship Captains might get weekly updates.

    I wonder if those were always entry requirements, or were both introduced sometime in the mid 24th century ... and how long would they last?

    As the Federation grew, and new and different cultures became a part of the mix, the Federation surely changed. It's internal policies altering over time.

    :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  7. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I agree that just because somebody else is doing something, shouldn't be the excuse for oneself doing the same thing.

    OTOH, it's of little use for the indigenous culture you want to protect with the PD, if the Klingons are messing it up and usually much worse than the Federation would do.

    But I agree that in "Friday's Child" the Federation posture is somewhat "pre-emptive" and therefore quite debatable. IMHO, they should have left the indigenous population alone, until they could have verified Klingon presence.

    I'd like to recommend the Prime Directive article at Memory Alpha which I feel is very well written and researched and discusses the various cases in detail.

    And it makes it pretty clear that "prewarp" or not was never an issue for TOS (If they felt by TNG's 24th Century that "prewarp" capability should be a first contact factor, possibly adopted from the Vulcans, it definitely was not an issue in the TOS era). :)

    Bob
     
  8. Alrik

    Alrik Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't forget the background checks. You have to have the background checks.
     
  9. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Of course entry requirements might change over time so caste based socities might have been permitted in the 23rd century ie.e Ardana. But following the events the Enterprise encountered on their, the UFP might have reviewed their policy on it and by the 24th Cenury caste based socities weren't permitted.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless you want to vote in a election, then you can be Mr. Anonymous and vote as many time as you please.

    :)






    .
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  11. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    There seem to have only been two major requirements: a unified government and warp-capability. Of course, the citizens of the applicant culture should be able to adapt to the various cultures in the Federation, or they could feel rather left out.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And the antecedent Members should do the same with the newest Member, accommodating them and their various peculiarities and characteristic .

    The Federation would be at least slightly refashioned with each new addition (or subtraction).

    While requiring a minimal population would be fine, how would a restriction on populations above a given number make any sense? An older interstellar civilization seeking membership in the Federation might have a total population in the hundreds of billions, such a civilization could be a valuable asset to the Federation, the needs of the Federation should over-ride any difficulties the council might have finding room for additional chairs.

    Must? Nah, there'll be room for planets Vatican, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, etc. Ruling monarchies and corporate worlds.

    While a minimal safety net is a good idea, nobody starves - nobody freezes, mandating minimal wealth is likely going to far.

    This kind of impediment on personal achievement would probably be something to avoid, certainly to be left to each Member.

    Data (Farpoint): "In the year 2036, the new United Nations declared that no Earth citizen could be made to answer for the crimes of his race or forbears."

    How then could money, land or other value be removed from a people (or segment of) to compensate for actions that they themselves didn't undertake? This is a bad idea.

    Forcing any population to be confined to single position in a mono-societal construct from which they can never lift themselves beyond (or fall below) through their own efforts would be a form of punishment, coercive egalitarianism. Some people simply have more drive and ambition than others, they should be free to spread their wings and soar. There will be billionaires, celebrities, athletes and others who push their way to the front, and to the top.

    We saw prisoner Tom Paris doing grounds keeping while in a penal institution, being compelled (forced) to perform labor as part of a criminal sentence is reasonable.

    This should be a matter for the individual Member worlds, based upon their own legal system, culture and history.

    :)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I concur that a unified government probably is a major requirement.

    Regarding warp-capability I have strong doubts. It didn't look to me that either Eminiar VII ("A Taste of Armageddon"), Ardana ("The Cloud Minders") or Gideon ("Mark of Gideon") had warp-capability, yet Ardana was a member, Gideon a candidate and Eminiar VII probably, too.

    If you can't travel to other places in the Federation, the Federation will provide a transport or come to you. Come to think about it, the Enterprise picked up the delegates one after one in "Journey to Babel". Theoretically most delegates could have travelled with their own ships to Babel, but maybe that's a procedure in order not to give non-warp members a feeling of inferiority (and they have a chance to get to know each other better, although it looked like some of them already knew each other too "well" :lol:).

    Bob
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some Members might not have starships as fast as the Enterprise, or as well armed. If there was intelligence about a possible attack, using a Starfleet vessel for transportation might have been deemed a prudent move.

    :)
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    OTOH, shouldn't you not put all your eggs in one basket?

    That basket almost got destroyed hadn't Kirk played dead duck. ;)

    Bob
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A kick-ass chili recipe.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Was the Enterprise the only Starfleet ship being employed as a VIP transport to Babel?

    It's never been clear how big the Federation was in the mid 23rd century.

    :)
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Captain's log, Stardate 3842.3. We have departed Vulcan for the neutral planetoid code-named Babel. Since it is in our sector, the Enterprise has been assigned to transport [32] ambassadors of Federation planets to this vitally important council.

    Enterprise was chosen because Babel was in "its" sector. No other ambassador transports were mentioned.

    However, the prominent ambassadors (Vulcan, Andor, Tellar) were on board, but we never learned the whereabouts of the ambassador of Earth.

    Bob
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see your point, however what about those parts of the Federation that exist outside of that one sector? You could theorize that the entire Membership area of the Federation is enclosed within a single sector, but I would find it odd that Kirk's sector held all the Member worlds.

    In addition to people from the Federation, hopefully Coridan itself would have had representatives at the council, and maybe other peoples from outside the Federation who had perspective on Coridan's admissions.

    This might be why the meeting was being held on a "neutral planetoid."

    :)
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Unless we assume that representation on the Federation Council is based on population, it's actually in their interests to have an upper population limit. Let's say it's 2164, and you have two new Federation Members who've just applied: The Commonwealth of Vega (population 400 million), and the United Rigel Worlds and Colonies (population 20 billion). Rigel has 50 times as many people as Vega, but unless it gets more Federation Councillors than Vega, the vote of each individual Vegan is 50 times more valuable than that of each individual Rigelian.

    I should specify: I'm operating on the assumption that each Federation Member State gets one Federation Councillor, as per the novels. Given this a priori assumption, it is actually in the best interests of those persons from higher-population Member States for the UFP to have an upper population limit per Member.

    Speaking outside of the question of Council representation, however, upper population limits are also better for the smaller-population Member States and for the Federation as a whole. Putting a cap on how large a Member State can get puts a check to make it harder for any particular Member State or small set of Member States to amass so much wealth and power within the Federation that they dominate the union to the detriment of smaller Member States.

    Then that civilization should either consent to being broken up into multiple Member States, or it should not be allowed to join and thereby render the Federation its puppet. Period.

    Nope. Constitutional liberal democracies are the only legitimate form of government, because it is the only form that requires its governments to obtain temporary renewable democratic mandates. Any other form of government is an inherent violation of the natural right of the people to rule themselves.

    The problem is that, as Christopher Hayes has shown us, meritocratic social orders are incapable of perpetuating themselves. The meritocrats inevitably begin to find ways to subvert the rules of fair competition in order to benefit themselves and their allies, producing an oligarchical social order in the meritocratic name. "He who says Meritocracy says Oligarchy."

    This is perhaps most clearly illustrated today by Thomas Picketty's new research, demonstrating that in a capitalist economy -- and what is capitalism if not an economic form of meritocracy? -- it is inevitable that wealth will accumulate into fewer and fewer hands and poverty will spread to more and more, because the rate of return on capital will in the long run always exceed the growth of the overall economy.

    In other words, an enlightened society that values freedom such as the Federation would have to require these kinds of limits, these floors and ceilings on wealth, in order to preserve freedom.

    Reparations are not punishment. They represent, in the words of Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic, "a national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal."

    It also means understanding that when oppressive social conditions have been created by evil institutions, those conditions do not simply cease to exist because the initial institutions creating those conditions are removed. A society that has, for instance, slavery, but never has reparations, is a society that will remain tainted by discrimination, inequality, and oppression forever after unless reparations are undertaken -- because the conditions favoring one group while robbing from the other will continue to perpetuate themselves even absent slavery. True freedom and equality of opportunity cannot exist without the economic and moral reckoning reparations requires. To argue otherwise is to say, to again paraphrase Coates, that if you stab someone ten times, "the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife."

    And in the world of Space Journey created by T'Girl, you can portray the Confederated Alliance of Worlds that way if you so choose. But we're talking about Star Trek's United Federation of Planets, created by the left-leaning Gene Roddenberry -- and his entire notion of what the UFP would be like was based on the triumph of egalitarianism over hierarchy, and on an understanding that real freedom is not possible without egalitarianism.

    Absolutely nothing in "Caretaker, Part I" established or implied that Paris was being compelled to engage in forced labor as part of a criminal sentence.

    The exact lines are as follows:

    It's just as likely that Paris is performing voluntary labor in return for a reasonable rate of compensation, perhaps something similar to Scandinavia's superior prison system.

    Because I'm sure the Federation and its Members understand that compelling forced labor merely creates an incentive for the state to unjustly imprison people in order to profit off of their unpaid labor.

    Nope. Capital punishment is barbarism, pure and simple. It is the assertion that sentient life is the property of the state. No state has any right to kill someone except in the act of defense from an immediate threat, and there is no justification whatsoever for capital punishment.

    If the Most Serene Republic of Planet Zog wants to keep capital punishment when it applies for Federation Membership, then it shouldn't be allowed in. Period.