The Federation Must Die.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by MrBorg, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. MrBorg

    MrBorg Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cube 0398, Grid 343

    Pretty much every time I watch Star Trek, I'm rooting for the bad guys (Unless its the Borg or something that would kill off everything). Why?

    Because the Federation must die.

    The Federation is a bunch of corrupt space-hippies. They think their way is the only way. That everybody should be like them. As Gul Dukat said in the Maquis (Part 1):

    They think their own morals are superior to everyone else's. And yet, they would stand by and watch someone commit genocide if it just so happens to be an "internal affair". How can you stand there and watch someone commit genocide and then call your morals superior to those of others?

    I shouldn't even have to explain how wrong the Prime Directive is. They hate it when other races torture prisoners, but when a Federation citizen is charged with something ridiculous by an alien race they just don't do anything.

    Then there is the fact that they want to "assimilate" everyone into the Federation. They wanted to do this with the Bajorans, and probably every other race in the Quadrant. Michael Eddington makes a very interesting and very true point in "For the Cause" (DS9):

    The Federation is corrupt. It needs to be destroyed, and started over again. This time without that Prime Directive bullcrap, without their holier-than-thou attitude, and with a little less pacifism.

  2. cwl

    cwl Commander Red Shirt

    May 10, 2009
    They are a bit like the USA or the United Nations. think they are superior to everyone else but are deeply flawed in many ways.

    I wonder if a civil war would be good for the Federation.
  3. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Federation may be hypocritical, but civil war is never good for any country. That's how you get all these extremists popping up everywhere. When people start dying, you get a whole lot of pissed off people, and that's never a good idea. When people start dying, they'll remember it forever and their children's children's children's children....

    And, to answer the original question, yes. Show that makes you route for the bad guys are the best! That's why I love "True Blood" and "ST: DS9".
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    You know, I think the Federation is flawed. I agree that it tends to turn a blind eye in the name of not interfering with other cultures' internal affairs, I agree that it's arrogant about its value system, and I agree that one of its goals is to persuade that other cultures should join it.

    But to sit there and say that that makes the Federation unworthy of existence?

    Please. That's being worse than the Federation itself has ever been.

    No culture is perfect; every culture is going to have flaws, some big and some small. It's just part of life.

    When we look at the United Federation of Planets, we're looking at a fictional society that is of interstellar scope, yet has universal personal liberty and self-determination; in which there is either no class system or a very weak class system; in which there is no poverty; in which nobody is hungry; in which nobody wants for basic necessities of life; in which civilization and the natural environment co-exist in harmony; in which there is freedom of speech and of the press; in which there is no racism, nor, apparently, speciesism; in which there is no religious bigotry or religious domination; in which diversity is a valued principle, and homogeneity is not seen as superior; in which there is no caste-based discrimination; in which there is an incredibly strong democratic tradition; in which the right of the individual to protection from self-incrimination is venerated; in which there are no giant corporations to dominate the government and subvert democracy; in which there are, however, privately-owned businesses with genuine equality of opportunity; in which people who stand accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty; in which the accused are entitled to a trial by jury of their peers on indictment from a grand jury; in which those found guilty are afforded rehabilitative care rather than the systematic torture we find in most developed countries today; in which local governments have much more forms of guaranteed autonomy than we often find in modern federations; in which the commitment to egalitarian foreign policy is so strong that it bends over backwards to avoid any tendencies towards imperialism.

    Does the Federation have major flaws? Of course. All societies do. But the vast majority things that most cultures today get wrong, the Federation gets right -- while not giving up the things we get right today. To say that its flaws, which are modest in comparison to those suffered by the United States and its allies today, mark him as fundamentally corrupt, is just disgusting.

    Meanwhile, on the astropolitical scene, it's surrounded by a feudal dictatorship (the Klingon Empire), a aristocratic oligarchy (the Romulan Star Empire), a plutocracy (the Ferengi Alliance), and a military dictatorship (the Cardassian Union). It is clearly superior to its neighbors if someone values liberty, democracy, equality, and justice.

    By any reasonable standard, the Federation is a wonderful, amazing society that manages to find a much better balance between personal freedom and egalitarianism than societies in real life do. Does it have flaws? Sure. There will be no society without flaws. But it's a damn sight better than anything that's ever existed in real life, and a damn sight better than its fictional alternatives. I would love to live in a society as free and egalitarian and just as the United Federation of Planets.
  5. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

    Apr 18, 2009
    Gamma Hydra Section 10
    Wow this post is very wrong on every level, unless it is intentional satire.

    Living in the Federation seems very pleasant on many many levels. The Federation seems to posess the best science and largest territory among space powers on this side of the galaxy. If this is the result of enlightmentment and democracy who are you to argue against it?

    What alternatives are out there? Me thinks Romulan, Cardassian or Klingon rule would be found lacking to a great number of individuals. Leaving the Federation is always a choice, nobody is holding a gun to your head.
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    While I agree with the essence of Sci's post here (yes, I know--shocking...)--that no society is perfect, and that what the Federation has done right makes it frankly infinitely preferable to the stated alternatives...

    Still, there's certainly a challenge to be made here:

    I'm not frankly convinced that this is the case, that the Federation trully has shed bigotry or prejudice. We've seen it in many forms in the Federation and Starfleet--not just in "rogue" villains, but even in our heroes.

    We've seen hostility towards Spock because he looks like a Romulan; we've seen Solok taunt Sisko--and are informed as to his mindset that Vulcans are inherently superior to humans. Also, Quark was certainly on to something in "The Jem'Hadar" about human/Federation prejudice towards Ferengi (dramatized fully in the novel The 34th Rule).

    While there is no religious "domination"--we see in Picard, and Keiko and Jadzia and Bashir and Jake, a kind of snobbish attitude towards religious beliefs--from Picard's describing the Mintakans' initial abandonment of religion as progress, to Jake's initial description of Bajoran religion as "dumb".

    The Federation pays lip service to "diversity"--but, as even Sci says--

    (Frankly, I'd describe the last point as, to be blunt, "imperialism".)

    In other words...for all the talk about promotion of "diversity", it is decidedly intolerant about value systems that disagree with its own.

    Now--I know, this brings up the classical debate of "Should we tolerate the intolerant? If so, isn't that promoting intolerance--and therefore self-defeating? If not...doesn't refusing to tolerate the intolerant make us intolerant--and therefore, isn't such a stance self-defeating?"

    (As it were, this is a reason for my being highly critical of the concept of IDIC--but that's a debate for another time....)

    But, all those questions aside--the point is...the Federation is, as Ezri Dax would put it, "A society that is in deep denial about itself."

    Now...the "alternatives" to the Federation are frankly brutal, savage, cutthroat--and otherwise immoral. But the UFP has a much deeper problem, in its denial of its own flaws.

    It points to all the good in itself--and passes that off as an excuse to behave as though all is well--that it is a paradise, that its has "progressed" beyond the sins of its neighbors. In fact, it hasn't--such problems have merely changed their form, adapting to fit into the society the members of the UFP have built for themselves. The fact that corrupt rogues such as Layton and Norah Satie and Dougherty and Cartwright were oftentimes able to pursue their destructive ends and nearly succeed points towards that.

    Has the Federation "progressed"? Yes--to a point. But its problem has been to accept that point--and allow the work not done to remain not done. Therefore, the problems of prejudice (racial, religious, and philisiophical) and corruption simmer under the surface. Because these problems are not out in the open...the Federation tends to turn a blind eye, and tell itself that things are fine--that it is a paradise.

    And that, to be honest, is the most disturbing problem of all.
  7. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 23, 2009
    What gets me is the insinuation that the Federation wanting others to join is SHOCKING AND CORRUPT AND TERRIBLE.'s a freaking alliance of worlds. The more members you have, the better the position of the Federation as a whole is, and it's mutually beneficial both for the whole (since that's another source of innovation, thinkers, resources, etc.) and for the world in question (more support, inclusion in beneficial treaties, etc.). I never understood why being nice to worlds in hopes of eventual membership is somehow underhanded and dastardly. Isn't that generally a good way generate interest in membership? By showing benefits and being a trustworthy ally?

    And for that matter, when does the Federation EVER, in all of filmed canon Star Trek, PUSH ITSELF on other worlds? The only times we really see prospective worlds (that I can think of! feel free to correct me if I'm missing something) are in the TNG episode "First Contact" where THEY AGREE TO LEAVE FOREVER at the aliens' request, and with Bajor, who wanted the Federation to oversee the fallout from the occupation.
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    It's probably fair to say that I'm oversimplifying things a bit, even if the gist of my argument is not wrong.

    :rommie: It happens every now and then.

    Fair enough. But I don't think that either bit of speciesism there is indicative of the attitudes of the majority of Federates. There's only one person who distrusts Spock for looking Romulan; he's defended by numerous other Humans. Solok may think Vulcans are superior to Humans, but his crew seems to have no problem socializing in a friendly manner (well, as friendly as one gets as a Vulcan) with the DS9 crew after the baseball game, and make no effort to defend him when he behaves like a fool afterwards.

    I agree, but I think it's more complicated than that. After all, for all that Sisko has some prejudice towards the Ferengi, Quark himself was over simplifying things -- he claims that Ferengi have no slavery, but I do not think that it's reasonable to call the oppression of Ferengi women, nor the exploitation of lower-class Ferengi workers, anything other than slavery by another name.

    And for all that Sisko has some prejudices against the Ferengi (at least as of Season Two of DS9), that doesn't stop him from sponsoring the application to Starfleet Academy of the very first Ferengi in Starfleet.

    Even if there are occasional instances of personal speciesism, it seems pretty clear that the Federation's institutions do not engage in institutional speciesism. There's no reason to think that a Ferengi immigrant to Earth would be mistreated by officials, or that you'd have any trouble catching a cab in New York City if you're green, or that you'd be paid a lesser, unfair wage for being a Andorian chan.

    And we see in Sisko's insistence that it is not dumb a counter-weight to Jake's attitudes. And we see in Kirk's professed faith in a monotheistic God in "Who Mourns for Adonis?" what sounds like Christianity. We see Christianity confirmed in Kassidy Yates noting that her mother would prefer to see her daughter married by a minister. It's never been confirmed beyond any doubt, but I'd bet you dollars for doughnuts that McCoy's a Protestant.

    And while it's been a while since I've seen those old DS9 episodes, the sense I got from Keiko, Jadzia, and Bashir was not so much a condescension towards religion as towards the idea that the Wormhole Aliens should be identified with the Bajoran Prophets. They're probably of the mindset that a clearly-identifiable alien lifeform should not be identified as any given religion's god or gods -- their reaction to the Wormhole Aliens being identified as the Prophets would probably be identical to a hypothetical scenario in which a Christian identifies Q with the God of Abraham. And in particular, with Keiko, I seem to remember that it was not so much that she objected to belief in the Prophets as to objects to censor her teaching of the scientific theories about how the Bajoran Wormhole functioned -- theories that were in no way incompatible with the idea of the Prophets' divinity.

    Meanwhile, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation has any form of religious domination or discrimination. There's no evidence that it forces Atheist Federates to support having "In God We Trust" on Federation Credits, or that there are Federation Days of Prayer. There's no evidence that Federation Councillors hold hearings of the Federation Security Council on the threat of Prophetic law against the Federation Constitution from Bajoran immigrants. There's no reason to think that there's widespread social pressure to belong to any religious organization, no reason to think that anyone's religious beliefs are used to justify denying equal access to civil marriage, no reason to think people are beaten up for professing their belief in God or for being Christian, no indication that there's any inhibition whatsoever on freedom of, or from, religion.

    I think it pays more than lip service. I think diversity has honestly replaced homogeneity as a virtue in the Federation value system. Now, that doesn't mean the Federation or its individual citizens always live up to it. But when you look at the sheer amount of cultural diversity inherent to the Federation from its very inception -- Humans vs. Vulcans vs. Andorians vs. Tellarites -- I don't think it's reasonable to say that diversity has not always been a Federation virtue and a Federation trait.

    No. Imperialism is when you're out to dominate others, usually through violent conquest.

    What the Federation is guilty of is a certain level of cultural imperialism. It honestly believes that its egalitarian, liberal democratic system is superior to any other system, and wants to persuade others to join it.

    But that is the key difference: The Federation wants to persuade other cultures to join it. It does not want to coerce them. And if another culture says no, the Federation will accept that.

    Well, yes and no.

    You'll notice I did not list "tolerance" among the Federation's virtues. That's intentional. Frankly, I view the idea that "tolerance" is a virtue as being at best a misnomer. It's a meaningless statement. Everyone is tolerant of something. Saying that you're tolerant doesn't mean a damn thing.

    It is meaningful to say that of which one is tolerant. So, you'll notice that I listed numerous areas of difference in which the Federation is largely tolerant; it's tolerant of differences in cultural identification, it's tolerant in differences of sexuality (it would have to be, since Andorians marry in groups of four), it's tolerant in differences of species. It allows its member worlds to include ritual fights to the death -- consensual homicide! It is tolerant of differences of religion -- there is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation sought to inhibit or suppress the influence of the Bajoran Church as a prerequisite for Federation Membership. Etc.

    But, no, by the same token, it's not tolerant of everything. It's fair to say, for instance, that the Federation is intolerant of the way Ferengi society oppressed Ferengi women. Federation society is based in part on the idea that men and women (and other sexes, presumably) are equal, and as such, they have no particular obligation to be tolerant of that kind of sexism.

    In some areas, I tend to agree that that intolerance goes too far. We see Federates being quite dismissive of Klingon pain rituals in Season Two of TNG, for instance, utterly dismissing the idea that personal struggle and sacrifice, symbolically engaged in, can yield personal insight or wisdom. But, by the same token, this is a function of the strong Federation value that people should not be tortured -- something that should, I would argue, not be tolerated.

    And for all that the Federation and its citizenry can sometimes be dismissive of or condescending to aspects of foreign cultures with which they disagree -- there's no evidence the Federation ever tried to coerce those cultures into changing. So far as I know, the Federation never issued a trade embargo against the Ferengi Alliance for its treatment of women, for instance.

    I really don't think the Federation is in deep denial about itself. If anything, I think the Federation and its citizenry have exhibited a continual capacity for self-reflection on their flaws, both individual and institutional, that is quite envious. We see Federation citizens engaging in self-reflection about the virtue of Federation values, the Federation's ability to live up to those values, and their own individual capacity to live up to those values, all the time. Sisko goes from being called on his prejudices against Ferengi to sponsoring Nog for a position as a Starfleet officer. Kirk goes from saying the UFP should let the Klingons die to being willing to sacrifice his life, career, and ship to preserve the peace treaty and defend the Klingon Chancellor. Picard goes from unthinking vengeance against the Borg to being willing to sacrifice himself and his ship to make sure that his crew and the timeline are saved. Etc.

    The Federation, like all societies, is very flawed. But the Federation is also very adaptable and self-reflective.

    And meanwhile -- whatever its flaws, the idea that they're so great that the Federation deserves to die is just absurd.
  9. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    I agree with the original poster's points about the PD, and how it makes the Federation out to be pretty hypocritical when lecturing other cultures on their morality, when the UFP has a policy which results in deliberately refusing to stop planet-wide natural disasters, attempted genocides, etc.
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    The Federation is just like any other nation in which it has good points and bad points, and whatever flavor it is depends on what's going down at any particular moment and whether you agree with it or not. As a result, you end up with a wide range of opinions ranging from it's a just society to it's something inherently evil.

    But if anything needs to go, it probably should be the Human race. The Federation would be a lot better without them, eh? I guess Humans as a whole aren't so perfect in the future after all, even though they still largely try to be better than what they were, IMO...
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    The other alien polities we see in Trek are far, far worse than anything the Federation does.

    So...they're just like everyone else except they don't go around conquering people? And this is bad?

    Societies have the right to their own choices, no matter how boneheaded or horrific they may be. The Federation aren't the Galactic Police, they're a Sovereign nation.

    Leaving others to make their own mistakes, and hopefully learn from them instead of having "Big Brother" Federation baby them their whole lives?

    Eddington was a delusional nut who needed to demonize the Federation to justify his own actions, the Feds are NOT the Borg. Do the Feds go around destroying entire civilizations, raping folks into mindless mutilated zombies? No? Then STFU about them being like the Borg.
  12. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The Federation is arrogant, but it's not evil. Nor is it corrupt as a whole. They may be some corrupt members, though. Anything touched by humanity will have that dynamic.

    The Maquis issue was essentially a serious mistake, unfair to them and beneficial to the Cardassians. I'd admit that the Federation screwed up with that one.

    But there are dozens of episodes in TNG where the Enterprise is sent out on a Federation mission to achieve peace or rescue a civilization from disaster. Most of the time, the Federation succeeds in helping. Seems more like a "do good" organization than "do evil," doesn't it?

    Yes, the Federation does want other space faring peaceful nations to join it. But they don't demand it. They don't conquer you if you resist. A civilization has to apply to join. They can choose not to, and the Federation respects it. So... what's the problem?
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  13. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 18, 2009
    What happened to the optimistic future than fans wanted so much to be in??

    Give up the replicators, free speech, harmonious society, holodecks, better health and pleasure planets? No way!,lol

    The only real thing I could find that was wrong was when they (Starfleet) tried to take Data apart for research against his will, or tried to take his "daughter" away from him.

    What was weird was that practically everyone else thought there was nothing wrong with it.

    Starfleet has been involved in a few scandals or taken it upon themselves to make decisions for the entire Federation.

    Maybe Starfleet (at times) may be more of the problem than the Federation itself.

    Now, if you start looking at TOS closely, the OP may have some points.
  14. Lanny77

    Lanny77 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Feb 9, 2011
    It grinds my gear when I hear people moan about the Prime Directive. Nonintervention is as much a practical opinion as a moral one. Look at Iraq, Libya or Afganistan and then imagine trying to do the same on a planetary scale. Imagine the resources, time and effort needed to do that. And then imagine the body count of such an undertaking
  15. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Without repeating what others have said too much, some thoughts...

    Dukat would rather they fight for the strong at the expense of the weak, justice be damned.

    I have huge problems with the Prime Directive, HUGE, but at the same time if the Federation declared war on every nation wronging its citizens, they'd have to conquer most of the galaxy. Then people would gripe about how the hippies are all fascists. Plus, the Romulans, Cardassians, Klingons, Tzenkethi, Tholians, Dominion, and Borg would all crush them. And if you think they're snooty as peacemongers, how do you think they'd be if they were in a holy war with the universe? How just have people ever been at war?

    If you destroy a government every time you don't like it, you're going to be starting from scratch every year. It'd be chaos, the New Dark Ages, and far more wrongs would be committed as the new governments are forever "just trying to get their footing."
  16. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    How would you like it if a stranger started meddling with your personal affairs? They could potentially screwed your relationship with the people you know, like your friends and family. That's why psychologists and psychiatrists practice doctor's and patient's confidentiality. People get pissed if they don't and it makes the person even more screwed up! [chuckle] Now imagine a foreign government that install someone in power of a country because they thought that person is worthy enough to run the country that the foreign government was trying to influence in order to bring peace and prosperity. Most people think they can manipulate people and the whole country in the right directions, but people problems and society problems are far more complex than most people realize. You can't just change a country over night. There are a lot of things that you need to take in to consideration, every person in the country is affected some how, because something you do like banding certain things could make that group of people go out of business or make them vulnerable to attacks by other factions. You need to take your time and fix the problems one step at a time. Let's face it! Something you just can't rush and at present time is out of your control. The perfect people who are suited to fix the problems are the native people because they are familiar with all the societal and political problems. all we can do is diplomacy and maybe doing some business with them (if they aren't run by a bunch thugs) to try to improve the living standard of their people. When nobody dies and people are getting enough, you will find that they are more willing to listen to your idea. That's why diplomacy works the best. That is the reason for the Prime Directive. Trust me! If something went wrong (and it often does) and thousands and millions of people end up dead, blood will be on your hands.
  17. cwl

    cwl Commander Red Shirt

    May 10, 2009
    The Federation once described by the Klingons as a 'homo sapiens only club' is not an alliance of worlds but a Federation of worlds. Which implies some sort of top down rule. a lot of the smaller worlds could be seriously impacted by membership in a negative way by policies they dont agree with.
  18. MrBorg

    MrBorg Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cube 0398, Grid 343
    I admit I over-exaggerated a bit on how the Federation must die. I meant that it needs to be "rebooted".

    Rather than reply to everyone, I'm just going to answer a few of the general arguments.

    About the Federation wanting people to join: While it wouldn't be wrong if they didn't try to force their morals on the members, they do. They also, as far as I know, take away the cultures ability to have its own military, leaving them under the protection of Starfleet (Quite possibly the most corrupt part of the Federation).

    About the not interfering with internal affairs: If someone is committing genocide, do you just stand by and watch while millions, possibly billions, of innocent people are killed? Of course not. If you do, you cannot call yourself morally superior to others. Now I'm not saying its okay to interfere with every internal affair, but if its something like genocide then you should try and stop it.

    I exaggerated about how they should die. But not about how corrupt they are.
  19. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    Watch that. I'll be the first to admit that the USA is, as you say, deeply flawed in many ways, and I'll never be a flag waver, but it's my home.

    Besides, once I'm "elected", heh, president, things will change for the better.:bolian:
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    The Klingons only said that because they are the Feds enemies and are biased against them. The "Homo Sapiens Only" thing was propaganda.

    Worlds who want to join the Federation are fully aware of this set-up, and it is their choice the whole way through. The Feds don't "take away" anything: It's their voluntary choice to give it up to begin with.

    You have to use realpolitik in these situations: IS it possible to really affect anything here, and if you have to resort to military force to do anything then will it be worth all the resources and lives of your OWN CITIZENS for it or will it only result in MORE death?

    Sometimes you just have to know when to fold em.