Why is there resistance to the idea of Starfleet being military?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Wormhole, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    I think you've answered your own question. The Japanese may think that they don't have a military, simply a "defense force" but to the rest of the world their armed forces are a no-doubt-about-it military.
     
  2. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think many from outside Japan would also consider it to not be a military but some other kind of organization, or at least a very unique military that isn't one in some major traditional senses.
    Understandings and classifications of UN Peacekeepers also seem to vary widely and the organization and some observers and analysts seem sincere in claiming that they aren't a military despite obviously having some similarities including in purposes.
     
  3. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Then many from outside Japan are wrong.

    Here is a Japanese "non military" Helicopter Carrier.
    Here is a Japanese "non military" Guided Missile Destroyer.
    Here is a Japanese "non military" Attack Submarine.
    Here is a Japanese "non military" Main Battle Tank.
    Here is a Japanese "non military" Air-Superiority Fighter.
    Here is a Japanese "non military" Multirole Fighter.

    The notion that Japan doesn't have a military because they don't call it that is ludicrous beyond reproach.
     
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  4. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't read through most of this thread, but I'm another vote against military. (For one thing, their military tactics wouldn't pass muster in today's military, let alone the future's. So all the "USS" this and "aye sir" that I can't take too seriously.) But they're explicitly "not a military organization" and a "combined service." To me, they're an evolved future organization sufficiently unlike what we think of as military to warrant a different classification. Dwelling too much to try to fit it into a contemporary one is self-defeating and unimaginative. If anything both we and TPTB should try to do a better job figuring out what this non-military Starfleet is all about -- focus on creating a realistically better future.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Goo goo goo joob Moderator

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    Oh, how I envy you...! :wah:
     
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  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Without getting into the long debate again, the short answer to the thread title is because many viewers want to see this show as a positive vision of our future, & for good or ill, militaries have never been seen as benevolent institutions. They're historically considered a force which uses violence to obtain its ends

    Now, surely no one wants to view Starfleet in that light. We want to believe it's an evolved institution, with exploration & kinship at its core, & that its military construct is defensive in nature, but even in being simply that, there is still some dark territory you can get into. So there is no doubt Starfleet is a military, because the act of defending yourself is at times an act of using violence to obtain an end, & any institution devised for that purpose IS a military
     
  7. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My problem isn't with military fiction and sci-fi. I operate in that all the time. The old FASA Star Trek game was ripe for military space combat.

    The issue here is that it is stated, more than once, that Starfleet is not a military. Therefore I see it as a challenge to make sure that that is true, because the main characters of these shows are not show to be unreliable narrators or the like.
     
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My apologies if this has been said before, but, yes, obviously it serves the purpose of the military as well. And I'd hope better than any that came before, or it'd be regressive. And I'd hope better than the militaries of alien baddies, or it'd be dangerous. But it's different. Now as a fan in the pro-military camp, you can cross your arms and whistle away because all we know today as yet are militaries, or you can, as a sci-fi geek, ponder what you'd imagine a different organization to be.
     
  9. Prax

    Prax Commodore Commodore

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    They're organized into platoons(infantry), wear body armor, and move around in troop transports-and are Starfleet.
     
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  10. Prax

    Prax Commodore Commodore

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    According to Picard, it is.
     
  11. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I kind of just accept, as with much on Star Trek, that they have come to use that term by a different definition. Language does evolve, and it's just easier to handwipe some things they've said by expecting they don't mean what we might mean. That's just me though
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can't think of a single instance in which Picard or Kirk asked Starfleet command for orders on how to respond to a natural disaster. They see a problem and decide for themselves whether to get involved or not. Half the time, Kirk doesn't even inform Starfleet of his actions until AFTER he's done it.

    Except that Scotty said the exact OPPOSITE of this in "Star Trek Beyond" so that's also a non-starter. More to the point, the 22nd century definition excludes Earth Starfleet but includes MACO. So we actually see that definition being VERY consistent of the course of 200 years.

    And the reason some have trouble "accepting" it is because it contradicts the show's direct references to the fact that Starfleet ISN'T a military organization. As I pointed out earlier, this isn't a problem for any other science fiction franchise in history, for very much the reason no other fictional space force has ever explicitly described itself as a non-military organization (I'm not even sure this can be said for SeaQuests' "United Earth Oceans" since SeaQuest was originally a military vessel).

    ... and was also a knight, born of a noble family, son of a knight himself.

    ... and was also a knight, having been brought up as a squire of other explorers in his youth.

    Are you under the impression that "knighthood" is mutually exclusive with military service? Why are you resistant to the idea of knights being military?
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    According to Sisko, it isn't. Command track is parallel to security, and he strongly implies to Worf that the responsibilities of the command track are far greater than those of security.
     
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  14. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Oh no. No resistance whatsoever. You've certainly convinced me that medieval knights were military, just like 15th and 16th century explorers were military, just like 23rd and 24th century explorers are military.

    Just like you convinced me that "Knight" Vasco da Gama and "Knight" Pedro Alvares Cabral didn't use ships in their exploration missions but crossed the oceans "on horseback".

    Just like you convinced me that the job of the captain of a starship is to wander around space searching for good deeds to perform like a glorified samurai vagabond.

    Are you under the impression that "bushido" is mutually exclusive with military service? Why are you resistant to the idea of samurai being military?
     
  15. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Captain Captain

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    I don't think that we can directly compare the two situations:

    PICARD: I see. What would you say if I told you that I believed that I was capable of being very much more.
    RIKER: Perhaps we should discuss this at your next evaluation.
    PICARD: I would appreciate it if we could discuss it now. You see, I feel that I would like to move beyond astrophysics to Engineering or Security, something that might even lead to Command.
    RIKER: Frankly, Lieutenant, I don't think that's realistic.
    PICARD: Why?
    TROI: I really don't think this is the place to be discussing this.
    PICARD: Please. This is important to me. I believe that I can do more.
    TROI: Hasn't that been the problem all along? Throughout your career you've had lofty goals, but you've never been willing to do what's necessary to attain them.
    PICARD: Would that be your evaluation as well, Commander?
    RIKER: I think I have to agree with the Counsellor. If you want to get ahead, you have to take chances, stand out in a crowd, get noticed.
    PICARD: I see.
    RIKER: Now, we don't want to lose you. You're a very good officer.


    The above is taking about how you get into Command, basically by showing your leadership potential (Astrophysics is poor, Engineering is good, Security is better).

    SISKO: Part of being a captain is knowing when to smile, make the troops happy even when it's the last thing in the world you want to do. Because they're your troops and you have to take care of them.
    WORF: Life is a great deal more complicated in this red uniform.
    SISKO: Wait till you get four pips on that collar. You'll wish you had gone into botany.


    This - by contrast - is taking about the differences in responsiblities of being in Command and being a Security Chief. And suggested being a Science Officer (botany specfically) is a lot less intensive and high level (which is backed up by the first quote) compared to Command.
     
  16. GabyBee

    GabyBee Captain Captain

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  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the explorers of the 24th century were pretty clear on their NOT being military, so I don't know what to tell you.

    The rest of your post is just puerile nonsense and I've entirely lost sight of whatever point you think you're trying to make.
     
  18. Prax

    Prax Commodore Commodore

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    Right, they're a space navy with a wide range of responsibilities. They mostly answer distress calls but occasionally do a little charting. During wartime they mobilize like any modern day navy and form massive battle fleets and deploy starfleet infantry ground troops.
     
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  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Five times, to be exact. But more to the point, it becomes easier to write those five times off when you take into account they are fallible mortals, while the omnipotent almost "god like" character is the one in all the franchise to actually call Starfleet a military, and he did it in a Roddenberry-written episode. Seriously, in Hide and Q, Q outright states Starfleet is a military to Picard, who doesn't contradict him. And that episode is written by Roddenberry.
    That's as nice as it was the first five million times you posted it in the other thread. Of course, it misses the point, if Starfleet is meant to be non-military, why has the franchise repeatedly over the course of the fifty years of its existence treated it like a military, with military terms, practices, jargon. In fact Starfleet is a military in every way that matters other than the fact that everyone says otherwise.

    Actions speak louder than words. If we are expected to believe Starfleet is non-military, we need to be shown it being non-military as opposed to being told this obviously military outfit isn't military
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From the first quote, I don't think it's as clear. Picard is still just a Lieutenant and a low-level astrophysicst, but Troi isn't telling him that his specialization is the problem. She's telling him that he "doesn't do what's necessary" to attain his career goals because he is forever playing it safe and not taking risks. In the context of the episode, I don't think she means that figuratively; she's alluding to the fact that he never volunteers for assignments that run a risk of being injured or killed, never does anything dangerous or noteworthy, and never actually puts his ass on the line. Even when Riker says "That wouldn't be realistic" he's alluding to the fact that Alternate Picard is basically a COWARD who shrinks away from any situation that has even the slightest personal risk.

    Science division itself isn't actually incompatible with the Command Track, however. We know this because Spock, Enterprise's chief science officer, was second in command on the Enterprise. We also know that Troi had to get a command certification as a prerequisite for promotion, despite the fact that she never actually got into the command track.
     
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