Star Trek Fascist

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K. A. Pital
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby K. A. Pital » 2016-09-13 12:01pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Well, not all warp-capable ships would be heavily armed juggernauts. There are plenty of unarmed transport ships and so on in Star Trek, and there is no obvious reason those couldn't be owned privately, in the "heck, why not?" sense.

There was once a writer in the Soviet Union who has written a novel about warp drive ships in the 1966. In that novel, warp drives were not just engines but also powerful weapons, due to the principles of action. If they could warp space, they could do it near celestial bodies as well, with enormous damage. Even if warp drives cannot themselves be used as a weapon in Star Trek, surely teleporters, holoprojectors etc. can be. I mean, these are operations with matter that are beyond our civilization even now - and with our rather limited tools, we can already decimate less developed civs.
Simon_Jester wrote:Now, your argument is entirely correct when extended to the large, armed starships the Federation normally uses in its Starfleet. There is not, and really shouldn't be, such a thing as a privately owned Excelsior-class or even Miranda-class.

I think even for sublight propulsion shuttles have antimatter engines or? This is not the kind of thing you'd want people to use. It is possible to miniaturize nuclear reactors and fit them into even bus-sized objects, but no private use.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby NeoGoomba » 2016-09-13 01:18pm

It'd be a little different if ST power generation was as miniaturized and fail-safe as, say, SW, where having lots of small, but capable, civilian spacecraft isn't a recipe for disaster. ST vessels seem more like volatile, fragile, engineering marvels requiring extreme diligence to maintain. Whereas in SW the civilian spacecraft market almost resembles the US auto industry.

I'd feel safer with my son learning how to fly an unarmed Y-Wing than a Starfleet shuttle.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Q99 » 2016-09-13 02:56pm

Dunno about that- we have seen people survive many shuttle crashes.

Though yea, a small Wars ship is certainly cheaper/more readily available, it seems like. Even though a starship can make shuttles...

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-09-13 03:11pm

Simon_Jester wrote:While a private individual in a ship like that could still create outside context problems for a less developed society, it would be less like the "sky gods call down fire" problem. It'd be more like the "sell smallpox-infected blankets and firewater to the natives" problem or the "sell phasers to the local equivalent of the Mongol Hordes" problem. The Federation already has laws regulating such things, and while restricting private access to starships might conceivably make enforcement easier, it isn't a necessary condition for enforcement to work.


"Angel One," first season of TNG. And, there's a nice little loophole in the law for the Feds to exploit, and which S31 has probably already exploited a million times over: The Prime Directive doesn't apply to Federation civilians, only to Starfleet personnel.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-09-13 03:17pm

...Huh.

In that case, the Federation is highly unlikely to restrict all civilian spacecraft on the grounds that they might violate the Prime Directive.

K. A. Pital wrote:There was once a writer in the Soviet Union who has written a novel about warp drive ships in the 1966. In that novel, warp drives were not just engines but also powerful weapons, due to the principles of action. If they could warp space, they could do it near celestial bodies as well, with enormous damage. Even if warp drives cannot themselves be used as a weapon in Star Trek, surely teleporters, holoprojectors etc. can be. I mean, these are operations with matter that are beyond our civilization even now - and with our rather limited tools, we can already decimate less developed civs.
While that potential exists, it is only related to starships insofar as starships are the means you use to travel there.

Thus, the problem is not private control of starships. The problem is any act of interference with undeveloped societies. And all such acts are already illegal in the Federation. Using your starship to interfere with a pre-warp civilization violates one of the Federation's most important laws.

If the Federation felt it was unable to prevent private individuals with spacecraft from interfering in pre-warp societies, they might very well ban privately owned spacecraft. But they do not seem to feel the need to do so. Presumably they have other ways of ensuring that their private citizens do not violate the Prime Directive.

Simon_Jester wrote:Now, your argument is entirely correct when extended to the large, armed starships the Federation normally uses in its Starfleet. There is not, and really shouldn't be, such a thing as a privately owned Excelsior-class or even Miranda-class.
I think even for sublight propulsion shuttles have antimatter engines or? This is not the kind of thing you'd want people to use. It is possible to miniaturize nuclear reactors and fit them into even bus-sized objects, but no private use.
To some extent it may be an issue of technology level. We routinely trust people today with vehicles and heavy machinery that would be insanely powerful by the standards of 150 or 250 years ago.

I mean, you can just buy fifty liters of gasoline. It's not even very expensive. Think how big a fire someone could start with that.

You can just rent a car massing over a thousand kilograms and drive at thirty or forty meters per second, giving your vehicle as much momentum and kinetic energy as a small artillery shell

If fusion reactors become sufficiently fail-safe, user-friendly, and compact, then maybe it is safe to sell them to private operators. For that matter, it seems as though most civilian ships in Star Trek have much lower maximum warp factors than competing military vessels. Perhaps this is because civilian ships use dumbed-down power plants and warp drives that are several steps backwards away from the most advanced technology?

NeoGoomba wrote:It'd be a little different if ST power generation was as miniaturized and fail-safe as, say, SW, where having lots of small, but capable, civilian spacecraft isn't a recipe for disaster. ST vessels seem more like volatile, fragile, engineering marvels requiring extreme diligence to maintain.
That's certainly true on military vessels, but that doesn't mean they can't make less capable but more reliable ships.

Whereas in SW the civilian spacecraft market almost resembles the US auto industry.
That's deliberate- George Lucas was very much a part of the American love affair with the automobile.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-09-14 10:17am

As far as shuttles and runabouts go, AFAIK we've never seen one suffer a warp-core failure or anything like that. Running out of juice, sure-- that was what happened with Galileo 7 IIRC, maybe one or two other events-- but going blooey because someone polarized the negative compensator? Not so much.

So, conjecturally, perhaps the power requirements for even a warp-capable shuttle don't necessitate a warp system on the scale that full-size starships use. It could be a situation where a fusion reactor or a low-power M/AM reactor offers enough juice to run, but not enough juice to make a massive bang.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby NeoGoomba » 2016-09-14 10:59am

True. Perhaps, for whatever design limitations, warp cores/engines simply get extremely unruly when scaled-up to Starship levels? Runabouts can take a few capital-ship scale hits without completely imploding, after all.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Solauren » 2016-09-14 08:52pm

Well, in the new trilogy, we saw lots of vehicles, so private ownership of ships is probably possible. Just like the real world.

Now, stop and consider our own world.

Do you know any private individuals that own anything approaching an actual battleship?

No, you don't.

You do, however, see big ass cargo ships, and passenger liners, and even small airplanes and boats.
All are very expensive. I have a good job, but I can't afford a luxury car.
I could afford a small, second hand airplane. (I'm talking a two - 6 seater suitable for flying to a lake to go fishing, with limited range)
however, insurance and fuel on those things are murder. That's why private charters of them are expensive.

More then likely, it's possible for individuals to own big FTL ships, but FTL fuel (anti-matter) is expensive, dangerous, and possibly difficult to produce, so outside of businesses, you are not going to see it. Socialism is not going to change that, until you get FTL fuel that is as cheap and easy to produce

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Mr Hugh Mann » 2016-09-15 03:19pm

It may be the case that the Federation restricts the size of ships that can be held by private entities in order to limit the efficient production of trilithium resin, which is produced as normal by-product of warp core operation.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-09-15 03:46pm

I take it trilithium resin goes 'bang' or is otherwise hazardous?
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Crazedwraith » 2016-09-15 03:48pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I take it trilithium resin goes 'bang' or is otherwise hazardous?


Big badda boom Well boom of uknown size and a bioweapon to boot.

Trilithium is also used in starkiller weapons by Soran and the Dominion.
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