Star Trek Fascist

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Star Trek Fascist

Postby Otacon30 » 2016-09-10 03:16pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KBPaS-1PU

A great video done by a fellow youtuber, its nice to see Mr. Wongs original theory of "Federation is communist." theory get some light on youtube.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-09-10 04:48pm

Otacon30 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KBPaS-1PU

A great video done by a fellow youtuber, its nice to see Mr. Wongs original theory of "Federation is communist." theory get some light on youtube.


Oh great. Another idiot spouting off about how the Federation is a dictatorship, in direct contradiction of God knows how much canon evidence?

The Federation, at least of the TNG era, is pretty clearly socialist, in that they do not have money, at least in the core, and everyones' needs are supposed to be provided for, which means either an extraordinarily altruistic society or, more likely, government control of the means of production (Ie pretty much the textbook definition of socialism). However, socialist does not equal communist, and certainly does not equal dictatorship. Nor is communism a synonym for fascism, thread title notwithstanding.

Frankly, this whole "theory" sounds like a product of western, particularly American, fear mongering about socialism more than anything else. It reminds me of the ignorant, agenda-driven conflation of socialism, communism, and fascism I'd expect from Fox News and its ilk (while they support borderline fascists themselves).
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Zixinus » 2016-09-10 05:08pm

Out of curiosity, has the Federation ever shown how their social structure works? I'm not just talking about Starfleet officers, but civilian officials, whether there are titles like president and mayor and how they are chosen? Out of several series, there has to be something mentioned.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-09-10 05:17pm

We... don't see a lot of the civilian side. That's part of what's behind these "theories" as well, no doubt. That we're trying to piece together how the Federation's civilian side works based on scraps of information, so people can just project their own biases and agendas onto it like a blanks slate.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-09-10 05:29pm

To elaborate on what we do know about civilian politics:

We know that their is a Federation Council and President (seen in the TOS films). I vaguely recall a mention in TOS's "Amok Time" of someone being offered a position on the Council, which suggests that it is not elected, or at least not necessarily so. Given the similarities between the Federation and the UN, it is possible that member worlds select their representative, and that some member worlds may be more democratic than others (member worlds do retain their own cultures, of course, at least to an extent).

I'm fairly certain we've also seen diplomats and a judge (when the Doctor wrote a holo-novel) who were not in Starfleet, though I might be mistaken.

I'm not aware of any canon on how the President is selected, though I believe there's EU material stating that he is elected.

I would postulate that the Federation is likely a mix of oligarchy and meritocracy, not fully democratic, though their may be some democracy at the planetary level, depending on the attitudes of the world in question.

Their do, however, appear to be pretty strong protections to certain individual rights (barring certain circumstances like if you're an AI or a genetically engineered person, or having to tolerate the oppressive alien culture of the week), and protection of freedom of the press (I seem to recall from the SFDebris reviews that Jake Sisko was shocked by the Dominion's lack of respect for freedom of the press).
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-09-10 08:20pm

Otacon30 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KBPaS-1PU

A great video done by a fellow youtuber, its nice to see Mr. Wongs original theory of "Federation is communist." theory get some light on youtube.


Note the video maker's point at the end, that you should question who presents you the facts, IE that he's lying through his teeth. MatPat is a comedic persona and his theories more often than not are silly.

Also, we plainly see other people's perspectives on the show, as in DS9, we see Klingon, Cardassian, Dominion, and Ferengi perspectives on the UFP.

Note this scene between a Ferengi citizen and a Cardassian citizen on the prospect of a Klingon invasion, and their perspective on the Federation:

link


Seems that, begrudgingly, they do like the Federation. This immediately dismisses most of MatPat's points, if he were seriously arguing that the UFP is fascist, which he isn't. He's arguing that you shouldn't immediately trust who presents you facts.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Adam Reynolds » 2016-09-10 08:31pm

The Federation certainly isn't fascist in any real sense. Mike Wong's argument certainly never claimed it was fascist. Frankly calling someone fascist has no meaning any more.

Though it might be communist, it does seem far more benevolent than any real communist state has ever been. Probably because the technology level actually lets it work without the same degree of problems.

One particular point that is especially bad is that it essentially attacks the idea of utilitarianism and equates it with fascism.

Also, apparently soldiers using military radios indicates that civilian ones don't exist. So I guess when when you watch Generation Kill, the fact that the characters are soldiers using military radios indicates that cell phones don't exist.

Though it did have an interesting question about starships. Are starships too expensive for private ownership?

Really the problem of settings like Star Trek is that they are designed for drama. This is also shared by Mass Effect or Star Wars. It means that you have things like foolish leaders outranking your heroes, allowing them to be correct in the face of adversity. Having military characters as viewpoint characters also means that we fail to fully see the civilian way of life and are thus left with an impression of the setting that is warped.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Batman » 2016-09-10 08:38pm

Yeah. I mean foolish leaders outranking much more sensible people is totally unknown in real life.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Zor » 2016-09-10 11:30pm

By the Emperor, Broad Utilitarianism does not equal Fascism! If people work to help each other out and that means more can be accomplished than if nobody cooperates and thinks only for their own benefit. That's basic human interaction to anyone who's not a Randroid Retard. Remember that the original motto of the United States is "Out of the Many, One". As for the Facses...
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Also its 2016, can we lay off the goddamn moaning about the Star Wars Prequels?

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Batman » 2016-09-10 11:36pm

Also its 2016, can we lay off the goddamn moaning about the Star Wars Prequels?
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby FedRebel » 2016-09-11 09:16am

Adam Reynolds wrote:The Federation certainly isn't fascist in any real sense. Mike Wong's argument certainly never claimed it was fascist. Frankly calling someone fascist has no meaning any more.


And the evidence to support such an assessment is far too circumstantial.

Though it might be communist, it does seem far more benevolent than any real communist state has ever been. Probably because the technology level actually lets it work without the same degree of problems.


Economically it seems to have achieved Marx's vision in the TNG era.

also it appears the "military/political bond is at a simmilar degree toa real communist state. Starfleet is very involved in Federation politics, Captain's being able to sway the Federation Council, and serving as diplomats at the behest of the Council.

Though it did have an interesting question about starships. Are starships too expensive for private ownership?


Mudd and Cassidy Yates appeared to own their own ships, we've seen too little of Federation life to be conclusive...but given the appearance that in TNG era it's "to each according to his need"...there is no "need"...because starfleet provides the ferrying of passengers.

Be a nice vision if civilian shuttlecraft exist, A Type 6 in every garage, Type 9's as 'sports' shuttles, all available in a rainbow of colors.

Really the problem of settings like Star Trek is that they are designed for drama. This is also shared by Mass Effect or Star Wars. It means that you have things like foolish leaders outranking your heroes, allowing them to be correct in the face of adversity. Having military characters as viewpoint characters also means that we fail to fully see the civilian way of life and are thus left with an impression of the setting that is warped.


Star Trek's biggest issue is inconsistency...even within a single series there are a legion of writers each whom impart their own take. That creates unfortunate implications...like Janeway could be classified as an unstable psychopath because of inconsistent characterization.

And across the franchise things get foul because there's no firm governing, such as Voyager being equipped with Tricolbalt devices...which were later revealed in the movies to be illegal.

all this coupled with the "evil admiral" cliche don't paint a rosy picture of 24th century society.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby bilateralrope » 2016-09-11 11:17am

FedRebel wrote:Be a nice vision if civilian shuttlecraft exist, A Type 6 in every garage, Type 9's as 'sports' shuttles, all available in a rainbow of colors.

A shuttlecraft wouldn't have much use for someone who is spending their time on a single planet. It seems quite possible for major planets to have enough transporters to handle the day to day travel of the entire population. Especially if people are willing to tolerate a few minutes waiting in the queue before one of the transporter rooms somewhere on the planet is free.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Q99 » 2016-09-11 03:15pm

We do see a few civilian traders or unaffiliated ships- and someone's certainly docking at DS9! Nothing that compares to a Federation starship in power- I imagine even a Reliant would be considered very impressive by non-governmental powers, and the majority seem to have tiny crews, there's a couple 'colonies' of just a dozen or two people from a single ship (or in 'Eden's case, even less).

Scotty was given a shuttlecraft to travel around in.

In Rules of Engagement, a civilian Klingon ship was shown and talked about, and had a crew of 440, which is a pretty sizeable one.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby tezunegari » 2016-09-11 04:04pm

Q99 wrote:In Rules of Engagement, a civilian Klingon ship was shown and talked about, and had a crew of 440, which is a pretty sizeable one.

The 440 people on board were not the crew but the passengers and crew combined as casualties. (Worf destroyed the unarmed ship during combat with klingon warships)

So I assume the actual crew would be far smaller; High-single or low-double digits.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Darth Thanatos » 2016-09-11 04:23pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
Note the video maker's point at the end, that you should question who presents you the facts, IE that he's lying through his teeth. MatPat is a comedic persona and his theories more often than not are silly.


Ah, like when he completely misinterpreted a TINY MINORITY of Renaissance daggers and called modern fencing real combat in order to "prove" a Halo energy sword is superior to a lightsaber.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby NecronLord » 2016-09-11 06:03pm

I like that he talks about the Federation controlling all transport and highlights among others the SS Antares, a civilian ship from TOS.

And the criticism of Court Martial is amazing.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Batman » 2016-09-11 06:07pm

'Civilian' doesn't necessarily mean 'privately owned' though.
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'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
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'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-09-12 06:49am

Batman wrote:'Civilian' doesn't necessarily mean 'privately owned' though.


We do have evidence of corporations and companies operating in Federation space, though.

PICARD: Data, are you familiar with Dytallix B?
DATA: Dytallix B is one of seven uninhabited planets mined for the Federation by the Dytallix Mining Company. It is in the nearby Mira system.
PICARD: Mister La Forge, chart a course for it immediately. Warp seven. And there will be no records or logs mentioning any aspect of this diversion.


The Bank of Bolias, Kasidy Yates Interstellar Freights with her ship the Xhosa, and possibly Kivas Fajo with his ship the Jovis, though I'm not even sure if he is a Federation citizen.

Kasidy may be an example of normal business, as she had a contract with the Petarians, who supplied her ship with outdated technology.

There's also Scotty's comment that he just bought a boat.(Though he could have meant a seagoing vessel)

While the specifics aren't really delved into, it appears that owning a ship is pricey. Quark couldn't afford one until it was gifted to him by his cousin, and the Ferengi are all about 'free enterprise'. And Quark is someone who has had enough money to throw around into investments.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby bilateralrope » 2016-09-12 06:56am

The Romulan Republic wrote:The Federation, at least of the TNG era, is pretty clearly socialist, in that they do not have money,


Yet they still have something that's close enough that it can be used to pay their bills at Quark's.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-09-13 06:31am

Adam Reynolds wrote:The Federation certainly isn't fascist in any real sense. Mike Wong's argument certainly never claimed it was fascist. Frankly calling someone fascist has no meaning any more.
Yeah. George Orwell once wrote an essay remarking on this process, that people began calling every political action they disliked "fascism." First the communists got into the game, then (in parts of the West) the right wing got into the game trying to redirect the term to point to the left of them, and then it got completely out of control.

Though it did have an interesting question about starships. Are starships too expensive for private ownership?
Apparently not, but they may be too expensive for most people to own one.

Like airplanes. It's not that you can't own an airplane, it's that even a small airplane is very expensive to own and operate, screwing up with the maintenance can kill you, and there are a fairly limited number of ways to make a small, individually owned airplane profitable for the owner. For all these reasons, airplanes are not common as items of property. The United States is a relatively rich country, and one that certainly supports individuals' right to own things. But while there are roughly two hundred thousand or so airplanes in the US, that's still less than one airplane per thousand citizens, meaning that no more than 0.1% of the population can possibly own their own plane. Bush pilots and so on who actually make a living flying their personal airplanes around are rare.

By analogy, owning a single-engine airplane would be like owning your own shuttlecraft, and owning a big heavy twin-engine or four-engine jet would be like owning your own large starship. Not many people can afford that, and the majority of the world's large airplanes are the property of some government or corporation. Because even among people who can afford to buy a fifty million dollar airplane or whatever, most people don't want to buy it purely as a status symbol.

FedRebel wrote:Economically it seems to have achieved Marx's vision in the TNG era.

also it appears the "military/political bond is at a simmilar degree toa real communist state. Starfleet is very involved in Federation politics, Captain's being able to sway the Federation Council, and serving as diplomats at the behest of the Council.
And yet this is not so much because the military controls the government, as because the government has demilitarized the military. While Starfleet officers are aware they're in a fighting service (usually), they don't seem to think of themselves as soldiers or fighters. The paragon examples they hold up for emulation will usually try to resolve a situation without fighting if possible. Their standing orders and basic principles emphasize scientific research, exploration, and noninterference in the affairs of others.

The reason the Federation sends Picard around as a diplomat is that frankly, he's pretty good at it- arguably better than he is at fighting ship to ship battles.

So if we look at the Federation as being an example of the military influencing the civilian leadership, it is also an example of the civilian scientific and diplomatic communities having a lot of influence in the military.

Though it did have an interesting question about starships. Are starships too expensive for private ownership?


Mudd and Cassidy Yates appeared to own their own ships, we've seen too little of Federation life to be conclusive...but given the appearance that in TNG era it's "to each according to his need"...there is no "need"...because starfleet provides the ferrying of passengers.

Be a nice vision if civilian shuttlecraft exist, A Type 6 in every garage, Type 9's as 'sports' shuttles, all available in a rainbow of colors.
Eh, maybe- but then, I'm not a car-fetishist, and the idea of everyone owning their own 'hot rod' spaceship like some sort of science fiction version of a '50s movie with all the teenagers competing to have the best car... That doesn't really appeal to me.

Really the problem of settings like Star Trek is that they are designed for drama. This is also shared by Mass Effect or Star Wars. It means that you have things like foolish leaders outranking your heroes, allowing them to be correct in the face of adversity. Having military characters as viewpoint characters also means that we fail to fully see the civilian way of life and are thus left with an impression of the setting that is warped.
Star Trek's biggest issue is inconsistency...even within a single series there are a legion of writers each whom impart their own take. That creates unfortunate implications...like Janeway could be classified as an unstable psychopath because of inconsistent characterization.

And across the franchise things get foul because there's no firm governing, such as Voyager being equipped with Tricolbalt devices...which were later revealed in the movies to be illegal.

all this coupled with the "evil admiral" cliche don't paint a rosy picture of 24th century society.
Well, frankly, it doesn't paint ANY picture, or if it does, it paints such a surrealist, distorted picture that we can't make intelligible claims about the thing the picture represents.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby K. A. Pital » 2016-09-13 06:40am

Why does it matter if starships can be privately owned?

Do you see many people owning battleships or cruisers? I bet you do not. Starships of the Federation, if they happen to apply force to any less-developed civilization, would be a weapon of mass destruction and out of context problem.

I see very good reason in the lack of private warp-equipped spaceships, much like there's no private aircraft carriers or missile destroyers, although we live under capitalism. It is just crazy and dangerous and irresponsible.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Q99 » 2016-09-13 09:28am

tezunegari wrote:The 440 people on board were not the crew but the passengers and crew combined as casualties. (Worf destroyed the unarmed ship during combat with klingon warships)

So I assume the actual crew would be far smaller; High-single or low-double digits.


Right. Low-double digit seems high-end for crew, but passengers on some of these ships can get pretty major.


Still, in comparison, a full load for a Galaxy class is apparently 16,000?

440 isn't much different than a Miranda's load.

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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-09-13 11:19am

FedRebel wrote:and serving as diplomats at the behest of the Council.


To be honest, that's a futuristic interpolation of a naval captain's authority during the Age of Sail. In particular, from the Hornblower novels, from which Star Trek takes part of its inspiration.

Also, Fascism, at least the German and Italian flavors, was strongly anti-Communist and very much pro-capitalist(or pro-corporate, which may not necessarily be the same thing). Just because a party has the word "Socialist" in its name does not mean it's Communist or even Socialist, despite what an empowered minority and its drones want everyone to believe.
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-09-13 11:26am

tezunegari wrote:The 440 people on board were not the crew but the passengers and crew combined as casualties. (Worf destroyed the unarmed ship during combat with klingon warships)


The freighter Worf destroyed was unmanned; the Klingons faked the life signs aboard in an attempt to frame Worf and the Federation. Sisko discovered this, when he'd found the supposed casualties were the same as the ones who crashed into the side of a planet some time before.

Also, even former enemy combatants were allowed to own ships in Firefly's Union Of Allied Planets, but that doesn't make the Alliance any less dictatorial.
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And, if the implications of that bother you, the time to do something about it is before you send him out."
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Re: Star Trek Fascist

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-09-13 11:41am

K. A. Pital wrote:Why does it matter if starships can be privately owned?

Do you see many people owning battleships or cruisers? I bet you do not. Starships of the Federation, if they happen to apply force to any less-developed civilization, would be a weapon of mass destruction and out of context problem.

I see very good reason in the lack of private warp-equipped spaceships, much like there's no private aircraft carriers or missile destroyers, although we live under capitalism. It is just crazy and dangerous and irresponsible.
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. Indeed, this is precisely the category of ship we see private individuals operating- shuttlecraft and vessels not much bigger than a shuttlecraft, private space stations that do not move, and so on. Maybe some bulk cargo transports that operate entirely along specific trade routes.

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.

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.
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