2005-06-04

Federation Charter

(Preamble as seen on Janeway's monitor in "The Void"[VOY7])

CHARTER OF THE UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS

We the life forms of the United Federation of Planets determined

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and

to reaffirm faith in the fundamental rights of sentient beings, in the dignity and worth of all life forms, in the equal rights of members of planetary systems large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of interstellar law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of living on all worlds,


. . . et cetera. The rest, alas, was not visible, though if the above is any indication it would be the United Nations charter re-worded. In any case, it's rather amusing to consider the above compared to Palpatine's announcement of the Galactic Empire.

10 comments:

  1. Tell this to the "Empire cultists", to paraphrase Wong, who don't think the Empire is evil. In a fantasy/SF saga about the battle of good vs. evil, the enemies of the good guys aren't really evil. They're actually good, but the evil Trekkie conspiracy is just trying to decieve you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's the dumbest strawman I've ever heard, viribus. First of all, to argue that the Empire being evil is some sort of versus debate issue by saying these fictional "Empire cultists" call it a "trekkie conspiracy" is unbelievably inane and obviously made up. Second, the only serious argument I ever saw that the Empire wasn't evil was on www.weeklystandard.com-the neoconservative movements flagship, in case you didn't know. Lame, dude. Just lame. I suggest you stop framing everything in terms of this amusing side hobby.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not that Palpatine's little speech about establishing a safe, secure society etc. is especially proof of "evil" anyway anymore than the Federation's charter is proof of "good". There are many odious regimes with flower rhetoric. You look at actions, not words. The Empire is an authoritarian dictatorship guilty of mass murder. The Federation is an eclectic bunch of pseudo-democratic communists with lofty ideals and a seedy underbelly of morally questionable decisions (the Maquis spring to mind) and a grossly immoral "Prime Directive".

    ReplyDelete
  4. What about that! Someone else believes that the federation arent much more than communists! If you look at it, they are really. In all the episodes i've seen based on earth, i've never seen a commercial logo, just government departments insignia. So, in a way they are communist.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well I don't really see how anyone could deny it- unless they strawman communism into "no money" (for some reason people who think the UFP is some sort of America in space always bring up so and so paying for something as if it proves a capitalist society) rather than what its actual definition is. Of course, the UFP has a one-up on real communist regimes in that it isn't purposely evil and guilty of numerous crimes against human rights. Unless you count making men wear skirts as a military uniform ...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lol, or tights....

    ReplyDelete
  7. My impression of the Federation's economy is that it is some sort of participatory capitalism, in which if you wish to own a business, a ship, etc., you can freely ("Sisko's" in New Orleans comes to mind, as do several other restaurants on Earth and other Federation planets).

    Basically, replicator technology has allowed for everyone to be provided for without needing real money to do it. So are we trying to say that because a race has the technology and willingness to provide for all it's citizens it is evil? At any rate, people always talk about 'credits', which are NOT real money, nor are they accepted as such. However, they do work within the Federation. Perhaps these are some sort of replicator credits?

    Anyway, I am sick and tired of people relating economic system, government, and level of 'goodness'. Just because a country is capitalist does NOT mean it is inherently better than a quasi-socialist country. There is proof on Earth if you want. Several European countries have well established democracies, and have better human rights records than pretty much anyone, but they have socialist economies. At the same time, there are capitalist countries that house some of most evil dictators on the planet. The opposite is also true, of course. Socialist nations must beware Stalinist influences, and capitalist nations can also be perfecly suited to democracy.

    We say that given the level of maturity and techology our species has today, that capitalist democracy is the 'best' system available. Who is to say that as technology and 'maturity' increases, our view of the best economy will not change as well?

    As someone said earlier, rhetoric does not matter, how that rhetoric is appied does. The Empire holds lofty ideals about security, anti-corruption, and justice, but is in fact corrupt, power hungry, unjust, and destructive towards its own citizens. The Federation holds lofty ideals of egalitariansism, freedom, dignity, and also security, but actually holds onto them. Which is the 'better' society?

    People have said that some of the legal issues (Data's original quasi-slave status in 'The Measure of a Man' - TNG, and neo-McCarthyism in 'The Drumhead' - TNG) reveal that the Federation is actually evil and hypocritical. But I say that the Federation's legal system does correct these problems, as seen in the outcomes of both episodes. So where there is a problem in Federation law, it can be assumed that it can be corrected to conform to the above ideals.

    Finally, the Maquis are not some morally-corrupt seedy underworld of the Federation. They are criminals who violated the Federation-Cardassian treaty in the name of 'patriotism', and refuse to answer to the legitimate government. This is their own problem, not the Federation's! The Federation does have a criminal element (the Orion Syndicate, which at least operates within the Federation), but unlike the Empire's underworld (the Hutts and bountyhunters, for example), the Federation tries very hard to get it out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not to mention the Picard family vineyard! Picard and his family speak of it as if they own it, not like it was given to them by a generous government.

    Scotty also BUYS A BOAT, for goodness sake!

    There has to be some free market system, albeit with an admittedly massive safety net and minimum living standards.

    Someone also try to find any evidence that the Federation is NOT democratic?! It is just assumed throughout the series, and is never discussed really. We never see anything UN-democratic, as far as I know! Just because they don't go around flag-waving and talking about politics when there is perfectly good sci-fi to be made is hardly evidence that the Federation is an evil, corrupt, USSR-style communist regime!

    ReplyDelete


  9. Tell this to the "Empire cultists", to paraphrase Wong, who don't think the Empire is evil. In a fantasy/SF saga about the battle of good vs. evil, the enemies of the good guys aren't really evil. They're actually good, but the evil Trekkie conspiracy is just trying to decieve you.

    When did Mike Wong ever claim that the Empire is good ?


    Michael

    ReplyDelete