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Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

To quote you quoting yourself: "You brought up the Law of Jante, and that simply provides additional support for my thesis about the government: an oppressive social structure and culture like that would naturally produce an oppressive government." You're quite clear on the oppressive government point in that quote. In those systems the oppression on the fleet's flagship would be most intense, as the politicians fear the military more then a writing school in New Zealand. And yet in 700 episodes you found one that has any actual Federation oppressive.

And again, have you watched the series? There's actually some pretty significant footage of numerous non-Federation worlds, and none of them are nearly as rich as the Federation proper. The Ferengi have a free market system, and like everyone else they acknowledge the Federation is the richest political unit in the galaxy.

And you keep calling it unrealistic, without actually supporting that argument. Assuming replicators, transporters, and some sort of national health system the only thing that hasn't been paid for is housing. And in a universe where 40% of the human race has moved to the stars, and the rest isn't obsessed with a suburban McMansion it's not exactly impossible to figure that out.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

Dude, the Law of Jante is in effect in multiple European countries, and you yourself claimed that it's presence in the Federation alone justifies your characterization of said Federation as a dystopian hellscape.

As for secret police, you compared the Federation to East Germany. Compalining I brought up secret police when you brought up a country that is known primarily for having the Stasi is a bit rich.

BTW, have you watched it? At all? Because everyone agrees that the Federation is the richest society in the galaxy. You might be able to make some sort of case that it would be even richer if they weren't egalitarian, but as is your entire argument consists of talking around the point of secret police while refusing to admit it, pretending that you haven;'t insulted several European countries because you think I'll let you get away with it, and a peasent-based-chain-of-logic that only works for people who have never watched a minute of the series.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

So the Federation has secret police, but you can't name them

No, what I'm saying is that the existence of a secret police is not a necessary feature of an oppressive, unfree state, it is instead a symptom of something completely different, a failing state. (FWIW, one of the secret police forces in Star Trek is Section 31, there are probably others.)

Again with the moving goalposts. First the Federation is terrible because it has secret police, now it's terrible because it has a different problem (but it still has secret police).

Incidentally, if it did have Secret Police they'd appear in more then a handful of episodes.

Which is roughly 1/700th of the universe, and much better odds then any capitalist system.

We aren't talking about "odds" here, we are talking about the nature of Federation government, and it seems to be a standard, run-of-the-mill government run by humans, the kind that we have millennia of experience and centuries of political theory for. (Furthermore, I dispute the "better odds" claim; historically, almost all socialist governments have failed, and those that haven't are totalitarian.)

Except, by your definition, most of Europe is governed by Socialists, and the most Socialist countries in Europe (the Northern European ones) are doing fine.

Capital goods are allocated by something we can't see off-screen which could very well be a market of some sort. Consumer goods are either obsolete (ie: cars) or provided by a replicator. Health is provided by some sort of socialized system which could be co-ops, Single Payer insurance, or an NHS clone. Education is totally laissez faire. Other then that there is no other then that because that economy works fine. With no economic problems, there's very little politics, and no reason for the government itself to do any of the things you're ascribing to it.

You are pretty much describing East Germany. The East German economy "worked fine" too, in that it provided housing, jobs, transportation, and health care to all citizens. It was also highly unfree, in that someone else told you where to live, what job to take, what housing you got, how much energy you could consume, and when you worked, based nominally on the state's assessment of your value to society and your ability to contribute.

You have yet to give any examples of someone telling a Federation citizen where to live, what job to take, or what housing to live in except in a military context. In fact canon is pretty clear there's no longer such a thing as a 'job' in the first place.

Which is quite telling, given your premise has apparently morphed into implying the Federation does that shit.

Its economy was performing poorly because, absent the usual market mechanisms, economic planners lacked the information to plan output or capital investments, workers and innovators lacked the information on what to work on. The numerous scarce resources (nice houses, rare art, desirable jobs, etc.) were awarded based on political connections and influence. To someone from a few centuries earlier, East Germany would have seemed a liberal, peaceful "post-scarcity" society, but compared to free market economies, it was an impoverished, oppressive shithole.

Look, we basically agree on the facts: humanity in Star Trek has eliminated money for personal transactions and gives everybody some kind of housing, education, health care, job, and resources for hobbies; particularly ambitious individuals--scientists, explorers, fighters--can join Starfleet and rise to power, fame, and (implicit) wealth within a military-style hierarchy. The difference between us is that you think that's a good outcome, whereas I recognize it for the oppressive and impoverished society that it is, because it really is little different from what the better socialist states were like in the 20th century.

So there's no poverty, there's so much stuff that any individual human has more consumer goods then they could possibly use, the ambitious can shine in Starfleet; and that's somehow a bad thing?

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

So the Federation has secret police, but you can't name them. Congratulations on your ability to make shit up. As for "corruption, injustice, and takeovers," apparently you're talking about the episode Homefront of DS9, where somebody tried and failed to take over the Federation government. Which is roughly 1/700th of the universe, and much better odds then any capitalist system.

As for how a plausible example would work, I've given you one already. Capital goods are allocated by something we can't see off-screen which could very well be a market of some sort. Consumer goods are either obsolete (ie: cars) or provided by a replicator. Health is provided by some sort of socialized system which could be co-ops, Single Payer insurance, or an NHS clone. Education is totally laissez faire. Other then that there is no other then that because that economy works fine.

With no economic problems, there's very little politics, and no reason for the government itself to do any of the things you're ascribing to it.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

So there's no secret police, which you admit indicates there is "failing totalitarian state," but you're still comparing it to East Germany. Then you bring up Apartheid for no apparent reason, and relate it back to East Germany; despite the fact that you have just admitted that there's no on-screen evidence that the Federation is at all comparable to East Germany.

I think you've pretty definitively proven that your problem with Star Trek is not that Roddenberry hasn't thought shit through, it's that you're too immature to accept that other people can disagree with you on the value of money.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

But the reason people want to leave isn't that their wants aren't being met, it's either that they want something of their own or they have some interesting little religion that doesn't fit in.

Correct. So, it's roughly like East Germany: an oppressive shithole whose claim to fame is that it keeps its citizens clothed, fed, and busy.

So you start out saying that inequality is a problem, and nothing about secret police, and now you;re implying there are secret police. If I point out there's no secret police on the Enterprise you'll continue your trolling by claiming "of course not, they're privileged" despite the fact in that in countries with secret police those guys are always present in the military to prevent coups d'tat.

In other words they're not complaining some evil elite in the Federation has monopolized the prosperity, or that there's not enough prosperity, they're claiming they want to be less Jante-like.

Correct. In different words, they want the Federation to be less socialist and more liberal.

And how many countries in the world with multi-hundred-million populations have no visible minority advocating for major change? That's just kind of how the human race works.

Dude, the Law of Jante [wikipedia.org] isn't a law that's been passed by Parliament. It's the way a novelist described how his fictional village of Jante treated people who did not fit in because they were too proud of themselves.

You don't say! Are you so unfamiliar with what we are talking about that you feel that warrants pointing out?

Apparently you don't, since you are still comparing a people with a Law of Jante to a people with an active secret police service.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

There's transporter credits for Academy students, but it's not precisely unusual for the students at a military academy to have restrictions on themselves that civilians don't.

Your reasoning is backwards: the flagship of the Federation and its most prominent members would represent the kind of people that would have the most resources available to them. We have also seen many private quarters in colonies. Generally, Federation citizens may have small food replicators and computers but not that much more. Most homes don't seem to have transporters or large scale replicators,

Scenes tend to be in officer's quarters, recent colonies, or non-Federation worlds. Off the top of my head I can't remember a single scene in any of the three TNG-era shows which showed the interior of a Federation home. Presumably the colony worlds will be at Federation standard at some point in the relatively near future. BTW, you m,ay be thinking of Turkana City, which left the Federation after devolving into gang warfare.

Regardless, how large-scale a replicator do you need in your house? If it's big enough to make you a plate of chicken it's got the cubic inches to make almost any article of clothing, most personal objects, and even Ikea-style furniture kits. If you need something bigger you can walk to a larger replicator, have it transported in, etc.

and spacecraft seem to be nearly completely unavailable to private citizens. We also know that there is great inequality between even Earth and its colonies, plus enough discontent from people to want to leave. From everything we have seen, the Federation is not a post-scarcity society, nor is it a liberal society.

But the reason people want to leave isn't that their wants aren't being met, it's either that they want something of their own or they have some interesting little religion that doesn't fit in.

In other words they're not complaining some evil elite in the Federation has monopolized the prosperity, or that there's not enough prosperity, they're claiming they want to be less Jante-like.

You started talking about the official governmental system being terribly oppressive. Now you're arguing it's not the government that oppresses anyone, it's that the people would give them side-eye if they acted like you think they should act.

I'm sorry, but you're confused. You brought up the Law of Jante, and that simply provides additional support for my thesis about the government: an oppressive social structure and culture like that would naturally produce and oppressive government. That is, the government of the Federation is oppressive because the culture of the Federation is oppressive.

Dude, the Law of Jante isn't a law that's been passed by Parliament. It's the way a novelist described how his fictional village of Jante treated people who did not fit in because they were too proud of themselves.

The government in these countries is less oppressive then in 99% of the world.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

Much of government is the result of the need to regulate shit that Federation technology just takes care of. Replicators are not gonna start spitting out salads with E Coli, and since you arrived via magical Transporter beam you don't need to worry about drunk-driving your way home. Education policy seems to be totally laissez faire. So boith buerecracy and government will inevitably be less prominent in people's lives once those techs are added.

Of course, we know that the use of replicators and transporters is rationed and limited, and that those technological devices are fiercely dangerous and easily weaponized.

There's transporter credits for Academy students, but it's not precisely unusual for the students at a military academy to have restrictions on themselves that civilians don't. There were replicator credits on voyager because they were stuck in the Alpha quadrant, but the amount of bitching about that strongly implies that unlimited replicator use was the standard.

As for inequality and power, in this context they're the same thing because it's about relative power. If there's equality then nobody can bully anyone.

True. There are a lot of other things you can't do when there's equality either.

And if you do some research on the Law of Jante, you'll note there's an entire region of the world where multiple countries have an attidude towards personal displays of wealth/power quite similar to the Star Trek attitude.

So you agree then that The Federation is an oppressive, conformist, collectivist society with stifling limits on its technological, economic, and social progress. You simply happen to like such societies.

Moving goalposts again. You started talking about the official governmental system being terribly oppressive. Now you're arguing it's not the government that oppresses anyone, it's that the people would give them side-eye if they acted like you think they should act.

Comment Re:Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

That is NOT what you quoted last time. That is actually something I did write.

Your point is? You seem to imply you disagree with some part of it, but you've fooled me again. Perhaps the crack about Reagan? (I actually speculated about the fairness of attributing it to "senility" rather than a lack of will or any sort of moral compass. I could make a strong case that Reagan's was simply being expedient.)

Dude, nobody who is in the tank for Hillary will disagree with any bad thing you say about Reagan. Including funding genocide via arms sales to terrorists.*

I was trying to give you a political science explanation of why that shit (candidates with a consistent philosophy) doesn't happen.

I certainly would not describe myself as "in the tank for Hillary" at any point. I'm just unable to understand the suckers who are snorting the cool-aid. The propagandists who are brewing the cool-aid are easy enough to understand, but I think they are putting their personal advantage and sometimes their political party way ahead of the good of the country. I suppose I should have a stronger reaction to their lying about it, but what else do you expect from professional propagandists?

There are two brands of Kool-Aid. We will live with one or the other.

Trump would be unliveable for me, and most of my minority friends. Bernie is great in theory, but in practice useless at winning elections outside of his narrow-ass base. Thus Hillary.

Creating a third brand of Kool-Aid is virtually impossible due to the coordination problems I mentioned in my first post.

*To be fair Reagan's "Oh that was what Ollie North was up to" defense worked well enough that most Americans act surprised when you point this out.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

Dude, if you focussed on the Court of Louis XIV you'd not only know the name of the King, you'd also know the names of all the other Kings. Foreign policy was pretty much all the Royal government did. In fact in general almost any truly privileged group will have a lot more interaction with, and knowledge of, the political system then the peons because if they didn't one of the peons would out-manuever them and take their privilege. So in the France of Louis XIV's day the serfs would have been the last to find out that they had to increment their Louis counter by one.

As for your criticism of Roddenberry's power structure, I think you''re exposing yourself as a troll. You just moved the goal-posts from "bureaucracy" to "bureaucracy, power, inequality, and government."

Moreover in bringing up at least two of those you're showing a huge lack of imagination. Much of government is the result of the need to regulate shit that Federation technology just takes care of. Replicators are not gonna start spitting out salads with E Coli, and since you arrived via magical Transporter beam you don't need to worry about drunk-driving your way home. Education policy seems to be totally laissez faire. So boith buerecracy and government will inevitably be less prominent in people's lives once those techs are added.

As for inequality and power, in this context they're the same thing because it's about relative power. If there's equality then nobody can bully anyone. And if you do some research on the Law of Jante, you'll note there's an entire region of the world where multiple countries have an attidude towards personal displays of wealth/power quite similar to the Star Trek attitude.

Comment Re: This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

You're right about Roddenberry being progressive. However, there's nothing that bold or controversial about a gay character. They've been pretty common on the big and small screens for at least the past 15 years. By and large, society is pretty accepting of gay and lesbian people these days, at least among young people. I was careful not to use the LGBT acronym because while lesbians and gays are far more accepted now, transsexuals aren't. Furthermore, there's a significant amount of bigotry directed at Muslims and racism toward people of Middle Eastern descent. The closest to a Middle Eastern character in Star Trek was Julian Bashir, though that's not especially obvious. Alexander Siddig is Sudanese. I think a certain segment of the population wouldn't like him if he was credited under his full name, which is Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi.

15 years would be 2001. Voyager ended that May. Enterprise had a few season running starting in '01.

Arabs are scarce for pretty much the same reason. If you're an American showing all branches of humanity working together in '95 Arabs weren't on the RADAR, so weren't explicitly included.

Since no human is religious there'd never be a Muslim character.

Comment Re:This is sacrilege plain and simple (Score 1) 354

I suggest all fellow Star Trek fans boycott this production.... trash the muddies the name Star Trek, which is about science and exploration, not millennial "inclusive" bullshit.

You must be kidding. The original Star Trek was a campy space opera.

It was low-level SciFi, but it's SciFi.

The science tends to be English-major Bullshit dressing up Will Rogers tropes, but unlike pure space opera there's at least an attempt.

Rather think that by the time of Star Trek in a Utopian society, they managed to get over this confused "sexual orientation" nonsense.

Star Trek society is more dystopian than utopian: a stifling society based on a hierarchical bureaucracy. Just about the only good thing about it was that, at least on Earth, most people were sufficiently well off that it didn't matter.

Bureaucracy? Have you seen it at all? Like any of it?

In the entire run of all three post-Federation series the only Federation bureaucrats are in the Tribbles episode. Other then that you get an occasional Ambassador, and a political system that is so much in the background that no Federation Presidents got named until Season 4 of DS9. Starfleet is hierarchical, but it's the closest thing they have to a military so of course it's hierarchical. Non-hierarchical militaries tend to get conquered, just ask the Indians.

Comment Re:Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

I may be unclear, but you're forgetting your entire point. To quote you:
"I am saddened to conclude that no matter how broken the system is, it is still incapable of electing a candidate who has any prominent philosophic streak. (No, Reagan had senility, NOT a philosophy.)"

It's interesting that the guy whose on a high horse about philosophy has so much trouble with a) what he's already said on the thread, and b) complex sentence structures.

For the record I've been in the tank for Hillary since the beginning. If Bernie could have figured out some way to break through in South Carolina I would have given him a fairly serious look, but there's no point in wasting your time on a Democrat who has so many problems with the black vote. Particularly if his platform is based on the idea Alabama will pay for 2/3 of the college tuition in the state because "revolution."

Comment Re:Hillary concerned about legitimacy ? (Score 1) 801

He has only admitted an account. He has not said where the account was. Widespread suspicion is that it was on a server set up by the Republican National Committee (gwb43.com was the most prominent example), because that's the service most of the White House used, and it auto-erased everything (to prevent FOIAs, etc.) which is consistent with his total inability to supply any emails he sent while at State. If so, that would be roughly as secure as an account set up by Clinton campaign staff. It would also explain his reluctance to specify a service. gwb43.com came to light because it was used to decide which US Prosecutors should be fired for disloyalty to the GOP, and that would not be good for his image.

Note that even if he used a service from a big company? Could be Hotmail. Could be AOL.

Regardless, if something is considered authorized for reasons a), b), and probably d) (Kerry had to ban all private email accounts, I just used that server word because that's what we're talking about); then even assuming you've disproven point c) the legal system will consider the entire act authorized and let Hillary go.

This would make a fascinating ethics case. You could possibly penalize her by withdrawing her security clearance. But putting thios shit in the ourt system was just stupid.

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