Author Topic: Federation, Alliance, or something else?  (Read 236 times)

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Offline Kobuk

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Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« on: July 10, 2018, 01:32:28 pm »
In almost any sci-fi series whether it be tv show, book, etc., there is usually some sort of a interstellar Federation, Alliance, or other governing body that controls and maintains peace within the worlds colonized by humanity. Examples would be:
United Federation of Planets from Star Trek
United Nations from The Expanse tv series

Imagine it is the year 2200 in the far future and humanity has not only colonised the solar system, but has also developed interstellar travel and colonised dozens or hundreds of other worlds and is administering them with a large governing body which dictates trade, economics, politics, travel and immigration, security and military issues, etc.

How do you think this "Alliance" or whatever you want to call it, will develop in the future? Will it be democratic or dictatorial or something else? How will trade between planets be handled? What about colony uprisings and revolts?

What do you think the Earth and humanity might be like 100, 200, or more years from now? Will we all get along as one big Alliance or Federation? Or will our social and political differences prevent us from uniting together and instead create friction between colonies and Earth, etc.?
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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 05:32:40 pm »
Interesting topic.

Personally Roddenberry's Andromeda has been one of my most favorite sci-fi series (at least the first two seasons anyway before creative control was stolen from the show's head writer and executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe)

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[taken from the Andromeda Wiki article "Systems Commonwealth"]

The All Systems Commonwealth, Systems Commonwealth, or the Commonwealth, is a democratic federation of 1,022,347 planets, drifts, space stations, various orbital habitats, and even entire solar systems.

The Commonwealth was a federal state created from the Vedran Empire. The Vedrans, a quadruped race originating from planet Tarn-Vedra, were the first known race to discover Slipstream, the only known way to travel faster-than-light. The Vedrans built their empire by traveling to the different star systems and conquering the inhabitants and colonizing the uninhabited worlds. However, the empire soon became too large, with the Vedrans being a statistical minority in their own empire. The Vedrans came to a compromise with the alien species that they had relations with or had conquered, and the Commonwealth was created. The Commonwealth was formed as a democratic federation of planets, drifts (space stations or orbital habitats), and systems. The Commonwealth (and its preceding Empire) was spread across three galaxies ("Tri-Galaxies").

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What I like about this is that it makes it very clear that it's the Vedran's who created the Commonwealth and Humanity is just one of the member species.
Much as I love Star Trek (still waiting on my replicator scientists, you're close but hop to it! >:( ) the one thing that bothered me regarding the lore is that humanity has such a high and mighty noble position as the species who slapped the others in the galaxy together and got them to make the United Federation of Planets.
Which is cool and all, that's part of Trek lore, it's a "best of all possible worlds" situation for humanity. An idyllic and utopian future for us.

Call me pessimistic or just a realist but I like stories where humanity isn't the main player on the stage but is instead just another extra in the play of life.
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Offline Jade Sinapu

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 06:13:47 pm »

It wouldn't be any fun without an underdog,  blackmarkets, gangs, and theives.  :D

But honestly, as far as us humans go,  I feel that so long as some wish to express their desires, be free, be unique and creative, there would be some who rebel against total control and lengthy rules.

I would therefore assume if present humans didn't change a lot,  that we would have some small percentage of people who you might classify as troublemakers, rebels, underground.

But to summarize, my pessemistic thoughts,
There will be a federation, earth will be part of it, we will claim it's our decision , but it will be forced
It will be controlled by non humans who might as well be dictators since they will be superior to us
Humanity will be too divided to push back against the invaders, but will quietly pull together but too late
There will be an underground, rebel uprising of humans at a later date once they master the technology that the federation uses.
We will then prove ourselves to the federation and become a strong player in the decision making.

I guess I'm not so excited about humanity at the moment?

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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 09:45:06 pm »
As with many ideas in popular science fiction, the idea is quite preposterous and demonstrates ignorance of basic scientific facts. More specifically, the fact that space, as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy notes, is big. Really big. Interstellar distances are vast, which means it takes a very long time to move information or matter from one star system to the next (the speed of light imposes an absolute limit). Which means if a civil war broke out on Alpha Centauri for independence from the Federation, it would take 4 years for Earth to know about it, and another 4 years to send troops/peacemakers (take your pick), who will arrive only to find that the war ended years ago, the rebels won, and Alpha Centauri is no longer part of the Federation. Whoops.

Okay, so that's a rather dramatic example, but even basic administrative and legislative tasks would be difficult or impossible over interstellar distances. Even interplanetary distances within a single star system will pose a significant problem barring radical progress in the technology and economics of spaceflight. Realistically, the only way an interplanetary civilisation can function is if each planet is its own independent sovereign state, with its own laws and customs.
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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 11:12:21 pm »
As with many ideas in popular science fiction, the idea is quite preposterous and demonstrates ignorance of basic scientific facts. More specifically, the fact that space, as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy notes, is big. Really big. Interstellar distances are vast, which means it takes a very long time to move information or matter from one star system to the next (the speed of light imposes an absolute limit). Which means if a civil war broke out on Alpha Centauri for independence from the Federation, it would take 4 years for Earth to know about it, and another 4 years to send troops/peacemakers (take your pick), who will arrive only to find that the war ended years ago, the rebels won, and Alpha Centauri is no longer part of the Federation. Whoops.

Okay, so that's a rather dramatic example, but even basic administrative and legislative tasks would be difficult or impossible over interstellar distances. Even interplanetary distances within a single star system will pose a significant problem barring radical progress in the technology and economics of spaceflight. Realistically, the only way an interplanetary civilisation can function is if each planet is its own independent sovereign state, with its own laws and customs.

Bit of a harsh answer don't you think? Kobuk is asking from a sci-fi perspective. Not total realism here.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 11:29:13 pm »
Bit of a harsh answer don't you think? Kobuk is asking from a sci-fi perspective. Not total realism here.
That's not how I read it. It seemed to me he was merely using popular science fiction as an example, while asking how an actual future society might compare. In any case, I've always been hard on soft science fiction. Science fiction must be at least somewhat based on real science otherwise it's just fantasy.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 06:44:09 am »
Quote
Kobuk is asking from a sci-fi perspective. Not total realism here.

It can be both, Kay.
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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 07:53:27 am »
Quote
Kobuk is asking from a sci-fi perspective. Not total realism here.

It can be both, Kay.
Oh. Doodlewhoopsie (: That's my mistake then.

Well if we wanna also talk realistically there's an episode of Because Science that talks about how space combat might realistically work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xs3mGhQGxM

Personally speaking I like to imagine that any species that reaches a level of scientific progress that they can effectively explore space as easily as we explore the earth (or better since we're rather inefficient at that too) would rather not conduct interstellar warfare but would instead prefer to collaborate for scientific achievement.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 07:01:31 pm »
One way or another, the Earth will be united eventually and there will come a time when we'll create or be a part of some sort of large alliance. ;)

As the old saying goes: Science fiction has a tendency of becoming science FACT.
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Offline DutchWolf

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2018, 05:30:59 pm »
As you put it yourself Kobuk, there will be some unified structure on earth eventually.

But, as you know from The Expanse. even if the Earth is unified, it needs to accept and take into account other super-power interrests to avoid an catastrophic conflict.

I am myself a big fan of the MCRN actually. For those that do not know the series, these are human colonists on Mars. a smaller Navy, but have more powerfull ships and experimental weaponry at their disposal.

As soon colonies start on other worlds, they would want a large part of independence. And that is understandable, Nobody wants to get told to do what someone far away tells you to do. it never worked with any "colony". If you want to maintain good relations, make it worth for them to keep those good relations. And i do mean by extending a friendly hand. not by putting sanctions on them or enforcing blockades.

Space is full of cosmic forces of unimaginable destructive power, one solar flare and a planet is send back to the stone age. If this happens to earth, we depend on off-planet help to replace most if not all our transformer's we lost in the flare to restart our infrastructure and power grids. 

The best thing you can do is Federalise, Grant them autonomy of rule if they wish to make their own destiny. But in regard's of Defense they should have a say in decision making and contribute in the larger picture. They require advanced manufacturing from "core" worlds. we require their growing economies and redundant form of emergency assistance. it should be an mutual working arragement based on equality and freedom to go their own way of governing.

Just my own two cents on the matter ;).

Offline Kaiden

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Re: Federation, Alliance, or something else?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 07:36:44 pm »
I can't help but think of Mobile Suit Gundam, which would be terrible but fantastic if such warfare and machinery existed.... mostly terrible.

I'm not really sure I'd stay with any earth federation, id want to be part of my own axis, one that travels in search of resources and planets that haven't been completely ruined by humans.

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