Originally Posted by horatio
Sure but Trek isn't some socialist utopia where somebody who made all these changes from the top down. I am also opposed to this or any other political concept that is built upon the notion that you have to control or manipulate people because the elite knows better.
I think in Trek's fictional history it emerged spontaneously. After we nearly annihilated ourselves and realized that some pointy-eared fellows are out there and watching us we got our sh*t together. Ideological blank slate after WWIII plus the gaze of the Vulcan other (we don't wanna embarrass ourselves in front of them).
Any other problems that remained afterwards, well, perhaps I am simple-minded but most of the times good and evil are clearly distinguishable. Don't steal, don't murder, be kind, help your fellows, don't put the cat in the oven and so on.
Oh, no no, I didn't mean to suggest that the Utopian state of the Federation came as the result of one person making changes, although Zephram Cochrane was a huge proponent for such change (once he got past his drinking binges and womanizing...LOL), but he wasn't the only one to effect change. Like you, I believe that the Federation was formed as the result of a spontaneous concensus of freedom loving peoples....but, my suggestion was that there will always be those who know how to straddle the gray areas to their advantage, making certain ideals that are generally good (like say, today's Second Amendment rights as provided by the Constitution) and making them seem evil through propaganda, and taking advantage of media sensationalized events to help adjust that brown tinged view. Those minor, subtle evils that arise from greater evils. Instead of starting big, such opportunists start small, and work their way up, so the transition isn't visible, and then, by the time it is, it's too late...usually.
I will agree with Captain Coughlin that Star Trek never really explored the story for Insurrection of why the Federation was suddenly willing to ally themselves with an outlaw faction (the Son'a...a regime known for usiing illegal weapons to expedite their own gains), and turn their back on the principles that made the Federation so strong a force for good in the galaxy. We have a techno explanation at best. "We have the territory, they have the know how and the means...so what does that make us? Partners." It was like they just made this switch from First Contact to Insurrection that seemed illogical. To have deepened the story a bit, to explain, even a little, of how such a change could've happened would've enriched Insurrection's story quite a bit. But from all we're given, Daugherty has the backing of the Fed government, and uses the alliance with the Son'a to achieve an end that is, for all intents and purposes, utterly evil.
And then the Federation becomes good again because Riker led the Enterprise out of the Briar Patch and sent them a PSA about the Bak'u?
I can see these points. The only real problems I has with Insurrection though was just that it looked like another overblown episode.
Back to my earlier point: Those regimes that say "I want to present a transparent government"? It's not that they want them transparent, it's that they want their intentions invisible until they're ready to strike.