Evolution of the Starfleet Edit
Throughout the early- to mid-twenty-third century, the Constitution, Miranda and Oberth starship classes represented the backbone of the Federation Starfleet, with the Miranda serving a multitude of roles from deep-space patrol along the borders but also as police frigate and hospital ship throughout Federation space, and the Oberth functioning as surveyor vessel and scientific platform, the Constitution was Starfleet's ship-of-the-line, designed and equipped for long duration missions of galactic exploration.
Near the end of the century, the Constitution however had begun to show its age in engagement and endurance as the threat to Federation safety increased. The refit of the Constitution- and Miranda-classes during the 2270s guaranteed their continuation in service throughout the latter half of the century, significantly upgrading the vessels' warp drive and weapon systems, matching speed, maneuverability and armaments to threat vessels. Nevertheless, a replacement for the Constitution class would ultimately be required, one that could also compliment the successful Miranda, of which the refit configuration proved much more agile than its predecessor.
The new class was set to exceed the standards of duration, speed and firepower of the venerable Constitution. Although 'The Great Experiment' to equip the vessel with a transwarp drive system failed to create a revolution in propulsion technology, the Excelsior spaceframe proved to be a highly-succesful design: its elongated hull and nacelles, and thin but convex saucer were maximized for streamlining and efficient faster-than-light travel. Shakedown cruises of the first line of Excelsior vessels however, revealed some inefficiencies in the design. Thus additional armor was provided to protect the engineering hull, which, along with the placement of the impulse drive within the primary neck structure, gave the vessel additional combat maneuverability and survivability.
The Excelsior went on to form the backbone of the Starfleet well into the twenty-fourth century. Upon the initial refit of the 2290s, it was further supplemented several times thereafter, most notably during the latter half of the twenty-fourth century, when the emergence of new threats to Federation security called for an upgrade of the class' armaments. Although Excelsior class starships formed the bulk of the fleet in engagements in this era, the class saw a startling attrition rate and proved individually incapable of matching the abilities of threat vessels. Throughout the first half of the century, however, the class performed exceptionally well, but the strong focus that had been placed on its propulsion and weapon systems had undermined its ability to serve as all-round explorer. During an era of renaissance, with the Federation's two traditional foes no longer considered an immediate threat, Starfleet sought to divert its efforts toward its original purpose: the exploration and research of the galaxy. Thus a new class of starship was ordered, the pinnacle of developments in starship technologies, capable of undertaking long-duration missions of deep-space exploration and strengthening the defensive arm of the fleet with the latest in armaments.
The Ambassador class was a great departure from the trend in starship design when it was conceived. Nearly twice as large as the Excelsior, the Ambassador changed the face of the Starfleet and set a new standard in starship design. Enormous progress in propulsion technology required less internal volume for warp drive systems and allowed shorter nacelles. The class was equipped to perform missions of scientific research, exploration and diplomacy. With the advent of the Galaxy and Nebula lineage, however, the Ambassador lost its usefulness, with the large fleet of Excelsior class starships serving as Starfleet's workhorse vessel and the new Nebula class being more able to perform high-profile missions of scientific research. As a result, the mission roles of the few Ambassador class vessels that were produced became limited to border partrol and diplomacy. The Galaxy class instead became Starfleet's ship-of-the-line, the largest and most powerful vessel ever commissioned, marking the crowning achievement in decades of engineering advancements.
Several prototypes were produced for the Galaxy, dubbed the Niagara, Springfield, Challenger, Cheyenne and New Orleans classes. Neither of these were intended to enter full production, however some of the spaceframes were hurried into service when the Borg threat emerged in the early-2360s. Particularly the New Orleans proved quite efficient, although the prototype was destroyed at Wolf 359. When the Galaxy was finally able to enter production in the 2350s, six starships of the class were ordered, of which one would bear the illustrious name Enterprise. The size and complexity of the Galaxy, however, meant that their construction took nearly a decade, thus a smaller version of the vessel, the Nebula class, was designed to be equipped for a multitude of roles.
The latter half of the twenty-fourth century saw the Federation being faced by new threats, prompting the design of new classes of starships, more heavily armed and less equipped for missions of deep-space exploration. The design philosophies of the Akira, Defiant, Prometheus, Sovereign and Steamrunner classes were all shaped by the inability of existing vessels to effectively combat new threat vessels. Where the Defiant and Steamrunner serve mainly as heavily-armed escort and patrol vessels, replacing the aged Miranda class, the Akira, Prometheus and Sovereign represent Starfleet's new front-line starship classes of defense, carrying more powerful armaments than any previously-comissioned starship.
However Starfleet did not lose sight of its scientific responsibilities: the 2360s saw the introduction of the Nova class, which was designed to replace the Oberth and deployed for short-term planetary research and analysis. Less than a decade later, the Intrepid was pushed into service, which featured the latest developments in propulsion and computer technology—the Intrepid was the first class to incorporate bioneural gel packs. Capabilities upon commissioning were equally impressive: the class boasted the highest top speed of any Starfleet vessel and, as the U.S.S. Voyager proved, was able to operate for many years autonomously. As such, the Intrepid became the vessel of choice for missions of scientific research and diplomacy under potentially hazardous circumstances.
The Ethics of Star Trek Edit
Though the world of Star Trek is clearly set in the future, its attitudes, politics, and culture have always reflected the mores of today. Perhaps that's why this phenomenal series has kept us fascinated, challenged, and inspired -- as well as entertained -- for nearly thirty-five years. From the original adventures of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to the present-day saga of Enterprise, Star Trek reminds us that even in the brave new world of the 24th century, the deepest questions of morality must still be answered. The fundamental principles that have always guided our heroes are indeed powerful enough to provide direction in our own lives.
But what exactly are the ethics of Star Trek? Where do they come from? Are these principles always the same from series to series? What do they mean for us today?
Gene Roddenberry, a man who was very open-minded about the customs of different cultures, said: "[By the 23rd century, we] will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. [We] will learn that differences and attitudes are delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear". Roddenberry certainly must have supported cultural relativism, which, according to James Rachels, a contemporary American ethicist, is a theory that makes six basic claims:
- 1. Different societies have different moral codes.
- 2. There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another.
- 3. The moral code of our own society has no special status; it is merely one among many.
- 4. There is no "universal truth" in ethics - that is, there are no moral truths that hold for all people at all times.
- 5. The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society; that is, if the moral code of a society says that a certain action is right, then that action is right, at least within that society.
- 6. It is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples. We should adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures.
According to Rachels, these six propositions are independent of one another, in that some of them might be true even if others are false. Using the Next Generation episode "Cost of Living" as model, let's see how each claim is important in not just understanding but also evaluating cultural relativism.
1. Different societies have different moral codes. We see at least three examples in this story alone: the Betazoids, with their unique wedding custom in which the bride appears nude; the Kostolains, with their rigid adherence to protocol, procedure, and ceremony; and the colony of free spirits, where no rules apply (other than the pursuit of happiness).
It's important to note that the claim itself ("Different societies have different moral codes") is a descriptive statement - that is, a statement that addresses the facts without making any value judgement. When Lwaxana tells Deanna she's adapting to Kostolain custom because she knows Campio would not approve of a traditional Betazoid wedding, she's merely stating a fact about Campio to Deanna. Sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and others trained in the social sciences rely on descriptive statements because they provide important clues in learning how different people behave in a given society. Ethicists, on the other hand, use prescriptive statements to tell us what ought to be. (We use descriptive statements, too, but we'll get into that in a second.) Prescriptive statements are concerned not with facts but with values: "You ought to follow the Prime Directive." "A Betazoid bride should always be nude at her own wedding ceremony" Going back to our "Cost of Living" example, it is Deanna who assesses value to Lwaxana's statement, "Campio is from a different planet with different traditions...," by voicing concern over her mother's decision.
2. There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another. That doesn't stop the Kostolains from trying, though. From the moment Campio meets Lwaxana aboard the Enterprise, he and his protocol master/flunky Erko do everything they can to impose their ways on the bridge-to-be. When Lwaxana leans in to kiss her intended, she is halted by the outstretched hand of Erko. ("We don't wish to be too familiar at this early juncture," he explains.) Campio, to Lwaxana's surprise, agrees with his aide, explaining that it would be "unpardonable for us to simply abandon ourselves to the moment." Lwaxana then calls Campio by his first name, which Erko finds even more "unacceptable." He insists that Lwaxana address Campio by his proper title at all times, even after they are married.
3. The moral code of our own society has no special status; it is merely one among many. Let's say Klingon culture teaches that a child should never question his parents. That would in part explain why Worf bristles at the notion of entering into a parent-child contact, a course of action Deanna suggests in "Cost of Living" to help them teach his son, Alexander, the value of responsibility. (The warrior in him, accustomed to giving orders without resistance, probably has a lot to do with it, too.) Worf resists the idea because it goes against the grain of what he was taught as a child, and what he understands to be custom. However, as Deanna effectively tells him in this episode, there's more than one way to raise a child. If you want to foster a happy, healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with your child - or simply teach him how to pick up after himself - and what you're doing right now prevents you from attaining that goal, then perhaps you ought to try something else.
4. There is no "universal truth" in ethics - that is, there are no moral truths that hold for all people at all times. Marriage may prevent loneliness, but it doesn't necessarily promise happiness, as Lwaxana (with a little help from young Alexander) ultimately finds out.
5. The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society; that is, if the moral code of a society says that a certain action is right, then that action is right, at least within that society. Again, this cuts to the basic conflict of "Cost of Living": while Deanna is troubled by Lwaxana's plans to marry a man she's never met, she's even more concerned by her mother's plans to abandon Betazoid custom by actually wearing a wedding dress. (One look at the gown, and it's certainly easy to understand why - at least, aesthetically speaking. The outfit the Kostolains provide - a staid, Victorian-looking garment - transforms the ordinarily vivacious Lwaxana into Barbara Bush.)
Other examples of this claim are illustrated in this episode. "Only those whose hearts are joyous may enter the colony of free spirits," Lwaxana explains to Alexander. Enforcing that rule (the only one, apparently, in a place where rules otherwise don't exist) is the guardian Wind Dancer, a disembodied multicoloured harlequin's head encased in a blue bubble. Later in the story Worf and Deanna follow Lwaxana and Alexander into the colony. While Deanna slips through, the humourless Worf finds his way blocked (momentarily, at least) by the perceptive gatekeeper.
6. It is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples. We should adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures. We see both extremes of this claim illustrated in the climactic wedding sequence. Lwaxana decides a marriage to Campio would be unacceptable once she realizes he expects to her to adhere completely to his customs without any regard to her own. To make sure he gets the message, she arrives at the wedding wearing nothing but a smile - as a traditional Betazoid bride would do. While Lwaxana indeed adopted an attitude of tolerance toward Kostolain culture, Campio at the contrary, adopted an attitude of mere arrogance by judging Betazoid culture. This issue also lives today; should intolerance be tolerated? At least, Lwaxana didn't do so.
Gene Roddenberry's vision Edit
Immanuel Kent saw the reaching of the right government as the problem for humanity in the future. The idea of liberty under laws in a perfectly fair society, becomes reality in the idea of the United Federation of Planets.
In the fictitious Star Trek, mankind is a member of a federation dedicated to the task to release following generations from the scourge of intergalactic war. In a society of better living conditions and tolerance, humanity lives together with many other aliens as good neighbours in space.
One wants to unite its forces, in order to guarantee the acceptance of principles that force of arms may be never used except for common defence. Highest premise is it to promote economic and social development of all reason-talented ways of life. The United Federation of Planets was founded to reach interplanetary cooperation, in order to solve problems of economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian nature, and to the attention for the rights and basic liberties of the reason-talented ways of life without difference of race and sex, and to promote and strengthen the language or the religion.
These principles do not only reflect the philosophical core thought of the clearing-up, they do also correspond to the spirit of the time. To that extent becomes by the example of the Star Trek universe. The Next Generation shows a future world-civil society, for the research and science paired with critical consciousness of the individual and an ethics in the sense of Kant. Transferring the spectator will, by pointing most diverse society-critical problem fields out, in the best case of conclusions on the material world, which draws here and now, begin the ideals and problem solutions as pointed out on Star Trek.
Consciously, I shall address only from Star Trek: The Next Generation, since this represents philosophy most clearly in my eyes, those Roddenberry wanted to bring to the spectators. Surely one can not see Star Trek as only a the model of a critical philosophy, how is practiced her in the strictly scientific sense. But at least the starting points are ordered, which refer to the problem definitions of today's time almost inevitably, and are meanwhile so current the fact that it is nearly again outdated or by far common.
The Star Trek universe is is often regarded as a rational universe, with the United Federation of Planets as a vision of rational social progress. In Star Trek, mankind has came to reason, establishing a fully-functional galactic democracy. The sense for religion is only weakly pronounces by humans, though it is often seen by aliens.
The second series, The Next Generation, showed more of Roddenberry's original vision than the first, original Star Trek. This was prevented at the time by the television studios, since they wanted to see more action scenes than Roddenberry has originally planned. However, The Next Generation gave him the chance to bring his entire vision to the screen, showing a more developed federation than the first series did.
At The Next Generation, all original elements and conceptions were completely developed. Though it proved extremely difficult to create a living and reliable fictitious world, which is settled in the distant future. The Star Trek Universe is indeed an immense one. Even as it began as the vision of only one human, the series must be regarded altogether as a collective achievement; as the result of cooperation for many years.
The journeys of the starship Enterprise take place in an expanding universe full of planets and people. Every episode extended it with something new, with the Star Trek Universe being by far the most varied and most extensive of all science-fiction series.
The Star Trek Universe itself has an unusual character, however. Despite the assumed infinity of the universe, the galaxy is divided into different empires, inhabited by different people. It gives different dimensions, in which different natures live. The task of the Enterprise consists not only of overcoming these borders, but also by doing so by suitable measures.
As the Star Trek Universe will continue to develop, it is still located in the stars. Though, everything is possible, because the Star Trek Universe is not only full of human unrest such as conflict and rebellion, but also full of natural disturbances such as anomalies, singularities, and fluctuations.
The name of the starship Enterprise is quite appropriate. The name designates as a bold and daring project, which required the readiness for the risk and for large adventures. If new generations of officers, which will certainly come sometime, accepts the challenge, the enterprise becomes the Enterprise and the federation, ready to adapt and change, in order to go courageously there, will go where still no human before were.
Star Trek politics Edit
Historical background: Founded in the year 2161 on the planet of Babel, the Federation began as an interstellar alliance of colonies and planetary governments. The common goal of the organization is mutual trade, exploratory research, scientific endeavours, cultural and diplomatic exchanges and defensive measures. To date, there are over 150 member planets spread over 8000 light years.
The Federation is governed over by the Supreme Assembly, composed of members from the various member planets and colonies, and the Federation Council, consisting of eleven representatives, with the five founding members having permanent seats. The Council is presided over by the Federation President, who is responsible for the day to day operations of the government and the coordination of the foreign policy.
'Form of state: The Federation has a president, instead of a monarch, and thus can be called a republic, with the Supreme Assembly representing the parliamentary democracy.
Political structure: The Federation is, as the name indicates, a federation, as the central government has exclusive control over foreign and economic policy, with the individual members controlling education and maintaining individual culture.
Political ideology: The Federation probably had a socialist system, with the state practising ownership of industries. This would have extensive benefits for all citizens, with free access to education, food, health care and shelter. The federation had a productive society without class distinctions. Furthermore, economics are more socialist than capitalist, as the driving force of society is no longer the acquisition of wealth, but rather the benefit of all. Compromising, this would make the political ideology of the federation socialism.
Conclusion: The Federation appears to be a socialist federal republic, ruled by a representative democratic government.
Historical background: The Romulan heritage hails from ancient Vulcan ancestry, for its written that a group of Vulcan expatriates fled the planet almost two millennia ago, after being wholly disenchanted with the new peaceful, and logic based social reforms charter brought about by the philosopher Surak. Neither their means of escape, or their technological capabilities during this period are known, as detailed records of this time are thin, but on reaching the planet Romulus and its cousin Remus, Romii, the colonists settled and created a new society that took if far away from its Vulcan roots.
Today, this race, which collectively embodies the Romulan Star Empire, had spread far and wide across large expanses of their native Beta Quadrant encompassing a highly functional, adaptive and technically advances military machine. The central political and governing body over the empire is the Senate, the controller of which is the Praetor, and the various Proconsuls.
Form of state: The Romulan Star Empire appears to be a constitutional monarchy, with an Emperor as figurehead position, and the Praetor as the head of government, overseeing the Imperial Senate. The Senate itself is divided into two; the Lower Senate to propose and pass legislation, and the Upper Senate strictly to veto legislation.
The Senate represents an oligarchy; like an authoritarian system, an oligarchy is controlled by a small group of individuals, who govern mainly in their own interests. In contrast with authoritarians, however, the Romulans don't seem to oppress individual freedoms.
Political structure: The political structure of the empire is unknown, but it seems be be an unitary, since the central government holds all the power.
Political ideology: The Romulans their political ideology is not sure. They are imperialistic, liberal, and fascistic. Liberal, because the Romulans don't seem to be oppressed, and enjoy civil rights, but fascistic, because the Remans are oppressed, and enjoy less rights than Romulans.
Imperialism would probably be the best description for Romulan political ideology overall; a policy that aims at building and maintaining an empire, in which many states and people, spread over a wide geographical area, are controlled by one dominant state.
Conclusion: The Romulan Empire appears to be an imperialistic unitary monarchy, ruled by an oligarchian government.
Historical background: The history of the Klingon Empire can be traced back one and a half millennia to the legendary and heroic exploits of a single Klingon, known as Kahless the Unforgettable. After a long and bloody uprising against the tyranny of Molor, Kahless took his head, and has ever since been the focal point of the Klingon legend and quasi-deification.
The Klingon Empire has endured a deeply rich and complex evolution. By the 21st century, the empire had grown significantly, and was dominated totally by militarism. The system of having an exulted emperor leading the government was scrapped, and the Klingon High Council was formed, consisting of 24 members and overseen by the Chancellor. Many internal power struggles have occurred over the council's history, in many ways diverting attention away from seemingly more imperative foreign affairs.
Form of state: The Klingon Empire appears to be a constitutional monarchy, with the Emperor (a position that hadn't been filled for decades) as a figurehead position, and the Chancellor as the head of government.
The empire would appear to have an authoritarian regime; a system of government in which power is exercised by a small group with minimal popular input. This group in this case seems to be the High Council and the Chancellor, who is the absolute ruler, though it is impossible for him to govern without the support of the council.
Authoritarian government generally do not attempt to control every aspect of human activity. Many economic, social, religious, cultural, and familial matters are left up to individuals. This is not to say that they promote individual freedoms, though. Citizens are expected to obey laws that he of she has no voice in establishing.
Political structure: The empire is probably a unitary system; the Klingons aren't exactly known for giving the cultures within their territory any form of autonomy.
Political ideology: Their political ideology is not sure, though nationalism would probably suite the Klingons best. Nationalism is the exaggerated belief in the greatness and unity of one's nation.
A major problem with nationalism is that it is largely without content; that is, it has little to say about economics and social issues. Nationalism depends more on emotional appeals, which might involve religion being the source of their intense nationalism.
Conclusion: The Klingon Empire is probably a nationalist unitary monarchy, ruled by an authoritarian government.
Historical background: From the planet of Cardassia Prime, the Cardassians once were a peaceful and spiritual people, living for the land, with ideologies of cooperation and benevolence. But things were forced in another direction when much of the planet was plunged into poverty and disease. Radical action was required for survival, and all government were unified under one single fascist body, where masses were put second in favour of industry, expansion, and conquest.
For five centuries, the governing authority of the union has been the Detapa Council, which encompasses its two principal agencies, the Central Command (the military) and the Obsidian Order (the security and intelligence agency). The military employs the common structure of the chain of command, with a Legate being approximate to an admiral.
Form of state: Since there is no evidence of a monarch, the Cardassian Union is probably a republic.
The union also appears to be totalitarian. Totalitarianism is a system of government in which one party holds a political, economic, military, and judicial power. This party attempts to restructure society, to determine the values of society, and to interfere in the personal lives of individual citizen, restraining their freedoms.
Totalitarian state have the following basic features in common;
- an all-encompassing ideology;
- a singly political party;
- organized terror, via secret policy;
- monopoly of communications and weapons;
- controlled economy.
Political structure: The union is probably a unitary, since they did not give occupied Bajor any autonomy.
Political ideology: Summarizing the wearing of uniforms, the flare for spectacle, the hatred for democracy, the one-party state, and the stern central authority, their political ideology is probably fascism, which can be defined as an extreme form of nationalism, with a sprinkling of fake socialism for flavour.
Conclusion: The Cardassian Union appears to be a fascist unitary republic, ruled by a totalitarian government.
- (prior to the reign of Grand Negus Zek)
Historical background: Over a relatively short time, the Ferengi Alliance had built up a strong economic empire. They established a strong economic basis, whilst dealing and bribing their way to power. This was done by the acquisition of various space faring technology, such as rudimentary warp drive and weaponry.
The alliance is centred on the home world of Fereneginar, on which the Tower of Commerce is located; a quasi-religious institution which is the administrative centre of the Ferengi economy.
Leader of the Ferengi economy and overall first minister of capitalist dealings is the Grand Nagus. He is guided by the sacred book, which is a bible of finance, commerce, and capital gain, the Rules of Acquisition. First devised and distributed centuries ago by Grand Nagus Gint, this 285 rule guide had inspired and driven commercial opportunities and Ferengi greed for centuries.
Form of state: Ruled by the Grand Nagus, the Ferengi Alliance is a monarchy, with the Nagus being more than simply a figurehead monarch. The alliance probably is a constitution monarchy, instead of an absolute monarchy, since the Ferengi Commerce Association seems to be the other arm of the government; it has the ability of regulate the succession to Nagus, and can deprive the Nagus of his title through misgovernment.
The alliance shares some features of totalitarianism;
- an all-encompassing ideology (the Rules of Acquisition);
- a singly political party;
- organized terror, via secret policy (the Liquidators).
Though the Ferengi government has no monopoly of communications and weapons, nor a controlled economy. If one assumes that the aspects of totalitarianism exist for the sole purpose of maximising profit, then one could label Ferengi society as commercialism; excessive emphasis on profit.
Political structure: Their political structure remains unknown, though it is likely to be an unitary.
Political ideology: The Ferengi are completely driven by capitalism, though they have some conservatism as well, by opposing women's right as example. They could be referred to as Modern Conservatives.
Conclusion: The Ferengi Alliance appears to be a modern conservative unitary monarchy, rules by a commercialist government.
A History of the Future Edit
Earth's late-20th century genetic engineering produced a breed of superior humans, eventually resulting in the devastating Eugenics Wars. The conflict's roots lay in a group of scientists' ambitious attempt to improve the human race through selective breeding and genetic engineering. A race of supermen, popularly known as Augments, was created, being stronger, faster and more intelligent than normal humans.
Rising to power among others of his kind, the Indian prince Khan Noonien Singh's ambition helped forment the Eugenics Wars that involved much of Earth's third world. Hostilities brook out in 1993, when Khan and his forces seized control of fourty Earth nations. From his base in India, Khan established an Empire mapping almost all of Asia, Australia and the southern Pacific, by 1995 ruling a quarter of the planet. During this conquest, a limited nuclear war with neighbouring Pakistan devastated most of India's major cities, resulting in the death of thirty million. Consequently, Khan established his headquarters in Botany Bay, Australia, from where he ruled his warlords. Khan established a caste society in his Empire in which Augments dominated the highest caste. Although considered inferior, Khan outlawed discriminated toward members of lower castes; non-Augments. A limited number of tyrants which ruled territories of the Empire, openly rebelled against this policy, weakening the Empire's strength politically.
To thwart the thread of Khan's empire, China and North-Korea formed the Eastern Coalition of Nation. A stalemate sat in between the Empire and the nations of the E.C.O.N., which had conquered the formerly Empire-controlled Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Mongolia by the year 1996. With support of the populations seeking equal rights for all citizens, communist regimes were established in these nations, overthrowing the racist tyrants ruling them.
Although Khan had purposely avoided to attack neither China nor North-Korea, several of his warlords launched an invasion of southern China through Afghanistan and Indochina in August 1996. The E.C.O.N. launched a massive nuclear retaliation, leaving most of southeast-Asia a nuclear wasteland and the major cities of the Near East destroyed. With the sudden disappearance of authourity, uprisings in the Arabian world further destabilized Khan's power. Upon the E.C.O.N. invasion of Indonesia, Khan and his most loyal followers desperately fled Earth. Remaining Augment warlords, however, threatened they would defend Australia until the last man standing, and so the E.C.O.N. abandoned its plan to invade the continent, Australia remaining under Augment-control for decades to come.
Thousands of Augment embryos left behind by fleeing Imperial forces were placed in cryogenic suspension, while over eighty of the tyrants were unaccounted for; a fact the E.C.O.N. succesfully hid from the general population in order to avoid the outbreak of widespread panic. It was not until 2267 that Khan and his followers were discovered adrift in a sleeper ship, apparently having succesfully fled the planet shortly after the eugenics conflict.
With the E.C.O.N. invasion of the Near East in the first decade of the 21st century, a cold war developed between the Eastern Coalition and the N.A.T.O.-alliance led by the United States of America. During the same time, the United Nations failed to intervene in the situation, due to China's veto in the organisation's Security Council, and began to be regarded as a non-functional apparatus. While the Chinese-led E.C.O.N. had conquered most of the Arabian nations, including northern Africa, by the 2020s, the N.A.T.O.-alliance had no legitimate reason to intervene, there Middle Eastern government officials claimed they were willingly joining the Eastern Coalition. Fearing this willingness to join the E.C.O.N. was caused by Chinese mind-control technology, the United States revived the inactive MK-Ultra program in 2021, the C.I.A. beginning to experiment on prisoners in that same year.
However, the costs of the Second Cold War, as it begun to be called by historians, was causing major cuts in social programs in the United States and in the European nations which supported it. Several European nations, most prominently France, had resigned membership of the European Union and N.A.T.O. and had formed the European Hegemony, which remained neutral throughout the Cold War. France, however, suffered from social unrest, and in 2024 the government was overthrown by a neo-Trotskyist regime. Similar social uprising led the British government to withdraw from northern-Ireland, upon which the unified Ireland became a socialist welfare state. These events inspired the Communist Party to regain political power in Russia, electing Leningrad its capital and signing a non-agression pact with the E.C.O.N.
Governments of the nations in the N.A.T.O.-alliance were confronted with poverty, unemployment and inflation. The United States could no longer handle the economic situation, following the collapse of the dollar in 2021, and was forced to install a state of martial law. Sanctuary Districts were created in the major cities to house the unemployed, but situations in these districts soon began to deteriorate. Following the Bell Riots of 2024, public opinion forced the government to close down the Sanctuary District, and seeing no other option, it began to adapt behaviour-control technology to bring social unrest to a halt. The bloody Mind-Control Revolts that followed almost two decades later, in 2043, upon the revelation of these practices, caused the deaths of nearly a million Americans. Only then the United States government accepted it had to withdraw from the Cold War, initiating major cuts on the defense budget in order to finance social programs for the poor.
Unfortunately, the nations of the E.C.O.N. considered this an opportunity to greaten their power and influence, and began conquering the rest of Africa and even Australia, the only remaining Augment nation, which, despite threats from its Augment-leadership, did not retaliate with nuclear weapons. Only when the E.C.O.N. launched an invasion of Israel in late-2052 had N.A.T.O. an excuse to declare war, which resulted in the destructive Third World War. Although initially the war was being fought with conventional weapons, it soon escalated into a nuclear conflict. Upon the destruction of Tel Aviv in 2053 by nuclear detonation, N.A.T.O. retaliated by destroying the major cities of China's east coast and the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. E.C.O.N. retaliated with nuclear weapons fired from orbital weapons platforms, destroying the major cities of the west, including the government seats of Washington D.C., Ottawa and London. With most political leadership gone, authourity fell to the military commanders in the field. Although a cease-fire was initially negotiated in Cairo in September 2053, American military commander Green took the opportunity to destroy the remaining E.C.O.N. military leadership by detonating a nuclear weapon over the Egyptian capital. While a nuclear holocaust engulfed much of the globe, nearly turning human civilization to that of the Dark Ages, Green organized authourity in what was left of North America. Although no cease-fire was ever signed, historians agree that with the demise of the E.C.O.N. and the rise of Green in America, the Third World War had been concluded.
Those nations which had escaped direct nuclear attack were subsequently devastated by the collapse of the global economy and the drastic environmental effects of the war. Only the Mediterranean region had been an island of human progress and tranquility during the savagery, partly due to the drastic alterations made to the old sea's character and the region surrounding it. The fabled Mediterranean Sea was now hardly more than a long, slender lake which trailed off into the hazy blue distance in the direction from which it had come. Human ingenuity had turned the region into a virtual garden, skillfully engineered climate alterations having profoundly improved the climate and character of the entire northern half of Africa. Population growth in the region had been compensated with underground city construction, sparing the majority of the population from the effects of the nuclear fallout.
The nations which had remained neutral during the war -- most of Africa, South America, the nations of the European Hegemony and the socialist states of Russia, France and Ireland -- founded the New United Nations in 2056, three years after the conclusion of the Third World War. Attempting to formally conclude the Third World War, it ruled that no citizen could be held responsible for the actions of their ancestors.
In America, Green had become de facto leader of the newly established United States of America, which included all livable states of North America. Green refused to join the New United Nations, probably because it would have meant an end of his racial genocide, which euthanized hundreds of thousands of radiation sickened and mentally ill, sparing future generations from mutations caused by nuclear radiation.
In this post-war period, First Contact embarked a new era in human history as Dr. Zefram Cochrane's first faster-than-light spaceflight of 2063 had drawn the attention of the neighbouring Vulcan race. While humanity rebuilt its world from the ashes of the devestating nuclear conflict, most forms of poverty and disease were eradicted from the planet within the next fifty years. Global recovery, however, was uneven, as at least until the early 2080s, some areas of the planet remained in a state of near-anarchy, especially southeast-Asia and the Near East, which had born the brunt of the atomic holocaust.
Despite the lessons learned from the previous conflicts, a relatively small uprising in northern Africa nearly revived the war. Sympathizers of Green's policies in America began a program of euthanasia based upon racial principles. A combined New United Nations intervention force prevented escalation of the conflict.
In 2079, Green was assassinated and a moderate political leadership took over in the United States. Within a decade, the nation became once again a heaven of freedom and democracy, gradually transforming into a welfare state and joining the New United Nations in 2080. In 2113, the United Nations of Earth charter was signed in the former French capital of Paris, replacing the New United Nations. Gradually, the U.N.E. began unifying all nations of Earth, forming one planetary government. Accepting the economic and social benefits of a socialist system, and considering how the three communist states (Russia, France, Ireland) had come out of the war as the world's leading economic powers, it was decided the U.N.E. was to adopt a socialist economic system. Although several of the nations formally ruled by the "socialist" E.C.O.N. initially refused to join, all of Earth would find itself united before the end of the 22nd century.
As Earth gradually recovered from the war, humanity came into a massive wave of expansion into the galaxy. Eager to explore the stars, scores of starships were launched in an exuberant search for knowledge about the galaxy. As United Earth expanded its reach, it became a highly influential economic power, facilitating trade between most of the worlds of known space. In less than one hundred years, the human race grew from a struggling species on the brink of extinction into the known galaxy's most powerful alliance. Expanding in all directions, continuously increasing their wealth and knowledge of the universe, humanity appeared to have a bright future in store.
Earthmen ran into the stars as if escaping something. Their energy—and often, their ruthlessness—appalled and frightened some of the more peaceful planets. They sensed that they had loosed either a great plague or a great blessing on the universe.
Earthmen were new, untried, unknown, but strong, imaginative, and swift to react to new situations. It was the hallmark of those earth Terrans that they—to use a term of the period—"hustled".