Seeking Resolution

As Vulcans pursue logic, Klingons honor, and Ferengi profit, the population of Mudd seeks to uphold a small number of moral principles, primarily Asimov's and Kirk's Laws of Robotics. It is understood that other cultures will view political situations from other perspectives, such as logic, honor, or profit. Mudd does not reject logic, honor or profit. We view morality and rule of law as the basis for logical, honorable behavior, and as a foundation necessary for economic prosperity. It is a matter of Priority.

With regard to the current situation, Mudd is acting on the following principles.

No pre-starflight civilization is involved. The Prime Directive is not in play.

No Federation citizens are being denied basic rights. The Guarantees are not in play.

We are acting, or considering acting, at the request of a duly authorized planetary government. This government is representing the clear interests of the population of their planet. The noninterference principle is not in play.

The planetary government in question has a vision for their planet that includes peace, self-determination, liberty and prosperity. We can assist them in these goals, goals listed in the preamble of the Constitution of the United Federation Planets. Thus, the affair is of valid concern to this Council.

Two votes have already been taken in Council on this subject. Federation membership was denied the native government in a close vote. The primary argument against membership seemed to be that we should not accept membership until the conflict is resolved. I heard no argument against membership that wasn't based upon some aspect of the conflict with the off-worlders. If the conflict between the two cultures could be resolved, there would be no reason to deny membership.

A second and far more decisive vote was taken not to table the issue without further action being taken. I am interpreting this vote to indicate the Council wishes to do something, wishes to see the conflict resolved, but we have no clear consensus yet as to what should be done.

I shall thus list four possible actions that might be authorized. Mudd strongly favors the first. Mudd strongly opposes the last. We are quite open to discussion of the middle two. The motion currently made by myself, but I believe not seconded, would implement the first two. I am also certainly interested in hearing a fifth, sixth or seventh proposed action. I will not pretend this list is complete.

Mudd would like to see the issue resolved through diplomacy and negotiation. The off-worlders claim to be acting in charity. They did intervene in crisis, saving lives, preserving the local economy and ecology. The natives see the resources being taken off planet since the crisis as excessive. Thus, this is not a case of pure charity, of giving without taking anything in return.

Given that aid was rendered, it is reasonable and proper for the costs of the operation to be recovered. It is not reasonable and proper that exploitation be continued indefinitely. If an agreement could be reached through negotiation as to what is reasonable degree of profit, then the relationship might be continued. Federation diplomats and economists might provide assistance in reaching a correct compromise. If the two parties cannot agree on a basis for continued mutually acceptable relationship, that relationship should end. It would be reasonable to allow the off-worlders to recover the "cost" of their "charity." Once this cost is recovered, the Federation diplomats should stand firmly in favor self rule for the natives of their own planet.

That is the diplomatic level aid. Mudd believes firmly that our diplomats should be requested and required to implement some variation of the above position.

The second possible action would be economic sanctions. If the off-worlders are unwilling to withdraw after it is clear they have recovered the costs with reasonable profit from their actions, economic sanctions should be considered. I am willing to give the administration state department advanced authorization to implement these sanctions should they become necessary. It might be argued that such sanctions should not be authorized by this Council until the diplomacy has been attempted and failed. I trust the administration to not implement these sanctions if they are not necessary. I would favor early authorization of sanctions simply so we may resolve the matter and move to other issues. However, if there is a consensus among Council that the need for sanctions has not been clearly established, I would in good grace withdraw the request for early authorization of sanctions, and push the diplomatic initiatives without economic pressure.

It has been suggested that the economic burden of implementing the sanctions would be excessive.

Mudd values liberty above profit. Mudd is ready to accept some economic hardship to protect liberty. Others might disagree. My understanding of the economics of the situation is incomplete. I would think from a purely economic perspective, the off-worlders would lose far more in trade with the Federation than they would gain in continuing to hold a world against the interests of the natives. I know of no resource or goods provided by the off-worlders that would be critical to the well being of the Federation. Thus, I believe the economic measures would have some impact upon the off world faction, but minor impact upon the Federation's economy.

From a larger perspective, the Federation has continued to thrive even in opposition to militaristic cultures. Other cultures commit sizable portions of their energies seizing and subduing other civilizations. We do not, and yet we have been able to compete and grow. We have been successful in confronting aggressive cultures, even while we are not aggressive ourselves.

How? We do not have to pay the costs of conquest or occupation. The cultures that join us need not be blunted, beaten into submission. Thus, from a purely economic perspective, a smaller fraction of our gross planetary products can produce a war fleet comparable or superior to cultures dedicated to war and aggression. Our history proves this. Liberty, in short, is a good strategy, and the basis for a strong economy.

Yes, there may be an initial cost for providing liberty to a planet. However, in requesting membership, new members are pledging a long-term commitment of a small but significant part of their gross planetary product towards the Federation. Long term -- even if one cares nothing for rights, liberty, self-determination or law -- in the long term seeking voluntary memberships is both economically profitable and militarily advantageous. That which stagnates, decays. We cannot be content and stable caring only about the short-term interests of long time members. We must continue to grow, continue to aid others who seek it the same benefits the Federation has brought our own planets.

That covers diplomatic measures and possible sanctions. It might be possible that if the off-worlders withdraw, some sort of economic aid might be required to pull the natives through the cultural and economic transition. I would hope to negotiate a gradual enough withdrawal that this does not become necessary. I am open to authorizing the administration to provide such aid should it become necessary. This could be a separate motion, or an amendment to the current diplomatic and sanctions motion. Alternately, we could authorize this aid only after it is clear it is needed. The latter is my preference. This is why economic aid was not part of the proposed motion. However, if a clear case is made that aid is necessary, Mudd would favor it.

We have covered diplomacy, sanctions, and aid. A fourth possible action would be a commitment or authorization to use force.

The natives are not threatening force. The off worlders are not threatening force. Starfleet has not asked for authorization to use force. The administration has not asked for authorization to use force. Mudd does not propose to use force. No one off this Council is treating this as a military problem. Not all problems are military problems. Not all problems should be resolved using force-threat analysis. This is not a military problem. Let us leave it that way.

I reject the notion that we should not get involved as the military risks and costs might be too high. What military risks and costs?

In review, Mudd favors a diplomatic solution. After the costs of charity have been recovered with a reasonable profit, the off-worlders should either limit profits to a level acceptable to the natives or withdraw from the planet. Economic sanctions might be authorized should the off-worlders insist on an unreasonable level of exploitation. Aid might be provided should the transition to economic independence become difficult. Once a diplomatic solution is reached, another vote on membership would be appropriate. Force is not currently a factor in this issue. All due consideration should be taken such that force does not become an issue.

Thank you.

Ambassador Joy Seven