There are those who would consider the Federation to be socialist at best, communistic at worst. But the simple reality is that the United Federation of Planets was born from Earth being forced to go it alone in 2155 when the Coalition of Planets collapsed in the face of the Romulan threat.
A lone wolf was forced to wage war against a dynamic, militaristic oppressive threat to everyone. But only United Earth and her Starfleet stepped up to the plate and waged the battles necessary to bring the Romulan threat to heal, with enough force to negotiate the treaty that ended the war on terms fairly positive for Earth following the Romulan defeat at the Battle of Charon.
The Federation may seem socialistic, but that's only because the need for capitalistic based incentives to push forward have been marginalized. Warp drive has opened up the asteroid belt to massive industrial exploitation. Anti-gravity has allowed easy and massive access to space for massive space-based power collectors to harness the sun's output. With the advent of transporters and replicators, basic needs can be provided for at a lower cost than the price of administering a system to control access.
Elimination of competition for resources has allowed Earth, Mars, the Terran colonies and the other members of the Federation to pursue the scientific, technological, artistic and philosophical advances that the individual's heart desires. When failure has no cost, advancement can be made with impunity because one does not need to balance the resource demands of a successful attempt with the resource depletion of failure.
My point? Don't look down on the Utopia us trekkers long for. Its not about socialism winning out over capitalism. Its about advancement winning out over limited resources.
From a philosophical point of view, Starfleet and the civilian research agencies still pursue a capitalistic approach, dealing in the currency of personal integrity, reputation and honor. Its a currency that the American soldiers have in great abundance.
And so my point is, at long last, made clear. With Memorial Day just around the corner, I want it made clear that my dreams and desires for a day when the Federation flag flies over the Presidential Offices in Paris, over Starfleet Command and Starfleet Academy on the Presidio in San Fransisco, is not a dream of a world without American ideals. Ideas such as personal achievement, Freedom of Speech, Press, liberty, pursuit of happiness, the right to bare arms, the right to privacy and security of person and mind; all the rights and liberties we aspire to but fail to reach so often in this country.
Its a dream where those rights and liberties no longer need to compete with the need for power and resource control. When those rights and liberties can shine free with the support of the very universe itself supporting and nurturing them.
And that is why, in addition to the men and women of the United States armed forces over the last 240years, I also will be remembering the men and women of United Earth and the United Federation of Planets of the next 360yrs who have given their lives in defense of a dream when we can chose our own destiny, unbridled by the misinformation of those who would control us and the resource limitations of the ones who would hold us back.
God bless those who write a blank check to protect our freedoms; good for, up to and including, their very lives.
Post inspired by discussions held at the Center County hackerspace: The Make Space (of State College, PA - www.makespace.io) and this DeviantArt: Federation Flag