>On the flip side, the Federation's policy of declining to hold its
>members accountable for savage internal repressions eventually caused
>such friction between savage-repression-oriented and
>non-savage-repression-oriented members that it ultimately led to a
>galactic civil war. So, you know. Maybe you can't win.
To be fair, the United Galactica didn't have the literal embodiment of entropy and evil within the cosmos taking a personal interest in making its corner of the universe as fucked up as it possible could. The Federation had that millstone around its neck.
Maybe things would've gone wrong anyway; not everything is Surtur's fault and galactic civilization has demonstrated that it is more than capable of immolating itself on its own. But he certainly couldn't be helping things, and the United Federation of Planets passing into history was such a near-run thing. Being maybe two days faster off the mark than Bill Clark or Admiral Cartwright being just a little bit better of a person than he otherwise was might have changed a lot of things.