Mikey wrote:As a corollary to that, remember that the KE didn't have an economy burdened by such extraneous things like social welfare programs, education, arts endowments, or anything besides materiel and manpower.
Well maybe that is true to a degree but I wouldn't say they only do material and manpower.
They obviously have a thing going for culture, revel in Klingon Shakespear, Opera and their homeworld seems to be full of art glorifieng the empire.
Obviously, if they have ships which are on par or only slightly inferior to the UFP, they must have an adequate education and sciene programme and as for social welfare....well, it's true that the state probably doesn't provide anyhting however first, at the time of TNG, they also have replicators, meaning that material need is more of an non-issue and secondly they have the great houses taking care of their own, so I would imagine they are not "that" different than the UFP regarding the standards of living.
My point is that altough maybe artist, scientiest, doctors etc. are held in lower esteem than warriors they are still the majority of the people simply because the cultural and science achievments wouldn't simply be possible in a society consisting primarily of soldiers.
They just are more agressive and have in infinitely more practical approach to warfare than Starfleet, which isn't surprising considering that Starfleet of the TNG era was exploration first, defense second.
I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store on the Citadel.