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The only real way this 'Commie' utopia could function would be forcing you to work for the state in a job role against your will. How could they have enough manpower otherwise. This style of governance always leads to repression.
With replicators, Android's, and AI, I'm sure most mondane tasks would be perform. If people want to do it, they can. If no one wants to use androids (or better yet, make the task obsolete).
As a human being, you can look for ways to express yourself ( via art). Are look for knowledge. Or search for experience (join the accedemy). Or work as a cook (because you want to). Ownership of land doesn't make sense in an era where you can teleport. All you need is a small apartment with holograms that can change at a whim. You want to be in Paris in the morning then Tokyo in the afternoon...easy.
Actually when you look at DS 9, you will see that the federation has its form of money and as seen in some scenes at quarks, Star Fleet officers do get wages that they can spend on gambling, drinking or purchasing holo fun and "hookers" at quarks. Dr. Bashir seems to not know what else than those things his wage would be good for, but he does get money he spends on holo suites.
Also we see quark (and others) deal with smuggled goods and weapons for money with the Marqui and even federation.
So there are things pointing at people in the federation still getting wages, there is just less stuff you can spend your money on and it seems there is no more speculation on some stockmarket.
Also in TNG you see Dr. Crusher shopping with money on some federation planet on her vacation and since she spends more than she has, Picard has to pay the rest of the bill.
Money only exists because, for now, most things are perishable. If I want to trade blueberries for a PS4... It's going to end badly. However, if food can be replicated (like in ST) we could work on so much more without that constant fear of starvation.
Well they don't use money, so how could it be? Communism isn't a money-free state. At all... It's funny that Communism was a mortal enemy at one time and yet so few know what it was. Short : Communism and Fascism are basically the same system and both used money and had centralized control of production.
Well, while Starfleet in itself is not a military, it's very much like one. If you think about real life, there are those that join the military for that purpose and not the money. There are also those that work in jobs they love, not because they pay well. Heck, Dirty Jobs proved that. (though those jobs DID pay well) Really the modifier to the utopia is that warp power changed everything. Also regarding whether it's socialism or not, I dont' think they cared. The idea of a political structure was completely obliterated with WW3. After that, it was probably a matter of just surviving. Then it became a whole new way of re-thinking. With virtually limitless power, the idea of "resources" might change. The technology of transporters, replicators, and health technology. I'm not sure if it was communist though. People did have property and belongings. People did actually collect things, but not for the wealth of it. And as we know, there were still bad apples. As far as the shipyards, that was a small portion of people. Just scientists that were perusing their dream (such as Lea Brahms) a large portion of any kind of grunt work was done via replicators and automation, or...as we've seen in that episode you mentioned: De-commissioned Mark I EMH's.
Money doesn't exist because the replicator made it obsolete. Replicators don't just convert one kind of matter into another, they convert energy into whatever matter you want, and they have the technology to gather the energy of stars. So ta-dah, whatever you want by just asking for it out of infinite energy. Capitalism can't survive that.
Second, you're missing real-life, present day examples of post-scarcity systems. Take the translation of anime and manga in the pirated versions. These are translated, edited, and subtitled/lettered by people who already have their basic needs taken care of. They are doing this without the need for financial incentive. As far as I can tell, the incentives are entirely social. They do it for the praise of the community. And the community determines their popularity (rise in standing in the field).
So the Janitor/gardener at Star Fleet Academy is doing it because of all the people who remember him fondly. Jake Sisco's father is doing it for the praise his cooking receives. Maybe Star Fleet enlisted people and low-grade officers are doing it hoping for promotions to higher status positions, but it could also be that the society has finally placed high status on what our society places as low-status positions now, such as cleaners and teachers.
And there you have it. It's a society that can probably replace any position that humans don't want anymore with automation, and people work at positions for personal betterment, to benefit the race as a whole, or for the status such positions afford them.
Star Trek is not communist. It's it's own thing. Thwy dont kill people who dissagree, wage war, rum camps, or act leftist. Commies also have a capitalist society under a dictatorship. Star trek is not new world order either or some negative sjw thing that is is now since 2009.A lot of stupid comments here by thick headed people that cannot comprehend a society not based on money. Basicly everything you want is replicated, and free. There is no tolerance for crime, and everyone is productive sone how in starfleet. It's called integrity.
If walmart said you can eat, cloth yourself, drink, provide, take anything you need for yourself only, but come to work as your career while we aim to explore soace, who wouldnt?
Some greedy selfish mother fucker will ruin it though for everybody.
Like that house on halloween that says take 1 or 2 candies only outside, and some idiot empties the whole bowl for himself.
If society had replicators, we would not starve, or go hungry. Sone one would exploit it for profit though or a weapon. Hitler had the right idea where everyone world and is upper middle class.
Society is very backwards because of globalists, which star trek are NOT.
You dont see the federation running third world utopias or having filthy rich, and very poor. Nor a controlling society full of criminals and competative, angry, judgemental, rude people.
one more example. how many filthy rich nankers, entertainers, athletes, celebs, stock brokers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, drug lords, and royalty have too much money? While next to them some one works very hard to barely get by and pays more taxes.
So ideally you can say new star trek is communist, but not the first 5 series.
We better our selfs to find hatred and emotional greed it's the French way! Jon luc Picard! Everyone equal so I can rule you all! No startrek is NOT COMMIE you may wish it but they traded forever on all shows ! Gold press latunium to tribbles it's not commie unless you want it to be! You needed energy points to get shit in voyager but the captain could take a week long holodeck encounter go figure! Commie my ass!
I think post scarcity explains it well enough.
You don't need money to motivate people to compete once needs are taken care of via advanced technology. Yes, Joesph Sisko runs a restaurant solely because he enjoys it. He doesn't need any financial motivations as non-financial ones are more than enough -- purpose, love of cooking, admiration from people, good reviews, etc. We already have artists today who know full well that their careers aren't likely to earn them huge amounts of money and yet they form bands, paint, cook, dance, etc. Same for athletes. In modern western nations, once your struggling want-to-be actor has enough money for food, rent, etc. she's going to go to auditions, complete, and get paid next to nothing. Likewise, we now have retired people who continue to work when they clearly don't need the money and of course rich people who work insane hours when its clear they have more money than they can spend and its probably killing them.I don't see why this would be different in a post scarcity economy. You are an engineer. You love math, numbers, building things, and technical manuals. Great. You don't need money as you live in relative luxury because of technology. So... like an Olympic athlete, aspiring actress, etc. today... you want to be the best you can be. There is no reason this isn't market forces without money. Engineering schools can still have a limited number of spots, Star Fleet can have harder entrance exams than a freight company or a city planning office, and people can choose not to eat at Joesph Sisko's restaurant if the food isn't as good as next door.
Warp technology solves the energy problem, while matter replicators solve other needs like hunger, etc. So you eliminate these scarcities in everyday lives. What you don't eliminate, is incentive. What is pushing humanity off the couch? Energy, food, and material things are infinite. Why strive at all? Capitalism is the only economic construct we know of that solves THIS problem.
It's why I don't like star trek, as much as I enjoy other sci-fi shows, like Babylon 5, battle star Galactica, and the expanse, or dark matter. I just don't find a society with no money or any type of real econmay as realistic.
It seams like you have a *warped* sense of socialism. ;) The general hierarchy of ability does not break down. That would be counter productive. The class system and prejudice does. Gender and racial politics do not exist. So the best possible applicants get the best possible positions on a star ship. Socialism does not eliminate competition or the will to compete. It is quite selfish in fact, in wanting the best talent from everywhere. It quite simply makes it an equal playing field for all. We have seen this approach in the best of empires.
star trek society is build upon ruins of ww3 when earthlings have their first contact with an alien species, right there humans realise that they are not alone in the universe and this was a reasonable enough factor for humanity to see past differences and start rebuilding the society under the vulcan guidance. so it is not only the invention of replicator that made accumulating wealth redundant it is also more or less the vulcan logicall influence that pushed humanity toward unified approach of coexistence, were every person is invaluable part of society.
I think it is utopian communism, or at least something to that extent, but with necessary elements of capitalism too, just as in the west we have capitalism with neccasary socialist elements. I think either ideology is not inherently bad, so long as it actually limits itself. I couldnt care less about classic politics, it's identity politics, an idea compatibale with both sides of the political spectrum, that im pissed off with. Wether socialism would really work though, even in space? I can't say. But it certainly hasn't worked on earth.
They may not use money in general, but they most certainly still bargain with power, influence, information, and social standing.
Any man who's driven by a love of technology, for example, would have strong incentive to join Star Fleet's engineering corps. It would be a matter of course for him to do menial maintenance jobs as part of his training during his advancement through the ranks, and that's how he would earn the privilege of having more power and influence over larger and larger projects.
Of course this kind of thing probably won't apply very often for jobs without much glamour, like sewer maintenance, so either those jobs would need to be automated, or they'd need to be built into certain paths through the meritocracy. Probably some mix of both.
In the case of Sisko's dad I can only assume he's driven by tradition and some kind of competition between him and other chefs. It doesn't exactly make sense from our perspective, especially because you'd have to leave the UFP's core worlds to start doing much trading, but maybe that kind of thing would be common in a post-scarcity society just to have something to do. Art for the sake of art with some social pressure thrown into the mix.
There are several dystopian lines this can take, though. For example, it's unlikely that most people are given free access to much more than they absolutely need to survive comfortably because in a Trek-style post-scarcity economy the infrastructure that provides for everyone still needs to be protected from abuses. It would be easy for governments of these kinds of societies to become tyrannical and oppressive simply because they would control the taps.
The man who turns the wheels, they will follow anywhere he leads.
A moderate case of this would be a system whereby governments stifle all ambition that did not pass through approved channels, like Star Fleet, simply because those would be the only places where exceptional resources could be obtained. To some degree we actually see this in Trek because of the restrictions placed on the possession and sale of bio-mimetic gel.
Yes, Star Trek is most defineatly a communist paradise. Right or wrong, it is fun to watch peoples faces change from "Woo-Hoo Star Trek" to "Oh... Ew!" when you bring this to their attention. Besides, the idea of perfectly executed communism isn't bad at all. The actual implementation, however...
Post-scarcity humanity is hard for a lot of people to imagine. What is sad is that, should we actually manage replication technology, many of us would block its allowance for true liberation and freedom just out of spite for their fellow man alone. It is bad enough getting people here in the US onboard with healthcare for all, let alone other modern needs. Imagine trying to convince those same people that that they need not want for anything at allevery again. Sounds great, except that many drop off at the point of sharing with everyone else. Star Trek had one thing right... There is next to no way that humanity would elect it's vision of the future short of paradigm-shifting catastrophes. And its sad because we really aren't too far from being able to achieve a Roddenbery-esque future without blowing ourselves to shit first.
My theory is that people live off government support, and are given the basics to survive (like a nice apartment with basic amenities and a replicator) and the more you work towards the greater good (ship yard worker, scientists, star fleet) the more Benefits you get, and if you work as a restaurant owner or something you get benefits depending on how people think of your skill and services
As DS9 was my favorite Trek, I always wondered how the Federation officers and crew stationed there got the money with which to frequent the restaurants and shops on the promenade, or play games at Quark's. Were they paid by the Bajoran government? Did the Federation maintain some kind of bar tab for the lot of them?
The "no money" vision is a neat one, but always left far too many unanswered questions when they'd attempt to put the characters back in everyday situations that were more relatable to the audience.
And now for some purely lazy writing:
"Suits me, I just *bought* a boat." —Scotty, Star Trek VI
"It's my house. At least it used to be. I *sold* it years ago." —Kirk, Star Trek Generations
Not every reward has to be strictly financial. From an idealistic point of view, participating in the construction and maintenance of an awesome spaceship can be rewarding in and of itself. Being more of a cynic, I'd add social prestige into the equation. Also, some things, like real estate, can't be replicated, so a sweet apartment overlooking the Bay Area might also be a motivating factor for Starfleet employees. Additionally, let us remember, that we as a species generally evolved without any kind of currency. It is a relatively recent invention, and there is no reason to assume that it would be necessary in a post-scarcity society.
I would be interested to see how people 3 to 4 hundred years hence would regard Star Trek’s economics. I suspect that enormous technological advancements would render our current economic definitions entirely obsolete.
It is an interesting conundrum. I think there's one thing you left out in a way. Starfleet academy. Schools like this should help to solidify and focus people's talents and make this whole system functional. There's a hierarchy and you're taught to obey orders but not blindly. And of course you're taught whatever technical task that meets your talents. And then you're assigned to whatever area is required. But if we're talking about non Starfleet matters, there's that one episode where Captain Picard is asked by some undersea project to lead it. It seems kind of like kickstarter without money. Someone has a dream of some kind. Then they start to recruit people to fill certain roles. I still wonder about the lazy people though. There must be at least some people who decide not to do anything. What do they do? Well, Tom Paris wandered around the earth for a while before joining the Maquis. I guess with transporter technology, anyone can travel anywhere on the earth whenever they want.
Read 3001: the final odysse. The economy runs the same way as star trek. If you want to live without working, yku get a basic "income" that covers food, shelter, and clothing. Those items have become accessible for everyone and you don't need standard currency, just show up and ask for it. If you want anything more (oa wning yojr home, !uxury goods, and anything else that money would buy) you have to work for it. 300 payed based on time put it. Star trek ran on a credit/currency system..... the only evidence was based Kirk telling Scotty that he has earned his pay.
I thought about this, Star Trek Communist Utopia. ....... Money? ..... Actually there, currency = merit.
Like even there, the Captains had better living quarters and a level of social distinction. > More RESPECT.
People in that society COULD have MORE according to merit.
But if someone in their society wanted to be a bum they had the right to be so. And there were plenty of them, right?
Eventually, people wind up doing what they like to do.
Earth just one of the many Faderation planets, its possible that few Federation worlds could have completly unique economic systems. Also Federation probably trades with non Federation planets so they need some form of currency for atleast foregin trade.
Most of parts of star ships can be made with replicators, Including the hull.
Also if you only need power for matter replication you just have to place your shipyards close to suns and the cost of the ships would be near ZERO. During the Dominium war the Federation shipyard just mass replicated Star Ships, their main problem was the shortage of manpower.
Despite that "no money" thing, I'd say the most likely scenario is they get something like a basic income. It might be the "credits" we hear talk of. That could mean everyone gets a yearly line of credit to buy replicated goods, and maybe non-replicated ones as well. They may be saying "money doesn't exist" as hyperbole. It does, it's just not as big a deal for them. Or it could be they mean "cash", as these credits seem to be an electronic currency. That was Kirk and Spock's issue in 1986 LA-they didn't get that whole concept of "exact change" on the bus. So if you just play holodeck games your whole life, you'll only get basic income. Do something more, you get paid extra. At least, that seems like the most plausible scenario I see. As to communism, the real issue would be: who owns the capital? More precisely here, the replicators? I'd guess the government has them. However it is clear that not all capital has been state owned. We hear references to people with land and businesses in the Federation. I think that it's a mixed economy, with the government providing certain basics again. People can then go above and beyond on their own.
I grew up in the USSR. When I first watched Trek, I was like "Holly shit! Here's a popular American TV shows and it's about the exact utopia that they've been dangling in front of us like a carrot on a stick for so many years!" By the way, we never considered ourselves "communist" in the USSR - we were "developed socialist" and "building communism." The "date of delivery" (for communism) got constantly pushed back, until even the most gullible stopped believing that we'll get there. By the way, we definitely did have a competition-based system in the USSR. Academic competition was brutal from the young age. High achievers in science and workplace were recognized and rewarded with money (just not millions), recognition, perks and property (like apartments and cars). You definitely did have a selfish incentives to do better than your peers. I find that this is one of the things that's commonly misunderstood about the USSR. My mom was an over-achiever and workaholic, so we lived comparatively well when I was growing up.
Ultimately i don't think that star treks economics are viable as human beings evolved to work towards and for incentives which better themselves, which is to say, we are inherently selfish and looking out for ourselves. This isn't a bad thing as its necessary for our survival but no one is going to build a starship for free, much less take the sophisticated classes needed to become say, a warp core engineer or a weapons maintenance officer without some sort of financial reward they can use to better themselves.
Communism is fiction; Star Trek is fiction. The degree to which the two fictions overlap is irrelevant if the goal is to apply either to a possible future. Human motivations are varied and vast, but we do know much about them. The characters portrayed on Star Trek are basically not human in any discernible way. They are close, but then, so is 2018 AI, and it is nowhere near human. What makes a human is a complex group of things. If one changes a handful of things in that group, the subject is no longer human. It's just that simple. People enjoy ST because it is fiction, and people enjoy communism for the same reason. Humans always want what they can't have. Look at religion, for example. Communism and ST are just more manifestations of the same aspects of humanity that produce and validate religion.
I believe (at least in TNG) that government gave all of it's citizens a certain number of Federation credits every week. These credits could be spent on things, used in bargaining, or given freely to someone else, and are automatically deducted or traded using the Computer. It's likely that if you ran a restaurant or made clothes, you would only charge the credits it took to make the item with the replicator (as Picard put it, acquisition of wealth isn't the driving force). I think if you worked for the government (ie starfleet) you probably didn't earn extra credits, but anything work related (uniforms, replicator usage) was free. Then if you had to trade with another species, you probably have some stored Federation credits, which would equal money to them, but not so much to you. This is how I've speculated it for years.
TO BE FAIR: Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century.
Lily Sloane: No money? You mean, you don't get paid?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity. Actually, we're all like yourself and Dr. Cochrane.
Its definitely a communist utopia. And in a "post scarcity" society, its supposed to be assumed that communism is natural. But way too many things simply don't line up and its almost entirely because of Human Nature.
What drives someone to produce for "the greater good" if everyone has "infinite resources". "Humans or Humanoids working" is a resource that society needs. How do you "pay" for that? Its not enough to just be "for the greater good". And if people work to obtain replicators or energy....aren't these resources? Even having a girl/boy friend, creating a family and offspring are essentially resources being obtained, arranged and created. Can't replicate that.
Post scarcity society only works in fiction even if technology or magic somehow makes it happen, there's still no such thing as a "post scarcity" society. There are infinite needs and infinite resources and a wide range of different human emotions and desires that make an attempt at something like this impossible.
Here's some thoughts: Harry Mudd wanted to trade the 3 women to the RICH dylitheum miners. Kirk told another group of miners they would be RICH once the brood of "hortas" began tunneling. Obviously, the "credits" you mentioned from the tribble episode are an interstellar "euro".
You DID miss something! IT'S JUST A TV SHOW. How many times did the "General Lee" do some insane stunt and not be TOTALLED! The Mayberry jail cells had no toilet! Why couldn't that genius professor fix the stupid boat to get off the island?? Anything not integral to the story is supposed to be accepted as a given. It's part of the art form.
When all of the essential resources are covered for you by technology to the point of being seemingly limitless, it frees people up to do whatever they're passionate about. Obviously you still have challenges to overcome as not all alien economies would work the same way, so Earthlings out in space would need some modes of currency or items for barter, but back on Earth you could get away with it. That still leaves the issue of encouraging people to participate in certain complicated fields, though I think this can be achieved without necessarily invoking a monetary compensation. Clearly in the Trek world hierarchies are still observed and electing to participate in certain areas can lead to opening new opportunities to interact with higher echelons of society and forms of technology. Awards, recognition, status/access are still very strong and sufficient motivators even if you remove money from the equation. Just my 2 non-existent credits worth here.
You're deluded out of your mind. It's TOTALLY commieland. More communist than the USSR. They HAD money in the USSR. I even have some USSR postage stamps in my collection. With actual money amount denominations printed on them. They say "CCCP 25k" on them, printed in the final days of the soviet union. The "k" refers to the soviet ruble. So I don't care if there was occasional reference to "credits" in Star Trek. They have even LESS use of anything that could be considered currency than they did in the USSR!
The Federation is more of a pseudo-socialistic meritocracy. They have credits, and the better job you do, and the higher rank you achieve, the more credits you receive. While credits are used like money, it isn't cash as we know it.
The only question here is a question of culture. Those who do not want to be their best get left behind, and in a post scarcity society, that probably means a lot of people unwilling to work because they get free food, free medical, and an apartment just big enough for them. For the rest, who were raised right, they want to contribute. So they build and maintain starships, defenses, or just run their own restaurant; credits may exist, but look at how they lived on the ships. Free room and board; currency is only a discretionary stipend, and a lot of pre-existing entertainment is free or near-free anyway (I don't imagine record companies fighting over licensing rights to Mozart or Nirvana in such a future) and synthehol is as inexpensive as any basic rations that pop out of the replicators. So unless you want home cooking or real liquor, to gamble in private or to collect authentic hand-crafted art planetside, for which people have expressed an interest in, in some episodes, the handful of credits you acquire mean very little. You go to work building a house or a starship, then you go home to your family and eat well and live in comfort. Labels like communism and capitalism mean little, but not only because you can get what you need with little effort, but because an entire culture teaches you to feel a sense of purpose in contributing to a society that explores the cosmos with a sense of wonder that we lack in this current age. I think it's best summed up by a Neal Stephenson quote that I cannot fully recall off the top of my head, but for the most part he comments on European explorers in centuries past who came to a new world, only to ignore its' people, their cultures, mannerisms, music, the strange flora and fauna surrounding them... their entire sense of wonder crippled by their interest in a few shiny bits of gold at the bottom of a pan.
Star Trek, and the economy of it, is about getting past that not as a society, but as a person. If we all did that together, this might very well work.
You'll probably never read this comment now, but I came across something recently. My wife got a new child's version of scrabble for our son. Its meant to be "child friendly" and has no keeping score. My son ONLY spelled three letter words because there is no reward for spelling longer ones. I pointed out he had the letters for a five letter word and he said, "why would I do that?" Communism has zero incentives even in scrabble.
I think the valued currency is land. Like how Picard's family owns a vineyard. The best and brightest compete for land on Earth, various other planets, and possibly even built structures on star bases or starships. The average everyday shmuck is probably given a one bedroom apartment, basic replicator, and basic appliances like the sonic shower or the view screen with computer and database. Also everyone is given free healthcare, since medical science has advanced to the point where most injuries and diseases can be healed within anywhere between a few seconds and a few hours.
So what motivates the schmuck to do anything? Boredom most likely. Recreational options might be limited. Work might be a form of recreation. Not everyone can go to a holosuite to escape, and those who can are probably given only a certain amount of time before someone else has to use it. In order to enjoy a holodeck of your own, you would need to build one. For that you need a private domicile with a lot of space. For that you need land, or at least a building you can legally call your own.
As for those who sit in their government provided housing and watch videos or play games all day on their view screens, maybe they are left alone. Or maybe the Federation considers them to be socially dysfunctional and they send a social worker to check on them and their wellbeing. Maybe such people are encouraged to become productive in some way or else be taken away for medical evaluation.
But my guess is most people work in order to gain property ownership, so they can decide where they want to live for the most part, as well as how largely they live.
Another thing I forgot to post related to the question of lazy citizens, it could be treated the same as those who are holo-addicts. People like Barclay who retreated from society into holo-fantasies were considered to have social/emotional problems, and were treated as such. Perhaps those who would choose to do nothing all day would be considered the same way, and would be given help by force. Same would go for people who use the replicators to make tons of unhealthy foods to indulge in. After the doctor beams up all their fat and cholesterol, they would be turned over to mental health providers to help them break their bad replicator habits.
For me socilistice motivation in work could be graded, like school work. ideology and other things can further motivate a people to strive for higher skill based works.
One can only look to history to see how much a ideology can motivate people to do great or even horrible things.
Individual freedoms can definitely mix with communism. European socialists are very pro democracy. Freedoms for the regular person is required.
As an awnser to the nasty work in Star Trek, theyve automated that, replicate it or have robots or passionate humans work on it. Look at it like a futuristic form of UBI where we can just do whatever we liked. If you always wanted to be an engineer, you can help build spaceships if you want.
a market economy is obsolete in a society where technology has liberated mankind of work, "who need money when you can have goods and services by automatic IA", is not communism, is more than an resouces based economy.
even politics is obsolete under such terms, by the reason that politics exist to administrate resources, and there is no scarcity to administrate.
The only motivation of the humanity of such system is knowledgement, joy and exploration.
There is one particular episode where picard is tying ribbons in a vine field, when he is an old man, and is retired, in the star trek world all the land is reclaimed all over the world for food consumption ,to support the world population, money is not based on gold or diamonds, because that would only disturb the land, instead raw materials are focused towards technology for lowering carbon emissions, heat, its a society based on sustainability, and logical routes based on sustainability, in another episode students in star trek go through heavy indoctrination, similar to what we see in Japan and China.
Personally thought the reason why we didn't see cash in Star Trek was they were aboard a Federation Navy Starship and most of your needs would be taken care of by Logistics and the Quartermaster. I like to imagine that even though people can use replicators, I still think that they would still charge you for things like energy as you need that to power the replicator. So the big economic commodity will be things that generate energy like to deuterium or dilithium.
It's really just bad writing on Roddenberry's part...
"Hey how do they not run out of food on their five year mission?"
"Oh...Well you see there's no scarcity in the world of Star Trek"
"Um...They have an machine that infinitely replicates everything, because...the future."
"That sounds stupid."
"I said 'THE FUTURE!'"
If there's no money, what exactly is gold-pressed Latinum?
I always liked the idea that matter replicators were inherently limited not in terms of scope, but in terms of information. Sure a replicator can make anything you want, but somebody has to program in the incredibly detailed specifications for what they're going to replicate. I imagine a lot of what counts as free trade in Star Trek from TNG and onwards is actually trade of information (this is backed up in DS9 occasionally, such as in the trade of genetic information of flowers instead of shipping the flowers themselves) - your matter replicator is not going to have the recipe for homemade Klingon cuisine or custom tailored garments, so purchasing those objects is almost more like purchasing intellectual property on the understanding that you can't, or won't, "pirate" them by programming their details into the matter replicators.
could not work without any kind of credit / money system... course no one would do jobs that are dirty or dangerous or even borring if they get the same benefits from doing something they like...
ps: not saying that everyone would pick a easy job but they would most likely pick low risk jobs if they have kids or a wife / girl / alien ......
One way around that is to include the dirty jobs in with the fun ones. Like an engineer gets to program computers or operate a warp core, but the engineer also has to scrub plasma conduits. Refuse to scrub and you get thrown out of the job that you like as well.
If you want to destroy the federation, find a way to destroy ever replicator in the federation all at once. In less than a year the federation would begin fracturing into different groups that you could easily take over.
Reason communism doesn't work: Greed and corruption. Reason capitalism doesn't work: Greed and corruption.
Anyone spot a recurring theme here?... Political systems aren't worth a damn when human beings are basically primitive savages, too short-sighted to act for the greater good. The diseased mindset of humanity is what we should be addressing, not their political systems.
I think that the problem with analyzing Star Trek is that we apply our own biases. The idea of working for a financial incentive makes sense to us. We find it hard to imagine working for "nothing." The problem is, that society can evolve a different, non material incentive to work.
While Star Trek is clearly fiction and not extensively explained, what is touched on is an evolution in how humans look at working in particular and living in general. It's not just a change in economic or political philosophies, but in how we view living and what we consider important in living a worthwhile life.
Yes, you're missing it entirely despite the fact you touched on it. The fact they have replication technology renders a monetary system unnecessary whenever the energy needed to run such technology is found in abundance, which, in the Star Trek universe, seems to be pretty much always.
Yes, in situations where energy, because of an emergency or something else, is scarce, and where those found in such situations naturally revert to a bartering system with the rations they're allotted. However, when energy to run the replicators isn't scarce, it means there's absolutely no reason anyone would need money, because ALL of their basic needs, and even any luxury needs, can be met by a replicator for free.
This means, in the situation of the person running the restaurant, they're running it using a replicator, adjusting the recipes to showcase their family's personal recipe skills, and aren't charging their customers anything, but only doing it for the love of doing it. I know it's tough to understand, but it's not complicated, really.
In a society where anything can be made for free by a replicator (free meaning the government can easily supply enough energy to power all replicators needed to accommodate the entire population), there would be no reason why EVERYONE wouldn't do exactly what they love to do, what they have an aptitude for.
Of course, a great majority of the many jobs (things people are seen doing in all the scenes in Star Trek) would almost certainly have been taken over by either artificial intelligence or mechanical/robotic means by the time they'd have reached such a utopian futuristic society. That's the one thing Star Trek seems to have failed to fully take into account. Roddenberry was a fabulous writer, but simply probably felt if he'd been realistic in that regard, it would have been a boring ass fucking show...lol
Money was on its way out in TOS and barely existant in TNG. They used credit in Encounter at Farpoint, on earth they used transporter credits in DS9. It seems it was a light economic system, using some resource allocations as a gatekeeping mech to avoid shortages. Also, money as it exists today, isn't a resource to be hoarded, ie capitalism. Its an economic system based on merit, desire, passion, and social wellbeing.
Its some form of socialism (not state socialism) with private property but a heavy emphasis on the greater social good.
Here's a question, why is it, with all this technology granting abundance and surplus of anything that could be wanted... why is it that so many of these 'frontier' worlds can't manage to handle their own problems? They need to call the Enterprise or some other Federation star-ship to swoop in and help them with an earthquake or to have some tech fixed. You'd think these communities would be somewhat self-sufficient when it comes to dealing with natural disasters or keep spare parts on hand in case of.. you kno.. emergencies.
While money may not exist on Earth, I do not recall any indication to state that it does not exist on other planets within the Federation.
As for motivation and incentive, I would say that the academy and starfleet have a lot to do with that. Anyone that joins starfleet probably dreams of commanding their own ship, but they know that they'll have to work for it, hence the willingness to do dirty jobs like scrubbing plasma conduits.
Humans are basically allowed to pursue any education or job that they are passionate about, so therefore most of them are self-motivated to better themselves. In other words, I am saying that they are motivated by their own goals and desires. I just wish that Star Trek had been more open about showing what happens to people who lack motivation (although in that environment I can't see how you'd be unmotivated if you can explore any passion that you have...if you are willing to work for it).
I am a communist, so here is my idea of a perfect society:
We should replace the money system with a labor voucher system. It would work like this:
Let's say there's a sword-making blacksmith workshop. There would be a certain amount of labor vouchers given to the workshop each day, and workers would elect a council. The council would divide the labor vouchers with the workers, based on the workers who work most. That way, the people who work hardest get the most vouchers, and the people who work the least get the least.
You don't need vouchers to have a house, eat, and get a check-up, but you will certainly be able to buy more with more.
Here's the punishment system:
Prisoners would be put into a factory with the cheapest condition, and they should do all of the menial dehumanizing jobs. For a day of working, they are given a voucher meant to pay for the crime, and they should be able to pay twice the amount that was stolen. That could also guarantee some form of life imprisonment.
There would also be the death penalty for crimes such as murder.