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My theory is that it's an "accomplishment" thing. There are many things people do and put a lot of effort into that don't necessarily offer a financial reward; paining a canvas, building a deck, beating a really tough game. The rewards in these cases isn't that "I'm doing this to get paid" but rather "I'm doing this because then I can say that I did it and be proud of it."
I've been watching star trek ever since I was like 6 or 7 when the next generation was the newest one on TV I loved it from the start, all the sci-fi and the uplifting feelings afterwards it was just great and it always made me hopeful that one day there wouldnt be any famine or wars or narrowmindedness, it was a utopia during a pre-internet, pre-HD, pre-cell phone or touch screen world and over the years things from the show have been little by little becoming a reality... I'm not sure if Mr. Roddenberry even had a detailed idea of how the federation's economy was structured but I'm absolutely certain that his idea is now a seed in someone's mind and same with the rest of the gadgets that are now a reality one day his utopia or something very much like it will become a reality. Imagine a world where there's no "China this China that" or "Russian meddling" or "rapist Mexicans" or "radical this & that" or "just for the top 1%" or southamerican caravans and just all of planet earth as a single entity really working together towards one shared goal, no wars no borders no passports....man I wish I could live long enough to see the day..
The best is last, but no one will see it. Menial jobs might be handled by robotics etc, but almost no one would have low intelligence or skill in the future. Almost all humans are capable of high intelligence, if schooled early and properly. See http://IAHP.org
The health industry would also be able to help any disabled people to become abled.
The best economic system is probably Monetary Sovereignty, which is what the U.S. and some other countries already have, but the benefits are not yet exploited efficiently. See http://mythfighter.com
The worst thing about Star Trek is that it had autocracy, or dictatorship, i.e. a captain on each ship whose orders were automatically obeyed by all the crew, no matter how stupid the orders were. I always hated that aspect. Consensus decision making would be much more sane. Just because most people don't yet know how to do it very well doesn't mean it's no good. No advanced methods are good until people learn how to use them properly.
Considering gold pressed Latinum was a commonly used currency in DS-9, tells me there is plenty of money used in Trek. The Federation has a type of currency, but it is all a cashless society now. Physical money may not exist as we know it, but a type of electronic credits and bartering does exist.
The Ferengi Alliance does deal in a kind of currency. It's referred to as latinum. It is a liquid in pure form, and is suspended in a medium that is solid. I've heard of it as "gold-pressed latinum," and it was shown in bars or strips. It was never explained to my knowledge, and in a group of space-faring societies capable of manufacturing anything via transporter/replicator technology, well, I'll take a stab at a possible explanation. Latinum might be a rare substance that cannot be replicated, so it could be a subject of a market society's supply and demand and what the market will bear. If monetized, it could be a unit of exchange that is concrete, not abstract as our "fiat" Federal Reserve paper money is. If the Federation doesn't (officially) condone it, it could be a driver in an underground economy (as exists in real life in Communist societies).
In our projected future robotics and AI super computers would replace labor intensive and data intensive jobs reducing the workforce to service and entertainment. China and India would bankrupt overnight from robotics replacing sweat shops and toy factories. Especially robots that repair and maintain each other. Couple this with a learning AI system that can build robotics to complete tasks in real world. Skynet here we come
Picard says money is no longer the driving force of their world. He doesn't say that paying and stuff doesn't exist however. When he says "Money no longer sexists." he most likely means physical money like paper bills and coins, but that it is all electric money. Maybe something akin to a futuristic version of bitcoin. Many other civilizations across the Federation still use money or some form of currency. And the Federation needs a system of currency to deal with these civilizations. The Credit system is most likely a form of a conversion system in place that allows one form of currency to be compared and converted into another currency. Like Converting Dollars to yen and vice versa. These credits can be used anywhere in the federation and can even be used with some currencies outside the Federation, like with the Ferengi and their Latinum.
Yes, I have wondered that about Sisko's restaurant too. The food is all grown I assume, do the growers just grow food because they like doing it? And do they just give away the food they have grown? Sisko's customers: do they eat for free or do they pay for what they eat? Does Sisko slave away all day working in the kitchen for the love of it? Does he own the building? Does he rent it? Is it passed down from father to son over several generations?
In STTNG pilot episode dr. Crusher buys some material at the market and she says charge to dr. Crusher. So there must be some form of credit system?
And that makes the concept of no money in the 24th century a mockery.
I always thought that stuff about there being "no money" in the Star Trek universe was nonsense. Stuck in to make it sound good and to point out the differences between that fictitious world and ours. In all of human history there as never been a time when "money" did not exist. Whether it was cash, valued metals, furs, land, credit on a computer, a goat, or a basket of eggs, people have always traded, in some manner, to get what they need to live and thrive. That is all money really is, a streamlined and easier method of trading your assets for mine. My ancestor may have traded her basket of eggs for your leg of lamb. But I will give you cash, or credit, for your leg of lamb. As time goes on, and society and science advances, of course our economies will change and evolve. But money, in one form or another, is not going away. As for communist utopia------well, the whole history of the USSR has taught us that the communist experiment is an utter failure. It looks good on paper, but when applied to real, live humans, it falls on it's face.
How's this? The Federation does not use money, and people in Star Fleet are in the "Military" or "Civil Service", and are within the actual institution of the Federation, and have all their needs met. Planets within and outside the Federation's influence use money, but are not in the 'Star Fleet'. Members of Star Fleet 'earn' replicator time, so they can create goods for conversion into the local currency as and when they wish to. The use of the term 'the Federation' is loose, it can mean the military (Star Fleet), or the member planets, or the sphere of influence (Federation space). There is effectively near unlimited energy for the replicators produced by the matter/antimatter engines, so no shortage of most materials.
It basically is a communist or socialist society but the big factor is resource acquisition has been nearly eliminated. With the energy/matter conversion technology, ie the transporter and replicator, our society would only need to produce energy for the most part and convert that energy into whatever matter we needed for resources. Once say less than 5% of our population can produce enough energy for everyone, you eliminate the need for competition over resources. There is an economy and money but it’s only high level economists that need to deal with it and the credit system is to barter among entities that exist outside the society. When energy is so abundant there’s literally no reason to keep track of who has earned what. It’s not that money doesn’t exist but for the average member of society, it’s not necessary. Our current society could never adopt such ideals because our resources are finite and require competition and allocation. Eliminate the need for those and war, poverty and famine can disappear in a matter of decades. I too have questioned just as you but learned the future economics they are trying to portray on the show, hope that helps clarify anything 😎 Thanks for sharing 🖖
society will not change.
society is in the hands of the plutocrats since pre-historic.
plutocrats which maintains a balance of power, between humans.
between those who have money and those who do not.
between those who have power and those who do not.
a minority, enjoying, against a majority kept in lower states to be exploited, abused, sacrificed as cannon fodder for wars whose sole interest is total financial domination.
when you have a whole populace to the thinking mode based on a dominant / dominated, reasoning.
no matter what remedies or solutions given, it will continue to establish biases and individual and social malfunctions. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
the utopie of the federation has established itself after a heavy nuclear world war
AND the affirmation of alien existence.
these are the two painful elements that have produced a deep schism between the human before and the human after.
present and past humanity is totally corrupted genetically as psychologically.
this can only be extirpated by brutal, violent, destructive events, even of this sub-humanity.
whoever has fun making 36 pants with a synthesizer, will should necessarily explain its abuse.
if the abuse is justified such as a disaster a fire..., that required so much production.
but if the abuse is unjustifiable there will be sanction. limitation in the use of synthesizers. be rationed
to live in society is not the jungle. neither yesterday nor today nor in the future.
nowadays, limitation is tyrannical. you have no money you can die.
you have money, lots of people prostitute themselves for you.
it is not because it is free or "free", that it means that one can do anything, inconsiderately the consequences.
36 pants manufacturing, caused a huge resource consumption which has decrease the quantity, useful, to others in their normal consumption of the system.
you have trouble understanding the underlying idea in star trek, because you are too accustomed to a primitive mode of thought.
with star trek, there is no longer plutocrats. the very concept, plutocratic, no longer exists.
finally, there is, and it is the social institution the government, its services which are the only plutocrats who hold the wealth and redistribute it.
but there is no longer a single plutocrat with power over society.
they are reduced in that they are pariah or foe...
it's clearly said in some episode. education philosophy does not teach the fulfillment of either through wealth but the fulfillment of either, simply.
that is, freed from the corrupting weight of all that would be associated with this accomplishment of either.
wealth is corruption
it is the first corruption of itself that automatically establishes corruption in society.
this society is penalized by a minority. richs, who because they are obsessed by their wealth, which they obviously want to keep, act think and work to the detriment of society. it is the governance of this one which is penalizing since having to favor the rich minority at the expense of the whole of the society.
society, as a whole, is being abused and exploited because it is kept in a state of perpetual poverty and terror.
afraid of losing his job
afraid of losing one's home
afraid and afraid.
terrorism is a fundamental rule of the plutocrat. people are so used to not seeing or understanding that they totally accept this way of life, this way of society.
such a society produces only vice, more corruption, conflict.and war
because war is good for profit.
because with war we can open territory to sell all the shit made by the minority holding the means of production and which bases the continuity of its plutocracy on trade, and all vile commerce.
everything is to be considered according to the perception of the financial purpose so everything is sold everything is bought
weapons, drugs, living animals, and also humans women children ...
it's not the freedom
the utopia star trek is erected after the world nuclear war.
which immediately finds itself confronted with the reality of extraterrestrial life imposing a human unity, and a purification of philosophies harmful to human life, human activity, human thought.
plutocratism is one of them.
plutocratism is the first conflict between men.
those who have everything against those who have nothing.
later on it is covered by racist or pseudo-virtue ideologies, holy war, democracy and all that can be used to hide the fact that the rich are attacking the poor.
in the society of the federation there is always capitalism. they hold an asteroid field planet & star capital that is their property or they draw their resource.
that is why the federation finds itself in conflict with Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian. Beyond racial or ideological conflict it is above all the number of planet and star held by each other that underlies the conflict.
with the Klingons, we see it in DS9, recovering systems that they claim to have been taken by the federation.
the fact that you say that the federation is communist, demonstrates the depth of the indoctrination you undergo. you are incapable of being free of thought. you can only see things in a binary way. if it's not capitalist, then it's communist. it is a prison that the plutocrats made to keep you under their hands.
if you are unable to emancipate yourself from their polluting and reductive vision, you can never develop truly free societies.
do not forget... plutocratism it is also the lie and the absurdity.
as Quark says, we would stop eating without greed.
There would be a way to measure contribution to society so you gather “points” to determine your right to enjoy privileges that can’t be replicated or plugged into a holodeck such as stepping up to better property in better locations, better/longer holidays/experiences etc.
The ethos of star trek is as long as you have the right machines everything will be fine. As for individual career motivations the only way I can see it working within the framework laid out is the education system must be tailored to find out what a person is best at very early on, then while still somehow preserving free choice convincing the student that they should follow their greatest skill set for the betterment of humanity. This runs into problems as well though because unless they employ some kind of genetic engineering to control the innate skill sets of its population then the random nature of skill set distribution could lead to demand outweighing supply or vice versa. The whole utopian thing never really works even with infinite resources because of this problem.
Such a question is irrelevant because Star Trek is fiction, and in that sense it is exactly the same as, say Teletubbies.
Anything can be real in fiction, like communism working.
That doesn't validate anything in real life, because real life doesn't operate under the rules of imagination and CGI.
One realistic explanation that there's no internal economy in Federation. EVERYTHING belongs to the goverment, which only hands to people what it believes they can make use of. You own nothing really, even shirt on your back has been allowed to you, because authorities looked into your profile and decided you will need one, to fulfill your role as citizen.
We know how the Ferengi view currency! The replicator technology says something important about the economics of Star Trek. You get something for nothing. That violates everything that you and I (but not many economists) know to be true. There is no free lunch. Of course, Star Trek is a fantasy, a very optimistic view of what could be. In the real world, we've seen technological advancements that have improved and extended our lives and given us a higher standard of living. Taken to a logical extreme, the standard of living, and amount of disposable income, should envelop the globe one day. What made the Western world so incredibly prosperous can do so anywhere else, theoretically.
my guess: since star trek ecomomies move past resource scarcity, so no need for money or traditional economics(economics is the studies of dividing limited resources amonst unlimited desires, granted in some of them there are still credits and exchanges, but likely it vanished with the proliferation of replicators), when material resources are infinate, the reward would be social capital.
maybe the engineers who built the starships would be promoted to a position with more leverage in their community, maybe political power, maybe fame and celebrity status, which are still going to be finite in the federation, so my guess, the guy who designed the enterprise, and captain picard, does their jobs mostly so they can brag about it at home and impress women, since luxuries sure isn't going to impress them with replicators and near infinate resources.
another incentive for people to work is fear and hatred, that might apply more to the lower level workers, the worker fixing the starships are probably motivated because he or she fear threats like the borg or klingon, so he/she put in the work to protect his cushy lifestyle at home, or revenge for the mother who got killed by the aliens.
It's a ridiculous idea- even with transporters being able to create objects, there will still be items of value which are limited in abundance (e.g. beachfront real estate, genuine antique or handmade objects, genuine original objects of art, etc) How do you decide who gets them?
Actually the explanation for why they built starships was in the very opening of the original ST series. To explore. To go where no man has gone before, etc. That's a pretty clear explanation to me. Of course realistically, in the VERY near future, we will have robots doing almost everything. Even Roddenberry didn't properly foresee that drastic advancement and how much it would change things. A robot far smarter than Data will exist in the next 10-15 years. So in the future, jobs will become obsolete. People will just tinker and do whatever they want to in life. If they enjoy mowing the lawn instead of having a robot do it, then they can. But I think we will QUICKLY discover that almost all of humanity will sit on it's ass. Play video games, etc. Also, computers and robots will be making decisions at some point.
You could make the argument that they sort people through test scores through education - those that do well in school would advance to better careers which would then give them the opportunities to enjoy the perks that come with those better careers. This would then encourage anyone to do well at a young age as you would enjoy a far better life doing something more enjoyable that could lead to even more opportunities down the road. Those that don't do well, would still be provided for in terms of food, shelter and so forth but would not experience say space travel or deep sea exploring or inventing things and so on. It's also possible that the testing system in the future would also be able to identify what someone enjoys doing as well to incorporate that in their future placements so instead of having low "scoring" students doing "grunt" work, you would have people who would find enjoyment in doing that type of work doing those roles.
I think it can still avoid the economics of capitalism but again we're talking star trek level technology, education and so on. Eons away from anything close to what we're at now.
Communism is not the opposite of freedom - it's the same. It can only exist if people have individual liberty, otherwise there would be suppression and therefore no communism. It doesn't even deny private property, only it's usage to suppress other individuals. Communism is literally the same as unlimited freedom, and therefore the Federation is a communist society. I guess you are only afraid of the term.
I always felt it was clear in TOS that money still existed--there's reference to Federation credits, for example. For that matter, even though Starfleet doesn't use money, per se, they must have paid the crew of DS9 something, as they were able to do things at Quark's that he charged gold-pressed latinum for, such as food, drink, or using the holosuites (and Dax gambled with Quark, etc.) Jake specifically did not have money in one episode and wanted to borrow some from Nog, so it would seem that Starfleet MUST have paid the crew something in GPL. Restaurants also seem to bear this out--how could Sisko Sr. have found someone to do things like take out the garbage and clean and shuck shellfish if he didn't offer something? For that matter, where did he get the real meat and vegetables it shows him bringing into his kitchen in one or two episodes? My feeling is that the writers were imposing their VISION of a Communist utopia and glossed over the details and inconsistencies. Their portrayal of humans seems to be that in the future humans won't need incentives to work for the betterment of themselves and others, which is of course nonsense.
I think a system like that could work, but they'd need an incentive to work to replace money. One possibility is that people earn social points based on their jobs, and the more points you have the better your living conditions.
The best model I could come up with is a 100% Tax on the local level. There is still state/province and federal taxation but when the local community pools their money they can achieve high levels of supplying need to citizens. You can still own property and work a job but you don’t touch money, just log anything you buy and at the end of the year that amount is taken out of your refund. Which sits in a savings, mostly for transferring to different currencies. So individuals can convert their credits to say gold pressed latinum. Over time money doesn’t matter anymore, just the work you do. You see it now with workers needing to make a difference, doing a job the does the maximum good for humanity is a major factor. So the currency of Star Trek is contributing to the welfare and advancement. What job allows you to do the most good becomes the incentive. To be the engineer that increased warp speed is a big achievement, and affect micro and macro economics.
Star Trek's economic model isn't communism. If anything it's a system promoting the able, not the well-connected as was the case with real world communism. It's a fair system requiring levels of social cohesion and cultural intelligence we are yet to reach. This is why it seems like communism to most of you who don't know how society works-it's too perfect to be true, but what you are failing to notice is the degree of cohesion and intra-regulation the people in the ST universe have. Do you think anybody is going to let you slack off on your job there? Do you think no one will notice if you spend all your day doing nothing? Do you think you can just take stuff you don't use? I think the moment you start exhibiting such behavior somebody is going to come and ask you are you OK? You wouldn't even have the chance to develop any of the thought patterns you are used to having now under capitalism. This is why you can't understand Star Trek. The people there have devised a culture build upon very different social norms than what you could even imagine. This is why they really don't need money to work. Success in work is promoted by advancing through the social ladder of leadership in the respective area, not by payment. If you think of it working hard to yearn leadership position can be as much of an incentive as money. In the other spectrum-if you slack off all day, than no one is going to rely on you and it's possible many people would cut you off their lives. Than you would be social outcast with no chances of happiness in the world you live in. Quite a good of motivation to at least give off enough of yourself to do your job right, isn't it? Here is how the economy of Star Trek works!
I wouldn't expect Picard, a well experienced starship captain, to answer an economics question with any great clarity. He may have run vineyards in the past, so he'd know a little bit about economic calculation, but not enough to dissuade socialists from running life into the ground. (Excuse my mixed metaphor.)
From what I can gather and based on the experimental technologies explored in the show, the supposed late stage quasi-style mix of a market-socialist socioeconomic system would inevitably collapse and revert back to the superior long-term system of market based capitalist systems and it would do so very quickly. As seen in the Voyager series energy becomes scarce and the once ever abundant energy resource that is the foundation for this highly technological society now limits the activities of everyone on the ship. This suggests that although the matter-replicators can reorganize matter into supposedly anything it does so at an extreme cost in energy. So the matter replicators can only be forever productive as long as the energy supply is also sufficient enough to do the necessary work. This means that the only way this system can perpetuate itself is by relying upon a very energy efficient, long term energy resource. Since this would be a human made resource and it would be a resource in very high demand then the demand for technicians, scientists, administrators, business managers, and others would skyrocket in order to meet the ever growing need for this new energy industry. That's not even taking into account the man power and materials necessary to garner enough support to build the infrastructure necessary to produce the replicators themselves which would be a massive technical and material expenditure in their own right.
This means that hundreds of thousands of individuals would gave to put in millions of man-hours to first lay the down the infrastructure to produce the energy for the replicators, then produce the replicators successfully, then do so on an industrial scale to meet demand, and then the product has to be distributed to where the demand is greatest first, most likely to the Federation fleet initially, before it can then go into the commercial market. This can only be done by individuals who have the training, skill, and knowledge base necessary to perform the work in order for the process to begin which will take many years to produce enough of the key individuals to meet the labor demands for this new industry that will most likely replace many others that came before it, most likely the agriculture industry. They will be doing much of the grunt work for the project and will need a way of compensating their time for all of the work that will become ever more vital in order for this new industry to grow and survive. Another key factor that the industry will have to take into account are the massive maintenance costs that will come from constantly running these replicators day in and day out nonstop for 365 days a year.
If these machines become the end all be all for producing what we want and need, unless they are produced in such a way that they will not have to obey the laws of thermodynamics, then these machines will eventually break down and have to either be repaired or be replaced outright, which will generate an alternative demand for skilled technicians to repair these machines when they inevitably fall into disrepair. These technicians will be in high demand to do a form that skilled labor that many people will most likely not want to do in pursuit of other, more illustrious careers such as serving within the Federation fleet so certain financial incentives will be necessary to produce the labor force needed to maintain these new replicators, i.e. Capitalism. That's not even looking into how costly it will be to produce the raw materials necessary to begin the manufacturing process for both the energy production and replicator production industries. In short this "new" system of economics will still be subject to the realities of economics, thermodynamics, and supply and demand. In fact an argument could be made that if such a technological wonder were to ever be produced then the only way to efficiently produce all of the requisite materials, energy, and labor necessary in order for these machines to function in any long-term capacity would be because of market-based capitalist system that can produce the materials, energy, capital, infrastructure and labor necessary for this new invention to become center-stage for much of this new society. I'm very sorry for this long-winded explanation but I didn't want to sound like I was just making a last minute comment, love your reviews and commentary and please keep up the fantastic work.
You have wrong idea about how communism works i think, its not that everyone will get the same "reward" for working in different jobs... the reward is more based on your skills and working hours and how much are you doing good to society. so you get status rewards based on intellect or hard work and how benefactual its to society
Although I'm aware it's not Alpha Canon the Voyager novels Homecoming and The Farther Shore explained some of this. Many of the menial and labour jobs that exist on Earth are handled by Holographic Workers. Not just dangerous ones like we see in Author, Author either but simple jobs like waiting staff, transporter operators, mechanics, etc, etc. Essentially Earth by the time of Voyager's return had put into effect the slave race worst case scenario that Guinan warned Picard about in The Measure of a Man. Quite terrifying really.
During the Enterprise era we see that some people still do the hard labour themselves but what motivates them I have no idea. The Earth Goverment actually outsources a lot of that type of work to any aliens that want it so i guess some form of currency must still exist at this time period.
So what if it would be communist? Communism at its core is amazing. But in practice it does not work, because people are greedy. It also does not work if one country tries to be communistic, but all other are capitalistic, as those other countries will suck the money out of the communistic country; money that should have been spend on the people. The worst part of current day communism is the greed of the leaders.
So the only way communism could work, is in a utopian no-money society that exists in the federation.
But back to star trek: federation uses no money, but other races do, and some human colonies also seem to use it. How do officers pay for food at Quark's? How do they pay their visit to Riza? How do they conduct business with other races at all? That is the part of the no money society in star trek that I do not understand
I think for startreck they were going for a society that lets people be what they need to be and live how they want to live as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s freedom. For more menial work theres ether a case of ‘someone has to do it’ or ‘the stars make it worth it out here’ sort of mentality. Children are expected to do something with their lives so they are meant to take a profession of some kind. You8r conduit scrubber probably doesn’t have the best replicators but he wont have to worry where the next meals coming from. If I wanted to see the universe and was not interested in much I’d probably be a conduit scrubber because you get to see all the stars with none of the responsibility’s. As for Siscos father that’s odd.... I honestly think he runs his restaurant to keep a large part of the past preserved. That and he really likes it he likes making food that’s not made by a replicator and likes to share that. He’s a link to the past much like the Picard family other then that one that went to star fleet. They don’t need money but they feel strongly about a cause and stick with it because they feel it benefits people.
If I had to guess vacation. The more stressful the job the better the vacation location, or all around getting better things that are not a necessity. The difference between having a big screen tv vs a holo deck in your house.
Spacetravel and combat along with countless other technologies defying all physics and science, infinite number of alien races with all kinds of seemingly impossible physical and mental features, suspension of disbelief 100% intact! A socialist utopia, head explodes!
It's pretty obvious were heading in this direction within our own lifetimes. IF automation really hits hard(which anyone knowledgeable about the topic agrees that it will) work will disappear by the end of the century. Everyone will be on a form of Universal basic income. People don't work out of economic need, but out of total boredom and more relevantly to human behaviour the pursuit of social status. People want prestige and praise, which means the majority of the population sit around in their free apartments doing absolutely nothing. The small conservative majority are the ones who see civic service as a form of purpose. It's socialist but it has more in common with fascism since it appears the state is more interested in structure and order than economic dictatorship.
Here's my question, I get that Sisko's dad wants to own a restaurant. That makes sense to me in a money less society. Never mind how he was able to obtain the property, but who does he get to be his waiters?
Are you telling me that in this future utopia, where anyone can do anything, and every basic resource is free, there are people that say, you know I always wanted to wait on tables.
It's not communist.. it's more socialist.. being social... having social endeavors.. It's explained more in STFC as you quoted, when the crew have to intervene in attempts to alter Earth's past, in which wars decimated the population and found small loosely knit groups built upon bartering. But technological endeavors continued with those who were disposed to intelligence. They finally realized that money wasn't everything.. the pursuit of the best gadgets, largest home, biggest cars, and corporate greed wasn't fruitful nor protective of humanity. And they learned this from their first contact with an alien race.. The Vulcans.. I would imagine "credits" are given to everyone according to their training and careers, but everyone is provided for in at least clothing, housing, food, medical care as I recall that as basic human needs.. Instead of fighting for these basic needs, people are free to create art, music, literature, scientific breakthroughs, technological advances and gain recognition, for th at is really what crew members strive for.. recognition.
The question of the hologram doctor and Data being possessions, is not due to private ownership as you attempt to make a weak connection, but rather the understanding of what consists of "Life"... That was a monumental question in those episodes which had nothing to do with communism, socialism or any political grappling..
More than one of your assessments, Cullen, are untrue.
1: Star Trek's Federation does NOT have a strong emphasis on individual freedom. Look at Enterprise. Augments are viewed as despised, despicable creatures, and they are not given a chance to improve themselves. Even their BIRTH is criminalized (see Enterprise: Cold Station 12). In DS9, Bashir is found to BE an augment, and were it not for his achievements, he would face a very uncertain legal fate (minimally dishonorable discharge, and possibly imprisonment) and his father could've faced life imprisonment. The fact that his father faced ANY prison time for doing what was necessary to help his son says quite a bit about the UFP government. Julian, himself, is shown to face racial discrimination for the rest of his life, even being turned down for an EMH program (Doctor Bashir, I presume, Star Trek DS9). His career loses a lot of momentum, after that. It's also shown that nobody has private gun ownership, either, on Earth, showing a possible, one world government gun ban.
2: In the Soviet Union, people owned businesses, too, for as long as the state permitted. They owned their property, but the REAL owner was the USSR. I very strongly suspect that the system is identical, in the UFP. Gene Roddenbery was many things, but a fan of American capitalism, he was not. It very much appears that the government has total control over both property, the economy and all means of production. That sounds like a communist system, to me.
3: Religion is not encouraged. Humans are shown to have 'evolved past the need to worship God', and races that do indulge in religion are portrayed as backwards, or quaint, like the Bajorans, who are revealed, very quickly, to just be worshiping extradimensional aliens that the UFP has very little respect or use for.
Roddenberry was no all American. He was communist leaning, and even seemed to endorse the Chi-Coms (http://mix979fm.com/ten-things-you-didnt-know-star-trek-creator-gene-roddenberry/).
Perhaps, through a series of futuristic aptitude tests and other sorting criteria in their formative years, people in the Star Trek universe are guided into, educated and trained for, their most suitable professions, thus arriving at a natural societal balance where most people tend to wind up in their preferred and most appropriate careers.
After all, if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.
Of course people are free to follow another path if they wish and some people will still be unmotivated, unambitious and just plain lazy and may well end up in uninspiring menial jobs.
The vastness of the federation and it’s untold riches provide for it’s citizens and Star Fleet but a person’s station in life is still determined based on their productivity to society.
First of all, stop with the repiclators stuff, because Earth erradicated poverty way before replicators even exist. In Enterprise they just see one, because they just have protein resequencers, but the food, clothing and the rest is fabricated similar as it is now. There's no replicators in the begginings of Starfleet and in Federation's fundation, so please stop using the replicators as an excuse. Resources ARE abundant right now, the problem is not about that, but about the distribution of it, a problem that, in Star trek's Earth, it's been addresed. We don't how, but it is heavily implied through a some form of heavy recicling and a cetralized Earth goverment that controls the proper distributon of basic needs. That, however, is socialism, not comunism.
Comunism is based in the property of the work force, not the result of that work. In other works, you can own stuff in a communist economy, and it can even based on money. You just can't have a property over other people's work, just your own work, and that can be arranged through cooperatives. That's not what we saw in Star Trek either, so no, it's not comunist. It's a socialist utopia, and that was exactly what the utopian socialists said.
Now, about the economy. There are Federation credits. In TOS is mention as the federation currency two or three times. It is never adressed again. but it's there. However, people does not work for it. Piccard does not go to Earth every month to check if he has payed, it does his work because he loves Enterprise's Bridge. So, how does this work? Easy. Someone like Piccard, or Kirk, or Janeway, Archer... They have won not only prestigious positions, but also medals, honors, etc. That may have a payment, that can be exchanged for luxury, like a private holodeck in his or her house, a bigger house, a lovely 5 floor manor in San Francisco coast and some impressive office... Risian vacations, I don't know. However the basics, are covered. Food, a basic home, education, transport, health... That's for free. Hell, here in Europe health is 100% free. You go to hospital and you have to pay tnohing for it. Same as schools. You pay for the books but not for the school. The goverment give it for free. And the entertainment, probably some community services of entertaining like Holodecks, clubs, bars, etc. are free aswell (I'm talking about Earth), which while encourage social behaviour (instead of having everything in your house, you have to go out to get it, and you know people and everything), something nice in a world with near zero criminality... The basics are cowered. Now, if your basics are already there and you have erything you need, you will work for passion. It is impossible to be a member of a community where everyone is something and they all work for the community and for the humnaity and do nothing.
After receiving a state of the art education, with the advanced technology possible you will discover what you are good at, and what you like to do. Then go ahead and do it. You like space, starships, then be an Engineer. You may not ending as a Chieff engineer of the Enterprise, but you will find your place. There are a lot of artists, journalists, writters, holoprograms creators, poets, thinkers, philosophers...
Now, what about the plummer works back at home? Who mantains the basic stuff working? That's the most easy answer. Community service. People who stays at home, mothers or fathers that stay to care of the children while his or her mates are far away can organize to be "good neighboors" and help people who can do something by themselves. Helped by the best technology, something everyone has acces to. Even schools, beyond Starfleet academy and high education can be organized that way. Look at DS9. Mrs. O'Brien was the wife that stays in home to take care of her daughter while her husband goes around the station working, she's bored, and she does not like the children of station personnel roam with nothing to do, so she makes a school and becomes the teacher. And while she is away, her husband talks with his commander to take her place as teacher in exchange of less engineering work. Hell, there you go. In a friendly world like Star trek's Earth, where seeing another human being in an alley at night is a good thing, It is possible to communities can organize themselves without any help, or a little help of the centralize goverment, and so this enormous goverment can think in other galactic scale matters without the need of worring about the little stuff.
Hell, maybe Starfleet is an extension of this. We know about "Project Akira, project Nereda (ok, that's from the Online game XD), project Defiant"... Maybe that how it works. You are and admiral, and you say "hell, we need a ship that can be like this". You go to Starfleet command they give you a permitt, and with it you go to Utopia Planitia, and with Starfleet's approval you look for a work force. Engineering teams, building and test teams... The best you can find from all around the federation, you puit them to work, made the starship and test it. If it works, Starfleet say "men, you are right, we need a dozen ships like this for all of our fleets" so you go, recruit more work force from all around the hundreds of species on federation space and put Utopia Planitia into work. And that's how it works. While those Engineers working on "AKIRA Project" do nothing waiting from some destination, they help at home, for free, for the community, because they are just good neighboors, and when the admiral builds the AKIRA class these engineers are recruited as a work force. And they go to active duty.
And what about minning asteroids? What about ship maintenence, what about... Well, the same thing, Working projects. The federation minning union controls every minning project and the foreman is choosed by a directior of the Federation minning union to extract some resources of that asteroid ever there, the foreman choose their best and go do it, and then someone in the Federation transporters union goes and picks up the cargo. Why they do that? Well, every foreman can have his or her own ways to incetivate, may be through paymant, maybe through a percentatge of that resources, even some little corruption of a small part of the cargo that can be selled to a ferengi's black marcket because we work in the frontier and some latinum can be "lost", but mostly because either they love their job or because it has to be done for the benefit of the Federation that I love because it provides everything to me and my family.
The main problem is that, even with replicators, there is still going to be a fundamental cost to these things. The problem being in the form of energy production. You still need to pay for the source of the energy (Dilithium crystals) as well as the ability to harness it and to maintain the energy production. Simply put, costs would still exist and, in turn, money would still be needed to express those costs. Food and water would be cheaper, but it wouldn’t be free either.
Star Trek is not communist and doesn't necessarily act socialist either. Socialism implies the government owns your production. Because there are many points where characters show that your production is still own by the individual. But because there is free resources, there is no need for monetary trade, unless with more primitive societies. As Packard says, they are driven by other motivations; like building a star ship cause we can.
> it's not communism because there is still private property
Communism doesn't strip you of pants, duh. It's about owning the means of productions. Are the shipyards that build starships privately owned? I doubt so.
Star Trek is exactly what leftists love to think about, a utopian fantasy, so why not economic fantasy. Star Trek, like most science fiction, is really about the culture that creates it. Speaking of the original series we were living in the 60s and so were the crew of the Enterprise. Not only that but they were creatures of a TV show, and that meant selling the sponsors products and upholding social norms of the time. The future in Star Trek was designed for drama and around the limitations of TV. Roddenberry invented the transporter to save time and the Enterprise was essentially a World War 2 battleship that the audience could relate to, and allowed Kirk the pacing to ponder his moves and deliver his famous discourses, diatribes and rants. The Star Trek universe, and especially the technological environment, was very cloistered. Shields, phasers and photon torpedoes were sufficient to handle unruly aliens regardless of their technological development. Computers didn't run the ship, people ponderously did; just like ships of old. The transporter phasered you into nothing then made a copy at another location, but you just had to ignore it was a death machine. You also had to ignore that such a machine could make copies of crew and cure any disease just by using "system restore". The possibilities of genetic design (other than Khan) were ignored; people were just like us, they aged, had incurable diseases, had no more control over their bodies than we. It was a future without fancy graphical interfaces or nano technology. Kirk and the crew regularly ran into amazing technology but never incorporated it into their reality. It was such an optimistic, yet restrictive reality, but we loved it just for that reason.
In Star Trek Next Generation Picard says something like: 'We don't work for money anymore, we work to improve our selves'. Communism doesn't work to improve one self, it only works so a very small group can be insanely rich, while the rest lives in total poverty/slavery... At the while removing religion or believe in anything spiritual, making the people not care about others anymore, or care about hurting others.
There's one thing I can think of. "Adventure, travel, explanation. Each and every member of starfleet wants to travel through and explore new races and scientific knowledge. If you just stay on your colony, there's not much to do. Live in the same general area while doing some basic task for the rest of your life. Join up with the government! You and your family will get much more exciting and fulfilling lives." There's enough of a population that people driven to science and technology will flock to the only place that allows them to pursue such things.
I never liked a lot of the governmental aspects of star-trek, but I liked the stories and the stuff the characters dealt with. But I never liked the "utopian" economics... It didn't seem to fit with EVERYTHING else because obviously starfleet is a meritocricy...
It's all theory until we achieve post scarcity. I would like to think there would be a second renaissance. A larger percentage of the population would be able to chase there dreams whether it be art, Music, scientific research ext. Many would be content just recreation. but you would no longer be trapped by traditional capitalistic socialist flaws.
Well the people work what they love to do. Some people really love to cook, so likely they'll work at a restaurant or open one. Some love to build things so they become engineers, crafters. When there is no gun at your back to pay something or someone, no bills, no money, right many will stop doing anything for a time. But in time they'll be bored, feel useless. And many of those many will start to do what they love, what they can put into society. Not for money, but to feel useful, to feel good about themselves... and like Picard said, to better themselves, to better the society, to push the "human" race forward. And thats the best motivation wich leads to more and better productivity in general.
2 generations of intense social engineering would do the trick. It could work but we are taught money is what makes life better and it makes the difference between living a comfortable life vs not. If this was changed and from the beginning we were taught values and morals then we would act completely differently as a whole. If we learned the necessary things to be selfless. Selfish goals ca selfless. That’s the difference.
Here is my thoughts as a person who leans left economically. So to start off I think that many people don't work just for money. If you look at scientists for example. They are the greatest minds in the world and they get paid shit. I think that poeple work just for money when they are struggling to survive. It all comes down to that human desire pyramid chart essentially. As you move up the chart your desires become more sophistacated. so I think that finding the best people without offering money is very realistic because essnetially the best people will want to be at the forefront and this is the forefront. What else would they do? stay at home and twiddle their thumbs? Not to say that there wouldn't be major entertainment in this era which could consume peoples lives 24/7 however most people will wish to do something more intresting and meaningful so I definitely think that finding the best without paying them is realistic. Now onto the next part which i think really ties together with what I just said and solidifies it. There has to be some other form of attainable thing other than money which differentiates between people. this is because people's desires will usually converge and you will not be able to accomadate everyone. So there has to be a way to decide. the other big reason is that people do have a desire to work towards something and I think that in the star trek world that something is status, privalege and accomplishments. But essentially status which informs privaledge. In star trek it can be seen that pickard and riker both desire to be captians. It is a big deal for riker who is so talanted to give that up to be the vice captian of the enterprise. The familly of pickard also owns a huge wineyard on earth. I think that earth is humanities home so it should be a place which people have a lot of sentimental value towards and getting a huge wineyard there should be difficult. so if money is replaced by status which is earned and grants people access to resources than that would be a replacement for money. The problem being that money is more versatile than status essentially you can save up and buy something out of your league wheras to get status might not even be possible with your talents. this could lead to some horrible dystopian stuff. however a somewhat good fix would be to have a queueing system. where people can queue for things and status merely puts you in the front of the queue. its like the vip entrance to a bar. this would I think be a good fix and could make the star trek system work. for example people could queue for the federation to grant them some land on earth to farm and if the status is high that person would automatically get it. people could queue for a restraunt and if the status is high they automatically get in. I think that this is possibly the only way it could actually work.