Re: The economics of Star Trek

From: Neil Blanch (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 23:06:02 MST

Received much joy from the discussions around this topic (despite the air of
rabidity surrounding the original article) however Star Trek is pretty much
an easy target - virtually nothing in the various incarnations of Star Trek
makes much sense; the technology alone is laughable despite being forced to
the forefront of the viewer's attention by the SFX & episode plots, so it's
a bit much to expect lesser aspects of ST world-building like economics to
be logically consistent. If you really want to critique a proposed
communist future perhaps the world(s) of Iain M Bainks "Culture" novels
would be more appropriate. For those who haven't read these novels (& you
really should- they're excellent!), this series posits a communistic future
(Bainks actually deliberately set out to create a communist future in
response to what he saw as an over dominance of capitalism based futures in
available SF) of superabundance that seems to offer the libertarian &
personal freedom ideals so often seen as ONLY possible through capitalist
economics. Of course this sort of society relies on a number of technologies
not yet available including huge advances in physics, the construction of
Minds far exceeding "human" abilities, robots ("Drones") of human & human+
abilities, and superabundance technologies like nanotech. This leads me to
think that perhaps a communist-style society that retains real & sustainable
human rights is only possible once a certain level of technology (most
importantly energy & material abundance technology) is achieved, and
furthermore that today's world of capitalism & free markets is only a short
term stage in social evolution necessary to achieve the level of
technological advancement that makes a "free" communist society possible (&
desirable). Any thoughts on this?

Neil Blanch
Stewing in my own pancreatic juices,
Sydney, Australia

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