GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

The Fascist Ideology of Star Trek

POSTED BY: CITIZEN
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 09:50
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 8976
PAGE 1 of 3

Saturday, September 9, 2006 4:53 AM

CITIZEN


Just found this article while looking for something else.

The Fascist Ideology of Star Trek, and the Firefly the Anti Trek:
http://friesian.com/trek.htm

Obviously written by a die hard free market capitalist, but interesting nonetheless.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 11:59 AM

PATIENCE


What a crock of bull.

_______________________________
You do that, and you'd best make peace with your dear and fluffy lord.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 12:05 PM

CITIZEN


Why do you say that?

I mean I think the same thing, but why do you?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 12:54 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


I think the author made some strong points. I think Star Trek, like a lot of science fiction, takes its notion of utopian society from 19th century egalitarian ideals espoused by the intelligentsia. Of course the Star Trek universe is assumed to have invented technology that allows it to reorganize useless matter into anything else, via the “replicators,” thereby essentially removing the fundamental principle of Scarcity from the economic equation. I think it says something about the Leftist ideals of Marxism and other egalitarian economics that the only way such economics could be seen as feasible is with the assumption of infinite resources.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 1:15 PM

RABBIT2


You have only to think about what Star Trek technologies would have on ordinary life back on Earth to realise that present day economics just dont work in the Trek `Verse.
Everything in the here and now boils down to supply and demand but, what with Replicators/Fabricators, Holodecks and Transporters, everything you could possibly concieve of needing would be instantly available.
The only possible basis for trade would be in the supply of energy to power the machines and in information. With a luxury trade in `uniques`, Art and Craft work and suchlike.
This guy comes up with the idea that Trek is Fascist, not so long ago somebody else came up with the idea that it was Communist. Truth is, its both and neither.


--------------------------------------------------

Flight Instructor: Son, know what the first rule of flying is?
Me: Don`t crash?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 1:55 PM

EMPXENU


Funny how he forgets to mention that the Blue Hands were part of an unscrupulous corporate entity.

----
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being" - Carl Jung

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 9, 2006 2:54 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
Of course the Star Trek universe is assumed to have invented technology that allows it to reorganize useless matter into anything else, via the “replicators,” thereby essentially removing the fundamental principle of Scarcity from the economic equation.

Well the replicators weren't introduced until TNG, they weren't a part of TOS or the early films.

I feel the author shoots himself in the foot a bit with his assertions that imply only free market capitalism can be considered non-fascist, or the only workable system.

Anyway, there have been some parallels drawn between the Alliance and the Federation. Who’s to say what life is really like in the Alliance, and that people on the wrong side of the Federation, the Marquis for instance, don't see the Federation much like Mal sees the Alliance.

We all see the Alliance as some oppressive fascistic entity, but where does this idea come from? A man who hates the Alliance, one has to ask what someone like Osama Bin Laden, a man who hates the west, would have to say about our societies.

We see the Alliance only through the eyes of criminals, how would we see our own free societies if it was only through the eyes of criminals?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 9:23 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by EmpXenu:
Funny how he forgets to mention that the Blue Hands were part of an unscrupulous corporate entity.

How is that funny? I’m not sure it’s relevant. In some form the Blue Sun Corporation appears to be connected to the Alliance, which suggests that the Alliance is a fascist entity. But even if it’s not associated with the Alliance, but an independent enterprise, it still wouldn’t seem to be relevant to the author’s point.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 10:57 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
How is that funny? I’m not sure it’s relevant. In some form the Blue Sun Corporation appears to be connected to the Alliance, which suggests that the Alliance is a fascist entity. But even if it’s not associated with the Alliance, but an independent enterprise, it still wouldn’t seem to be relevant to the author’s point.

That doesn't mean the Alliance is fascist. There's plenty of American corporations with close ties to the US government, but I'd hate to think the flame-mail I'd recieve if I suggested the US was fascist. Likewise 19th century UK wasn't fascist because of the east india company.

It calls in to question the authors implication that free market capitalism is the best and only workable social system.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:48 AM

SIMONWHO


The fascist part of both Firefly and Star Trek is mostly cultural in that they state quite unequivocably that the US will survive and be the dominant force.

For all Firefly's "It's the US and China who are left" pretensions, we pretty much only see Americans. Frankly for someone as globally minded as Joss, this was a real let down. Though Star Trek was much much worse.

Witness the witless title sequence for Enterprise (I'm stealing this from someone else): hey, it's the second man in space! And there's Lindbergh, utter irrelevance to flight history that he is. And pay attention to Robert Goddard; ignore that nasty German von Braun

Blurgh.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 12:15 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SimonWho:
The fascist part of both Firefly and Star Trek is mostly cultural in that they state quite unequivocably that the US will survive and be the dominant force.

How is that fascist?

Not that I agree with your premise that either Star Trek or Firefly presumes the continued existence of the US. In neither case is the US stated or even implied to exist at all, much less hold any kind of dominance. In fact, in both cases, a new government, that is most certainly not the US, is the dominant political force.

Firefly does assume a cultural continuity with the current political state, something Star Trek doesn’t really do. And the cultural continuity does not assume US cultural dominance. Chinese language and culture that is so heavily integrated into implied culture is clearly making the statement that no single culture dominates, and certainly not the US.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 1:08 PM

SIMONWHO


The occasional swear word isn't proof of cultural integration. And going from this world where the US is 240,000,000 people in a population of 6,300,000,000 to the future worlds of Star Trek and Firefly where 85%+ of all the people we meet are American.

I get that they're both US TV shows but even Buffy and Angel found room for full time Brits on hand. Whereas Firefly leads us to presume that barely anyone other than the US made it this far.

Just because they don't call the Alliance "The United States", that doesn't mean that it isn't the US under another identity. And given the character of those we've seen in the verse, I'd argue that it is.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 1:08 PM

FELLOWTRAVELER


Good read, but somebody please help me out: I see the word fascism thrown around a lot in here (well, in RWE). So much so and in such circumstances that I began to question if I actually knew what it meant. So, I looked it up:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=fascism&x=0&y=0

Quote:

...a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.


or, if you prefer:

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=fascismF

Quote:

...a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.


So, it means what I thought and I still just don't see it. I'm not a "Trekkie", but I like Star Trek and have seen all the movies and a more than a handful of the shows (both old and new) and other than the centralized government, I haven't seen this kind of behavior demonstated.

Is this conduct exhibited by the "Federation" in some episode or movie that I am not aware of? I'm not being a smart ass, I'm asking? The examples offered by the author just don't jive, but I haven't seen everything. Yet, I am admittedly skeptical from what I have seen.

I do, however, know I've seen all of Firefly and I can't even see the Alliance as fascist. They may be the bad guys and I sure as Hell woulda' fought for the Independents (maybe, I might be a coward, hasn't been tested), but fascism in either context seems, at least to me, like a bit of a stretch.

His observations on the whole physics of space travel and the flaws in Firefly were interesting though. I had not considered any of it before. In my defense, I'm not a science kinda' guy... Oh, the Panthers just scored...

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 1:34 PM

CITIZEN


Fascism is a governmental system that exalts the state over the individual.

Mussolini defined Fascism as a right-wing collectivism, opposed to democracy.

The authors main problem seems to be that the federation doesn't use money, and everyone know only capitalism works...

But their is a certain Star Trek attitude of working for the whole Human race which I suppose could be considered somewhat of a fascist ideal.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 1:45 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by FellowTraveler:
So, it means what I thought and I still just don't see it. I'm not a "Trekkie", but I like Star Trek and have seen all the movies and a more than a handful of the shows (both old and new) and other than the centralized government, I haven't seen this kind of behavior demonstated.

Is this conduct exhibited by the "Federation" in some episode or movie that I am not aware of? I'm not being a smart ass, I'm asking? The examples offered by the author just don't jive, but I haven't seen everything. Yet, I am admittedly skeptical from what I have seen.

I think the author is implying something about the message of Star Trek. There is an implied Leftist ideology that has existed in the Star Trek message sense the Next Generation. The idea is that Star Trek seems to embody what is essentially the basic propaganda of Fascist/Marxist politics, an egalitarian utopian society in which no one wants for anything and everyone happily trudges along working, not for their own dreams, but for the good of the State.

Now the older version of Star Trek didn’t seem to carry this message, even though it did suggest it. Captain Kirk seemed to demonstrate a very individualist nature. In many ways he was a lot like Mal, and that was the intent. He was supposed to be somewhat of a gunslinger in space. And in fact the whole premise of Star Trek was that of a Western in space (Star Trek was originally pitched as “Wagon Train to the Stars.”) It wasn’t until the ST:TNG came out that a very distinct Left-leaning Intellectualist ideology replaced the “Wagon Train.”

The author bases the notion of fascism, specifically, on the implied militarism of TNG, which, once again was the propaganda used by the Nazis. That military service was the righteous way of life even for young children, and essentially the only way of life, sanctioned by the government for most people.

As for whether any of this is actually the message behind Star Trek:TNG is open to debate; and even if it is, it is also debatable whether it is a bad thing. The implied argument in Star Trek seems to be that the Marxist utopian society was realized through technology, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Star Trek presumes that Marxism could work in the absence of certain technology. As I said, earlier Star Trek assumes that Scarcity is no longer the fundamental principle of economics. I personally have always liked the implied militarisms in Star Trek, though that’s a personal choice I’ve made in my own life. In the fictional world of Star Trek, where there seems to be little apart from military and government service to the Federation of Planets, I can see how some might be put off.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 2:10 PM

CITIZEN


Except, Finn, Fascism is Rightist, the only people who say otherwise seem to be those who are right leaning and can't accept that their chosen philosophy is anything but perfect.

Although the implied militarism is about a military star ship, kind of like saying JAG implies America is militarist. The Hunt for Red October is based largely in the American Military, so I guess it's fair to assume that, based on that film, all there is, is the American military.

We've seen life outside of Starfleet, and there's plenty to civilian life, Picard’s family have a vineyard, Jake Sisko is a writer and so on. Is it really that strange that a show based on a military star ship would show a certain amount of militarism?



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 2:35 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


The only reason fascism and the Nazis are perceived as right-wing is because they were seen as being to the right of the Communist in the early part of the 20th c., which isn’t saying much. In reality the Nazis were self-proclaimed socialist themselves and in practice not far from Communists. All property (whether land or capital), including that corporately and privately owned, was under the direct administration of the government. In fact, almost all of the economic policies of the Nazi regime are Left-wing in nature.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:20 PM

CITIZEN


And Mussolini said very openly that fascism was right wing. In left wing socialist ideologies the state provides, in fascism people work for the betterment of the state, this isn't the same thing, it's the opposite.

I understand the rights desire to think it's 'sh*t don't stink' but that doesn't mean that it has any basis in reality. Integration of government and corporations is not a thing of the left, it happened with the right wing conservatives of 19th century Britain, nothing leftist about them.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:49 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
And Mussolini said very openly that fascism was right wing. In left wing socialist ideologies the state provides, in fascism people work for the betterment of the state, this isn't the same thing, it's the opposite.

You’ve obviously drawn some very fine lines between supposed “opposites.” Believe what you want.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:09 PM

CHRISISALL


The Drumhead and Insurrection are the first two that come to mind (There are many more) showing how easily we can slip into a facist state of mind when we percieve ourselves as having 'evolved beyond that'.
Good message.


Chrisisall

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 11, 2006 6:29 AM

CITIZEN


State to the people -> Socalism
People to the State -> Fascism

Their opposites, not my belief it's right there. The only argument I've heard that is even half way convincing is that big government is leftist. But it isn't, totalitarianism and big government aren't the purview of either side of the political spectrum.

Hitler envied and was full of praise for the American economic (capitalist) system. That's hardly very socialist is it.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 11, 2006 11:27 AM

CAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
State to the people -> Socalism
People to the State -> Fascism

Their opposites, not my belief it's right there. The only argument I've heard that is even half way convincing is that big government is leftist. But it isn't, totalitarianism and big government aren't the purview of either side of the political spectrum.



Would you say that Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot were facist?
It is not obvious to me that any of them were controlled by their "people".

Quote:


Hitler envied and was full of praise for the American economic (capitalist) system. That's hardly very socialist is it.

<



My understanding was that Hitler regarded the US with some contempt.
Can you provide a source?

If the term "right wing" can include supporters of National Socialism and International Capitalism, it is clearly too broad to be of use for anything except hurling insults at people

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 11, 2006 12:34 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Cavalier:
Would you say that Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot were facist?

No. Would you say General Pinochet was Fascist?
Quote:

It is not obvious to me that any of them were controlled by their "people".
Huh? Where did I say the people control fascism? In Fascism people provide for the state, in Socialism it's supposed to be the other way around, the state providing for the people. Things like state provided Healthcare and education are socialist; things like living your life merely to better the state are fascist.
Quote:

My understanding was that Hitler regarded the US with some contempt.
Can you provide a source?

In his early years Hitler praised the US, especially the 'race-based' immigration, and subordination of the 'inferior' black race in the US in Mein Kampf. He also praised the US for education and I've seen many arguments that say he based some of the Nazi's economics on that of the US. So Mein Kampf is a good source for Hitler's praise of the United States.

One of Hitler's major economic policies was to increase consumerism, I also don't see how this is Socialist, seems fairly capitalist to me.
Quote:

If the term "right wing" can include supporters of National Socialism and International Capitalism, it is clearly too broad to be of use for anything except hurling insults at people
Firstly we're talking Fascism, of which Nazism is a form. I find it interesting that those who want to prove fascism is left-wing focus on Nazism because they called themselves National Socialists. Hurling Insults? I'm merely saying both sides of the political spectrum have their black marks, it seems it's the right leaning folk who wish to hurl the insults by proving every bad thing in the world ultimately comes down to the left. If "left wing" means "all evil" it seems to be a fairly redundant term.

If "Left wing" can mean everything from Liberal or Socialist Democracy to Communism to Fascism it is clearly too broad to be of use for anything except hurling insults at people .

Big Government Totalitarian states are not the sole purview of the left, no matter how much those on the right would like it to be so .



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 11, 2006 3:40 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Cavalier:
If the term "right wing" can include supporters of National Socialism and International Capitalism, it is clearly too broad to be of use for anything except hurling insults at people

This thread is nothing more then Citizen’s veiled attempt to malign those on this board who lean to the right, economically. What might have been an interesting comparison and contrast of the message of Star Trek vs Firefly is instead nothing short of an exercise in Godwin’s law.

Most modern right-leaning Americans see things very differently then the Nazis did. Citizen is making the absurd suggestion that if you advocate Right-wing economic practices today you are a Fascist but won’t admit it. The contempt displayed by such an argument is exceeded only by its ignorance. What about the economic practices of the Nazis are in anyway favored by conservative Americans? How many conservative Republicans have broad support for Labor Unions or Welfare/Entitlements? How many conservative Republicans support socialized medicine? Conservative Justices in American voted against the use of Eminent Domain as a tool of corporate economic development. How many conservative Republicans believe that corporations should be directly controlled by the government? Conservative Republicans largely were in favor of getting rid of Social Security and replacing it with investments. The fact is that the majority of Right-Wing Americans share virtually nothing with the economic interests of the Nazis, and to suggest that Right-wing Americans who see the very Left-wing economic practices of the Nazis as unfavorable are somehow trying to hide the smell of their own fascism is absolute drivel.

This discussion does not belong on the General Board. It should be moved down to RWE with the rest of the inflammatory nonsense, unless someone is interested in discussing, without accusing others of Fascisms, the original premise.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:37 AM

FELLOWTRAVELER


Quote:

chrisisall wrote:
The Drumhead and Insurrection are the first two that come to mind



Okay, so there are some actual examples. Thanks.

I don't know how right or left the economic policies of the Nazis were (don't care, really), but I fail to see how that's pertinent. A highly regimented economy is only one part of a fascist state, but the definition also says there are other requirements. Looks like there might be one of those denotation/connotation problems here. Those examples may be offered in the shows mentioned above, but I just didn't see any offered by the author.

By the way, from what generation of Star Trek are those episodes? There are just so many offshoots.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:09 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
I think the author is implying something about the message of Star Trek. There is an implied Leftist ideology that has existed in the Star Trek message sense the Next Generation. The idea is that Star Trek seems to embody what is essentially the basic propaganda of Fascist/Marxist politics, an egalitarian utopian society in which no one wants for anything and everyone happily trudges along working, not for their own dreams, but for the good of the State.

Now the older version of Star Trek didn’t seem to carry this message, even though it did suggest it. Captain Kirk seemed to demonstrate a very individualist nature. In many ways he was a lot like Mal, and that was the intent. He was supposed to be somewhat of a gunslinger in space. And in fact the whole premise of Star Trek was that of a Western in space (Star Trek was originally pitched as “Wagon Train to the Stars.”) It wasn’t until the ST:TNG came out that a very distinct Left-leaning Intellectualist ideology replaced the “Wagon Train.”




Finn, I think you have it backward. Or at the very least, you are confusing tone with theme. Do you not realize the Utopian society was the cornerstone of Rodenberry's concept for the Trek verse? It may have been structured like a western, as those were what was popular at the time, but the Utopian element was always there, and strong. The federation was the perfect society. Kirk and co. may have been on a space Wagon train, but they were doing it in service of the utopia, regardless of Kirks individuality.

Roddenberry continued to push the Utopian concept in the first year of TNG. But as his health faltered, and the reins were taken from him, TNG started doing a lot more episodes dealing with the dangers of such a society, like those mentioned above. By the time they got to DS9, the Trek verse was getting pretty far from Utopian.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:26 AM

JONNYQUEST

"Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?"


CHRISISALL!!

Please tell me that you didn't borrow the Zod picture I put in as a link from my original post. (see Just because I'm in the mood to stir the pot, upset the apple cart, and maybe throw the baby out with the bathwater...) If you did it is willfully distorting this thread. Once I discovered I-Mockery's insidious little game (kind admirably ingenious actually), I changed the link in the thread. If you go back and recopy the pic, it should pick up the new link and then you can edit it into you one post here. Sorry for the poinsoned arrow. I have much to read and much to ponder on this thread and can hardly wait to formulate a proper response. But in the meantime I thought I'd try to clear up this little matter.

"Well, here I am."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:31 AM

CHRISISALL


Drumhead was a NG ep, Insurrection the second to last movie.

I love Roddenberry, but I think his version of 'utopia' was just a little too neat and tidy.

But it is/was hopeful Chrisisall

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:15 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Finn, I think you have it backward. Or at the very least, you are confusing tone with theme. Do you not realize the Utopian society was the cornerstone of Rodenberry's concept for the Trek verse? It may have been structured like a western, as those were what was popular at the time, but the Utopian element was always there, and strong. The federation was the perfect society. Kirk and co. may have been on a space Wagon train, but they were doing it in service of the utopia, regardless of Kirks individuality.

Yes, I do realize that, which is why I said that the older version of Star Trek definitely suggested the utopian theme. It was something that existed in the background but was never well defined. The idea was that this was the future and the Federation was a much more “enlightened” place to live. It did not take many sides of what made the Federation so great. In the TNG the notion of a very anti-capitalist system was suggested, with allusions to things like the absence of money and capital/investment instruments that defined the “good guys” which was clearly contrasted with the rotten capitalist Ferangi. There can be no doubt what the message there is.

And yes, you’re also right that as the show progressed, its story began to explore more and more the failings of such a utopia, but that was certainly never the original story of TNG, and I never felt that it did so enough to really provide much balance.

Later shows like DS9 were much different, but these were other shows, not The Next Generation.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:03 AM

MIRAND


I thought the United Federation of Planets is just a treaty to organize defence, exploration and other things. And the Starfleet is the military arm of the UFP. Which must be military because the universe and its intelligent lifeforms are often dangerous.
But ist the UFP a government of a state? Can it be fascistic? Has not every military organisation some fascistic traits?

I would never accuse the Navy of the USA to have an fascist ideology as long they are answerable to the government of the USA.


The author also question the lack of religions. I think religion is in conflict with reason. Religion would only hinder an utopia.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 3:31 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Mirand:
I thought the United Federation of Planets is just a treaty to organize defence, exploration and other things. And the Starfleet is the military arm of the UFP. Which must be military because the universe and its intelligent lifeforms are often dangerous.
But ist the UFP a government of a state? Can it be fascistic? Has not every military organisation some fascistic traits?

This is a good point, which was also raised by Citizen earlier. If the theme of fascism is based on the implied militarism in a show about a military organization, then it is a pretty thin argument. I can see that.

What is there to suggest that the Federation as portrayed in TNG is not a dictatorial entity run by Starfleet? Has there ever been anything in the show to address that? Although I’m not really sure that the writers ever intended anyone to assume that the Federation was anything other then a democratic state.
Quote:

Originally posted by Mirand:
The author also question the lack of religions. I think religion is in conflict with reason. Religion would only hinder an utopia.

This is certainly the secular humanist point of view that is often espoused by American intellectualists, and on that I think the author does have a point. I think the elimination of religion in sf is an arrogant perspective, because it implies that humans can know everything (though clearly that's not the case.) This along with the assumption of no Scarcity is a bit of fantasy that has been interjected into Star Trek in order to force certain themes to emerge.

In this manner I think Joss Whedon has it right. The elimination of religions is not realistic, whether one agrees with it or not. It is so unrealistic that it often strains the suspension of belief, similarly with the elimination of Scarcity. These two features are the reason why many otherwise devout science fiction fans think of Star Trek as being too “neat” or too “tidy.” Removing Scarcity and religion creates such an unrealistic scenario that TNG often appears sterile of the human condition.

I also agree with Orson Scott Card, that technically the elimination of religion is impossible. Just because a writer has taken all traces of traditional religious belief out and eliminated traditional notions of god or any other symbol of Man’s limited knowledge of his environment, doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated religious belief. When any notion of traditional religion or some acknowledgement of man’s limited understanding is eliminated it creates a void which the writers fill with their own opinions garnered from their own lack of complete knowledge. And this, I think, is how a lot of these Left-leaning assumptions find there way into science fiction.

As Orson Scott Card states:
Quote:

When a science fiction writers shows humanity evolving beyond the need for religion, the belief system and culture they depict as being "higher" than religion will most likely be precisely their own present religion. The only exceptions are when they are being ironic, and their point is that the "superior" religion is not superior at all. Most of the time, though, "evolving past the need for religion" is a code phrase for "coming to believe what I believe instead of what those other fools believe."

http://www.writing-world.com/sf/card.shtml



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 5:16 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
This is a good point, which was also raised by Citizen earlier. If the theme of fascism is based on the implied militarism in a show about a military organization, then it is a pretty thin argument. I can see that.

What is there to suggest that the Federation as portrayed in TNG is not a dictatorial entity run by Starfleet? Has there ever been anything in the show to address that? Although I’m not really sure that the writers ever intended anyone to assume that the Federation was anything other then a democratic state.

I think one of the problems with televised-Trek (as opposed to novelized-Trek) is the American bias.

The United Federation of Planets is, by design, an assemblage of worlds that respects all cultures and viewpoints. While there are basic laws(no slavery, no attempts to conquer/enslave fellow UFP member races, no violating the Prime Directive, etc), most UFP member worlds are basically self-governed however they wish, each with their own religions, political systems, languages, etc.

If you'll forgive my own Canadan bias, it's like the image of the Canadian Mosaic; a multicultural society, where an Indian/Chinese/Thai fusion restaurant can sit right next-door to the local synagogue, and where an Irish descended kid can listen to Russian techno-pop while reading Japanese manga about African-American gang culture.

Trouble is that, on American TV, this starts to look like America, in which everyone is allowed to look, act, and think like Us. Vulcans learn to embrace emotion, Klingons can only show kindness after being around humans, Ferengi become altruistic, androids want to become human, etc. Of course, everybody wants to look/act/think like Us, because We have the best way of doing things.

Naturally, with a largely-human crew (necessitated by makeup and budget), and a human captain (necessitated by Roddenberry's franchise bible), it usually ends up looking like a human-dominated empire, filled with people who must follow human culture, complete with Shakespeare.

I want to hear someone quoting an Andorian poet, or playing Tellarite tribal music, or collecting Ferengi trading cards. . .

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 6:32 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn Mac Cuhmall
It should be moved down to RWE with the rest of the inflammatory nonsense, unless someone is interested in discussing, without accusing others of Fascisms, the original premise.

The only person doing that here Finn is you. How is saying "fascism is right-wing" any less inflammatory than saying "fascism is left-wing". Oh yeah I forgot, the left and all those left leaning are evil, so it's ok for you to blame all the ill's of the world on the left.

If you take me saying "fascism is right wing" as "everyone right-wing is fascist" it betrays your intentions when you say "fascism is left wing" far more than mine. You want to say everyone who thinks differently to you is a Nazi that's your own problem, please don't accuse me of it because I dare to have a different mind to you.

That is your reading, how dare I suggest that the right wing of the political spectrum has skeletons in the closet, we all know evil was invented by the left. If you take me saying fascism is right wing, as saying all those on the right wing are fascist obviously you believe everyone with left wing ideals are totalitarian Communist Fascists.

Thanks for calling me a totalitarian communist fascist then. My position has always been that we need both capitalism and socialism, left and right, not one or the other, my major question is how much of either and the implimentation, I think the fact you find that so insulting speaks volumes about your own position.

Come to think of it you were the first person to say fascism was left wing, and since we've already seen you take that sort of sentence as equivalent to "everyone on the left wing is fascist" perhaps we should have YOUR comments moved to the RWED with the rest of the inflammatory nonsense.

So what I'm saying is if you think perscribing this or that to a political wing is inflammatory, maybe you shouldn't have been the first to do it.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:02 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
The United Federation of Planets is, by design, an assemblage of worlds that respects all cultures and viewpoints. While there are basic laws(no slavery, no attempts to conquer/enslave fellow UFP member races, no violating the Prime Directive, etc), most UFP member worlds are basically self-governed however they wish, each with their own religions, political systems, languages, etc.

That’s the impression I get as well. I’m not sure that Fascism was on the minds of any of the Trek writers, and that whatever Fascist comparisons can be made, is probably an unintended consequence of limited scope.

The problem with a multiculturalist depiction of the Star Trek universe, however, is the difficulty in relating it to any real audience (not necessarily American.) There is a good deal of multiculturalism assumed in Star Trek already, but telling a story from the point of view of an alien culture without drawing some kind of conclusion about the human condition would likely be, at the very least, confusing and at most impossible. A one hour show is simply not the venue for defining an alien culture; that is something that is better left to the books, since only the very diehard Trekkies are likely to pick up on the meaning in such an abbreviated format. After all, what would Andorian poetry mean to a Human audience?

However, I understand what you’re saying and it goes to the issue of limited scope in which to tell the story. The same problem exists in Firefly. We see the story being told from the point of view of criminals, as defined by conditions of the story. So we assume the Alliance is some evil state. In reality, this isn’t really a necessary interpretation. The Alliance doesn’t have to be thought of as evil in order for the story to work; it just has to be thought of as being at odds with the heroes in the story. (Although the movie sort of throws some monkey wrenches into this; so I’m talking specifically about the episodes.)

Scope can’t account for the somewhat Marxist message in Star Trek, however; that remains difficult to account for. Except that perhaps utopias are necessarily Left-wing? So that maybe the Left-wing message is really a consequence of a utopian vision, and not necessarily an intended result of the writers.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, September 15, 2006 11:45 AM

CAVALIER


Did we ever see any civilian authority in the Federation?

Sisko in DS9 was made responsible for the accession on Bajor into the Federation, so you would expect him to have dealings with the Federation equivalent of the State Department, Department of the Interior, local civilian authorities etc. IIRC the only civilian authorities he dealt with were those of planets outside the Federation.

Is there any evidence that the UFP consists of anything except its military, its intelligence services, and the Presidency?

It is all rather disturbing.

And of course, the Federation seems to lack an economy of any description.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, September 15, 2006 11:19 PM

MIRAND


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
I think the elimination of religion in sf is an arrogant perspective, because it implies that humans can know everything (though clearly that's not the case.) This along with the assumption of no Scarcity is a bit of fantasy that has been interjected into Star Trek in order to force certain themes to emerge.


What is religion? With wider definitions most societies could be called a religion. The interesting part of the bigger religions is their believe in something unexplainable and supernatural. Ok in this fictive universe are “supernatural” being, but they are not the source of any believe on earth (I think ;).
Yes they don’t know everything and they know that they don’t know everything. But is this a reason to believe in unexplainable things without question them? Maybe with the accumulating of knowledge over hundreds of more years many religions lose their basis, shrinking to unimportance.
Another thought: religions could become more private and nobody talks about it.

To the lack of scarcity: This could be the basis of an Utopia but i don’t know how humans develop without scarcity. What would we do without competition, without the need to work or to advance.

At the end the authors of Startrek are just humans. They also don’t know everything and maybe have not the resources to scrutinize every aspect of their fictive society.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 16, 2006 4:59 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Cavalier:
Did we ever see any civilian authority in the Federation?

Well, we met President Jaresh-Inyo (and assorted hangers-on) during DS9, and one of the TOS films involved the Federation Council. That's about it for the shows (AFAIK), but we've seen plenty of it in novels (Articles of the Federation, by KRAD).

Quote:

Sisko in DS9 was made responsible for the accession on Bajor into the Federation, so you would expect him to have dealings with the Federation equivalent of the State Department, Department of the Interior, local civilian authorities etc.
Actually Sisko was put there only to serve as commander of DS9 (which was technically owned by Bajor and just being "leased out" to Starfleet until Bajor could get their act together). Any influence he had in Bajoran decisions regarding UFP membership were strictly "off the record." His becoming Emmissary was unanticipated by almost everyone concerned --some factions in Starfleet wanted to remove him, but he had Admiral Ross on his side. Then there was the Dominion War and priorities were revised.

The only "real" involvement he had on the political side of things was to advise the Bajoran government (as we saw when he told them to reject UFP membership before the Dominion occupation). All the real work would've been between them and the off-camera-people.

The Bajoran provisional government would've been dealing with the UFP bureaucracy. Of course, bureaucracy doesn't make good television (*), so most of that was kept off-camera. You'll note that we never actually saw the provisional government in action either, except when it directly involved the station and its personnel (electing a new First Minister, Church/State issues, etc).

(That said, a Star Trek equivalent of The Daily Show would be all manner of hilarious.)

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 16, 2006 10:56 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Mirand:
What is religion? With wider definitions most societies could be called a religion. The interesting part of the bigger religions is their believe in something unexplainable and supernatural. Ok in this fictive universe are “supernatural” being, but they are not the source of any believe on earth (I think ;).

Yes they don’t know everything and they know that they don’t know everything. But is this a reason to believe in unexplainable things without question them? Maybe with the accumulating of knowledge over hundreds of more years many religions lose their basis, shrinking to unimportance.

Broadly, religion is belief in any set of principles or reality which is based on faith. Yes maybe we will someday exchange our current set of unknowable concepts for a new set of “scientific” unknowable concepts, whatever that means. Card’s point, however, is that such an argument is mostly likely going to translate into a validation of the author’s own religion, not actually an evolvement beyond religion.
Quote:

Originally posted by Mirand:
To the lack of scarcity: This could be the basis of an Utopia but i don’t know how humans develop without scarcity. What would we do without competition, without the need to work or to advance.

Exactly. Human life, in fact all life, is based on the procurement of certain scarce resources. It is an intrinsic property of the human condition.

This is a point the author makes to support his fascist description. The answer seems to be that Starfleet creates that impetus, which once again gets back to the implied militarism and Marxism in the show. People work to advance the cause of Starfleet. What happens if they don’t want to advance the cause of Starfleet? What happens to those people who don’t enlist in Starfleet or some other kind of “Federal Service?” In an economy where Scarcity no longer exists, what is there?

That is a huge blindspot that I’m not aware has ever been adequately addressed in the show.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 16, 2006 3:39 PM

CYBERSNARK


Well, I'm struck by how quickly the Voyager crew switched to trading replicator rations. Could be that the scarcity in Star Trek has less to do with material goods and more to do with energy (it's not about having money to buy stuff, it's about having energy to replicate stuff). This is why we can't replicate starships; it'd take all the energy on Earth to build one Galaxy-class. It's fully possible that having a replicator in your living room is a Starfleet thing, with civillians making due with public replicator facilities.

We've also seen that replicators aren't perfect, food-wise: Chateau Picard is (well, was ) a viable business precisely because replicators can't make good wine. I'd guess that cajun food poses similar problems (as evidenced by Sisko's Creole Kitchen). I can't recall if it was a novel or an episode where someone digressed about the sin against nature that is replicated caviar, and the novels also point out that B'ellanna Torres loves mushrooms, but refuses to come within spitting distance of the replicated stuff. Then there's gagh, which simply can't be replicated, 'cause it's alive.

Of course, there've also been diatribes between the replicator-raised "fast food culture" and those who prefer "real" food (Sisko, Picard), so that might be a factor.

We've seen trade in dilithium, both in the original series and in the 24th Century (when it's less vital, but obviously still quite valuable). It can be "recrystalized," which seems to promote its longevity, but still can't make something from nothing.

Then of course, there's latinum, which is impossible to replicate due to its molecular structure. Most of the Alpha quadrant seems to use gold-pressed-latinum (which, Quark explains, is a small amount of latinum embedded within gold) as the main currency, traded in bars, strips, and slips, rather than representative cash/change. Remember how Quark freaked out when he risked his life to gain Morn's fortune, only to find that it was "worthless" gold, with no latinum inside it?

The Federation obviously has some form of e-currency-based economy; we see DS9 personnel thumbing bills and invoices left and right (the thumbprint seems to work as an equivalent to the credit card swipe). The question is what this "money" represents. The Federation is obviously quite wealthy (latinum, dilithium, etc), but how that translates to individual citizens was never really an issue. I'm hoping the post-Unity DS9 novels will present some data, as Bajor's economy gets assimilated into the Federation's.

I'd guess it all comes back to Roddenberry's concept that humanity has "evolved" --people are expected to work because they either enjoy it or feel it's worth doing. Which I guess is fine in theory. Anyone who does want to make a fortune is welcome to head out to the frontier. Those who are too lazy/unmotivated to work. . . Well, I guess we just don't talk about them.

There is, of course, a downside. Remember how the EMH Mark ones were removed from service and put to work in the Federation's dilithium mines (the implication being that this is where androids would have ended up if not for "Measure of a Man," and Data's being recognized as a full citizen)? That's pretty obviously slave labour right there (advocates would point out that holograms aren't "people." I would then happily introduce them to the Doctor and/or Vic Fontaine).

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, September 16, 2006 4:56 PM

DERANGEDMILK


First of all, Citizen has it right. Fascism and Communism are polar opposites on the political spectrum. Thats 10th social studies right there. However, one is a political doctrine the other an economic one so they are actually difficult to compare. A democracy is much closer idealogically to communism than capitalism with them both being towards the left of the political spectrum. In calling Star Trek fascist, the author is completely off base.

Militaristic? The ships are supposed to be for science and exploration as well as defense although the uniforms and action-based plots (especially those at the end of DS9's run) have drifted toward militarism and subsequently away from Roddenbury's original vision.

Athiesm? Really? The major monothiestic religions of our planet are minimalized as not to alienate in particular audience and he cries athiesm in the name of Star Trek 5??? No one likes Star Trek 5. The only good part is when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy sing row, row, row your boat. What about the reoccuring religous elements of other cultures? The Klingon religious customs and traditions Worf constantly takes part in. The Fregii worship of the god of the free-market. The vulcan mystism. Chekotay's practice of native american beliefs. I'm not saying I think Star Trek's got it all right in regards to religion, but to call it an Athiestic show is completely off-base.

Also, someone mentioned that all we ever see in Star Trek are Americans. Kirk was an American, yes. But Sulu was from Japan, Chekoff from Russia and Scotty from Dublin. Picard was French, Kim was Chinese, Yosi was South American, and just about everyone else wasn't from the planet.

As for the lack of realism as expressed by Sisco not having to deal with a state department and the lapses in specifics in regards tothe economics of the future, you've got it right. Star Trek isn't realistic. Its far from it. I think Ronald D. Moore said it best, "No one really believes anyone lives on the Star Trek Enterprise." Its just to clean and prim and proper. Thats why people are attracted to his show, BSG, and one reason we love firefly. They harken back to Lucas's idea of the used universe (which disappeared in the prequels and one of many reasons they plain sucked).

Cybershark, I think you've really got it right. Star Trek is a utopian society with a certain lack of economic realism. But realism was never the objective. This FICTION is merely a launching point for tackling larger issues such as the definition of humanity as seen in the character's of Data and The Doctor.
-e

"Storms getting worse."
"We'll pass through it soon enough."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 17, 2006 12:52 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Latinum is a Ferengi currency. As far as I know it never had anything to do with the Federation, even in DS9. And while many of your points are good ones, most of them are not ones that bear out of the The Next Generation alone.
Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
I'd guess it all comes back to Roddenberry's concept that humanity has "evolved" --people are expected to work because they either enjoy it or feel it's worth doing. Which I guess is fine in theory. Anyone who does want to make a fortune is welcome to head out to the frontier. Those who are too lazy/unmotivated to work. . . Well, I guess we just don't talk about them.

I think you’re probably right. But Robbenberry’s concept of an evolved humanity lends itself easily to criticism of fascism. There are also some other short comings. Like most Utopian visions, it looks good because most of it is untested. And one can imagine that in a world were Scarcity is essentially eliminated (with a few exceptions) what the human condition might look like, and it wouldn’t necessarily always be pretty.

The closest example of a condition in which humans live in the absence of Scarcity might be represented by certain extremely rich and powerful individuals. Those people who have never wanted for anything due to their vast wealth and power might be described as being resistant to the influence of Scarcity on a very local level. The Roman Emperors come to mind: men like Nero, Caligula and Commodus were able to procure they infamous reputations because, in part, they essentially got everything they wanted in as much quantity as they could possible use or want. So one of the effects of the lack of Scarcity, that has (as far as I know) never been addressed in the TNG is human weakness in response to such an environment. Where are the spoiled brats who think because they can replicate anything they want, they deserve everything they want? Where are the 1500 pound people who must have a wall removed from their quarters so that they can be wheeled to sick-bay because they sat in front of the replicator day-in and day-in creating Bon-Bons and Snickers?

And in a society where people can be transported instantaneously from one place to another with little more then coordinates and certainly no consent, what kinds of abuses might this foster? Perhaps we don’t see those lazy people or other insubordinates because they are essentially erased.

Of course I'm speculating here; I don’t think that is the intent of the authors. I think the authors intend us to believe that humans will evolve beyond human nature, but that seems extraordinarily optimistic to me, and perhaps a more realistic interpretation is that the Star Trek Utopia, itself, presents problems that could be used to suggest something distinctly dystopic in nature.



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:42 PM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by derangedmilk:
Scotty from Dublin.


!

No. Just. . . Just no.

*imagining Scotty's reaction to that*



-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 17, 2006 2:00 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
Quote:

Originally posted by derangedmilk:
Scotty from Dublin.


!

No. Just. . . Just no.

*imagining Scotty's reaction to that*

Yeah, I thought of that too. But I think his point was made so I didn’t say anything.




Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, September 17, 2006 3:41 PM

JEREMY757


Sorry im getting into this a little late, ive been on vacation.

Quote:

State to the people -> Socalism
People to the State -> Fascism

Their opposites, not my belief it's right there.



Thats a false destinction, since in socialism the state and the people are one in the same. A socialist government has just as much potential to become a fascist government as a democracy does. In FA Hayeks "Road to Serfdom" he actually illustrates how fascism is the natural evolution of any socialist government. Socialism requires central government planning to succeed and since a large union of people are incapable of effective central planning the collective government will de-evolve into a comitee government or dictatorship. Which is what happened in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Quote:

Hitler envied and was full of praise for the American economic (capitalist) system. That's hardly very socialist is it.


If thats true, his words didn't back up his actions. Hitler established a government where everything was controlled by central planning. The government controlled all aspects of the economy. There is nothing capitalist about that and actions speak louder than words.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 1:16 AM

CITIZEN


There's very little true capitalism in the world full stop. There was very little socialist about the Nazi's, but apparently we can call them socialist because they said they were "Nationalsozialistische". Apparently when it's condemning all the left as the originator of all evil we can take their word for it.

Personally I don't hold that the Nazi's were either left or right, they picked ideals for either in order to gain power, and because power was what Hitler was interested in, not any particular ideology.

The Soviet Union wasn't Socialist, it was Communist. They aren't the same thing.

Lastly we were talking about Fascism NOT Nazism, although Nazism is accepted as a form of Fascism there are some distinct differences. Fascism is right-wing collectivism.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 4:51 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
The Soviet Union wasn't Socialist, it was Communist. They aren't the same thing.

You could also make the argument that it wasn't really Communist either. It was just an oligarchic dictatorship that called itself Communist.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 5:29 AM

FLAKBAIT


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
The Soviet Union wasn't Socialist, it was Communist. They aren't the same thing.

You could also make the argument that it wasn't really Communist either. It was just an oligarchic dictatorship that called itself Communist.



Indeed. There have been as many true communist nations as there have been true democracies, i.e., zero. Neither seems to work on a large scale.

But I guess if you remove the major factors that screw up both those systems--namely, greed and selfishness--maybe something like in Star Trek, a merging of the two, could work.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 5:35 AM

CHRISISALL


This thread has officially made me dizzy now.

Off to watch 7 of 9 Chrisisall

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 10:29 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
You could also make the argument that it wasn't really Communist either. It was just an oligarchic dictatorship that called itself Communist.

Very true, Communism being a system that attempts to create stateless classless society. The concept I was more answering was that socialism was stateless, which is the ultimate goal of Communism.

In a wider question I've never read the road to Serfdom, though it sounds like FA Hayeks may have confused Totalitarianism and Fascism. I'd also note that life improved in 19th century Britain when Socialist elements were employed, which I think is an indication that a balance between Socialism and Capitalism produces a far better society than either one alone.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, September 18, 2006 11:28 AM

CAVALIER


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:

But Robbenberry’s concept of an evolved humanity lends itself easily to criticism of fascism. There are also some other short comings. Like most Utopian visions, it looks good because most of it is untested.
....

Of course I'm speculating here; I don’t think that is the intent of the authors. I think the authors intend us to believe that humans will evolve beyond human nature, but that seems extraordinarily optimistic to me, and perhaps a more realistic interpretation is that the Star Trek Utopia, itself, presents problems that could be used to suggest something distinctly dystopic in nature.

-- Cicero



True enough.

I think there is a comment from George Orwell to the effect that a true Utopia is literally unimaginable: (Why Socialists don’t believe in Fun - http://www.k-1.com/Orwell/site/work/essays/fun.html).

In any event, I doubt that a post-scarcity economy is possible, and certain that one does not exist in the Federation. How many people can be served by Quark or Guinan at one time? How many people can simultaneously visit Yellowstone National Park, or the birthplace of Charles Dickens? Even in strictly material terms there is a limit to the much living space is available on DS9 or the Enterprise.

This may seem trivial, but it is no more so than the cost of BMWs and plasma screen TVs in the West today.

‘Post-scarcity’ could only be achieved by rationing human desires to fit what is actually available. This means that to create Utopia you must first remake human nature. The Federation seems to have achieved this, as did the World State in Brave New World. For all we can tell, they used the same methods.

PS – I just remembered this link: http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/ There is an essay there proving that ST:TNG is in fact communist “The Economics of Star Trek”.

I have far too much time on my hands.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Testing.
Sat, April 10, 2021 06:59 - 5 posts
'Clarice' ... or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love My Lotion Bucket
Sat, March 27, 2021 13:44 - 10 posts
Brenda? Are You Watching FBI: Most Wanted?
Wed, March 24, 2021 17:00 - 76 posts
Firefly a ripoff of Andromeda?
Wed, March 17, 2021 07:39 - 44 posts
Did you notice Nathan Fillion in episode 7 of Alan Tudyk's new show Resident Alien?
Mon, March 15, 2021 09:05 - 9 posts
Rush Limbaugh dead at age 70
Thu, March 4, 2021 21:56 - 76 posts
Canadian actor Christopher Plummer dead at age 91
Wed, March 3, 2021 23:16 - 4 posts
NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars
Wed, February 24, 2021 23:22 - 12 posts
Victorian Female Batman???
Tue, February 16, 2021 21:04 - 46 posts
Where are the Extraterrestrial Civilizations
Tue, February 16, 2021 15:29 - 19 posts
Alan Tudyk Resident Alien Series Premiere Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10/9c Syfy
Sat, February 6, 2021 19:47 - 7 posts
Joss to create new SciFi show for HBO, “The Nevers”
Thu, February 4, 2021 11:46 - 60 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL