I personally don't get all the hate-on over TNG, Picard and the philosophy being presented in TNG.
My wife and I just finished our DS9 watching and last night we watched the very first episode of TNG. I never once saw any notion that Humanity/Federation was superior or perfect in such a way that everybody should adopt their ways.
Q challenged them that humanity was still something like a primitive child race or whatever and was going to punish all humanity for its past history and actions.
Picard never once claimed humanity was perfect, but he did argue that humanity grew beyond the petty things Q was charging them for and claiming humanity was still the same.
The entire moral of TNG from start to finish, in my view, was that yes, compared to today's society and way of life, things are a hell of a lot better and humanity did strive beyond all the petty crap our countries, governments & societies are currently stuck in..... but at the same time, Q throughout the entire series, even in the very first episode, continually showed Picard humility and also showed that Humanity still has a looooonnnggg way to go.
I never once saw the TNG characters as all perfect and Uber 733t..... every one of them had flaws and issues to over come.
Picard right from the start was a tight ass, didn't know how to turn off the professionalism button, couldn't stand children, was continually challenging the abilities of his crew and ship and tried his best to stick to the Prime Directive as best as possible (It was the Flag Ship afterall.... not just some obscure space station on the "frontier.")
Over the span of the series, Picard softened up, learned to be more personal with his crew, made mistakes, learned from those mistakes, showed how much he was affected by his actions as Locutus during the episode "Family".... learned to get passed his hangups with children by interacting more with Wes Crusher, the Captain Picard Day where all the kids made little figures and such of him...... he grew into a relationship with Beverly and in the very final episode, he finally sits down to play some poker with the crew he kept trying to distance himself from and says he should have done this a long time ago.
There were many points in the series where they showed Picard wasn't at all perfect, in fact because of himself constantly trying to give off this "Perfect" persona, it exposed his flaws in his life from being this way and being so detached.
Data with all his perfections, was also not perfect and allowed his adventures of trying to understand humanity more to occasionally put the crew at risk, or even himself.
Riker wasn't perfect, because even with all the sharship command offers given to him over the years, he continually chose to be the 1st officer of the Enterprise, claiming that there is no other ship like the Enterprise, but that was a cover for his problems of not thinking he's really that good and had to face his problems of self confidence during "Best of Both Worlds" where he not only had to take command of the Enterprise, but also out smart Picard/Locutus.
I never once saw TNG giving the impression that humanity was perfect and flawless, but they did continually give the impression that there's a lot more work we have to do to better ourselves far beyond the petty crap that grips our current lives in today's society.
Some here seem to give the impression that they think Gene's version of the future is way beyond reality, shows a perfect Utopia way of life and that we'll never see such a future..... some also comment that it makes them sick or ill to even see episodes where they boast of such a way of life.
That's their opinion.... an opinion I don't agree with and find flawed. Then again, I suppose it depends on where you live in the world and what your current society is like. Do I think Gene's concept of the future could be possible, or close to?
I believe it is possible. Is that blind or wishful thinking?
I see the potential in many people I see every day, people I know, people I just met walking down the street. There's a lot of problems in our lives right now.... or at least in most of our lives. When I got into TNG, I was in Jr. High School.... life was already a pile of crap at that time, I was never really a popular kid and at home, like at school, there wasn't much that made my life good, there wasn't much that gave me joy in life and at times, I wondered what the point of it all was and contemplated suicide on a number of occasions. Then one day out of the blue, nothing was on TV and I decided to watch TNG and for some reason, it stuck with me, I was interested in this show I always thought was boring and was about nothing.... like Star Wars (which I hate)
I am not about to say that TNG saved my life or whatever, but it did help me realize that there was more to life, more beyond the trivial crap I was going through and that there is a possibility that life can be better..... I'm certainly in a much better place in my life then I was back then and I will admit that growing up on TNG helped me change how I look at the world.
If people want a better way of life, then one has to work towards it. People scoff at the idea of a "Utopia" way of life that's shown on TNG...... and believe it'd never happen because it's just ridiculous...... But if people have that frame of mind and feel something will never happen, then it never will because they'll never try. Things don't get handed to you upon command, each of us has to work towards accomplishing something.
What's the alternative?
Keep living the way we currently are? Corrupt governments, politicians who never listen to us and stab us in the back once they get power? Various religions finger pointing at one another for one fault or another? Wars? Racism? Capitalism?
We've seen how all this improves our way of life. *sarcasm*
^ That's not exactly an alternative, because that way of living will never last.... no matter what your personal beliefs are, the above way of living has only one logical conclusion.
About 10 years ago, I written up a detailed new form of government that revolves around not just Digital/Direct Democracy, but also on much of the principles given in Star Trek (TNG in particular) I took the time to incorporate some of the concepts expressed in TNG and used them in an approach that could realistically work in today's way of life. I spread it around the internet over the years to get feedback and suggestions on improvement, because one person can't suggest what is best for everybody.
I've had mixed responses.... many people like the theory with some of their own suggestions, some loved it..... and then there's the people like some in here I see, who read the first two lines and then toss it aside and claim it's impossible and would never work. That's their opinion, but an uneducated one (especially when they never read what it all entails)
Their reasons when asked, is that they claim it'll never work because the corrupt people in power would never allow it to happen in the first place..... or they claim society is too beaten to bother to care for such change..... or people are simply too greedy and selfish to give a damn.
If that was really the case, then the American Revolution would have never happened, people would have let Nazi Germany steam roll over the entire planet, woman wouldn't be able to vote today, minorities would still be working in crap jobs, black people would still be sitting in the back of the bus and using separate public washrooms..... It takes people to believe in something that doesn't currently exist and it requires those people taking action to make it exist.... usually at risk of their own safety.... that's how change really occurs.... sacrifice.
It's not easy, but anything worthwhile never is. The question isn't if something is easy or hard, the question is "Is it possible & do you want it to happen?"
Gene was ahead of his time.... he's still ahead of the current times.... some people think his views were entertaining.... some people think they're ridiculous and a waste of time..... and others believe in it just as he did.
For those who think the ideas Gene gave us are junk, you're entitled to your opinion..... Speaking for myself, I don't think they're junk, I think they're logical and very possible, even in today's society.
I am not a pessimist or an optimist.... I've been continually been identified by those who know me as a Realist.... and through my own works and studies over the years, I believe Gene's future (more or less) is indeed realistic and possible..... but it all depends on what you
want, not just what I
want..... and that's the key.
This is all just what makes sense to me, I'm not trying to claim I'm some expert, it's just my opinion and I'm just expressing myself just as others are in here.... but from what I've read in the last couple of pages, I felt that I needed to say something as a differing point of view.