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?
I can readily agree that we need to get rid of corrupt governments, uncaring politicans, religious hatred, wars, and racism. But capitalism?
Capitalism is what gave us the comfortable world will live in today.
You say it's simply unsustainable. Well, hasn't history proven that the alternatives to capitalism are what's really unsustainable?
As much as I love Star Trek, I would never want to live on the Trek-verse Earth. It's WAY too socialistic.
I compare this to the LotR, which is pretty much the reference as far as world-building is concerned. These novels attain a sense of depth and "reality" of the fictional world that has rarely been equaled since, imo for one simple reason: the world already existed when Tolkien wrote the LotR. He had invented the languages and mythology of Middle Earth over the course of many years since childhood as a pastime that he never even intended to publish. Then he wrote a story for his nephew (The Hobbit) that his brother suggested he publish. Its popularity led to the LotR.
So, by the time the LotR was composed, Tolkien had this pre-existing universe to work with and build upon that he didn't just invent on the spot to serve as backstory for the novels. This is a dynamic that can't really be created from scratch because at that point, by definition, you are creating the backstory with your current story in mind.
TNG provides that pre-existing world for DS9 to work with as a resource, which is why the show has a depth that it couldn't have created all by itself.
That is an excellent analogy and one I can completely agree with. I'm currently in the process of watching Babylon 5
for the first time. While I've heard so many others talk about how wonderful the show is - I just don't see it as anything special. Yes, it's entertaining, but nothing great. Maybe it's because of something like this. It has nothing to build on like DS9 did, and that hampers it somewhat. However, I'm only into season two right now, so I'll reserve my final judgment.