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Old December 14 2012, 10:51 PM   #7
Whorfin
Lieutenant Commander
 
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Re: A country without Money how it's work?

Brainsucker,

I can't get your last post to work with the board's quoting/formatting system no matter what I do so its back to basics.

> Interesting. So it is only in Terra that the "No Money society" is happen. <

Not necessarily, I was just pointing out that when a human is stating something to another human in Trek and using the term "we" (etc.) it doesn't mean that he speaks for all species or cultures. The UFP is more than Terra or its human descendants, they are just a highly influential, populous segment. The UFP is a confederation of individual worlds, as such it is more akin to the European Union or the United Nations than it is to a sovereign nation, such as the United States of America: the members sometimes don't agree and are very different from each other.

> But I don't think that greed is already a foreign concept for human being. Because greed is one of basic human nature. <

To current human nature and all its inherited baggage. Not to human nature after a century or two with no want or need, not to mention social engineering towards the rational goal of avoiding a repetition of the global mistakes that had nearly wiped humanity out once or twice. Gene Roddenberry believed that humanity is perfectible, and he consciously intended the humans in TNG to be more "perfect" than those in TOS, to the chagrin of many of the staff writers. Whether you think its possible or not the people in Star Trek, in general, are intended to be less selfish and more altruistic than us.

In general, individuals depicted as being greedy in Trek generally aren't the heroes, with the possible exception of Quark and his associates. Normally they are villains or obstructions to the eventual solution of a problem.

> Without Greed, they will stick on the planet Earth and won't explore the galaxy.

Just because you don't see a reason for their actions without greed as their motivating factor doesn't mean there isn't one or that many of us here can't see it. I'm sure there are a lot of people who volunteer that are members of the forum. Where I live many emergency response personnel (fire department, first responders, ambulance crew, etc.) are volunteers and are often unpaid (or paid next to nothing), yet they still help others, even at risk to their own lives. The people of Picard's time would seem to be a bit more like them than like... Donald Trump, for example. This is how he (erroneously??) views Cochrane and Co. when he meets them. Its very much in style to claim that altruism doesn't exist or is just plain evil but Star Trek has tried to teach us otherwise. Didn't you get the memo?

Second, even if they don't explore the galaxy out of greed, that doesn't mean they don't do so out of need. They are distinct things, however much the Culture Wars try to confuse them. I think that with some exceptions fully developed UFP solar systems are largely independent in terms of resources and trade is to some extent a luxury than an absolute necessity, but there would be exceptions (advanced starship construction being one, less habitable worlds another).

Third, part of the reason to explore and expand the UFP is to protect undeveloped cultures from exploitation, whether by UFP member worlds or foreign powers. Again, this is the opposite of greed, the opposite of what our current system generally tries to do.

Last, meeting new cultures is a great way to learn new things, and these "new things" allow possible advancement of science and manufacturing. I never said the UFP doesn't want to grow or acquire new materials or ideas, just that it doesn't do that out of an absolute moral bankruptcy or simply out of a mindless need to maximize consumption that often characterize our own civilization.

> Plus, if knowledge and the usefulness to society more fulfilling than the accumulation of digits in an electronic account or bigger and better mansions, then human is not evolving, but devolving. <

Actually its the other way around, its the knowledge that makes the bigger and better mansions possible, not to mention more practical and attainable. Its architecture and material sciences that allow us to live in comfortable homes (better than that of most historical kings and queens) not a particular economic system. The economic systems mainly just dictate with who gets rewarded with the benefits of a given society.

> Because they evolve from a complex society into more simple society that care only two things in their life. Work for the society (without payment) and study. <

I wouldn't characterize a culture that is organized around exploitation as being more evolved or complex than one that isn't; quite the opposite. Hopefully you weren't trying to put those words into my mouth.

First, I never said it was just two things they cared about (those were examples), and I specifically said that there could be better compensation for those who do more to help the society they live in (if they want it; TOS at least implies this). The point is that for all intents and purposes most people will simply have enough of whatever they want and therefore material rewards will no longer have much utility towards promoting useful performance out of individuals. That's the problem.

Secondly, I hazard that one could find a similar level of crass commercialism in Western civilization in the Middle Ages or the Roman Empire as now. The level of greed hasn't particularly changed (in the long run), just the tools to pry money money out of the 'marks' have. From my perspective your argument seems to be in danger of devolving into the slogan "Greed is Good".

> and... how could capitalism be happen in a country without money? The Earth of UFP is definitely a communism type of society, if it's work like what you write. Capitalism is born from the greed of Human being. Without greed, no one will establish a private company. Because nobody want to become rich. <

Show me the episode where the character say's its a communist system. Fans make a lot of assumptions, and that's an example of an interpretation filtered through our overly limited understanding of what is possible. First one equates greed with capitalism, then if one assumes its not capitalist because they aren't greedy enough then it must be communist. These are all possibly false assumptions and the logic is a bit faulty: more than two economic systems are possible in this reality.

In TOS, some 23rd Century Terrans seem to have (what we would call) commercial jobs (dilithium mining), private companies (Carter Winston in TAS, if memory serves), and great personal wealth (Flynt owns an entire planet). Presumably they have accumulated this via extraordinary services as individuals to society as a whole. Alternately they operate on this level outside of the normal Terran economic system (i.e., dealing with alien cultures, which doesn't seem to be the case).

I think we only see similar situations in TNG with non-Terrans, and we also get stronger statements about what the Terran or UFP economy aspires to be. I think by the 24th century, for Terans, science and technology have advanced to a point where most material desires are available for essentially no "cost" (efficiency is that high, there's a whole solar system or resources to use, power is plentiful, and automation is presumably considerable, etc.).

People in Trek are depicted as "owning" property of various types (land, buildings, vehicles) and running what look a lot like typical businesses (such as a restaurant or bar). If one has to compare it to anything from our time it would likely be compared to a heavily socialized capitalism, but just because that's what it looks like doesn't meant that is what it is. Again, the point of human activity is to be useful, and ordinary economic activity is one form of usefulness to society, as is being in Starfleet or digging dilithium out of the ground. Being useful is its own reward in addition to its utility to society, that's the point I think Picard is making.

Capitalistic societies are founded on the idea of limited supply and excessive demand for it and the exploitation of the discrepancy. Communism was founded on the same concept of supply and demand, but what it promised (but generally failed to deliver through mismanagement) was that those limited resources should be divided up evenly. The real question is not for me to explain why or how the economic system shown in Star Trek works, rather its at least equally up to doubters to prove that our existing systems could work in such an alien reality. Its not a question of whether Star Trek shows a capitalistic system or a communist one, to a great extent both are outdated and irrelevant in the future described. Please think seriously about that while considering the issue.
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