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Old March 25 2014, 10:01 PM   #136
Sci
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

BMariner wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Don't forget to accuse me of having cooties. An attempt to change the topic needs to have more teeth than that!
Not trying to change the topic at all. I did read your post thoroughly, and while you did address how an "enlightened" society might work within the scope of Trek, you didn't balance your general criticism of capitalism with a defense of (or praise for) socialism. By all means, enlighten me. What is awesome about socialism?
I shall repeat myself:

I spent a fair amount of time in that post talking about how communal ownership of the means of production (in the form of worker-owned cooperatives that distribute the profits of the firm equitably to all employees) would allow those workers to benefit from the fruits of their labor. This would avoid the major disadvantage of the traditional wage model, in which the compensation of the worker is less valuable than the wealth she creates through her labor (i.e., the coercive redistribution of wealth from the most productive to the least productive), while preserving the best aspect of capitalism -- the use of inter-firm competition to promote innovation and productivity. The injection of such a large amount of capital into the pockets of the working class would constitute a significant stride in the quest to eliminate poverty and economic oppression.

From there, the question becomes how one keeps the playing field level for all individuals in order to enable fair competition and avoid the evolution of an oligarchical class. I listed a number of ideas about how to do this; if you cannot find them, I shall quote the relevant sections of my post.
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Old March 25 2014, 10:30 PM   #137
sonak
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

BMariner wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Don't forget to accuse me of having cooties. An attempt to change the topic needs to have more teeth than that!
Not trying to change the topic at all. I did read your post thoroughly, and while you did address how an "enlightened" society might work within the scope of Trek, you didn't balance your general criticism of capitalism with a defense of (or praise for) socialism. By all means, enlighten me. What is awesome about socialism?


I am a mere social democrat, not a socialist, but I can tell you that there are many things to praise about socialism, and that many of the things we take for granted now were once considered "socialist" things, such as:

-collective bargaining/unions(going away in most places)
-free and universal education
-universal health care
-regulations on work weeks, wages, welfare programs, etc.



but as is relevant to Star Trek(the point of this thread after all) socialism(in either its mildest and most reformist strands or its more full-throated versions) is much more reconcilable with a truly DEMOCRATIC society than laissez-faire capitalism. In the latter, you have "elections," but most of the important stuff is decided by unaccountable corporations where people don't have a say.

In a future like Star Trek, citizens would(or should) have an actual say in their lives as to where they work and under what conditions, and would have access to the resources and services that are needed to say that one really has the "choices" available to live the kind of life they want to.
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Old March 26 2014, 01:36 AM   #138
trekshark
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

macloudt wrote: View Post
I've always had issues with no one working for any kind of monetary-type reward. When Picard says humans no longer have money he may not being including the credit system encountered from time to time. The way I see it everyone starts off with having a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their bellies, but if they do work they do receive some kind of reward for it, perhaps more replicator energy or credits for more travel, things like that. The extra rewards would not be in keeping with the idea of 21st century wages, but they would be enough incentive for someone to don some industrial gloves and clean up the holosuite after Riker and Worf.
I've had similar thoughts. I wrote this a while back when discussing it with people

the social system of the federation only works due to matter replicators for food, clothes, etc and basically limitless energy sources to fuel the replicators

I figure it works like this: a federation citizen on a federation planet doesn't need any kind of money to get at least basic housing, food, medical care, etc. and on established primary worlds like Earth they can probably get just about anything they want for free. Or at least anything that can be replicated
Likewise, starfleet personnel on a ship or starbase don't need money

But I think in both cases they do earn some kind of "money" aka credits by working, and the federation gov't has money they can trade with, as evidenced by Uhura buying a tribble, the negotiations for the barzan wormhole, Crusher telling the cloth seller at Farpoint to bill her account on the Enterprise, and (according to memory alpha, I didn't remember this one on my own) Quark accepted credits as payment from the starfleet personnel on DS9
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Old March 26 2014, 09:47 AM   #139
Arpy
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Sci, you shouldn't expect people to respect socialist principles when actual socialists don't respect people's time. Long, self-indulgent replies do little to sway support to one's cause. Let the creative destruction of capitalism weed out the pretentious and the verbose, I say.
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Old March 26 2014, 03:45 PM   #140
Nightdiamond
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

bbjeg wrote: View Post

Then why call them Federation credits instead of Starfleet credits?

In Jake's case, at the time when he said he had no money, he didn't have a job as well.

Starfleet is the exploration/military wing of the Federation.The Federation is a federal government agency that is able to issue currency.

Humans that live and work in space and different cultures probably have to deal with credits. Starfleet officers and people like Kassidy Yates.

But take a typical human with no job with an alien company, pace them outside the Federation or earth, and that person won't have any means unless he's in a human or maybe Federation facility.

The idea that a replicator can be used minimally for basic needs for free makes sense. But problems keep inching in the way.

Jake sold his stories to the Federation News Service, and they paid him nothing--not even Credits, which he could have have used on the station.

Consider--the Federation News service knew Jake lived on an alien station. The Federation credit is obviously a valued interchangeable currency.

And yet they offer no pay for publishing other people's stories.
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Old March 26 2014, 03:55 PM   #141
Sci
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Arpy wrote: View Post
Sci, you shouldn't expect people to respect socialist principles when actual socialists don't respect people's time. Long, self-indulgent replies do little to sway support to one's cause.
I am not responsible for someone else's desire to reduce complex concepts into 30-second soundbites.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:06 PM   #142
PhoenixClass
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Arpy wrote: View Post
Sci, you shouldn't expect people to respect socialist principles when actual socialists don't respect people's time. Long, self-indulgent replies do little to sway support to one's cause. Let the creative destruction of capitalism weed out the pretentious and the verbose, I say.
Umm, you know Sci was kinda backing you up, right?
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Old March 26 2014, 04:31 PM   #143
BMariner
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

A few of you scoffed at my mention of Greece. I concede that this was not the best example I could have offered, but at the moment my mind was on the tertiary consequences of a socialist worldview. True, the money grab was about bailouts and was not directly a consequence of socialism. But I argue that it would not have even been on the table as an option were it not for the socialist worldviews of the various players.

Yes, I realize the subject is Trek, and I apologize for the diversion. But I think general conversation on these topics is applicable and relevant here, because so much of the Trek universe seems to be built from these foundations.

Here is my problem with socialism. It starts with the rejection of the idea that individuals can be sovereign institutions of cooperation. Socialism sees the individual as merely a mechanical cog in the engine of social evolution. Cogs that must be directed by a large central government.

I suppose this would be awesome if this overarching government wasn't prone to establish iteslf as a ruler de facto, overcoming and eventually eliminating checks and balances to it.

Or if the leviathan was able to define and enforce "fair" in such a way that truly covers the needs of each and every subject under its rule without deference so special interests. Again, the big questions with socialism are:

A) Who gets to define fair?

B) How exactly is it defined?

C) What recourse does a constituency have in the case of disagreement or disenfranchisement?

I've never seen these questions answered in a satisfactory way. My frustration with socialism in Star Trek is that these questions go completely unadressed. We never learn how the utopia was gained. It just is. That's lazy.

Government is like fire. Fire is essential. It's good, as long as you control it. Lose control of the fire, however, and disaster results.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:39 PM   #144
sonak
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

BMariner wrote: View Post
A few of you scoffed at my mention of Greece. I concede that this was not the best example I could have offered, but at the moment my mind was on the tertiary consequences of a socialist worldview. True, the money grab was about bailouts and was not directly a consequence of socialism. But I argue that it would not have even been on the table as an option were it not for the socialist worldviews of the various players.

Yes, I realize the subject is Trek, and I apologize for the diversion. But I think general conversation on these topics is applicable and relevant here, because so much of the Trek universe seems to be built from these foundations.

Here is my problem with socialism. It starts with the rejection of the idea that individuals can be sovereign institutions of cooperation. Socialism sees the individual as merely a mechanical cog in the engine of social evolution. Cogs that must be directed by a large central government.

I suppose this would be awesome if this overarching government wasn't prone to establish iteslf as a ruler de facto, overcoming and eventually eliminating checks and balances to it.

Or if the leviathan was able to define and enforce "fair" in such a way that truly covers the needs of each and every subject under its rule without deference so special interests. Again, the big questions with socialism are:

A) Who gets to define fair?

B) How exactly is it defined?

C) What recourse does a constituency have in the case of disagreement or disenfranchisement?

I've never seen these questions answered in a satisfactory way. My frustration with socialism in Star Trek is that these questions go completely unadressed. We never learn how the utopia was gained. It just is. That's lazy.

Government is like fire. Fire is essential. It's good, as long as you control it. Lose control of the fire, however, and disaster results.


Perhaps the questions about the economy weren't addressed because we don't get to see much of civilian life or civilian government in Star Trek?


As for your questions, they're just as relevant under capitalism as they are for socialism. "Fairness" should be a consideration under ANY system, and it's tough to argue that government power should be feared whereas corporate power should be welcomed as natural and a reflection of "freedom."


In the US, corporate power has basically taken over politics anyway.
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Old March 26 2014, 06:00 PM   #145
Arpy
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Sci wrote: View Post
Arpy wrote: View Post
Sci, you shouldn't expect people to respect socialist principles when actual socialists don't respect people's time. Long, self-indulgent replies do little to sway support to one's cause.
I am not responsible for someone else's desire to reduce complex concepts into 30-second soundbites.
You're not preparing the Federal Budget; you're trying to sell it.

If that's too concisely put, please read through all of these first:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/brevity
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/02/242413...r-modern-times
http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/hamlet.2.2.html
http://lifehacker.com/183482/brevity-is-a-virtue
http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001...78740?mobile=y

PhoenixClass wrote: View Post
Arpy wrote: View Post
Sci, you shouldn't expect people to respect socialist principles when actual socialists don't respect people's time. Long, self-indulgent replies do little to sway support to one's cause. Let the creative destruction of capitalism weed out the pretentious and the verbose, I say.
Umm, you know Sci was kinda backing you up, right?
Does it matter if his point doesn't get through to others? Or if adopting his preferred economics would only replace greedy in power with the arrogant?
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Old March 26 2014, 09:13 PM   #146
TheGoodNews
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

BMariner wrote: View Post
Here is my problem with socialism. It starts with the rejection of the idea that individuals can be sovereign institutions of cooperation. Socialism sees the individual as merely a mechanical cog in the engine of social evolution. Cogs that must be directed by a large central government.
Obviously you're not refering to Libertarian Socialism (or Anarchism, if you will), which is based on the idea of free, voluntary association between individuals living in autonomous communities, usually in a decentralized federation or union.

The link below is a from a recent article in the L.A. Times about a community in present day SPAIN that seems to be functioning quite well as a "communist utopia," as the Times calls it. It may not be fully-autonomous as it would be under anarchism. And anarchism wouldn't allow a dominant leader or committee to emerge. But it seems to be very particpatory and seems to have alleviated some of the problems the rest of Spain is suffering under neoliberalism. And Spain has a very rich, rich history of Libertarian Socialist endeavors. The tradition continues!

http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/...#axzz2x5wTBsXz
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Old March 27 2014, 12:35 AM   #147
PhoenixClass
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

BMariner wrote: View Post
Here is my problem with socialism. It starts with the rejection of the idea that individuals can be sovereign institutions of cooperation. Socialism sees the individual as merely a mechanical cog in the engine of social evolution. Cogs that must be directed by a large central government.
As noted before in this thread, there are different forms of socialism. You are really only rejecting one form of socialism. The system Sci outlined, for example, does not match the description you gave.

Arpy wrote: View Post
Does it matter if his point doesn't get through to others? Or if adopting his preferred economics would only replace greedy in power with the arrogant?
I understood what he said. I also don't see how his preferred economics would lead to any more arrogant people than already exist.

There are plenty of arrogant CEOs around today, so capitalism is no better in that regard.
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Old March 27 2014, 01:04 AM   #148
Shawnster
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

For a future civilization that doesn't have money, we're spending a lot of time discussing the economics of the Federation. Surely there are other things civilians do in the 23rd and 24th centuries.

Anbo Jyutsu was discussed. We also know they play Parrises Squares. Chess and various other table-top games exist, as well as cards and people still play poker. Flotter and Trevis have entertained countless children for generations.

Risa and Wrigley's Pleasure Planet offer diversions and getaways. People gamble at Quarks playing Dabo and Tongo. Racketball, springball and darts are not unknown.

Civilian scientists try to raise subcontinents from the ocean floor, build sentient robots, attempt to manipulate the fabric of time, study stars and other celestial bodies and phenomena. Some work on artificial wormholes and alternatives to FTL warp drive.

Terraforming projects and colonization efforts seem to be a regular activity among the 150 worlds and spreading out of the Federation. People perform service oriented jobs such as running bars or waiting tables. A few try their hand at being merchants, miners, doctors, lawyers and authors.

They open restaurants on Earth and Deep Space stations. Some run for politics and become president of the Federation. They grow grapes for wine or take up acting or play musical instruments. Some pursue competitive dancing.
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Old March 27 2014, 01:48 AM   #149
TheGoodNews
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Civ001 wrote: View Post
I would like to know, what is civilian life like living in the Federation of Star Trek? Mostly in the 24th century?
You know somebody actually tried to envision what life might actually be like in a post-monetary, automated society of the future where no one really needed to do much work or live a sedentary existence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkLogy5NE2k
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Old March 27 2014, 02:55 AM   #150
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: What is civlian life like in the Federation?

I would love to see what Parrises Squares is actually like. All we know is that it involves a ramp, an "ion mallet", and teams of 4 people.
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