A country without Money how it's work?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Brainsucker, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These problems will not be solved by state enforced socialism or unenforced anarchy - the wishful thinking of several posters here notwithstanding.
    History proved those to be either dictatorships or just unworkable (aka disintegrating immediately). And always poorer than capitalism.

    Capitalism - with highly developed social democracy in several sectors, progressive taxation, etc - is the most successful system known to mankind when it comes to solving said problems.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But kibbutz's only worked while in semi-isolation. In time, kibbutz members grew dissatisfied with the growing stratification and inequality within the kibbutz system. This is what lead to the semi-collapse if the kibbutz system in the 1980's. People in the kibbutz saw people in the surrounding capitalist systems about them "getting ahead" when they work harder or smarter than the others within their own societies. They (perhaps naturally) want this for themselves and their families.

    Today in the remaining kibbutz, there are now differences in pay based on the work individuals do. Privatization of various services, including medical and education. Transfer of commonly held kibbutz property into the ownership of individual kibbutz members.

    Traditional kibbutz simply could not compete with the non-kibbutz world. They start to bleed their best people. They only work (as I said) in semi-isolation.

    *** (Does anyone know the plural of "kibbutz?") ***

    The anarchist's systems in Spain were short lived, it's impossible to know if they would have work over a protracted period of time.

    It doesn't make any difference how good and equitable a system sounds, if in the end it simply doesn't work.

    Viewing the multi-decade results of the "worker's paradises" of Communist Russia and China, I find the capitalistic system far superior (but not perfect), thank you.

    Don't believe me? Breath the air in any western capital city, then travel to the Chinese capital city today and do the same without a filter mask. There's your true "ecological catastrophe."

    Substituting a percentage of people being poor, with everyone being equally poor, nice compromise.

    :)
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Tell that to its victims.

    That would be kibbutzim.

    1. The People's Republic of China has long since embraced Capitalism as an economic system, whatever rhetoric they may use.

    2. It absurd to imagine that all we have is a binary choice between faux-"Communist" totalitarianism (USSR, PRC) on one hand and faux-"democratic" plutocracy on the other.

    No. It is a Faustian bargain, a deliberate decision to build a structure that ruins some lives for the benefit of others. A society built like a large-scale Omelas is neither "nice" nor sustainable.

    "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
     
  4. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Today about a quarter of the nearly 300 kibbutzim are still communal/traditional (i.e. moneyless). Others have become privatized and have equal pay for all and others have wage differentials. So there's choice. Collectively the kibbutzim contribute to almost a tenth of the Israeli economy today. There was a recent documentary on it called Inventing our life: The Kibbutz Experiment.

    Have you seen The Take by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzXln5kbuw

    Workers' Self-Management has been going on in Argentina since IMF crashed their economy in 2002. In so many respects very similiar to the Self-Management practiced in Spain seen here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

    The main difference is that it wasn't forcibly destroyed and continues today. In fact, Argentina represents history's most successful attempt at Workers' Self-Management.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers'_self-management

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neNwAZSBMb0

    This movement has been violently suppressed not only in Spain, but in Germany under the Weimar Republic, in Italy with the suppression of the Fiat workers and France & Algeria during the 1960s. Even the Wobblies (aka IWW) in the U.S. wanted to establish this. "Give the worker the full product of his labor and his pension is assured." -- 'Big Bill' Haywood (IWW speaker).

    So Argentina is a hopeful portent for the future workers (aka productive class).

    Again, it's already known that niether the USSR nor Red China were socialists societies. They were State Capitalists and were tremendous failures. Remember Lenin re-introduced capitalism to Russia in the early twenties with his NEP. Even Orwell had his own to say on the subject:

    "In every country in the world a huge tribe of party-hacks and sleek little professors are busy 'proving' that Socialism means no more than a planned state-capitalism with the grab-motive left intact. But fortunately there also exists a vision of Socialism quite different from this." George Orwell -- Homage to Catalonia (.104)

    Orwell also had this to say:

    "As far as my purely personal preferences went I would have liked to join the Anarchists." George Orwell -- Homage to Catalonia (.116)

    "If I had understood the situation a bit better I should probably have joined the Anarchists." George Orwell - The Collected Essays; Volume 1 (.289)

    "Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it." George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia (.104)

    The quality of life for workers (the productive class) seems to improve both economically and socially under self-management.

    And let's not forget the continuing impact anarchism still has even for the American productive class:

    "Around the turn of the century, the Wobblies and other anarchists played the central role in winning the workers the 5-day week and 8-hour day." David Graeber - Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. I doubt anyone here wants to return to the 12-hour workday, 6-day work week. BTW, Graeber helped co-found the Occupy movement which lead to such projects as Occupy Sandy, Occupy Foreclosures and the Rolling Jubilee thus showing anarchisms continuing influence.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVDkkOAOtV0

    Is the Star Trek federation itself anarchists? Well, it does show many of the same ideals; a free and equal society where the means of production are in the hands of the citizen rather than the state or capital. I think Roddenberry was a progressive humanist which like anarchism traces its origins to the enlightenment and the Age of Reason.

    Iain Banks' "Culture" series bears similarities to the Federation (i.e. a space faring, moneyless society).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET8IFxPo61w And Banks does identify his "Culture" society as an anarchistic society. (See paragraph 8)

    "Essentially, the contention is that our currently dominant power systems cannot long survive in space; beyond a certain technological level a degree of anarchy is arguably inevitable and anyway preferable." Iain Banks -- A Few Notes on the Culture.
     
  5. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But in that example, the worker is still in receipt of some benefit to himself or other etc....in a society like the federation, however, there is no incentive to take part in any kind of shared society (not unless the federation withholds technology) the cleaner/waiter gains nothing from working individually or collectively that he wouldn't still gain by not working - so while you're hoovering the ship (cos you believe in the mutual benefit of such an agreement)....i would be using transporter technology to explore the world, replicating lobster and learning French cos i have the time and freedom to do so, safe in the knowledge that i do not have to do any hoovering whatsoever

    erm...ok.....are you here to recruit or something?

    I could just have easily said a 12 hour shift (the length of the shift was not really that relevant) the main point was that people rarely work because they want to (and so in a society that doesn't demand it...why do it.....i mean aside from being a good comrade)
     
  6. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well hux, I guess if you're imagining a future where the undesirable jobs have been automated then you're point might hold. BTW, have you seen this recent episode of 60 Minutes? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3I-teuk_B8
    Maybe in a few decades it'll be a moot point, anyway.
     
  7. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmm...

    The task of the workers councils will thus be not the self-management of the existing world, but its unceasing qualitative transformation: the concrete supersession of the commodity...
    This supersession naturally implies the abolition of work and its replacement by a new type of free activity, thereby eliminating one of the fundamental splits of modern society: that between an increasingly reified labor and a passively consumed leisure...Far from being 'utopian,' the abolition of work is the first condition for the effective supersession of commodity society, for the elimination within each person's life of the separation between 'free time' and 'work time'...Only when this opposition is overcome will people be able to make their vital activity subject to their will and consciousness and see themselves in a world that they themselves have created." -- On the poverty of student life.

    The abolition of work also means the abolition of free time as a distinctly separate concept. The sublation of the two. Okay, if people don't need to work then they won't. I agree with you. But if there are still a few menial or even undesirable tasks who will do them in the moneyless Star Trek federation? How would that be resolved in an equitable way short of automation? Or is automation the only solution?
     
  8. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I suppose Dr. Michio Kaku's answer might be RIBOSOMES.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzgVWpa4fzU

    [​IMG]

    "In New Babylon, all useful yet repetitive activity underwent automation; and technology, mobilized at the mass level, would release people from the daily drudge of necessity, guaranteeing a healthy dose of free time. There'd be big institutional transformations, too, like collective ownership of land and the means of production, together with the rationalization of the manufacturing of consumer goods, making scarcity old hat." Guy Debord by Andy Merrifield
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given that it is one of his favorite episodes, Doctor Kaku doesn't seem to remember "The Neutral Zone" very well. In that episode no one was mystified by money, the no money thing was in First Contact eight and a half years later. There wasn't a single mention of a non-existence of money in that particular episode.

    The same with the existence of banks, we know that the Bolians (debatably a Federation Member) have banking institutions.

    :)
     
  10. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The no money thing was first mentioned in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home back in 1986, though.

    Gillian: "Don't tell me, they don't use money in the 23rd century?"

    Kirk(shrugging): "Well, we don't."

    Or Kirk and Spock getting off the bus in 20th century San Francisco:

    Spock: "What does it mean 'exact change?'"

    They seemed pretty mystified to me (at least in that film).
     
  11. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    I guess they never read a history book.
     
  12. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How many history (or economics books, for that matter) mention needing exact change on buses?
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    One thing about Star Trek's universe without money: it's worth remembering that the old european navies used to establish contact with other countries without currency. They didn't set out with money to convince natives to side with the interests of their home empires, they used trade. This is how the coffee bean (and tobacco) were first introduced to Europe. It wasn't a case of "allow us to use our money which is worthless to you to buy a stake in your country", it was more like "Here are some precious beads from Spain, howsabout we trade them for land in the Mississippi?". Of course, where this all falls down is that old navies usually ended up using guns rather than diplomacy in order to prosper in a new land. But hey-ho. :shrug:

    Anyway, I assume the "moneyless" Federation exists in a similar bubble. Starship crews establish first contact with races whom they can trade with. It isn't about money. Even if a planet has got money and Starfleet crews don't, they do have other resources they can trade. It's through this method that ties are made and treaties signed. Member planets who join the Federation can then give up money, because anything they need can be provided via other means. This is something that the Federation has got good at by the time TNG rolls around. They neither need money, nor do they need to use brute force like the navies of old. * I mention TNG specifically, because it's clear TOS operated on a more 'old school' footing. Kirk mentions salaries for his crew multiple times in TOS, and episodes like "Requiem for Methuselah" show us that, like the navy captains of old, Captain Kirk isn't above using the Enterprise's firepower to force somebody to give him what he needs, albeit he does so apologetically.

    I can imagine that the Ferengi, a culture steeped in commerce, are incredibly difficult for Starfleet to deal with, simply because they don't trade. If something hasn't got a moneytary value, the Ferengi aren't interested in it. :)
     
  14. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Assuming the Ferengi economy runs on the latinum standard has there ever been any explanation of what it is worth? Like say dilithtium crystals. And is the "gold pressed" part for human consumption, at least in colonies without replicators or nearby gold filled asteroids.
     
  15. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    I assume they mentioned that money wa used in the 20th century. It seems to be a logical conclusion.
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or mentions the term/phrase "exact change" at all? If the bus driver (or signage) had said "precise coinage for fare" Kirk and Spock might not have been confused.

    Even if you stipulate (which I don't) that there is no money in the Federation, Kirk and his officers must have explored worlds (Gangster, Nazi, Roman, other) where there was a money system. It's fairly ridiculous to assume that they would have absolutely no experience using physical money. Or be unable to do the simply math of breaking down large denominations of currency, into smaller units.

    We've seen the 24th century Federation engage in trade, remember the wormhole they were bidding on?

    Quark was able to sell his damaged shuttle for scrap in the Earth system. And had to pay for passage back to DS9 from Earth. If he could have traveled for free, I'm sure Quark would have laughed all the way back to the station.

    It isn't just the Ferengi who are interested in monetary value.

    It has to do with exchange rates, and what your customer will accept. It wasn't that long ago in the United States that paper money from one State wouldn't be accepted in another State at face value. The farther you got from home, the less your money was worth. Some small businesses wouldn't take it at all.

    So, not just Europeans in the new world.

    Again it has to do with exchange rates, your money to theirs, you have to remember that particular types of beads (especially blue beads) weren't valueless junk, they were the money of that area of the world (the currency of the realm), because they possessed worth.

    If a European trader were to show up with just any kind of beads, the natives would send them on their way with empty hands.

    For centuries, Arabs used cowry shells for money. This wasn't because the Arabs were stupid or bad businessmen, it's because these particular shells were the equivalent of gold or jems, they were rare and beautiful.

    The Hawaiians used puka shell for money, not because they were laying around everywhere, but because the real ones were rare and valuable. A today a real puka shell can be the equivalent of a five dollar bill.

    [​IMG]

    Beads and shells are a form of money. This is the shell of a ocean scallop known as Langford's Pecten, it's the size of a American ten cent coin, and is today worth over two hundred dollars.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  17. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Firstly, i see no solution other than a reward system - doesn't have to be money but if i'm cleaning out the shit while you're flying around the galaxy sexing it up with the hot green ladies then quite frankly, i want something for my trouble

    secondly, we're talking about menial work from a contemporary perspective and assuming that this perspective would remain the same in the future but surely in a society where one can do anything they want, virtually all work becomes menial to a degree - even careers such as doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc....i mean in a society where i can just travel the planet without worrying about food, shelter, clothing or anything else and do whatever i want with life, being a doctor would seem pretty menial to me by comparison (especially if it's just being the dull local GP) - i can understand others not necessarily feeling that way but that's the point; it only takes one lazy fucker like me to come along to ruin the utopia for everyone else - the fact is, i would not be willing to do any kind of work (menial or otherwise) and would only do so if......

    1 - i wanted to (poet, porn star, starship captain)

    2 - i benefited from it (and i don't mean in a crappy spiritual way.....i mean give me some green ladies and a mansion to play with them in)

    3 - i was being forced to (which might be anything from an oppressive state to the federation withholding technology from me unless i play ball)

    4 - the federation employs Vulcans to mind meld with every federation citizen and instill a profound sense of communal pride and responsibility in us all

    5 - the federation portrays everyone who doesn't play along as malcontents, terrorists, or just plain old bad uns and we exist in an underground society that has yet to be seen in any Trek thus far
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    your perspective is shaped by the ideology and culture you grew up in. You can't just take your attitudes and transplant them whole into a different time and society. Had you been raised from birth in a post-scarcity society that preached to you every day about the communal good and the importance of contributing to society, you'd probably not feel the way you do now.
     
  19. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sure that culture would affect many but i'm equally confident that layabout sex fiends such as myself would still exist in that society and spoil it for the rest of you

    ask a common man from the 13th century to look at contemporary western society and to him it's a utopia compared to his surroundings and culture and no doubt he would find it just as hard to comprehend why, in such an affluent society, their are people who choose to opt out, rebel against or demand a change to that society.....and yet they do

    you cannot make us all fall in line.....that is the problem (and virtue) of every society throughout history.....i don't care how fantastic it is....there will always be those who think it's shit and don't want to engage with it

    that's why i liked the idea of the maquis ((the first time trek ever asked the question....is this society as great as we think).....though personally i would have gone further with them and made them even more questioning of the so called federation utopia
     
  20. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not seeing why a few layabouts would 'ruin everything'. Any more than a small number of welfare-dependent lazyboneses 'ruins everything' today.

    I'm not trying to imply that everyone on welfare, even on long-term welfare, is lazy or undeserving of it or what-have-you. I suspect only a very small minority are - lazy people do exist, after all, and where there is a system there will be people who try to exploit that system. The existence of that small minority doesn't even undermine the welfare system, never mind society as a whole, is what I'm saying.