Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.
Let's drop this particluar side discussion. There's no need to reheat this.
I'm not seeing how this is truly 'a problem' You seem to be saying that in order for it to persist, it must persist. That's kind of trivial, no?
there are two components to what I was saying:
1. yes, a new culture of "volunteerism" and "social contribution" would emerge, BUT you forgot the important other part:
2. post-scarcity As I and others have pointed out, it's really the technological utopianism of Star Trek's future, not its social environment, that allows its "moneyless society" at least some possibility
once again, even if you're right, and a chunk of society decides "screw volunteerism, I'm going to lay on the couch and eat flamin' hot cheetos and drink root beer," SO WHAT? It's a society of abundant resources. We have large people now who "live on the dole" in some way or another and it hasn't brought the market economy crashing down.
So some folks will reject volunteerism. This would not be the disaster that "ruins paradise" that you and others seem to think. Actually, many left-wing writers have taken into account in theorizing what a "utopian society" would look like, that some would reject it. And it's not really that big of a deal.
Yep, I understand that you guys wanna keep politics in the TNZ. What about merely talking about the economics of Trek without delving into political economy, is this OK?
Discussing politics is also ok in Miscellaneous, by the way (but with tighter rules ).
If anything it's always too many people pursuing too much that inflates bubbles and causes crashes. The next big one is everyone irrationally cramming into higher education thanks to government loans. I'd rather a big chunk of those people be on basic welfare. I bet it would cost less than the inevitable bailouts.
Indeed. It can also be eaten cold.
Kirk didn't work as Starfleet captain because the pay has been so good that he could retire early or buy that nice apartment with a view over the San Francisco bay. He was actually pretty miserable while he lived there and had more luxuries than ever before: more living space, a comfortable desk job. And he was miserable again when he was in the Nexus, a happiness machine. Kirk worked and died (the very opposite of hedonism) as captain because it was his "first, best destiny".
You cannot state it more clearly via the biography of a fictional character that hedonism and happiness (in the sense of immediate fulfillment of your dreams) are not that important. Here is my favourite philosopher talking about the issue.
If I remember it correctly having witnessed the horrors on Tarsus IV made the guy become captain. And while these altruistic and idealistic motives were surely always present he became simply used to it over the time and didn't feel at ease doing anything else (TWOK, GEN), i.e. not only selfless and idealistic people tick like Kirk.
You come from a military background so tell me why people do this soldier job, only for the money or also because there are notions like honour, duty, serving the country and so on? The Kirks are not utopian, they are all around us. Every workaholic I personally know is addicted to the job and not the money that comes along with it (not to mention that working hard doesn't always lead to more income).
But how did Kassidy Yates worked to better herself and the rest of humanity? It looks like she was working as a freighter to get paid. She ended up helping the Maquis and going to prison for it.
Throw Harry Mud in the mix. What was his motivation? He didn't need to scheme and swindle people, but that's exactly the lifestyle he chose. Or Vash from TNG.
It's like they needed to add a sense of adventure to their lives or something.
Imagine after all the human struggling to free itself of poverty and want, feeling guilt because you can have all the food and knick knacks absolutely free from a dispenser
Mudd was a crook and I hope that he would be viewed as this in any kind of society.
Trek never implied that there will be no power-hungry or greedy people anymore, it just showed a society in which this was not socially acceptable behaviour.
Your last paragraph shows what this is about, Puritanism, feeling guilty because you have not worked hard enough. If you feel guilty you have ample opportunities in the world of Trek to sustain this replicator paradise. You could e.g. enlist in Starfleet and take the night shift in engineering to exorcise your guilt feelings.
This is a serious point. Calvinism is about the paradox of freedom, predestination made people work like crazy, realize their fate so to say. And this lunatic stuff became the basic ideology of capitalism (back in the days). I have no idea how anybody could claim that the idea that people work to "better themselves and the rest of humanity" is more crazy than this.
I wish the the uniforms from ENT could be used in a new TV show or movie; I think that they would work better than the current ones. But that's just me.
and of course we have tons of people now, who are financially secure who continue to work. Athletes, movie stars, successful CEOs, those who've inherited money, etc. Obviously, they get satisfaction, not from the MONEY, but about something from the job-authority, a sense of doing good, the socializing, because they have fun, because it lets them be creative, etc.
Again, the question: why would this be any different in the future? It would just be everyone in society in this position, rather than a few.
A lot of his more fuzzy-minded ideas -- the whole "there is no commerce and no money" thing, which DS9 finally pretty much jettisoned -- were eyeroll-inducing, but don't necessarily qualify as his worst.
His biggest weakness was probably that he was a dirty old man. And he hurt Trek the most when he let the horndog parts of him overwhelm the enlightened parts. Luckily, others managed to rein him in before Marina Sirtis ended up having to spend seven years wearing an extra breast. (Or would it have been two extras? I can't remember.)
I also love them but would zippers look futuristic enough for the 23rd century? I doubt it, like all in ENT the uniform was made to look like something we can relate to in order to create a retro-feel.
when did DS9 jettison it? They seemed to embrace it(with Jake referencing it) even while they were mocking it a little bit.
Jake didn't seem to become a reporter because it payed so well. That kid wasted quite some years before he knew what kind of work to pursue and it didn't seem like his father urged him to earn a living. So yeah, the folks in DS9 still tick like Kirk and Picard.
And Joseph Sisko didn't run a restaurant due to needing the money, but because he enjoyed it. Though it does make me wonder if his customers somehow "paid" for their meals or left some sort of gratuity. How do you reward good service when there's no money?
DS9 always seemed to reject Roddenberry's idea of 'no money', thinking it was unrealistic, naive and/or stupid. Quite a few episodes mock the pomposity of Picard's 'we work to better ourselves' speech. Notably in 'In the Cards' (DS9)
The 'no conflict' idea of Roddenberry's, between crew members, is a dumb idea too. It removes all drama.
By going back.
I've met plenty of retirees who are rich enough to live off the earnings of a successful career, who find themselves re-entering the work force to out of boredom or to stay busy or out of passion for something. I don't think it's too far fetched at all that people who live on an idyllic earth in the 24th century work or start a "business" just for the sheer fulfillment of it. (do I think the 24th century will actually be that way? hell no, but if we accept star trek's premise that 24th century earth is a utopia, I totally buy it)
Now, would people become custodians for the heck of it? Doubtful, but that's what advanced technology is for. Chefs, singers, artists, architects, archaeologists, scientists, teachers, tour guides, tailors, carpenters, mechanics, engineers? I could definitely see people working in those careers (among others) just for the satisfaction if they already live on an ideal earth.
I buy into the idea that in the star trek universe, people on earth in the 24th century work to better themselves. That Earth in the 24th century is for the most part a self contained paradise where people don't have to work if they don't want to, but there are plenty of people who do for the satisfaction and self fulfillment. For all the jobs that people don't want to do, the dirty jobs, there are plenty of non sentient robots and other forms of non sentient AI.
Outside of Earth/core federation planets, it's a whole different story. Money is an important thing on the frontier.
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