Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    We're arguing that the idea of a moneyless society is silly because it would never work. Pointing out that it works on the show is beside the point.

    It's not your place to decide for others if they need more money. If they didn't think they did, they would work for a lot less, and yet they don't. Ergo, they want the money, too.
     
  2. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    It's a minor point, but the bolded doesn't follow.

    I've no idea why people keep bringing up the USSR in this discussion. The USSR used money, you know?
     
  3. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    CoveTom
    That raises another interesting point. If Starfleet officers are not getting paid and they're free to resign at any point, as we've seen, how would punishment ever be enforced?

    Wouldn't, "Ensign Ricky, for your deriliction of duty you must go to waste extraction and work a shift," often be followed by, "Then I resign my commission as a Starfleet officer," and, of course, a dramatic removal of a com badge?
     
  4. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    And yet Belz, I've pointed out more than once that moneyless societies have proven to be quite functional. It comes down to meeting people's needs not what form the transaction must take. In a monetary system the general public (i.e. the workers) are essentially paying twice at marked up rates for what they already produced. That's how dispossession works under both forms of capitalism: the corporate form and the statist form.

    "Avoid self-destruction, recognize - and renounce money for the impovershing ration system it really was..." -- Matter by Iain Banks page 174.

    R. I. P. Iain Banks 1954 - 2013
     
  5. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    And I think those examples show that picard was talking out his arse.
     
  6. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    I must've missed it. Which real-life societies are functional without money, aside from primitive tribes ?
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    TheGoodNews has brought up a single semi-modern example of moneyless communities in pre-WWII Spain. The problem with his one example is that it's impossible to know if it would have worked over a protracted period of time, or with a large population group.

    The small moneyless communities backed the losing side (the Frente Popular) in the Spanish civil war and the moneyless experiment cease to exist.

    Even you would have to admit that that is quite a stretch.

    First it's not clear that Starfleet officers aren't receiving pay, some very obviously have financial means.

    Using a comparison to modern militaries, people who have been found to have committed an illegal offense prior to leaving the service, they (as a civilian) can still be tried in a military court of law. Even if your offense isn't discovered for many years.

    If brought up on changes, simply resigning wouldn't get you out of legal prosecution. If found guilty, simply having resigned wouldn't prevent your punishment.

    If your offense was severe enough, you might be expelled from the service after serving your sentence.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  8. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Carcazed
    Trying to relate this to real human nature ...

    If you wanted a new building for your business, who would you call to design it? Who would you call to supply the steel to frame it? Who would they employ to mine the ore, smelt it, make the beams, etc.? Who would you call to excavate the site? All for no exchange, no money? Would people do these things out of the goodness of their hearts so you could have your building?

    Who would build the power plants? Who would run the water and sewer lines? Who would pave the streets, drive the public transport, and on and on and on.

    If you managed to get your building up, who would work there? Who would be the boss, and who would be the subordinates? If the boss tells you to do something you don't want to do, would you do it without question or would you tell him to take a flying leap because if he fired you it wouldn't matter as you're not being paid anyway?

    I'd really like to know.
     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    ^^ Don't you get it by now? In a "post-scarcity" economy, replicators could create all those materials and supplies out of thin air. Or maybe just by the power of pure thought, like the Krell machines in Forbidden Planet.

    Hey, it's science fiction.
     
  10. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    See my above comments. There was the Spanish Revolution and the Kibbutz movement. Also, in the U.S. there was the San Francisco Diggers which included actor Peter Coyote and engaged in many moneyless activities.

    In the U.S. the IWW (the Wobblies) slogan was "against the wage system."

    So you see T'G, I've brought up other historical examples besides the Spanish Revolution. I've also mentioned contemporary examples such as Time Banks and the Barter/Exchange Co-ops of present-day Argentina.
     
  11. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Carcazed
    Right. I know it's fiction. I would like to know how the proponents of the system plan to make it work.

    In other words, if there's no incentive to get up and do something, why bother? Replicators can't do everything. Robots can't do everything. Who fixes the robots when the robot robot mechanics break down?

    People in general will not stop playing their video games to go take care of something that doesn't benefit them in some way. The garbage will just have to sit on the sidewalk until somebody fixes the collection droids. I wonder who that would be?

    It's fiction, but people talk about it like it's real. I'd just like to know how they make it happen.

    As long as humans are human, the kind of utopian society that people love to go on about will not exist.

    IMO, YMMV, blahblahblah.
     
  12. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Millionaires that (should) have free time and don't have to work still hire other people to maintain their lawns. Even middle class people pay other people to do that.

    Most likely because it's still a lot of work and involves getting dirty, even if the end result is a beautiful landscape.

    So imagine working 9 hours a day getting dirty, scratches and whatever, just to beautify someone else's landscape and not getting compensated.

    I just don't see human doing that, unless that groundskeeper is getting paid in Federation Credits, that he can use if he leaves the planet.

    But he didn't look like the type to leave earth an go spending money buying things from other cultures.

    My theory is that humans possibly don't use money, as long as they don't leave earth. If they do, they're financially helpless.

    But still it looks very strange to see humans doing stressful, work-intense jobs for absolutely nothing--either something else is going on, or the whole thing is weird.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    According to whom?

    YMMV, of course.

    Kibbutz's are not moneyless societies, the majority of people working in them are being paid for their efforts, and the outside workers brought into the Kibbutz communities are also paid. There are a small number of communities that claim to be moneyless, but there is a financial system and they are being supported by government subsidies, so are not moneyless.

    It hard to see a Kibbutz as an example of your point.

    They existed in a limited area of one city for what TheGoodNews, three years before collapsing? Basically (if I have your reference correct) the digger group was given food (charity), and they occasion stole food from the local markets (stealing), they then gave this food away. They also attempted to run a substandard medical clinic (for free) before being shut down by the San Francisco board of health.

    This was in no way a moneyless society, it was basically like today's food banks without the thieving, people (with money) provide food to a charitable organization, the food is then either sold at low cost or given away to those in need. My church helps run one of these.

    Again, not an example of a "moneyless" society.

    The International Workers of the World are a trade union organizing service group, and their efforts are to increase wages and benefits, not create a moneyless society.

    And they are not particularly successful at it, they have maybe a few thousand members. Most workers who are serious about possessing a union look elsewhere for organization services.

    Just did a board search of your user name and the phrase "time banks." Correct me if I'm wrong, but in fact you've never mentioned time banks before. Maybe I missed it?

    The prime problem with "time banks" is there a lot of volunteering of unskilled labor, and relatively little volunteering by the professionally skilled. Nothing wrong with volunteering your time, but you can't base a society on it.

    Where all workers receive the same wages. Again, not an example of a moneyless society.

    Where?

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  14. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    According to several posters here who've used that phrase. Their language, not mine.

    BTW, I was agreeing with Carcazoid's post. Maybe I should have used one of these. :rolleyes:

    Even given the existence of replicator technology, the whole "moneyless" thing can't work. It would never work. It's pie-in-the-sky thinking.

    Oh, and the plural of kibbutz is kibbutzim.
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I think this argument has been talked to death. Either you believe people would do productive labor because of social pressure as well as a desire to contribute to society or you don't.

    Full stop.

    There's no further discussion needed.

    Can we move on?
     
  16. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    I'm not asking for people who want to get rid of money. I know those exist. I'm asking for states who had none for an appreciable amount of time and it worked.
     
  17. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
    Ancient Egypt: transactions were conducted via measured amounts of grain, which could be used by the worker who earned it as food or for further transactions. This was not money, but a precise system of direct exchange. Indeed, most of the ancient economy worked without money, especially at the lowest levels. Simply put, coins were rare.
     
  18. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    That's a lot more like "money" than barter.
     
  19. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    I don't care if there's never been a moneyless state. There's never been a space vessel with FTL drive, either.
     
  20. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
    It is not an abstract value that can commodified itself. Grain is not a placeholder for value: it represents its own value.