Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.
No longer grieving? Where was that bit?
What kind of advancement are we talking about, if there's no money involved ? Certainly not work conditions, because that can be solved by not working.
Aren't internships usually done prior to actual paid work ?
Again, yes, SOME people do volunteer work or do stuff that doesn't get paid. It doesn't follow that they would do that 40 hours a week for 40 years. I think the number of people who would do that represent less than 2% of the population, in which case you have a problem, economically speaking.
Be careful not to confuse what people claim they would do, and what they will actually do in the same situation.
I don't. I feel religion is doomed, but not before a long time.
TNG "The Bonding"
Yeah, I apologize to everyone still involved but it's not so much I don't have discussion regarding the money issue left it's just the conversation no longer holds much interest. I'll comment I do think some people have some points but I don't think anyone really knows what a society where everyone's needs is taken care of.
The closest thing to that in the western world, where everything is free, housing is free, food is free, clothing is free, you do little or no work, you aren't paid directly, and you're just all around taken care of ...
... is children.
I've heard (haven't watched much DS9, sorry) that Bajoran spirituality was depicted in a mostly positive light on Deep Space Nine. If that's true, I wonder what Roddenberry's reaction would have been to that.
Not to mention would make for piss-poor dramatic TV.
Ron Moore has hinted on more than one occasion, DS9 was revenge on the entire Trek franchise.
Albeit not as much as BSG.
^ Now I'm thinking maybe I should watch Deep Space Nine.
Oh yeah, they don't even hide it.
* Quark and the Ferengi constantly mock the fact the humans don't use money but need it whenever OTHER cultures come up who do.
(One episode has them repeat Picards "we no longer need money, we improve ourselves" speech sarcastically.)
* Religion is an important part of people's lives and attempts to suppress (or "educate" those who believe in it) it is diminishing yourself as well as the people who believe it.
* Dismissing deities in a world with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens is stupid since the two might as well be interchangeable.
* The Federation's self-described utopianism actually creeps other races out, leading them to believe they'll suck up other races' cultures and replace them with a meaningless family friendly Disneyland version.
(They call it "Federation root beer" -- look it up on Youtube)
* The ends sometimes DO justify the means.
* There's a group which does the Federation's dirty work so everyone else can feel safe and secure.
* Sometimes war is inevitable and the other side isn't capable of being reasoned with.
* People would use holodecks for sex--all the time.
* Infinite Diversity and Utopianism are incompatible--you have to accept the good with the bad in tolerance.
* And my favorite: If you were a 20th century human you'd probably prefer living with the Bajorans or Klingons.
It's very very idealistic but the series is one long deconstruction of everything Roddenberry's vision implied.
Sure, there are crappy jobs that have to be done. A lot of them, though, are probably automated in the 24th century. Notice what Picard says: "The economics of the future are somewhat different." and "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. ...We work to better ourselves ...and the rest of humanity."
They are not working to get rich; it's not necessary. That doesn't mean they're not receiving some kind of compensation for the jobs they do. Since only Earth is like this, non-Earth sponsored space travel and goods would need to be paid for. Vouchers or "credits" - as they called them in the Original Series - could be part of that. You want to live in a certain area? You like the mountains rather than the city? Well, as long as you work in your job, you get to keep that bigger property with the view. Everyone has a place to live, and you don't have to pay a mortgage, but if you want your dream home, you have to earn it. You have to contribute. Which leads us to --
"We work to better ourselves...and the rest of humanity." That last part is key. This is why we're not a bunch of lazy fat-asses watching the game and eating replicated Pork Rinds because we don't have to work. They work because they are contributing to humanity as a whole. The implication is that by the 24th century this philosophy will be the human mindset, that we are no longer selfish schmucks.
Or maybe you get up out of bed and work in a less than exciting job because society requires that job to be filled. Sure, they're not earning money, but that doesn't mean people are not required to work. There would have to be a set of rules in place to ensure mankind doesn't pass out on the couch. Certain jobs have to be done and while everyone would have a choice, there would always be people who "don't know what they want to do when they grow up." You can't think of something to contribute? Then you have to pick a trade from a list of jobs. If you wind up really hating it, you can apply for another job, but you have to do something. You could work for rights, privileges or even levels of citizenship. Want to run for public office? No campaign money needed. Instead you work for points. What have you contributed to society? The more service you do, the more points you earn, allowing you to run for a higher position. Lots of other things besides money can be used to motivate people.
Window washing? Probably obsolete. Many cleaning services and stuff? Automated or maybe androids take care of it. Not every "picking up shit" job has to be done by leaving, breathing humans. Also consider that not everyone working today does "unpleasant" jobs because they "have" to. Many people choose that trade. Even if you can't imagine doing it yourself doesn't mean everyone feels that way. I couldn't possibly imagine crawling through filthy air ducts, breathing insulation and dust to repair industrial a/c units. However, my son does. He chose that trade and enjoys it. So maybe someone picked butler or maid because it was something on the list they felt they could do well. How many maids did we see in TNG? The one in the final episode? She served Data tea, but we don't know what else she did. Nobody said she cleaned toilets or dumped the litter box. For all we know she watched the place and kept the robot staff programmed. Or maybe her family lived in that house as caretakers for centuries. Tradition could play a big part in careers.
So, yeah, society without money and leaving it at that makes no sense. But it was always vague enough to allow the idea that something replaced currency.
It's amazing, really, how much more interesting the Star Trek universe becomes (and it was never boring to begin with) when you park our heroes over one place and have them deal with the consequences of their actions last week rather than flying off.
The Bajorans are my favorite characters simply because their situation opens so many questions, not the least being: "Are these guys from Post-Scarcity Society REALLY lecturing me on morality when they've never been hungry a day in their life?"
I was aware that DS9 had touched on some of those issues, but I had just assumed (perhaps erroneously, it seems) that those departures from Roddenberry's "evolved humanity" would be depicted in the same "looking down our nose at you because we've evolved beyond that" manner that TNG so often employed. You know, as in I'm supposed to, for example, agree with the enlightened Feddies and roll my eyes at Quark and his fellow flawed and backward money-users.
Well, not to spoil, but Sisko converts to the Bajoran's religion at the end.
The series isn't a "Deconstruction" of Star Trek like BSG, where humanity is pretty awful. It's, however, a Reconstruction and a Deconstruction where the Federation is depicted as not having all the answers and not being nearly as perfect as people claim. The series, however, maintains the federation is a fundamentally good organization and its people are trying to be better than they are--which is depicted as a good thing.
I don't think I'd like it nearly as much if not for that caveat.
My bigger problem with economics as portrayed in the show is not how people are incentivized to work (some minimum that gets power to the household replicator), but that it says little about consumer choices. It's been shown many times that people have tastes that cannot be satisfied by the replicator. Who gets to eat at Siskos? Where does Riker get real eggs? Why should Quark stock yammuk sauce? Why should someone hold onto antique spectacles?
That's ALL any Star Trek ever claimed about the Federation. Nobody every said it was a perfect, nobody ever said that it was a utopia, even in the preachy early days of TNG. That's something that Trek fans (and detractors) came up with.
I had this conversation with my players at a tabletop RPG who, essentially, as their FIRST question about my game was to resolve the money-issue. It's why I decided they were a cashless socialist society (but credits=money).
In-universe, however, they have people who apparently prefer "organic" and keep antiques.
And Roddenberry wanted.
I should hope centuries from now we've stopped identifying ourselves as consumers, and ditched consumer culture entirely.
In the absence of government-issued money, a bartering system would probably develop, maybe even involving an unofficial currency (perhaps that's what credits are?). I would imagine Grandpa Sisko reserves some seats for people who provide him with fresh ingredients, and the rest are first-come, first serve.
There will always be goods and services to trade that you can't replicate, land and time being the main things that come to mind. People will always want to trade. That doesn't mean they will continue to devote their entire lives to money and material acquisition.
I'm inclined to think credits=money but it's just not IMPORTANT as it is in our day.
How important is money, for example, if housing/food/education/medicine is all free?
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