What is civlian life like in the Federation?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Civ001, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it doesn't so much eliminate scarcity of resources as it decreases drastically decrease costs of numerous resources across the board. Nonetheless, replicators still need raw matter to work from -- they don't just create something out of nothing, but work by, as it were, "re-distributing" matter into new forms. So not only do they need raw matter, but they also need the information to replicate new patterns -- which itself might end up being subject to intellectual property laws.

    "Certainly has its inequalities?" Tell that to the millions of people in America who go to sleep hungry every day.

    Nobody here has advocated for the kind of authoritarian, statist socialism you are describing. It is as disingenuous to portray all forms of socialism as akin to Russia under Stalin as it would be for me to equate all forms of capitalism to Chile under Pinochet.

    If you wish to argue against someone, please argue against what they are actually advocating for. Otherwise, the word is "Strawman."

    This presumes that a nominally meritocratic society (and what is capitalism, if not in part a form of meritocracy?) can actually function in a meritocratic fashion. The problem with this is that reality does not bear the meritocracy out; a system that provides vast rewards for success and harsh punishments for failure only creates incentives for political and economic actors to subvert the rules of fair play. Recent history bears this out in industry after industry, as those who benefit from a meritocratic industry find ways to rig the game to their own and their allies' benefits, thus reinforcing preexisting disparities and class divisions.

    There is a reason that the term "meritocracy" originated in a satire that was designed to warn against such systems. As Christopher Hayes puts it in his brilliant Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy: "He who says meritocracy says oligarchy."
     
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And let's not forget that there are some people, such as Picard's family, who won't use replicators - Robert Picard wouldn't allow them in the home. I'm guessing that their parents were the same way. So how do the Picards get by? ;)
     
  3. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    indeed, the very word "meritocracy" is like "utopia" in that it is an ideal, a form of society that can't possibly exist for a variety of reasons.
     
  4. DangerLRobinson

    DangerLRobinson Ensign Newbie

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    My thoughts about the futuristic utopia of the federation of planets goes as such that it is as simple as you get out of life what you put in if you build houses and need a car you go to a guy and say I will put a few improvements on your home or apartment for the bargain of fixing or making me a car. Even if a janitor and a house builder were to do a trade for goods the janitor would clean the builders houses in exchange for his own house being built. The thing about the star trek federation life is that no one would have to pay utilities and fuel for a car. Two peoples trades or expertise no matter what they are end up somehow paying each other off with an equal exchange for their labor.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Problem develops when the person who has (or makes) the thing you want has no use for what you have to offer.

    That not a problem when you have a system that employs money, the house/car builder receives their payment and they uses that to acquire what they want or need.

    What you can produce is irrelevant.

    Fuel (or a power source) for your car might not be included on the list of basic necessities.

    So the car sits in the driveway.

    :)
     
  6. DangerLRobinson

    DangerLRobinson Ensign Newbie

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    See its more of an interwoven collective bargaing philosophy where maybe one person has no need for it however there is still the possibility of referring the person that cannot provide for me to someone else and even now charity still allows for many things to get done.

    Also the main thing that we have a problem with is the sheer scope of how monumentally historic that such a change in our society would take.
    First we would have to start teaching education about sustainability and innovation. As well as collective or direct democracy and philosophy in futurist ideals. Then is the hard part in convincing the wealthy and powerful that they would still maintain some status and fame even more so if being the deciding factors facilitating the change in society and civilization. They would be able to say and their descendants that they sacrificed their power and wealth for the bettermant and evolution of mankind.
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Humans are extremely adaptable as history has shown. We've gone from primitive hunter-gatherer societies to agrarian ones, to industrialized ones, to modern service/information based ones. As you write, an issue would come up with those who'd lose their power statuses in a more egalitarian post-scarcity society, but advances always threaten the status quo of SOMEONE who wants to prevent them.
     
  8. DangerLRobinson

    DangerLRobinson Ensign Newbie

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    Whatever the most powerful or wealthy status positions there are would need to be retrofitted or retroformed so a gas company now harvests sunlight geothermal etc. While making money then the next step is that whomever had control over that company perhaps slowly weens itself off of the need to profit due to the better possibility of that because of sustainable resources. That's why I mentioned the change in education at all levels promoting futurist ideals and philosophies. Then with government. Those people would be changed drastically to either be the starfleet administration. Or new roles as stewards spokespersons or clerks instead of representatives on a heirarchial ladder. And an actor or musician still would be famous and have status however the likelihood of a person far of in the future living in luxury and decadence would be only if their fans and their work determine deservedness or worthiness. I will elaborate. If I am an actor and its the 24th century and I've made thirty films that are extremely popular then my house deserves an addition on it because I've done all that work to entertain that many people. The same as another person who had put in years of work and is a great architect. Should have what they have. Its up to that janitor or that school kid as to how much knowledge experience and skills they learn that determines what they earn.
     
  9. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it would be wonderful! You could achieve your dreams without having to worry about money. I hate money and paying bills!
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hate having to pay bills too, don't get me wrong. But if I suddenly found myself in a society where I could just do whatever I wanted all the time, I don't know how I would be affected by that. I might not like what I turn into.

    My job is certainly no picnic, but at least there's the satisfaction of being compensated for all that hard work.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    er, you realize that there is already a large group of people that can just do what they want to, right?

    Rich people can do this, as can retired people. What have they "turned into?"
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Poor people on welfare, anybody on long term unemployment, disability, etc..

    What's the ratio between alcohol/drug abusers verse those producing art and writing a great novel?

    :borg:
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is little empirical support for the notion that people on welfare or disability are more likely to be drug abusers than others.

    As for not producing art or novels, probably not because if they're on welfare they're likely to be rather busy with the day to day struggles of finding enough to eat and making sure they have a place to sleep.

    Are retired people more likely to be alcoholics and drug abusers? After all, as I wrote, they get to do whatever they want to. From my observations though, they tend to go to church, play bingo, volunteer at schools, watch television, read, etc.

    Admittedly, my observations are unscientific. They may be out there getting sloshed on Jack Daniels...
     
  14. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't understand what T'Girl meant by that, either. Hopefully she'll clarify.

    On admittedly anecdotal basis, it's worth pointing out that there are many significant artists that died from drugs. Just off the top of my head, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger and Philip Seymore Hoffman all died from drug overdoses. Ernest Hemingway was a drunkard who ultimately killed himself. Addiction does not necessarily preclude success in the arts.

    Is the implication that laziness leads to drug use? Or that a society that does not focus on monetary gain will cause everyone to simply zone out with drugs? If that is the argument then it completely misunderstands addiction.
     
  15. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Who buys all the cocaine, T'Girl? Definitely not "poor people on welfare, anybody on long term unemployment, disability, etc.."

    And I doubt those people have the means to do whatever it is they desire or aspire to, though there are plenty of starving artists and writers, I suppose.
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is the Federal Government's primary source of national data on the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances. NSDUH 2005-2011 findings show ...

    Of unemployed adults, 18.5 are illicit drug users.
    9.4 percent of part-time employees are drug users.
    8.8 percent of full time employees are drug users.
    less than 6 percent for those in the "other" category, which includes retirees.

    http://alcoholism.about.com/od/drugs/a/nsduh_drugs.htm
     
  17. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    OK, but what is the point you are using that data in support of?
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Are you serious?
    After the last ~5 posts, you are still failing to understand what 'the point' of that data is within the scope of this thread?
    Ookie-dookie.
     
  19. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    OK, so even if true, let's look for a likely causality link here. Since retired people AREN'T likely to be drug abusers, it's not the "not working" aspect that's causing the abuse, it's UNEMPLOYMENT, which, unlike retirement, is a stressful and involuntary state where you have little security in terms of providing basic needs.

    This still doesn't prove the poster's point that people WHO DON'T WORK are likely to somehow turn into drug abusers, when this doesn't happen with either retirees or the idle rich.


    Actually, that data indicates that if you want to cut down on drug abuse, give everyone the economic security of a retiree.:techman:


    (I bet drug abuse is lower in socially democratic countries in Scandinavia than it is in more neo-liberal ones for the same reason. Less desperation= less drug abuse)
     
  20. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And 100% of Elitist Hollywood does cocaine.
    :rommie: >>SNORT!!!<<