How Did Viewers in the '60s Perceive the Federation?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Shon T'Hara, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, TOS and TAS have a number of outright capitalists -- Harry Mudd, Cyrano Jones, the K7 bartender, Flint (who was rich enough to buy a planet), Carter Winston. Also, the Rigel XII miners in "Mudd's Women" were apparently in it for profit, as were the pergium miners on Janus VI, since Kirk said working with the Hortas would make them "embarrassingly rich." The whole post-capitalist, moneyless economy thing doesn't kick in until the TNG era, which makes sense, because they apparently didn't have proper replicators yet in the 23rd century. (Although Kirk did say in "Catspaw" that they could synthesize an endless supply of gemstones so that such things were no longer considered valuable.)
     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes some sort of barter system around fuel, energy production, food, and medical supplies seemed to be the most common themes, which make sense. Alien worlds carry new diseases and potential catastrophes that might not show up on short to medium term surveys .

    I never found the existence of Replicators to be convincing in TNG. They had to get pretty energy intensive. It did not look like a sustainable system on larger scales.
     
  3. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the program also has to have the goal of redistributing wealth toward egalitarianism and therefore environmental regulations (for the good of the public rather than about wealth per se, let alone redistributing it) aren't an example. Otherwise the phrase socialist regulation would just be repetitive (unless you consider that there as well as non-redistributive regulations there can also be anti-egalitarian regulations).

    Yeah, by DS9 latinum seems to have become the interspecies currency and I think to be pretty valued by most humans as well, including (maybe) even to use among themselves. Socialist countries can allow commerce with capitalists but probably not that much and wouldn't in the ideal.

    Well what type of economic systems are in place relates to government policies if not the whole type of government; you admitted there is also a non-democratic (Marxist/dictatorial) form of socialist system.

    Well in part because pure laissez-faire capitalism has never been tried it's both obvious and valid that a mixed-system is the most successful and yet there can also be a lot of valid disagreement about what the mix should be.

    It's the view that government should not use force and coercion to get what it wants, should not compel behavior or, other than to prevent harm to individuals, prohibit behavior.

    Libertarians see nothing wrong with collective/collaborative programs if contributing to them is voluntary. Most people would prefer that except they fear that not enough people would contribute enough.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm talking about democratic socialism as it's actually applied in most Western democracies, not the pure, absolute doctrine. My whole point is that it's wrong to treat these as rigid dogmas. The best system is one that combines the best parts of everything.


    I'm not talking about what is, I'm talking about what should be. In life, people treat economic systems as if they were pseudo-religious doctrines that had to be clung to in defiance of all objective evidence -- which is stupid, because there's nothing more pragmatic than economics, so it should be based on what actually works in practice instead of what someone wants to believe will work.
     
  5. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Aren't there legitimately different, contrasting standards used to evaluate how well something works in practice? I.e., a big dispute about economic systems and policies isn't just what produces more (although that is disputed) but who is able to gain/keep more or less of what is produced compared to who should be able to gain/keep what?

    Of course regardless of preferences about distribution a system does have to produce a certain amount of goods and more would probably be better but many people would be willing that less be produced than could be possible if what was produced was more rightly/fairly distributed.
     
  6. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Are we still talking about Star Trek?

    I can't tell...

    :shrug:
     
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  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it's part of my (and others') previous point that our existing economic models wouldn't work for a post-scarcity economy like the 24th-century Federation, so trying to apply existing theories just wouldn't work. Something new would have to be invented. That's what I'm saying. I keep hearing people talk about things like capitalism and communism as if they were immutable laws of physics or the word of God, rather than just some ideas that people thought up a couple of centuries ago and have been testing in practice ever since. Our current models haven't been around forever, and it stands to reason that they won't continue to be around forever. Whatever economic theories the Federation's system uses are probably ones that we haven't invented yet.
     
  8. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    IDK - if they could make power systems that drive devices that Warp spacetime; and Matter to Energy to Matter Transporters that are safe for Biological beings to the point they are considered routine; I never had an issue with them being able to use the latter technology to replicate non-biologigical matter, or be able to power such a device via a civilian power grid of the same era. ;)
     
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  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be frank, I have a similar issue with casual use of transporters too. Converting matter to energy releases masses of energy and vice versa. It's unrealistic to suppose that process and keeping all that energy contained doesn't involve vast amounts of power in itself. We know that ships don't have unlimited power and warping space is fudged through the use of dilithium to focus and increase the energy. Scale a ship of 400 up to 4 million. How many of these rare dilithium crystals would it takes to power replicators on a planet? How much anti-matter? We see on several occasions just how quickly battery power is drained on a starship. I don't see solar storage being good enough to power a planet (geothermal possibly?).

    I think the TOS economy like the old US frontier with famine and disease has a more inspirational pioneering feel. It's less sanitised than TNG (and Enterprise) with people on the make, where the only ship in the Quadrant is believable, even if the writers are clearly blagging it as they go as far as the future economy is concerned.

    One of my gripes about Discovery is that it is too TNG in terms of its economy and energy consumption.