One thing I don't get...how can a conservative be a fan of a series that shows a future where humanity has evolved past the need to acquire wealth through the exploitation of others? Surely the utopian socialist future of Star Trek should be heresy to him.
Speaking for myself, I don't view Star Trek as espousing socialism at all.
I've had the whole argument in mind for years and have posted it here and there but have never gotten around to posting a proper webpage on the topic, which is a damn shame in situations like this.
But, in brief:
1. Star Trek rarely delves into anything economic, so we argue in a vacuum to some extent.
2. Capitalism and communism are merely the latest examples of scarcity-based economics, which in the current world involves scarcities of material, labor, and high-tech manufacturing, among other things.
3. Star Trek suggests a time when manufacturing technology is such that an iPhone and a rock can't really be valued any differently (for those who would say they could be anyway).
4. While the concept of Star Trek's economics suggesting something along the lines of a post-scarcity model might be debatable, it remains true that the sort of upheaval that would result if a replicator were invented today would completely up-end any modern economic systems.
Or, to put it more to the point, I view Star Trek-era economics as being well beyond capitalism and communism. To claim that Star Trek shows a communist utopia (or socialist, as you said) is, to my mind, equivalent to someone from hundreds of years ago trying to decide if Trek showed a mercantilist utopia.
So no, I don't see any reason for Glenn Beck to have the slightest philosophical issue with Star Trek economics. And further, I certainly don't have the sense of overbearing government intrusion into the lives of the average Federation citizen, either . . . I think he'd appreciate that, as well.
I dont thnk it's communist, but rather that people have grown up- no longer thinking of their value as something bound to material posessions.
The whole "keeping up with the joneses" thing is either a thing of the past or they compete on a skills/experience basis. For example, one might look at their neighbor's garden or guitiar playing as a source of accomplishment instead of the car or bigscreen TV.
Which explains both the way Ferengi are looked at by the Federation and why the holodeck and replicators are not abused severely.
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Self Impossed Exile (This Space for rent)
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Wouldnt Bernd be the best to discuss this? This is his subject matter, ST background, right?
Actually, have it ever been discussed the exact type of government the Federation has? I think there's been allusion to maybe a democracy/ representative government, but no explicit mention. I mean we do know there's a president and a legislature, what are their powers exactly and how do they get elected? And though we've seen civilians, what are their rights in the Federation? And how do the governments of individual member states factor in? I mean Enterprise seemed to show that founding members of the UFP, like Vulcan and Andoria, weren't democracies.
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^I don't think it was ever directly addressed but the general impression I was always left with was that the Federation government consisted mainly of just the President and the Federation Council. I think there's some mention in DS9's 'Rapture' about Bajor having to choose their council representative(s) so that leads me to think that while the Federation itself is democratic, the members need not be. So each member world has the right to determine their own system of government and selects their representative by whatever means they wish, be it an executive appointment, popular vote or drawing straws.
I do believe there is a requirement for there to be a unified world government (which is why Kespritt was denied entry) and I do believe there is also a requirement of the government being of a benevolent type (there was something about a world with a caste system in an episode of something...).
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