sun_stealer (sun_stealer) wrote in prometheuslfs,
sun_stealer
sun_stealer
prometheuslfs

Is the Federation a Tyranny?

Guys, I've had this theory for a while, and I want to know if it is just me?
Now I'm not talking about the Space USA that was the Federation of the TOS
I'm talking about the Federation of Next Gen and Co.

Lets look at the facts:
*"we've long evolved beyond money"- this is suggesting some sort of a socialist economy or they are deadbeats trying to cheat natives out of the bill.
*I've never seen an actual civilian ship, or civilians for that matter.
*Star Fleet and the Federation seem to be indistinguishable- Federation = Star Fleet?

I think the Federation is some sort of stalinist military-state. Perhaps they are Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Surakist-Archerist. What say you? This has been bothering me for months.
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*baited*

*The existence of replicators removes scarcity, therefore removing problems with subsistence, and therefore removing the main reason money and the division of labour exist. People are left to pursue their own purposes rather than earning money in order to live, which could be seen as an anarchist development rather than a socialist one, ala Iain M Banks' 'Culture' novels.

*I think there are civilians which frequent Ben Sisko's father's restaurant, aren't there? (which he works at because he loves cooking, rather than to earn money) And what about Seven's parents - weren't they civilians flying a civilian ship when they got assimilated? (can't remember, it's been years since I watched it)

*The Federation is the overall, interplanetary bureaucracy, and Star Fleet is just that, the fleet of ships (and organisation responsible for the latter) which zoom around discovering things, keeping the peace, and transporting said bureaucrats.

*The greatest failing of the ST universe is precisely that the Federation is NOT a Marxist state, when it clearly should and wants to be...

Anonymous

June 21 2010, 00:25:36 UTC 7 years ago

The thing is that the Federation doesn't look in any way like a post-scarcity economy. It ought perhaps to be one because of replicators. But it isn't. Looks nothing like.

For a start, where are the private spacecraft?

You don't get post-scarcity just because some things aren't scarce anymore. It's not a post-scarcity economy until nothing that people want is scarce. Interesting things happen when human labour isn't scarce, but even that is a post-work economy, not a post-scarcity economy.

Anonymous

June 21 2010, 00:51:00 UTC 7 years ago

"It's not a post-scarcity economy until nothing that people want is scarce."

Scarcity is about needs, not wants. It's about there being enough resources for everyone to ensure that all the basic requirements of living are met without some form of indentured service or struggle - so food, health and shelter. Replication, if everyone is given access to it, does this.

Hence, private spacecraft don't really have much to do with "post scarcity" - a post scarcity econonmy doesn't have to provide you with a private spacecraft to qualify as such. It's still up to you to make to make the spacecraft happen, by applying yourself to that goal - like Picard says in First Contact, since there is no monetary economy, the point of living is, instead of accumulating wealth or property, to "better ourselves" (or something to that effect).

ie we don't have to worry about ensuring basic living and can apply ourselves to other endeavours, such as space flight, and when large groups all work together to ensure that same goal, you get things like Starfleet.

Anonymous

May 5 2009, 18:34:25 UTC 8 years ago

I think this is open to interpretation. The Federation is some
sort of quasi-government. It could be anything from a voluntary
participation standards body, with membership restrictions, to
a totalitarian dictatorship. Star Fleet could be the military arm
of the Federation or something less governmental. We don't know
enough from the shows to distinguish whether the rules are voluntarily
adhered to by members, or whether they are forced on non-participants.
Perhaps everyone who gets Star Fleet help to get into space abides
by Federation laws about quarantine planets, Prime Directive, etc?

What if Star Fleet is more like a non-profit organization? Material
goods don't have intrinsic value, so value is in energy (dilithium
crystals) and information (Star Fleet exploration results). In that
case, Star Fleet could be just a private organization of (armed)
explorers.
There is an interesting essay on communism in Star Trek by Mike Wong on his "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" site. I think it deliberately courts controversy, but so long as you don't rise to the baits it presents arguments worth considering.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/Trek-Marxism.html