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Does Star Trek promote an idealized communist society?

From what I know in Star Trek, they don't use money. No one gets paid for working. They work to improve themselves and society. Everything is provided for them. This is an idealized communist society and does not happen in real life. This why communism failed. People need the prospect of wealth to work hard otherwise there won't be enough food at the supermarket. Farmers won't produce without an incentive.

14 Answers

  • Rukh
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    You need to take a closer look at Star Trek and the details of the society and technology. If you did you'll notice that it does NOT promote an idealized communist society. It promotes an idealized democratic republic, where the large governing body (The United Federation of Planets, the UFP, or commonly known as "The Federation") is run by democratically elected officials and is actually made up of smaller individual governing bodies (the planetary governments of member worlds, not all are purely democratic themselves).

    They DO use money ("Gold-pressed Latinum" being the standard) in Star Trek, and people DO get paid for working. The super-futuristic automation in agriculture and manufacturing, along with replicator technology and superior energy technolgy allow for the Federation to provide the BASIC needs of clothing, shelter, and food. What is often overlooked is the fact that Federation citizens still need to have a means to to buisness with Non-Federation worlds and to purchase "luxuries" (a personal vehicle, fine clothing from the latest fashions, "real" food, works of art, "designer" funiture, holonovels, sports gear, musical instruments, etc.) produced by others.

    A communist government owns every farm, business, and manufacturing plant, the Federation DOES NOT control all these things as part of its governmental powers. The vast majority of businesses are owned and run by civilains which provides the Federation with an open market and a productive economy among its members and other Non-Federation worlds. The key starships in all of the Star Trek series (Enterprise, Voyager, Defiant) used by Starfleet are built by civilian contractors. The original "NCC" designators for hull numbers stood for Naval Commisson Contract, and the first Enterprise NCC-1701, was the 1,701st ship ordered to be built by civilian shipyards. In the real world the US navy does the same thing, government hires out civilian contractors to build ships, the original USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was built by the civilian owned Newport News Shipyards.

    Though food replicators can provide nutritious meals the technology is not perfect, it can only create meals that are programmed into it and often times there are is a noticable difference in taste. There is still a demand for "real" food, as many people desire things that are fresh or cannot be replicated. This means that there are still farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and cooks that provide fresh food, but they don't do it to "Make a Living" (since the basic necessities are provided) they do it because they enjoy the work and would like to earn some money for "luxury" items.

    Federation citizens learn, teach, and work for the improvement of society because they desire to do so and (since the basics are provided) not out of some capitalistic need to ensure survival. They do not live in fear of when their next meal will come, where they will sleep at night, or who will try to rob them.

    The introduction of the Maquis storylines in TNG, DS9, and Voyager showed that the Federation was NOT perfect. I think it was Ben Sisko, or his friend Cal Hudson that said, "The problem is Earth! Everything there is so perfect, they've done away with poverty, hunger, pollution, and suffering. Everything is provided for them and most in the Federation has gotten use to that ideal. Too many forget what its like to really try to survive out here on the edges of Federation space where there isn't always enough energy, replicators, and holosuites to keep everyone comfortable and safe from tryanny."

    It is the technology that allows the Federation to maintain their utopian society, but in areas where that technology is not available, things crumble and degenerate into "less civilized" living conditions.

    In Star Trek the human race has matured, conquered their greed, and along with it the animalisic need to oppress and dominate others through the aquisition of wealth and power. I always saw the Federation as a cross between the democratic governments of the "Free Western World" and the communist governments behind the "Iron Curtain". The government is made of elected officials with proper checks-and-balances to ensure the people always have a voice in how things are run. Provides the necessary programs to ensure the safety and survival (basic food, shelter, medical and clothing) of ALL its citizens, and encourages a free market where people can work to develop art, culture, trade, and technology without the heavy taint of a being a purely monetary endeavor.

    We may live in a "democratic" society, but we are not truely free to persue the things we really want to do and learn about. Everything in our society is based on capitalism and making money, and reality things are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. People work, teach, and learn, mainly to make money just to survive with the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. Nearly everything is done for the purposes of making money first, not out of the honest desire to create or contribute to society that makes other people's lives easier or more enjoyable. Money is behind the motive for nearly everything we do, we have the ability and technology to cloth, feed, and provide shelter and medicine to everyone, but it's the emphasis on money that prevents people from just creating the tools, medicine, clothes, food, and shelters that would get us to that point.

    The great thing about Star Trek is that is shows what things might be like if the human race could overcome their greed and pettiness and apply technology that frees people to actually live life. Instead of trudging along and working themselves to death, humans would be able to add to the art, culture, and knowledge at an exponential pace, compared to the snail-like progress of maturity we have today.

    Source(s): Star Trek, ST: The Next Generation, ST: Deep Space 9, ST: Voyager, ST: Enterprise, and the Star Trek movies.
  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Star Trek Communism

  • 1 decade ago

    Usually communist societies involved some form of dictatorship. I think that star trek tries to convey more of a Utopian-socialist based society - work for the benefit of mankind instead of personal wealth type of thing. Picard explains it well in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact"'s also a very good action movie anyway, I'd suggest seeing it.

    Also note that in communist societies all monies weren't obliterated. Those in power controlled resources and trade money. The way I view it, it wasn't exactly an equalized society as the way Karl Marx envisioned true fundamentals of communism.

    Source(s): One of more ironic things about communism and star trek - one of the downfalls of a communist society like soviet russia was widespread of things remedied in star trek - the food replicator!
  • 1 decade ago

    Finally someone else has seen what I've known since the original series...Gene Roddenberry was a communist! Remember the "Next Generation" episode where they found the cryogenic ship carrying the 3 people from the 20th century? Picard seemed delighted to lecture the rich businessman about how no one owned any personal wealth anymore.

  • 1 decade ago

    The main thing is, with such advanced technology, all the basics of survival, food, clothing, shelter, power/energy, will be so plentiful that they can be virtually free and produced automatically by machines, free slave labor. Very few people will have to actually work, if any.

    Nobody will have to work just to "pay the bills", and food and shelter in basic forms will cost almost nothing anyway.

    If the computers and food processing machines go all Bolshevik, then we're screwed though.

  • 1 decade ago

    Money wasn't nesecary in the 24th century so that's why. But abother form of money was used especially by the Ferengi and that was latinum. There aren't any farmers unless they are a prewarp civilization or if they like producing their own food because by that tuime, they now had replicators.

  • 1 decade ago

    So, the communist were right? I like the ST model for society. We hardly work now with little more than the prospect of providing ourselves with necessities and diversions. Where is the big whoop in being really wealthy. Wouldn't you rather be part of the Federation crew?

  • 1 decade ago

    Other than being stuck somewhere in the 1950's you must want more from the television series than is necessary, anyone that seeks to colonize and develop trade must necessarily have some sort of economic system in effect. By the way seeking the new worlds was not just for fun and games, were they not looking to see what was available and presumabley setting up trade agreements?

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure that the creators of the various Star Trek sagas would have said that, but I can see how you could ask that question.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This has been answered many times before

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