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Will we achieve the economy of star trek some day? I think so!

star trek economy socialism capitalism freedom

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#1 TheFountain

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:53 PM

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

In star trek the economy is based on utilitarian participation in some kind of common place work force, where we all 'work together for the betterment of humanity'.

I have spoken with people who say this will never happen because of the 'inherent greed of the human race'.

I don't think we are all inherently greedy. I think the level of greed we see today is a learned trait, based on my psychological education. But that is another conversation entirely.

The way I see it, we are incrementally evolving toward an economy where more and more things will become 'free'. Already look at how much cost has gone down for basic mediums of entertainment.

Once upon a time you had no choice but to pay 70$ a month for overpriced, limited cable broadcasting. Now you pay 10$ a month and can watch almost anything you want, whenever you want, as many times as you want, on netflix.

You use to have to pay 50$ a month for local phone service. Now you can pay 20$ a year for digital phone service (magic jack) and there are also free alternatives. Plus cell phone service plans are going down (see virgin mobile).

Music is another thing that is easily acquired for next to nothing, and you can get it at your own pace, song by song. Consuming it as you see fit, rather than what some corporate sponsored radiostation sees fit.

You once had to spend hundreds of dollars for a decent vitamin/supplement regimen. Now you can log into swanson or vitacost and get months worth of the same supplments for way less than a hundred dollars.

The reason I am mentioning all this is because the reason price is going down is that demand is either dropping because of widespread availability of many of these commodities or luxuries or a lot of these companies cannot compete with free sources, so they try their best to present them in such a way that it appeals to a prospective buyer.

What is this all leading to? An economy where everything is free, as long as you participate in the economy?

Well, one might exclaim. 'that would never work because given the option people would rather lay around and have everything handed to them'.

^^^ So by the above logic, money is the only worthy incentive?

I have to heartily disagree with this sentiment.

Basically it is illogical. It presupposes that 1-People would have nothing to 'work for' if currency were removed from the equation and 2-That there are no other viable incentives.

I disagree 1000% with people who think this way.

If people slave 40, 50, 60 hours a week just for basic necessities, food, shelter, living costs etc, to barely be able to make ends meet, what do you think they would do if the incentive was the betterment not only of humankind, but, consequently, their own lives?

I think at first people would see the selfish aspect of this approach, but soon, in a matter of two or three generations, they would realize the big picture, as it were.

That is, that the betterment of the human race is the primary goal, because no one lives in a vacuum and therefor, we cannot better ourselves fully without bettering our species and vice versa! A feedback loop of mutual necessity!

After all, is that not what the current economy is based on, albeit in a very lop sided fashion that favors consumerism and impersonal deterministic forces (being controlled by what other's want, instead of what thy self wants)?

Also, I do not buy the notion that 'competition' is solely responsible for innovation, especially where advances in physics or biology are concerned. On the contrary a concerted effort is what usually gets the job done (think the human genome project, for example)!

And after all, if humans can invent so much fighting against one another, imagine how much they can invent working with one another!

So, what does everyone else think? I am pretty convinced that notions of eternal greed are just way out of proportion and generally the domain of cynics who, because they are so ingrained in todays economics, they cannot see past their own noses on this matter!

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: star trek, economy, socialism, capitalism, freedom

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