Is star trek pro-communism?

  • Thread starter cmdr_sponge
  • Start date
  • #1
the earth of star trek has no money, people do things for each other. in one of the films they go back to earth and are suprised that people are spending money.

when kirk is found guilty he is sent down the (salt?) mines.

any other evidence?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
drag
Science Advisor
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Greetings !
Originally posted by cmdr_sponge
the earth of star trek has no money, people do things for each other. in one of the films they go back to earth and are suprised that people are spending money.

Gene Rodenberry wanted to create an optimistic picture of
the future of all humanity. This is one of the most appealing
things about Star Trek that originally made it completely different from most other sci-fi stories. An important aspect of that oprtimistic picture was to not just show what can be achieved
in the future in terms of space exploration, alien contact and
so on, but also remedy the problems of modern society.
Originally posted by cmdr_sponge
when kirk is found guilty he is sent down the (salt?) mines.
In the Klingon Empire. :wink:
Originally posted by cmdr_sponge
any other evidence?
NO ! Go home !

Peace and long life.
 
  • #3
Guybrush Threepwood
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living in an ex-communist country I'd have to say NO.

the earth of star trek has no money, people do things for each other.

this is utopia, not communism :wink:
 
  • #4
could communism not be utopia?
 
  • #5
Originally posted by cmdr_sponge
the earth of star trek has no money, people do things for each other. in one of the films they go back to earth and are suprised that people are spending money.

when kirk is found guilty he is sent down the (salt?) mines.

any other evidence?


So they don't use money, but they are suprised people are using money?

You make 100% no sense whatsoever.
 
  • #6
Andy
69
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So they don't use money, but they are suprised people are using money?

You make 100% no sense whatsoever.

Think about it! If you had never seen or used something, lets use Yaxitrake as an example, you would be surprised to see me using it wouldn't you?
 
  • #7
drag
Science Advisor
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Well, somebody HAS to ask, right ?
What's a Yaxitrake ?
(Or it that supposed to have no meaning ? )
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
this is utopia, not communism :wink:
Didn't Marx consider communism to be utopia?
 
  • #9
Guybrush Threepwood
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Originally posted by russ_watters
Didn't Marx consider communism to be utopia?

maybe in his book. But practice always sucks....
Anyway we used money in communism and people didn't do things for each other more that now. The main difference is freedom of speech, acces to information and more stupid politicians.
 
  • #10
Dave
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WEll Star Trek has other cool stuff like Warp speed and transporters and why not have perfect communism?
 
  • #11
Guybrush Threepwood
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not even the transporters worked all the time (that happens especially when the away team is in some sort of trouble). and they can't pass warp 10 (or around this number).
so as I said, practice really sucks sometimes...
 
  • #12
Andy
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Star trek ssupposedly had a perfect society, not perfect technology, if they had perfect technology then it would make for a very very boring series.
 
  • #13
Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
maybe in his book. But practice always sucks....
Anyway we used money in communism and people didn't do things for each other more that now. The main difference is freedom of speech, acces to information and more stupid politicians.

the only thing that stops communism working is people.

(can u make 100% no sense, surely its 0% sense, or nonsense, or complete yaxitrake)
 
  • #14
drag
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
maybe in his book. But practice always sucks....
Damn ! I must put this next to my Einstein quotes !
(You should consider copyrighting that... )
 
  • #15
Guybrush Threepwood
520
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Originally posted by drag
Damn ! I must put this next to my Einstein quotes !
(You should consider copyrighting that... )

already done that. You owe me 5$

the only thing that stops communism working is people.
so what more evidence that there was no such thing in Star Trek....
And what is yaxitrake? is it a plane? is it a bird?.....
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
maybe in his book. But practice always sucks....
But...
WEll Star Trek has other cool stuff like Warp speed and transporters and why not have perfect communism?
Yeah. Star Trek is not bound by the parameters of reality.
the only thing that stops communism working is people.
But thats a pretty key constraint, isn't it?

The thing I see in Star Trek is that they have evolved beyond or "outgrown" human nature.
 
  • #17
FZ+
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Strange... I always found nationalist overtones in there. You know, the power of the militaristic starfleet, the people all dressed in uniform, the hypocrisy of the various directives and the insistence it's all about exploring, not conquering, though they seem to do alot of the latter by accident.
 
  • #18
Vosh
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Some thoughts off the top of my head: There has never been a Communist state on Earth. They called it Communism for P.R. reasons; the reasoning used by places like the former Soviet Union goes, "we have to first take total control and *then* decentralize everything". Well, we know that a Camel will pass through the eye of a needle before a human gives up his power. Communism is a decentralized state; much like the internet. The closest the Earth has ever come to Communism is America (or by some accounts, Canada)! The Soviet Union was (slowly) a dictatorship.

There were many writers, producers, businessmen etc. getting their fingers into the creative process, especially after Roddenberry passed, so indicting it for inconsistencies is a tad over wrought, to my mind.

I first saw the reference to the Star Trek future not using money in the movie, "Star Trek 4". Then it was mentioned in ST:TNG. Then in the movie, "First Contact" where Picard went into it in terms that were anything but ambiguous.

In fact, the evolution toward that kind of society is already happening; but (Levarr Burton voice) you don't have to take my word for it! See: www.home-ed-press.com[/url] and [PLAIN]www.anxietyculture.com, [Broken] for example. Some ppl. may not like it and to them I say, don't worry. By the time the world has become a place that rattles your tea cups, you'll be dead!

Thank you.
 
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  • #19
HAVOC451
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Communism is expressed in Star Trek by the Borg. The ultimate collective, the perfect antfarm society.

Resistance is inevitable.
 
  • #20
Njorl
Science Advisor
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The Star Trek economic system most closely resembles utopian socialism. Communism is a very specific form of socialism. When economists speak of communism, marxism and utopian socialism they have different, specific things in mind.

Njorl
 
  • #21
zoobyshoe
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I was there when Star Trek first came on TV in the 60s and there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the Soviets were alive and well in the future. They called themselves: Klingons!

This may not be apparent to anyone too young to remember the cold war, during which Star Trek came to be, but if you watch the original series with the cold war in mind you can see that it's true. It wasn't till the first Star trek movie that Klingons began to evolve from militaristic totalitarians to have the more tribal warrior ethic they have now.

To suggest that the original Federation was communistic would have gotten you beaten up or shunned back in the 60s. The Federation was simply a Utopia created from political values held by the Democratic Party. The Next Generation gave it a more non-materialistic slant, but that was belied by the situation on Deep Space Nine where greed and crime often was at the heart of the plots.
 
  • #22
LURCH
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I believe Yaxitrake is the superstrong metal of which starship hulls are constructed. It is composed entirely of Yack; I think it's done in nm-thick layers of Yack fur layed cross-grained and held together with an epoxy resin.
 
  • #23
asurace
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Roddenberry wrote himself into a corner. There was simply no way to explain anything about this utopia so the movies or shows would clumsily try to avoid the subject.
 
  • #24
The program reminded me of the UN (UN = Federation); having a crew made up from varied nations and planets that had come together for the common good. The Russians were represented by Checkov, which is why, imo, the Klingons represented not so much an individual nation or race, but any and all who would rather quite literally “Cling-on” to the old nationalistic/militaristic ways, rather than join the more progressive Federation.

Actually, I think the show was about alien booty, and how much of it Captain Kirk could find success with.
 
  • #25
zoobyshoe
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Originally posted by asurace
Roddenberry wrote himself into a corner. There was simply no way to explain anything about this utopia so the movies or shows would clumsily try to avoid the subject.
In "The Next Generation" Picard asserts that on earth the problems of want and crime have been solved, without offering any explanation. The implication, to me, was that the solution had been technological, but in fact, he didn't even hint at how these problems may have been solved, so you're right about Roddenberry avoiding the explanation.
 
  • #26
zoobyshoe
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
The program reminded me of the UN (UN = Federation); having a crew made up from varied nations and planets that had come together for the common good. The Russians were represented by Checkov, which is why, imo, the Klingons represented not so much an individual nation or race, but any and all who would rather quite literally “Cling-on” to the old nationalistic/militaristic ways, rather than join the more progressive Federation.
The Klingons were definitely the Soviets. The reason Chekhov could be included in the crew without being associated in the viewer's mind with the Soviet Union was primaily due to the intense popularity of the film Dr. Zhivago which came out before Star Trek aired, and which presented a way for Americans to fall in love with Russian Culture while preserving their hatred of Soviet Communism.
Actually, I think the show was about alien booty, and how much of it Captain Kirk could find success with.
I often wonder how much of James Cook Roddenberry tried to get into James Kirk: both commanded ships called "Enterprise" and went on long voyages to exotic places where the native women showed alot of skin. I can't help but think he had some of these voyages to Tahiti and Hawaii in mind when writing some of the episodes.
 
  • #27
kleinphi
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In my opinion the main problem here is that most of us, myself included, do not exactly know what communism is. If you grew up in America during the cold war, you were taught that the cruel and evil dictatorship in the USSR and its followers was communism. Even though neither communism nor the USSR had ever done anything to the average American, he quickly learned to hate these abstract terms, because humans have the need for something to love and something to hate, and politicians everywhere had found out about that fact by then and were using it to gain more power.

Regarding "evolution" toward a star trek type society: I'm afraid certain individuals have always felt like they were ahead of their times for not worshipping money like most people do, and it will probably always be that way: 90% of all people would kill someone for $100,000 (or the rough equivalent of it at other places and in other times). 90% of the rest would kill someone for $1,000,000,000. The remainder write things like Utopia or Star Trek. It will probably be the same a thousand years from now or ten thousand years from now.
 
  • #28
Monique
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
The Klingons were definitely the Soviets.
A Japanese once told me Dutch sounds like Klingon.. :) not sure whether I agree though :)
 
  • #29


Originally posted by PhysicsRocks88
So they don't use money, but they are suprised people are using money?

You make 100% no sense whatsoever.

True.. having styudies world history (my first Doc) Startrek is hardly communism. Besides, sex with Blue women would be ruled out as against the state unless there were enough to go around, and Kirk only seemed to find 1 or 2 at most.

Be well, live long and prosper, Julan true, etc.

Dr. Bill
 
  • #30
The Klingons were definitely the Soviets. The reason Chekhov could be included in the crew without being associated in the viewer's mind with the Soviet Union was primaily due to the intense popularity of the film Dr. Zhivago which came out before Star Trek aired, and which presented a way for Americans to fall in love with Russian Culture while preserving their hatred of Soviet Communism.
I once saw an interview with the man (don’t recall his name) who played the role of Chekhov. He said that he was set up to wear a wig in order to make him appear more like the Davy Jones (?) character from the Monkeys, which was a popular show at the time. I think, therefore, that it could also be argued that because he was ‘cute’, Chekhov’s proud nationalistic views could likewise be ignored.
 
  • #31
LURCH
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
I once saw an interview with the man (don’t recall his name) who played the role of Chekhov.

His name is Walter Keonig, though I doubt I've spelled it correctly, and his character was added as an after-thought (about to reveal what a "Stargeek" I am). That's why my friends and I found it so amusing when in the second movie, "The Wrath of Kahn", the evil Kahn comes walking into the room and Chekhov imediately recognises him. Chekhov has never seen Kahn before, because he was not yet onboard the Enterprise when Kahn was first encountered. He came on a year later when someone pointed out to Rodenberry that the one thing missing from the crew was a representative of the first nation to actually put a man in space! Gene was appalled when this was pouinted out to him, and felt that he had to move imediately to correct the oversite.

But the goerning body in all the Star Trek shows was the Federation Council which was, I believe, made up entirely of ellected officials.
 
  • #32
Vosh
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Originally posted by kleinphi
In my opinion the main problem here is that most of us, myself included, do not exactly know what communism is. If you grew up in America during the cold war, you were taught that the cruel and evil dictatorship in the USSR and its followers was communism. Even though neither communism nor the USSR had ever done anything to the average American, he quickly learned to hate these abstract terms, because humans have the need for something to love and something to hate, and politicians everywhere had found out about that fact by then and were using it to gain more power.

Regarding "evolution" toward a star trek type society: I'm afraid certain individuals have always felt like they were ahead of their times for not worshipping money like most people do, and it will probably always be that way: 90% of all people would kill someone for $100,000 (or the rough equivalent of it at other places and in other times). 90% of the rest would kill someone for $1,000,000,000. The remainder write things like Utopia or Star Trek. It will probably be the same a thousand years from now or ten thousand years from now.

So you're one who does not take the optimistic view that things get better and that mankind develops slicker toys, but socially continues as they always have along "Animal Farm" lines (whether under dictatorship or free market laissez faire capitalism; the animals are exploited by the smart pigs and the smart pigs with a nobler vision are too few in number to do anything about it).

I must believe that too because at the end of the day I don't want to help mankind through activism or whatever because I think it's a waste of time. Ppl. either don't want to hear it or dont' get it. I would rather just go to another planet where intelligence is a dominant trait instead of a recessive one!

A different kind of life for humans did become possible when ppl. were able to move out of their old lands and start over in a new land out of reach of their old rulers and with help from the American Revolution. Trouble is I don't see a phenomenon like this happening again; there aren't any far away lands to run away to and start anew. Ppl. like me would have to be able to take a boat to another planet. You just can't stay in the old lands and try to make ppl. understand what's wrong with things. Even the colonists had to be tricked and cajoled into fighting the American Revolution; seems only the likes of Ben Franklin appreciated what was happening. The average monkey just wants to get what he can and not be bothered with anything else.

I must point out that there are also always those folks who think they can predict what the future will be like. 90% of them think things will be just like they are now only with different, more futuristic clothing styles. They think everything will be just like it is now only with wonderful magical seeming technology. Social changes happen; ppl. would just rather not think about it. They either don't have the imagination or it's too painful to face the foolishness of how they live now. They get very angry and hostile and insist with hot tears that those who suggest that something is wrong or needs improvement are just fringe malcontents. Humans don't like to be made to look the fool. They're worse than Klingons in that regard!
 
  • #33
kleinphi
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Originally posted by Vosh
I must believe that too because at the end of the day I don't want to help mankind through activism or whatever because I think it's a waste of time. Ppl. either don't want to hear it or dont' get it. I would rather just go to another planet where intelligence is a dominant trait instead of a recessive one!

A different kind of life for humans did become possible when ppl. were able to move out of their old lands and start over in a new land out of reach of their old rulers and with help from the American Revolution. Trouble is I don't see a phenomenon like this happening again; there aren't any far away lands to run away to and start anew. Ppl. like me would have to be able to take a boat to another planet. You just can't stay in the old lands and try to make ppl. understand what's wrong with things. Even the colonists had to be tricked and cajoled into fighting the American Revolution; seems only the likes of Ben Franklin appreciated what was happening. The average monkey just wants to get what he can and not be bothered with anything else.

All this is very close to my own thoughts. I have a couple of points to add: I don't know if you are speaking literally when you call intelligence a recessive trait. It is something I have, quite frankly, never pondered. Actually, I have met two intelligent people who seem to have intelligent ancestors only on the paternal side of their families, but this is obviously not a statistically significant observation. My explanation for the vast numbers of morons has been that the majority of people live to do only one thing, namely reproduce. Anything and everything they ever do is aimed at maximizing their genes' reproductive success. This explains why there are so few thinking beings in our species, even (and especially) if intelligence is not genetic, which by the way I am not postulating.

Anyway, your thoughts about America and the need for a "new" America sound very much like mine own. The two possible (albeit highly unlikely) solutions I have always considered were

1. Space ships. If someone needed volunteers for a near light speed spaceship, I would definitely sign up.

2. China: People with a vision tend to prefer migrating west. If for any reason China were to become the new land of the free, there would be your new land! (Let's hope there wouldn't be the same kind of massive holocaust as the slaughter of Native Americans that we so proudly celebrated yesterday.)

Either scenario is obviously very unlikely from today's point of view.
 
  • #34
zoobyshoe
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Originally posted by Monique
A Japanese once told me Dutch sounds like Klingon.. :) not sure whether I agree though :)
From the outside, if you don't understand either language, they do sound similar: alot of throat noises that don't exist in English or Japanese.
 
  • #35
zoobyshoe
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Originally posted by BoulderHead I think, therefore, that it could also be argued that because he was ‘cute’, Chekhov’s proud nationalistic views could likewise be ignored. [/B]
This is definitely true, except that his amusing way of always finding a Russian precident for things wasn't presented as nationalistic, rather it came off as a cultural chauvanism that could be chuckled at because he was "cute".
 
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