March 20, 2008

Star Trek is capitalistic not fascist


Michael Anissimov at Accelerating Future has an article where he promotes the World Transhumanist Association discussion topic: Is Star Trek a Fascist Society?

I have seen the 726 episodes across 6 TV series and 10 (and soon 11) movies and many of the books, two Vegas rides, etc… Their continuing mission (not always successful) is to have high ratings, sell movie tickets, dvds and books and merchandise and to boldly make a buck where ever they can. So Star trek is capitalistic and not fascist.

Most writers do not know how to write to deal with the consequences of future tech in a logical way and to then enable the story to continue in an engaging way for 4 decades of shows.

“Hard science fiction generally isn’t fascist, but one can make a plausible case that Star Trek being fascist.

Star Trek is not hard science fiction. They occasionally make an attempt to sprinkle in some science but if it interferes with a story then out that goes. Technobabble is for a venere of science to help with the suspension of disbelief.

G) Everyone apparently has some kind of mind-block against realizing that the transporter beam could make copies of all the crew and keep them young and immortal.


I blame the Q continuum, the aliens of Talos IV, Gary Seven aliens, and the Organians for the mindblocks. They must have their own version of the Prime Directive to keep the Federation, Klingons etc… down. There should be a movement to “lift the mindblocks. lift the mindblocks”. There actually have been widespread use of mindblocks as a plot device. [726 shows, what are you going to do ?]

Q keeping Picard down


Talos IV aliens


Sure, sure Kirk and Spock and McCoy did dress up as Nazis is was part of disguise and plan to free the Ekosians from the huge error made by a civilian historian (history professors - gotta watch out for them) named John Gill.

All of the technology is under utilized. All the technology that they have and that they should have. The phasers are weak relative to the kinetic energy weapons that they could have. Writers not willing to go outside a comfort zone or create more real life costs.

H) The Prime Directive maintains human (and allied) supremacy over the hapless lesser peoples who are denied political and technological progress in order supposedly to respect their cultural “difference.”

Nazi fascist aliens are keeping our fictional Star Trek humans down. Which already were episodes of ST Voyager and ST Enterprise (Nazi holodeck aliens and Nazi aliens)

Hirogen Nazi

So it may be more of a caste system where more advanced races hinder or do not share with less advanced races OR it could be the writers choosing to keep things episodic and hitting the reset button before the end of each hour. One could ask why didn't Jerry Seinfeld (in his show a successful comedian who had a TV show picked up for a while) not have the money to move to a better apartment over ten years. Perhaps mindblocks ?

A) They have no politics. It’s a military dictatorship.

A lot of the “power” is concentrated in a few exceptional individuals each of the set of 7 or so primary characters with a focus on 3 or 4 of them. Similar observations could be made of Jack Bauer, Rambo, Chuck Norris, Spy Kids, Bugs Bunny etc… and their “universes”.

I think that the focus of the trek universe shows and movies is on the “military part”. Much the way the TV show MASH was military focused or Law and Order has a police and criminal justice focus or ER has a doctor focus. They have had shows in TNG (next generation) where they show the civilian side. The billions and I think trillions of people in the federation are actually mostly civilian. It is just that they are mostly useless to the stories. DS9 and TNG had shows talking about many civilians having a somewhat negative view of starfleet. Sarek did not want spock to be part of starfleet. Sisko dad during the military emergency etc… Pickard after best of both worlds considered civilian life.

B) They have no money. It’s a command economy.

People who only watch some shows. >-|
Parts of the economy have some money. (gold pressed latinum - is used by some humans and races beyond just Ferengi). The Federation happens to have a big universal guaranteed income and medical care. It does show a lack of motivation and ambition in the civilians in this situation.

C) All conflict is racial. Humans v. Klingons v. Romulans etc.

People who only watch or remember some shows. >-|

There was the Klingon civil war, internal Romulan conflicts. They have shown many more human on human conflicts. For humans, they had a third world war history, Eugenics war, another nuclear war in 2050 etc…

D) The races have intrinsic cultural personalities which make them less attractive than the humans. Attractive members of alternate races try to
become more human: Spock and Worf trying to get a sense of humor. Data
trying to get emotions.

Green orion women.

F) Cognitive enhancement and life extension technologies are outlawed, or at least all R&D towards those goals have been stopped.

This was explained in several important shows and movies. They indicated that is where they got the anti-transhumanism, because of Khan Noonien Singh and the Eugenics Wars. Julian Bashir a main character on DS9, is the enhanced individual who turned out good.

Plus many humans who get enhanced seem to have trouble dealing with the power in the Star Trek universe. Charlie, Gary Mitchell etc...

E) Something terrible happened to Asians, Africans and Latins, because 90% of all humans are English-speaking whites.

Casting choices and biases and real life distribution of actors where they film. Plenty of blacks have been cast (many end up playing under makeup.)
Asians are noticeably missing but some are behind the cameras.

FURTHER READING
Article on nazis in Star trek from startrek.com

UPDATE: Godwin's law is that the larger a usenet discussion group is then the higher the likelihood of Hitler and Nazi comparisons.

Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a caution against the use of inflammatory rhetoric or exaggerated comparisons, and is often conflated with fallacious arguments of the reductio ad Hitlerum form.


Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, or reductio (or argumentum) ad Nazium – dog Latin for "reduction (or argument) to Hitler (or the Nazis)" – is a modern fallacy in logic. It is a variety of both questionable cause and association fallacy. The phrase reductio ad Hitlerum was coined by an academic ethicist, Leo Strauss, in 1950. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card.

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