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The Economics and Politics of Star Trek

The Economics and Politics of Star Trek


At the Econlib site, political philosophy graduate student and UnPopulist editor Akiva Malamet has two insightful new pieces on the economics and politics of Star Trek.

The first is “Star Trek: Just Short of Utopia.” Here’s an excerpt:

Star Trek is often seen as utopian science fiction, but a close look shows that the world of the Federation is not as peaceful and inclusive as it first appears. Following Gene Roddenberry’s dream of a future society lacking prejudice and focused on inclusion, social and legal equality, and egalitarian post-scarcity economics, Trek is well-known for its strong moral compass and its progressive, even leftist values.

It is a world I appreciate and admire, as a die-hard Trekkie who holds many similar commitments. And yet the United Federation of Planets doesn’t truly resolve deep differences and divergent interests among different beings. Rather, it obscures them with cultural uniformity, propounding a quasi secular humanist, even anti-religious philosophy, coupled with a near-complete transcendence of material constraints. This allows the Federation to sidestep the kind of conflicts that real differences, both in beliefs and in material endowments, create. By contrast, the staunchly economic perspective of the Ferengi makes them better able  to cope with hard tradeoffs…

More information can be found here