Jack’s Dangerous Opinions Part 3: Star Trek

You know, as much as I love Star Wars [and, my God do I love Star Wars] I think I might actually be a Star Trek guy at heart. Not for the usual reason that many give, which is that it's 'hard sci fi' as opposed to the 'science fantasy' of Star Wars. I mean, really, warp drives, transporters, and humanoid aliens are pretty 'soft' sci fi, too. No, I think for me it's really the shows politics. Not the Klingon/Federation Cold War metaphor, or any of the in-universe stuff like that, instead I mean the apparent socio-political situation among humans in the show's future. I know there are canon reasons to doubt this, but the general impression that one gets from Star Trek is that back home on Earth everyone has enough, that money has just sort of withered away, and people take on the jobs they find inspiring or interesting and social prestige is earned not by acquisition of wealth but by excellence at your chosen vocation. It's a utopian vision of 'soft socialism' in a post-scarcity world... and it's awesome. Sometimes, when I'm being honest about it, I realize that I'm not really a capitalist or a socialist or any other of our common labels. I'm a Star-Trek-Socialist. That looks pretty good to me, let's aim for that.

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