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Utopia, Socialism,
Communism, and Star Trek

I was playing on WoW (World of Warcraft for you non-gamers) the other day, and only one other guildmate was on, and she happens to be an 18 year old college student in Florida. We bantered back and forth about silly little crap when she made a comment about the oil spill. This conversation then evolved into talking about money, and she made a comment about capitalism being the cause of all the ills in the world.

Now I usually keep my political views out of my gaming, but I just couldn't help myself. I pointed out that capitalism, for all its flaws, is better than living in a socialist/communist country. What she said next blew my damn mind:

"At least we would all have money then."

I kid you not, that was what she typed back to me. I was simply amazed that this is what our youth thinks. I spent the next hour of my life responding to that statement. I pointed out to her that in these types of environment, the people in charge have EVERYTHING, and they give you only what they want you to have (see North Korea or China for examples of this). I pointed out the history of the Soviet Union, and any other number of Communist nations, but none of it seemed to make a difference.

I know that public schools are not the greatest thing in the world, but not more than 20 years ago they still taught little things like history and social studies. When did it change into the future liberal training camp?

I feel I need to resort to my long history of geekdom to make one last effort to reach my friend's warped view, and for that I will reference Star Trek.

Taking the Star Trek Universe as what it is, a fictional utopia where all the evils of the human race have been ground into dust is all well and good when you are trying to enjoy a movie, but if you look at the social aspects of it, you can only come the conclusion that utopia is impossible to reach.

In the episode Non Sequitor (Star Trek: Voyager) the character Harry Kim is thrown in an alternate timeline (oooo surprise, an alternate timeline in Star Trek) in which he is still on Earth in San Francisco. During his time there, he goes to the local coffee shop and has a conversation with the proprietor, in which it is revealed that the proprietor has run the coffee shop for a number of years. As far as the story is concerned, this is all well and good, but this one conversation points out almost every flaw that the liberal ideal of utopia has.

Let us look at the facts of the fictional world the story takes place in:

  1. No one gets paid
  2. Everyone has a nice place to live
  3. All your wants and desires are taken care of by replicators

Now I can buy the fact that people may want to leave their homes and be social at the local coffee shop. I will also buy into the fact that the real coffee at the shop is better than the replicated coffee. What I cannot believe is that anyone would RUN a coffee shop in this world. If given the choice of sitting around and doing whatever you want and working hard to keep a coffee shop running properly, and either choice nets you the same thing (a nice place to live and a replicator to provide everything you want or need) who would work?

That is the problem with this concept of Socialism/Communism. The very basic idea is that no matter what you do, and what you contribute, you only have what everyone else has. What is there in that philosophy that makes us want to strive to do better? When a doctor and a garbage man are given the same paycheck, what could possibly motivate someone to go to college, get their masters, then their MD?

You might argue that the government could regulate what you will do by a series of tests, putting the people that are best suited to whatever job into those jobs, but then you have just destroyed our freedom to choose. It is a very very short jump from utopia to tyranny and oppression.

Remember, when the government has everything, you only get what they are willing to part with, and the more power we give them, the less they are willing to part with.


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