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:
- No one gets paid
- Everyone has a nice place to live
- 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.