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Challenge Match: vkey08 vs. Druid42 - The Future Shown in Star Trek is a Communist Society

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posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 12:10 PM
Thank you mods, debaters, viewers and Druid for participating in this debate.

The topic, quite succinctly put, is:

The Future Shown in the Star Trek Movies and Television, is in fact a Utopian Communist Society.

The United Federation of Planets. We would all love the future to be this way, I myself am such a Trekkie that I even had a walk on on one of the Voyager episodes, and one of the Enterprise episodes, I am friends with some of the conceptual artists and get guidance from them often on how to proceed with various CGI projects. One of my banners is currently gracing John Eaves' blog site (Mr Eaves designed the Enterprise E as well as the NX class, and many of the ships we saw in Enterprise as well as DS9). However there is a much darker view to the Federation that no-one notices once they are blissfully set into the SciFi universe that the show offers.

The Federation is a Communist Government, where all people work for the betterment of the Federation, and all of their basic needs are met through technology.

Think about it for a moment, and I will go into greater detail in further posts, Picard states in First Contact to Lily Sloan when she asks how much money the Enterprise E costs, that "The economics of the future are slightly different, there's no more money, and everyone works for the betterment of mankind" That's all fine and dandy but how does a planetary government, such as United Earth, provide food, clothing and the like to it's billions of citizens, easy through Federation technology such as replicators and transporters. Technology like this makes it a lot easier for a One World (or in this case Many World) Government to control it's citizens under the guise of a benevolent regime. It's also been shown on more than one occasion that Starfleet is not immune to flexing it's power on Earth itself, and sending armed guards around to defend against False Flag events and take liberties away from the population as a whole.

Keeping this all in mind, it is my contention that the Federation, is in fact a Communist government, that uses Starfleet as it's internal police force to keep the population in line. (Aside from it's stated purpose as the Federations Scientific, Exploration and Diplomatic arm)

Thank you, off to you Druid...

A notation: Remember this show is fiction, we are debating a fictional universe, and while some similarities to real world events will be mentioned this in no way states that anything is actually going to happen, or has happened as predicted by a television show.
edit on 23-1-2013 by Skyfloating because: title edit

posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 10:06 PM
I'll open with a definition of Communism, easily found on

advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community

This definition doesn't apply to the Star Trek universe, as we clearly know that Picard's brother (First Contact) owned a vineyard in France. Sisko's father (DS9) opened a Creole restaurant with hand cooked meals. People still had houses, and possessions, and the system still used a form of credit. What Star Trek actually represents is a post-scarcity society, where most basic needs are provided by replicators, and by not being primarily concerned about survival, greed is not such a motivating factor as it is in real life.

How did it get that way? Let's take a brief look at the history of that futuristic society:

2026-2053: World War III - 600 million dead, many governments destroyed. By that point, we can assume most people were more concerned with day-to-day survival in a somewhat nuclear wasteland.

2063: Zefram Cochrane converts a nuclear missile into the first warp capable, human made vessel, the Phoenix. Him going to warp speed attracts attention of a nearby Vulcan ship, who come down and introduce themselves.

2151: The experimental ship Enterprise NX-01 begins exploring space beyond the Solar system, after a century of rebuilding humanity, during which famine and war are eradicated. All under the watchful eye of Vulcans.

With the help of the technologically advanced Vulcans, humanity was able to wipe out disease and poverty in less than a century. The Vulcans were also instrumental in guiding the politics of the era, and if anything, helped the humans to develop a system of "participatory economics". More on that later.

It wasn't until 2161 that the actual United Federation of Planets was established, a coalition of the Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellerities.

The United Federation of Planets (abbreviated as UFP and commonly referred to as the Federation) was an interstellar federal republic, composed of planetary governments that agreed to exist semi-autonomously under a single central government based on the principles of universal liberty, rights, and equality, and to share their knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation and space exploration.

Hhhm, I wonder why it wasn't called the United Commune of Planets? Because, simply enough, it didn't have the characteristics of a communist society.

The Federation has:

the form of a post-capitalist liberal democracy and constitutional republic.

The legislature of the Federation Council is located at the Presidio of San Francisco.

There is an executive branch headed by a Federation President,[4] who keeps offices in the Palais de la Concorde in Paris.

There is a judiciary branch as well, the highest court of which is the Federation Supreme Court.

And enforcing it all, we have Starfleet:

The Federation's scientific, diplomatic and defensive/military arm is Starfleet, depicted as being headquartered at Fort Baker, just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now, in "future" posts, I'll describe the true communists of the galaxy, but for the time being, I'll give you a hint:

After a fact finding opening, I'll hand the debate back over to vkey08, with the hopes of clarifying her position. For now, "Live long, and Prosper."

Source 1.
Source 2.
Source 3.
Source 4.

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 08:48 AM
Ahh the old credits argument.. Seen it many times before and will probably continue to see it comrade.... But it is as the Borg like to say a "futile" argument.

Why? Within the confines of the UFP credits are not used, it is a fiat currency backed by gold pressed latinum that is used to pay other species outside of the Federation for goods and services that the member planets cannot provide. (see: Ferengi Commerce Authority, and Romulan Ale)

So let's see what the economy of the Federation is really like.

You mentioned Sisko's Creole Kitchen, and the Picard Winery.. Well let's look a little more in depth to those two shall we? Picard mentions in Generations that the Picard Winery produces wine for diplomats and Starfleet. Hardly a production facility for the masses. And Sisko's Creole Kitchen, while it serves the citizens of New Orleans, is more of a tourist trap than an eatery, it's a bit of history in a historical city. Sisko doesn't have to pay for his ingredients, nor do the patrons have to pay for the meals, it's produced, for the people, by a person..

In other words: From each according to their skills, To each according to their need. The Basic tenant of a communist society. All power, manufacturing, water, et al, is controlled by the United Earth Government (and presumably on each planet by their planetary governments, as a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT is required for entry into the Federation) The Federation President is not chosen by direct suffrage, but rather by the Federation Council, hardly representative of the people. And the "rights" that the citizens have, are in reality to give the illusion that they are really free, when in fact they aren't, they are at the mercy of Starfleet at all times, as is evidenced when the FALSE FLAG event happens on Stardate: 49170.65, and Admiral Leighton takes over the planet by faking an attack by changelings. Wow, even Starfleet stoops to false flags to control it's citizens and put armed guards on the streets. Starfleet can take rights away as quickly as they can grab a phaser folks, don't ever doubt that..

But back to the Borg which you touched upon, the Borg, a hive society is in reality a Monarchial Dictatorship with all power vested in the Borg King and Queen (ayeap there's a Borg King folks, the Borg Queen was a STARFLEET NURSE captured by the Borg in the 22nd Century [ref: Star Trek Enterprise Season 5 Unused Scripts])

So we have the framework, we have the basic tenant, From each according to their skills, to each according to their needs, just because technology helps them maintain that, does not mean it is not so….

And with that…

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 09:00 PM

On with the Battle....

/comm transmission/
"What is it Captain?"

"It's the Borg. It's the epitome of the evolution of Communism. Their whole society is a collective, sharing resources equally, everyone stripped of their identity, functioning individually for the greater good of the whole. They are controlled by a proletariat, the Borg Queen, and even though there are rumors of a King, those are non-canonized rumors to deceive you, ensign."

"But Captain, such a wessel is unbeatable."

"It's all what you believe. There are some that think the attempted takeover by Admiral Leighton in 2372, long after the establishment of the Federation, was indicative of the the overall philosophy of Starfleet. His Red Squad was a rogue element, and thanks to Sisko and Odo, we were able to prevent a worldwide calamity. In any free society, there are individuals that will make bad decisions. It's the ability to grow in achievements, and gain rank, that differentiates us from a communistic society like the Borg, where everyone is equal. Sure, with rank, comes responsibilities, and individual decisions, and Leighton overstepped his authority and became greedy, wanting to rule the earth. Greed is something the Vulcans helped us to eliminate way back in the 22nd century. There will always be random elements that creep up, but they allow us to redefine our goals, and to learn from our mistakes."

"Captain, they are locking on a tractor beam."

"Prepare to fire phaser bank one on my mark. Target these coordinates."

The Captain rapidly types in a series of numbers into his keypad, and continues: "A communistic society tends to repress individuality, and does not promote new ideas. The Federation is the opposite of that, we engage in freedom, new ideas, exploring and discovering new ideals, and respecting the rights of other races. Ready Quantum Torpedo tubes one through four."

"Captain, the tractor beam is almost locked."

"It was once thought by many that communism was the ideal way of life. Everyone sharing for the common good. But human history dictates to us that there are no right answers. Fire phasers."

"Direct hit, Captain. Sensors show their tractor beam is offline."

The Captain nods.

"Rampant Capitalism led us into WW3, ensign, and it was a mistake. Communism wasn't a feasible choice either. The Federation settled upon a system of the two, and with the help of the Vulcans, we were able to perceive that participatory economics was the best choice at the time."

"Captain, they are powering up their weapons."

"There are no easy answers, ensign. The USSR collapsed, and the Berlin Wall was removed because freedom is in our blood. We won't be conditioned to respond to the staus quo. Fire Quantum Torpedos."

"Mankind has experienced Capitalism and Communism in the past, and neither system was ever fulfilled. It's why WW3 occurred, and so many lives were lost. Indecision, contrasting ideas, and no agreement. We should not suffer the solution of the Borg, mindless slaves with no freedom, and we will not have that as our fate."

"Captain, direct hit. The Borg ship is imploding."

The Captain solemnly watches the view-screen, emotionless, as the Borg ship explodes. Within himself, he feels the stirrings of emotion, of a choice between choice and compliance, and knows that he's made a defining choice. His resistance is not futile, he knows, for as long as there are rights to defend, he knows his Federation will not descend into the Communistic Society of the Borg. He will remain an individual with choices, and collect his alloted Starfleet credits for his service to humanity, and the with the rest of the Federation, will follow the Prime Directive, and ensure the rights of lifeforms throughout the galaxy.

"Captain, the Borg ship is destroyed."

"Acknowledged. Plot a course for home. Engage warp on my mark."

"Course plotted and laid in, Sir."

"Make it so."

/end comm transmission/

posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:09 AM

Ahh my esteemed colleague is trying to discount the events of the movies in his "rumors" category. Before I place my final statements and comments, I would like to address something that was said. We saw the first bio-mechanical Borg born. There was no denying it... His name: Captain Will Decker. That was the beginning of the bio-mechanical Borg as we came to know them in the 24th century and there are many small references to him even in the Queen's dialogue. But, I digress, the Borg are a monarchy, plain and simple, a dictatorial, ruthless, brutal monarchy but a monarchy nonetheless.

In closing, I would like to remind my esteemed opponent and everyone else, that there is only one true capitalistic government in the ST Universe and that my friends are the really annoying, but frugal, Ferengi. With their Rules of Acquisition they fly around and sell to anyone who may need it. No regards for anything except making profit. Even within the Dominion, the Ferengi have a place of honor as they trade with the few societies that the Founders allow to trade with outside races.

One other thing of note that just punctuates my point about the federation, all Federation Council members are not civilians.. In fact the Federation Council is made up of (drum roll please) Starfleet Flag Rank Officers. All of them are either Commodore or above (Left Rear Admiral in TNG and beyond) and are chosen by the "Prime Minister" of whatever world they represent, they are not elected, they have no allegiance to the People and they usually pick Federation Presidents that are wishy washy and will do their bidding. But But But... People are fee to speak and to enrich their lives.... No they really aren't.. While most don't notice the absolute Iron Fist the Federation has upon their worlds, some do.. And it's been shown time and time and time again, that acting outside of those confines, results in imprisonment or worse, death. Sisko was probably only allowed to defeat Leighton's plans because Section 31 didn't feel like dealing with having to actually report to Starfleet, they value their ability to make people disappear, what true Democratic and Free society does that? (and before you comment the United States is NOT a Democracy, it is a Representative Republic and that's even giving it credit)

So in closing, we have every member world of the Federation, working for every other member world, ever person putting into society so that others can get out of society, From Each According to Their Skills, To Each According to Their Needs. It's not a bad or evil system mind you, but it is, pure Communism, without the Party Bosses, and the corruption and the lack of freedom. But it is still Marx's purest form of Communistic behavior. And they have the military might, to back it up when needed.

Now as the Federation moves out of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and into the Gamma and Delta, we will see more worlds subverted and brought into the mighty Family of Comrades, the United Federation of Planets.

/End TCARS Historical Class - USS Relativity

Thanks everyone for allowing us to have this fun. It was a pleasant change from all of the gun debates and talk of actors and well you get the jist. Druid it's been a hoot, and you were awesome. I just hope everyone enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed debating it...

posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 12:39 AM
My opponent is confused about the origin of the Borg, and refuses to acknowledge they are the true Communists of the Galaxy.

they are portrayed as having existed for hundreds or thousands of years (as attested by Guinan and the Borg Queen).

Yet she says:

We saw the first bio-mechanical Borg born. There was no denying it... His name: Captain Will Decker. That was the beginning of the bio-mechanical Borg as we came to know them in the 24th century

But canon dictates that:
In 2270, Captain Will Decker was given command of the Enterprise upon Captain Kirk's promotion to Admiral.
In 2273,

Upon arriving at Earth, V'Ger threatened to destroy the planet unless it was allowed to meet with the creator. Decker was among the landing party which also included Kirk, Spock, and Doctor McCoy, which discovered that V'Ger was actually an old Earth space probe known as Voyager 6 and was seeking to evolve by joining with its creator, namely, a human. Having lost the captain's seat and no longer having Ilia, Decker volunteered to physically join with V'Ger. Decker and the Ilia probe disappeared into a blinding source of light, evolving into a new lifeform, leaving for parts unknown.

That sort of coupling is hardly the "modus operandi" of the Borg, where they physically alter the species they assimilate. There's no flashes of light, nope, it's a physical abduction, and physical injection of implants. When they turned Picard into "Locutus", there was no flashing transformation. They physically abducted him, and physically implanted his "upgrades".

We all know the Borg's origins are from the Delta Quadrant.

So, how can a race said to come from the Delta Quadrant have it's origins in the Alpha Quadrant? It's not possible, so we must disregard the assertation. Decker was not the first Borg, simply enough. They had existed long before Captain Will Decker was ever born, existing far away from Earth.

While my opponent addresses the issue of the Ferengi as the Capitalists of the Galaxy, I need to remind you to not be distracted from the topic at hand, which is whether the Federation is Communistic or not.

Starfleet Flag Rank Officers. All of them are either Commodore or above (Left Rear Admiral in TNG and beyond)

A true Communistic society does not have ranks, yet in the Federation, we do. In a Communistic society, everyone is equal, but we can easily see that there is opportunity to gain rank, through achievements, and as stated earlier, Captain Kirk gained the rank of Admiral through his many achievements before giving the reigns of the Enterprise to Captain Decker. Communistic societies, such as the Borg, do not offer promotions. Period.

Regardless of my opponent's position, you are welcome to join the United Federation of Planets, and have the military might of Starfleet defend your rights, and if you are attacked by an alien race, you can rest assured that Starfleet and the Federation will be there to defend your rights, and allow you to keep your sovereignty as a Federation member.

In closing, I wish to thank vkey08 for the debate, a satisfying reach into the imagination, and the opportunity to relate it to others. As always, appreciation is given to the members and staff, as well as the judges. Thanks to all for reading.

posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 03:07 PM
Through my own error I got more judgments in on this than needed. I will post all of them and then declare a winner.

This was a fun debate, one that was enjoyable to read along with, as well as to judge. That is based on my interest in Star Trek -- I would guess that someone who didn't watch the show wouldn't see the same value in both fighters' arguments, but to such a person, know that this was well researched and presented within the confines of a fictional universe.

Druid42 had one basic problem, though, in that, as it is presented within that fictional universe, it is patently obvious that the Federation is, indeed, a communist society. That may well stem from the beginning, predicated on Roddenberry's liberal views and hopes for society's future, or it may simply be reflective of the core science fiction audience in the late 1960s and his attempt to cater to them, but the original Star Trek television series clearly depicts a society (at least as far as Star Fleet goes, and there is no reason not to extend that to the rest of humanity) that is communist.

To deal with that bit of obviousness, Druid points to the Borg as a "more obvious" communist culture, but that's a bit like saying that ex-patriots aren't American, because a citizen who actually lives in the country is "more obviously an American." I realize that was an effort to deal with vkey08's essentially unbeatable starting position, and I very much enjoyed his second post, which presented the Borg argument creatively, but in the end it fell short. I also took a little umbrage with his statement that communism "does not promote new ideas" -- weren't the Russians the first to put a man into space?

For her part, vkey08 does a solid job of presenting the facts, refuting the arguments made by her opponent and, like him, presents a creative and enjoyable argument. I think that we all appreciated the graphics, the creativity, and the depth of knowledge that both fighters showed here, but vkey08 wins this debate.

This debate was an absolute joy to read! Both debaters deviated from the normal back and forth and incorporated a much "lighter" style, yet focusing on the topic at hand. vkey08 shows a great knowledge about ST and goes in depth into specifics that only a well-educated fan could appreciate. The rebuttal in regards to the Picard Winery and the Creole Kitchen was also superb. That being said, I give the debate to Druid42. He was able to focus on how Communism suppresses individuality and individual achievement, but that it does not necessarily apply to the system in place in ST; giving examples to illustrate how any one person can achieve more than they would be able to in a truly Communist state. vkey08 did a good job of showing how ST's government may be socialist, but Druid42 was able to show it was not Communist. Another great debate!

Knowing absolutely nothing about Star Trek (I know…I know…sorry) made this a very interesting debate for me to judge. I was impressed with vkey08’s opening statement but Druid42 quickly came back with a lot of references to counter it. Round one went to Druid42. I thought round two clearly went to vkey08 who did an awesome job of dissected Druid42's post point by point…very compelling. Both closing statements were outstanding and both participants finished strong…but there can be only one winner! Based on great use of references and very entertaining and convincing arguments, the winner is Druid42. Great job to both fighters for a well fought debate.

Awesome debate! In regards to judging, one has to know a little bit about the ST world and as such, even though both fighters strongly represented their points of view, I must give this win to Druid42.

He’s made a stronger case that the real communists were the Borg, the Federation being a pyramidal organization much like we have today. Also, vkey08 made a significant error with Will Decker, stating that he was the first born Borg, which is not exactly accurate. Decker was supposed (as rumors stated) to appear in Voyager’s “The 37’s” episode in which Voyager would get close to the Borg’s home world. Superior Decker wasn’t to be portrayed as a Borg but as an almost godly figure having “Q” qualities.

This was a very different and highly enjoyable debate and thumbs up to both challengers for an exciting moment of entertainment. Congrats to Druid42 for the win.

Thats 3-1 for Druid. Druid takes the win. Awesome Debate you two!

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