How Gene Roddenberry Helped Lenin Conquer the Galaxy
I was ruminating on my favorite show, Star Trek, the other day. It had occurred to me earlier in the week that Communism may be an integral part of that universe. However, even though there are allusions to wars and trends that never happened, I think we are on course for that kind of future. I really do.
For one thing, how can such a benign (goody two shoes) society exist? I say it isn’t possible. Too much backstabbing and subversion going on. Think of the Wikileaks emails. They exposed what a country’s leaders really think of other countries, in spite of what they say or do. Even an individual will show a nice face to someone while trying to weaken or minimize the other’s position or influence. Some would call this competition. I’d say it’s kind of stupid, working at cross purposes to accomplish the greater good.
Anyway, just think about the original series all the way to the last series and include the movies along the way. You’ll soon see what I mean.
The first thing I want to tackle is the mirror universe. Spock called them “the very flower of humanity”. He was right. The mirror universe was the perfect counterpoint to the ‘normal’ Trek universe. People were, however sneaky, still blatant with their treachery. We got to see people in a constant state of anger and always trying to get ahead through assassination or other nefarious means. They were interstellar traveling space pirates, leveling planets and taking what they wanted. I dare say, with the recent wars we’ve had, they more resemble the current state of Humanity. However, they were so very cool, with their paranoia and their swagger.
One thing I noticed, in all the shows, is that there is no money. Sure, evil Kirk offered Spock a bribe of credits, but money wasn’t directly discussed anywhere else with the exception of ‘The Trouble With Tribbles’ and ‘Mudd’s Women’. In TTWT, only the bar owner and Cyrano Jones were discussing credits and haggling over the price of the creatures. As for Harry Mudd, he had purchased a space ship using counterfeit currency.
Other vague examples abound, including ‘The Apple’ showing Spock relating to Kirk that Star Fleet had invested 122, 202 in his training. 122, 202 what? Might as well be quatloos. In ‘Errand of Mercy’, Kirk stated that they were going to make a small return on the investment that the Federation made in them. That investment could be money, training, or time. Most likely, it was the combination of all three. In ‘The Voyage Home’, Kirk stated that “they’re still using money”, in reference to the late twentieth century. By this comment, it is possible to infer that the Federation had recently switched to some other form of valuation, most likely a leisure based system as suggested by Isaac Asimov. But it could be anything, partly because we don’t exactly know what a quatloo is. In the other iterations of Trek, only the Ferengi had cash, based on something called gold pressed latinum. Gold was considered worthless by them unless latinum was pressed between two sheets of gold.
In today’s society, we need money. In fact, we even need credit to get ahead. Maybe, in a bloodthirsty future society, that’s what it comes down to. Forget the money and get the credit (for the kill) or credits.
Now let us turn our thoughts to clothing (I may not be a hundred percent right in this area). Keiko O’Brien and various children were the only Federation citizens to wear civilian clothes, excepting Cyrano Jones and a few others in the original series. In fact, but for Jake Sisko, and her, adults that wore civilian clothes seemed to wear what appeared to be uniforms, usually jumpsuits. Even young Sisko’s clothes were reminiscent of uniforms as they were all the same style and utilitarian. It’s just the way a communist society would have its people dress, by limiting choices.
Even alien societies that were members of the Federation showed this influence. Also, the Federation’s adversaries. The Klingons, the Romulans and the Cardassians all were militaristic societies, having been on military alert for their entire existence. Much like Communism on Earth. Must be a lot of cold war out there between the stars.
However, alien races that were not members of the Federation were always depicted a little weirdly. They dressed like biblical Jews depicted in paintings. That is, if they didn’t look like roadkill or a science experiment in genetics. And even their robes were similar, if not identical. Remember that episode, ‘The Inner Light’? That’s the episode where Picard lived an alien’s life in a few minutes. They wore tie-dyed homespun shirts and khaki colored trousers.
Odd, in some episodes, was the juxtaposition of medieval living with modern appliances. Who do you know that lives in a large house with a dirt floor and has a fancy computer tucked away in a corner on a shaky wooden table?
Picture it. You are in your medieval looking whitewashed mud brick house, reading information on your computer screen and then you go outside to see a really advanced rocket take off in the distance. After the launch is over, you go back into your dirt floor house and celebrate. It seems the Federation, in its goodness, only touches your world with its meddling.
Some of these ‘advanced’ societies had beasts of burden that could be seen in the background, hauling stuff around in either a rickety wooden cart or a really modern looking metal one. Just odd. It’s as if they forgot to invent internal combustion.
Then there’s the classless aspect. This goes back to money, as well as having no ownership of property. Sure, Captain Sisko talked about acquiring land on Bajor. However, no one else ever did. It would seem, based on the limited depictions of the various incarnations, that there is no personal property outside of what one could hold in his or her hands. No one else ever discussed owning land, on Earth or any other planet except Vulcan.
Even language has been subverted. But this may be because the shows were on American television. That is to say, Federation Standard, or English is the lingua franca of the galaxy. Just as Russian was the international language of the Soviet republics.
Sure, the Federation may be the beneficial beacon of light of galactic cooperation, but it is more than that. It is an insidious and grasping power that seeks to subvert alien cultures and infuse them with its goodness, overcoming all who stand in its way. Resistance, it seems, is futile, as the Klingons have already succumbed. Will the Cardassians be next?
So you see, the Federation, like the supposed globalists, controls all aspects of society, influencing fashion, behavior, thinking and greed (they took away the money). They also stifle independence (the Maquis). This is so the Federation can then concentrate more readily on important stuff, like building fantastic ships of light that cruise the spaces between the stars, insinuating their way of life all over the galaxy.
It is truly a magical and irresistible way of life where all of your immediate wants are satisfied. Armed with the replicator, it seems that humans are poised to conquer the galaxy with the New Communism. (I want a replicator the size of a house. Just so I can replicate a fast car and a jet ski. After that, I don’t care, unless I want something else to tool around in.)
So you see, Mr. Roddenberry has given us a benign, even helpful Socialist vision of the future, aided by anointed representatives (Starship Captains), in the spreading and enforcing of that vision. Yes, it is true Soviet Communism, swaddled in the American sense of justice and smothered in the honey of all wants met.
We see that Star Trek is a future. But it could be our future, here on Earth, and later, among the stars. Truly a living heaven.
How Gene Roddenberry Helped Lenin Conquer the Galaxy