Tuesday, March 6, 2012
WHY "STAR TREK" SHOULD BE THE BASIS OF A NEW ECONOMIC IDEAL WE SHOULD BE STRIVING TO ACHIEVE! A brief aberration from a one-time Idealist!
I woke up one morning not so long ago, and considered the person that I had become, and something struck me that hadn't before. As a lifelong member of the Democratic party, my politics has always been a little left of liberal, as most people who know me will attest to, but suddenly, I had gone from a idealist with ideas and visions, to a pragmatist. I'm not the first person to have such a mid-life crises, but I think I might be part of a generation, the first to do it not through ideaological reevaluating, but rather by sheer force and Darwinistic survival methods. As I try, and ultimately fail to ignore the debacle that is the GOP primary, with Super Tuesday occurring later today, it suddenly dawned on me, whatever my feelings towards all the GOP candidates, and believe me, if I chose to describe that, it'd involve language that would make the late great George Carlin blush with embarassment, they're all political idealists. And I wondered, how the hell did this happened? I'm of the party of Civil Rights, the Woodstock generation, environmentalism, and Marxism, and suddenly, none of us were idealists anymore? All the idealists are on the right-side of aisle, and have been basically since the '80s. I'd heard it referred to as many different words in the past, from Laissez-Faire and Reagonomics and the Yuppie generation, to the "Religious right," and other misuses of words like morals and values. And many of the major decisions of the past three decades, and that includes to-some-extent the Clinton years, have been based this diluted idealistic world the GOP leaders have based their decisions on. It's even different kinds of idealism. There's the libertarian anti-government world of Ron Paul, the moral conservatism of Santorum, the fiscalism of Romney, and the just plain egomaniacal ideas Gingrich produces, are all originally based on some kind of philosophical political agenda. From fighting in multiple bads wars without taxing the public for the expense, to their anti-stem cell, anti-abortion, anti-evolution even points of view they seem to want to force through the government as though they're controlled by their diluted fears of a literal culture shock. After so many years of this, we just couldn't take it anymore. I don't think I need to explain that we're in a recession that took years to create, and will take years to recover from, and we're on our way, but it was created by these idealist Republicans (And yes, many of the Democrats that went along with them). My political idols used to be people like Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone, and now they're Harry Reid and Barack Obama, and I'm happy about it! We're the party of ideas and, now we're fix-it men. We even had to fix General Motors, and we did it because everybody needs a job right now, and the companies, many of them run by these right wind idealist and sympathizers, aren't hiring as much as they should and are capable of. They want to save money in an economy where every dollar counts, not realizing that, by hiring more people now, they'd actually make more money in the long-run because by hiring people, more people would have money to spend, and henceforth, they'd make more money. (Frustrated sigh)
Saying that, I actually don't like talking about politics. It gets me too frustrated; it's one of the reasons I went to study film and television, and other things that aren't as annoying and polarizing. However, I miss being an idealist. I'm a creator. I write! I write blogs, essays, plays, tv scripts, screenplays, hell, I wrote jokes for a roast last week! As much as I could've gone into any career and made money easily, I chose against it, and frankly I couldn't be happier. Not everybody has that luxury, (And I'm not necessarily saying that I do) I realize that, quiet desperation and whatnot. But that should be the goal. You see, here's our current economy: You get a job, or start a business, in order to create income, and with that income, you can take care of yourself and your family's needs. That is a truth, not just for those at the local JobConnects and unemployment lines, that's for the top as well. Does anybody anywhere, dream of being on a Board of Directors of any place? Any company? It doesn't matter what we do, what we make, what we sell, because we need the money, so we can take care of ourselves. Which is strange 'cause money is a made-up thing anyway? We invented money 'cause it was either that or bartering, and this was incredibly easier, and still is. You see, I have a fear that, once we fix the economy, however long that'll take, and we will get there, but afterwards, we're gonna fall into the same old patterns and norms of ineptitude and uncaring that led to the idealists running it into the ground to begin. Well, the wrong idealists, anyway. Afterwards, no matter how great the Economy is, or even seems, we need to begin taking the first steps towards a different, more worldwide and socialistic, and dare-I-say individualistic economy. We need a new Utopia to begin striving towards. A left-wing version of political idealism that can alter the global economy for the better, and for a long, long time.
I believe, that there is a blueprint for this economy, in maybe the most unlikely, albeit logical, of places. I believe that our next economic goal should be, to create an global economy based around "Star Trek"! Yes, you read that right, "Star Trek", and by the way, I'm not entirely joking either. "Star Trek," created by Gene Roddenberry, is a world of inclusion. It's futuristic, but takes into account our current present and past to be true. (Something Ayn Rand could've been helped by) Just so everybody knows my history with "Star Trek", I'm a fan of the original series, although I only rarely watched it. I still am a huge fan of "...The Next Generation," which I consider the best of the series, and one of the best TV shows ever. After that, I eventually, caught up on reruns of "Voyager," although not enough to master the show, and I never watched any of the other versions of the show, maybe an episode or two of "Deep Space Nine," but I doubt it. Look, I don't know or think that well be exploring galaxies in warp drive, and battling warrior races, or stuff like that. The stuff that's always interested me about "Star Trek," is it's ideaology. It's portrait a future that's actually inspiring. People strive not for money, in fact, money has been eradicated in the "Star Trek" universe, and instead, people continue on for their own personal growth, in whatever field that may be. Oh, that's one of the things that eventually we need to do, eradicate money. Don't worry, that's one of the last steps, but it's true, in "Star Trek", money isn't there, and isn't needed. It didn't happen overnight, even in this fictitious universe. They eliminating worldwide, all the major necessities for which money is used for. Food and housing being the big two. I don't think that part is unreasonable, even impossible. Feed people and put them in a house or a building to stay in, a place to live. Hunger and homelessness, that's all that is. The built homes, and even invented a device that feed the world. It was called a food replicator, and I think we should be bringing all our chief scientists together in order to find a way to invent that in real life. Not that that's even necessary. Feed the starving children, there's plenty of ways to do that. Hunting, farming, Sally Struthers apparently. This isn't even that idealistic or new. Make sure no one's hungry, and that they have a place to sleep at night. Why is this so hard to accomplish? I don't think it would be if we just chose to do it. Put men on the moon, eradicate smallpox, these things can be done if we wanted to, and if we had the necessary ability. Right now, we don't have either. As much as other parts of the world suffer, we must first protect our own, that I believe is clear, but after we're done with that, the next step is to systematically eliminate as many of the human essentials that cost money that we can, beginning with housing and food. This doesn't require giving up mansions, or caviar, but just make sure everybody who can't afford even the simplest of domiciles and food can have food to eat, at first anyway, then we can start expanding beyond that. Frankly, I don't understand why this isn't in Republican idealists' visions, because the best thing that could happen to them is that the poorest of the poor can afford to spend more of their money on non-essentials, which would make them more money. Probably because they picture a world where all those essentials are provided for, and are afraid of losing the power that that money entails them. That will eventually, and then that will lead to this more personalized human experience, where the goal is to continually better oneself. That would be the goal, but that'd still be pretty damn lofty. You think in this future, anybody can get into Starfleet Academy, since there's no money? God no, and it's for the same reason why in the same future with no money, only a certain amount of people will graduate Law School, and then only a small percentage of them would become highly-successful litigators. It's still hard, and the standards are extremely high. The Declaration of Independence promises only a pursuit of happiness. Until now, that required the acquisition of money, through get-rich quick schemes and stuff like that, where the product or the job/opportunity didn't matter so long as the end-result ended in acquiring wealth. Ultimately, while in this current economic climate, it's one of the more preferable of bad options, I consider it personally uninspiring, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one.
The characters in "Star Trek," all have one profession. They're explorers. A pretty cool career path. I can't think of too many of them who are still alive myself however, because it's not a money-making opportunity, but a job that one becomes because of their personal desire to be one, and their can't be that many explorers and explorer-wannabes in the future, unless they had switched their economic objective to one of self-improvement instead of one based on wealth. I don't much desire to be an explorer of any kind, even one that seeks new lives and civilizations, but the world that created them is one I would like to live in, and with a wing and a prayer, the Economic world of "Star Trek", if not the technology, is possible.
Although granted, some of the technology would still be really cool to have. Seriously, any better toy than a Holodeck? And seriously, scientists, engineers, work on a food replicator! That invention alone can insurmountably change the course of humanity for the better, and it'd bring us one giant step closer to a Star Trek Economy.