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Ferengi & Capitalism in the “Star Trek” Universe

Quark and his business associates in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"


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Quark and his enterprise associates in “Star Trek: Deep Area 9”

Replicators are probably the most necessary applied sciences within the “Star Trek” universe. As Manu Saadia factors out in his e book “Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek,” replicators allow a “post-scarcity” society.

When mandatory items like meals, clothes, shelter, and instruments can all be created with a posh pc system, there isn’t a extra shortage of sources. Since sources are plentiful within the Trekverse, there’s no must battle over them. When almost something might be replicated, nobody wants to purchase items. So, an economic system based mostly on revenue and greed, like capitalism, turns into an antiquated system.

Nonetheless, there’s no less than one alien species within the Trekverse that also clings to capitalism. The Ferengi don’t simply have interaction in capitalism, they worship it. They based mostly their whole society round this financial system. The Ferengi additionally deliver capitalism into different galaxies by promoting items to different alien species. In reality, capitalism nonetheless thrives within the Trekverse due largely to the Ferengi.

How can capitalism thrive in a post-scarcity world? Why would profit-based commerce nonetheless exist when almost all the pieces folks want might be made immediately with a pc? The “Star Trek” canon gives some attention-grabbing solutions.


Some Issues Nonetheless Can’t Be Replicated


Star Trek Lore – Dilithium (Prime)This video was recommended by: The Anti-Trekker Dilithium was a crystalline mineral used to manage the response of the Matter/Anti-Matter in a ships warp drive methods. It had this potential because of the truth it could possibly be rendered porous to light-element anti-matter when subjected to excessive temperatures and electromagnetic pressures. Naturally, occurring Dilithium was thought of…2018-06-28T12:00:01Z

One main cause that profit-based commerce nonetheless exists within the Trekverse is that there are just a few mandatory items that can not be replicated. The prime instance is dilithium crystals, that are the principle vitality supply for Trek’s starships. The existence of a number of dilithium mining operations all through the Alpha and Beta Quadrants is proof that this significant component can’t be replicated, or no less than not within the portions essential to energy starships.

Many different pure sources used as vitality sources or for starship development both couldn’t be replicated or couldn’t be replicated within the portions mandatory for the sleek functioning of a post-warp society. So, they have been additionally mined. In response to Memory Alpha, the mining of pure sources remains to be a serious industrial exercise within the twenty third and twenty fourth centuries.

The essential pure sources that can not be replicated should be both traded for or offered, which permits capitalism to thrive even in a post-scarcity world.

Starfleet replicators additionally had particular security measures that prevented them from making dangerous objects. The “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Deathwish” established that weapons and lethal poisons couldn’t be replicated. This created a booming black marketplace for weapons. The “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode “Business as Usual” established that the Ferengi have been typically concerned in weapons dealing.


Replicators Should be Programmed


Star Trek Voyager: Tom Paris orders Scorching Plain Tomato SoupTom Paris argues with a replicator.2009-02-03T09:36:27Z

Like all pc utility, replicators wanted to be programmed to supply particular objects. Replicators on Starfleet ships got here pre-programmed with thousands and thousands of things from all through the universe. Nonetheless, unfamiliar objects typically weren’t within the unique programming.

Gadgets widespread to alien species, particularly meals and drinks, typically weren’t within the replicators. So, folks added their very own applications to the replicators to supply this stuff. For instance, Worf programmed bloodwine into the Enterprise-D’s pc. Individuals may additionally modify present applications to customise them, like Miles and Keiko O’Brien did to imitate their favourite childhood meals.

Although there wouldn’t be a marketplace for the products {that a} replicator may produce, there completely can be a marketplace for the replicator applications. This was one other market Ferengis have been typically concerned in, as evidenced by Quark’s dealings on Deep Area 9.


Typically the Real Article is Simply Higher


Why Replicated Meals Does not Style Like Actual Meals in Star Trek (No Dwelling Cells in it)sci fi evaluations channel: youtube.com/channel/UCrLsxBysUHnpSKRpXMbMVzg All parody Edits : youtube.com/channel/UCnnRzi7q1YTRFYvzSnjEzhQ2020-01-08T00:11:59Z

All through the “Star Trek” franchise, people and aliens alike have insisted that replicated objects simply aren’t nearly as good as the real article. Often, this level is made about meals.

Worf insisted that the replicator’s bloodwine was simply an approximation of the true factor. Commander Riker asserted that the replicators don’t permit for the nuance of dwelling cooking. Captain Sisko maintained that the ritual of cooking by handcrafted meals style higher. Lieutenant Tom Paris swore that the replicators couldn’t make a sizzling tomato soup that tasted like dwelling. Quark prided himself on stocking actual alcoholic drinks, not replicated ones.

When this level is made about objects apart from meals, it’s often made about collectible objects. The “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Most Toys” established that there are beings all through the universe that satisfaction themselves on accumulating real artifacts slightly than replicated ones. “Star Trek: Lower Decks” furthered this canon with the episode “Kayshon, His Eyes Open.” Quark additionally held auctions on “Deep Area 9” the place he touted his inventory of genuine, non-replicated objects.

So, even in a post-scarcity world, the place almost something an individual desires might be replicated, there may be nonetheless demand for non-replicated merchandise. Greater than anything, that is what permits the Ferengis’ financial system to thrive. Although some Ferengis deal in weapons and pure sources that may’t be replicated, most Ferengis deal within the objects that on a regular basis beings want. It appears that evidently even in a utopian future, want remains to be a continuing.

In a recent episode of “Lower Decks,” Ensign Beckett Mariner derisively requested the Ferengis that held her captive why they continued to ravage pure sources as a substitute of simply replicating the issues they wished to promote. Although the Ferengis themselves didn’t reply, the reply was obvious of their dealings. They have been promoting Mugato pelts, which may simply be replicated with out killing the Mugatos.

Nonetheless, the folks shopping for from the Ferengis wished the true factor, not a replicated pelt. This core want gave the true Mugato pelts extra worth than a replicated pelt, which motivated the Ferengis to get into the Mugato pelt commerce.

This, and all the Ferengis enterprise dealings all through the “Star Trek” franchise, means that profit-driven commerce will at all times exist on some degree. Even when issues might be simply replicated, even when destroying pure sources to create a product is not mandatory, some beings will nonetheless need the real article as a substitute of a replica of a replica.

So, even “Star Trek’s” post-scarcity world can’t kill capitalism.

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