Is the United Federation of Planets headed by Starfleet a communist Utopia?

David Graeber thinks so! I’m reading Graeber’s Utopia of Rules… well actually I’m not. In order to survive having a 3 week old baby I’m watching Star Trek The Next Generation whilst staying up with a non-sleeping baby. But there is a fusion of the two; in The Utopia of Rules, Graeber discusses that the Federation is in fact a Communist regime.

No money, no elections, no politics at all to speak of, a uniform clad society working for the betterment of mankind…

“What I find remarkable about Star Trek, in particular, is that there is not only no real evidence of democracy, but that almost no one seems to notice its absence. Granted, the Star Trek universe has been endlessly elaborated, with multiple series, movies, books and comics, even encyclopedias, not to mention decades’ worth of every sort of fan fiction, so the question of the political constitution of the Federation did eventually have to come up. And when it did there was no real way anyone could say it was not a democracy. So one or two late references to the Federation as having elected President and legislature were duly thrown in. But this is meaningless. Signs of real democratic life are entirely absent in the show — no character ever makes even a passing reference to elections, political parties, divisive issues, opinion polls, slogans, plebiscites, protests, or campaigns. Does Federation “democracy” even operate on a party system? If so, what are the parties? What sort of philosophy or core constituency does each represent? In 726 episodes we’re not given the slightest clue…The Federation, then, is Leninism brought to its full and absolute cosmic success — a society where secret police…are not necessary because a happy conjecture of material abundance and ideological conformity ensures the system can now run entirely by itself.” 

David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules, 2015)

Here’s an interesting piece about it 

A relatively peaceful bunch of space communists unlike the totalitarian commies of the Borg…

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