I just finished a rewatch of The Mandalorian series and one of the things I thought about was the vicious profiteering and scramble for money (or ‘credits’, or valuable metals or what have you) that indicates what kind of economy is at work in that show.
Granted, so far we've only seen the fringes of the Galaxy after the collapse of the Empire, so things are chaotic. A new government is in place, but we haven't seen much of how that's working; like I said, this show takes place mostly on the untamed fringe worlds.
Still, the world of profit-driven scoundrels and mercenaries in Star Wars is an interesting contrast to the world of Star Trek, which from the original series, took place in a world without money. The details are generally kept vague, but little glimpses of how it all works show up from time to time.
Generally the shows take place on Starships, not on Earth, so there is no money changing hands among the main characters. It's through aliens or time-travel that we see these things revealed.
When Kirk and crew travel back to 1980's Earth in Star Trek IV, they have trouble when they realize these people are “still using money.”
In TNG, Picard and crew wake up some cryogenically frozen earthlings from our time, and an investor who planned to wake up to a massive fortune finds that money is meaningless in the future. Picard tells him that humanity has evolved beyond the pursuit of wealth. They've eliminated hunger, poverty and want.
Like I said, the details are kept vague, but we understand that humanity no longer suffers from issues like homelessness, war, or poverty. They do not use money, but the challenge and purpose of life is “we work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity.”
We still see a drive among people, though. Starfleet officers go through challenging training and put themselves in great uncertainty and danger, exploring the Galaxy. Lots of officers die out there or find other horrific fates. On DS9, Ben Sisko's father runs a restaurant and is despondent when the place is closed briefly during a crisis on Earth. Picard's brother still works hard maintaining the family vineyard (I'm not really talking about the newer Picard series here, where worldbuilding gets sloppy and the bones of this world seem to be bent out of shape or discarded).
Could something like that ever evolve in humanity's future? I hope it could. To be clear, I don't believe there will ever be a Utopia that doesn't have some kind of money or trade. I believe there will always be people who are richer and others who are poorer.
But my hope for our descendants is that at some far off time can have a society where the basic needs of all people are taken care of, and that the focus of our lives can be more about enriching ourselves, finding our true path in life to serve our own satisfaction and add to the enrichment of the rest of humanity.
I can believe could happen someday! For what it's worth, I'd sure rather live there than in Star Wars world, much as I enjoy watching them Jedis and Mandalorians!
Live long and prosper,
Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 4, 2021
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