Utopia In Star Trek

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In season 1, episode 26 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the U.S.S. Enterprise discovered three human bodies from earth that had been cryogenically frozen in the late 20th century at the instant of their death. After reviving them, one of the survivors, Ralph Offenhouse, is extremely excited and anxious to see how much money he has accumulated while he was in hibernation. When Captain Picard informs him that money, material possessions or the perceived “power” they represent are no longer valued (especially not at the level of 20th-21st century America), Offenhouse is somewhat awestruck. During the end of the episode, Offenhouse seems at a loss, asking Picard “What’s the challenge?” if there is no need to chase wealth, status, and power.…show more content…
The primary obstacle in the way of creating a genuine utopia for the inhabitants of that universe is violent conflict (but then there wouldn’t be too many episodes to air). If they manage to achieve peace and harmony, then the Star Trek universe would offer a truly utopic environment for most people. However, if utopia is judged as an ideal society for all its citizens, then Star Trek would still fall short. This is due to individuals like Offenhouse who are not content with having enough or more than enough and aspire for more. This craving is inherent in Offenhouse; his desire for money and power is actually a game for him, not a means to an end but rather the end itself. For people like him, an ideal utopia would be different, one which operates on a capitalistic model of competition and one which would subsequently have winners and losers. It seems like the fundamental problem in achieving utopia is desire. Even when all physical wants can be accounted for, abstract or ethereal yearnings for power and status must still be accounted for. For this reason, we must either eliminate desire as an emotion or create mechanisms which allow individuals to find and live in societies which suit their personalities and outlooks. Ursula Le Guin’s book. The Dispossessed, offers a universe where this is
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