I’ve seen too many capitalist dystopias and too many socialist utopias in Science Fiction.
Blade Runner is a good example of a capitalist dystopia: a world where the rich are so rich and the poor are so poor that they represent… well, 9th century Japan’s caste system, I suppose.
And Star Trek–at least until Deep Space Nine and the J.J. Abrams reboot–show a good example of a socialist utopia: a world where everything is perfect because somehow we have overcome… well, capitalism, I suppose.
(Keep in mind that with the Next Generation, the Ferengi, when they were first introduced and said to have the same morals as “the ocean-going Yankee traders of eighteenth and nineteenth century America”, were suppose to be the new “big bad” of that series, until the writers realized just how dumb that was.)
I love fantasy as much as the next guy.
But I’d love to see someone try to portray a better future as a result of capitalism.
After all, it was capitalism–that is, the increasing freedom of individuals around the world to work as they will, make what they will and sell as they will and reap the benefits of their work that led the world towards one of declining extreme poverty and rising standards of living.
And socialism is simply a step backwards–towards a time when royal families controlled the means of production (the land and capital goods used to work the land), but with royal families replaced by citizen committees.
Why must the arrow of time point backwards to most thinkers today?
Or is it that they lack the imagination to think of a world that is any better than the post-revolutionary French period of the early 1800’s?