Thursday, January 20, 2011

Star Trek vs. Star Wars

"If there was a moment when the culture of enlightened modernity [sic] in the United States gave way to the sickly culture of romantic primitivism [sic], it was when the movie 'Star Wars' premiered in 1977," blathers Michael Lind, star-struck by "the optimistic vision symbolized by 'Star Trek,' according to which planets, as they developed technologically and politically, graduated to membership in the United Federation of Planets, a sort of galactic League of Nations or UN," quoted here by Daniel Larison — George Lucas Destroyed Modernity.

"When I first watched 'Star Wars,' I was deeply shocked," moans Mr. Lind. "The representatives of the advanced, scientific, galaxy-spanning organization were now the bad guys, and the heroes were positively medieval — hereditary princes and princesses, wizards and ape-men. Aristocracy and tribalism were superior to bureaucracy. Technology was bad. Magic was good."

Click on the link for Mr. Larison's thorough debunking of this "technocrat’s utopian post-political fantasy run riot" as "a vision to appeal to a certain type of romantic idealists with no grasp of the corrupting nature of power or the limits of human nature" that ends up "sound[ing] a great deal like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World."

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OpenID zhai2nan2 said...

David Brin has been whining in similar ways since 1999.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


"Positively medieval," aye? What a way to redeem the series in my eyes. ;-)

And is this guy serious when he says that bureaucracy is to be preferred to aristocracy?!?!?

11:27 PM  
Blogger xavier said...


I liked both series (well OK the original star war series;) though I was often irritated by the Next generation series. I thought the series was a major lost opportunity to delve into the human condition without being so campy.

Deep space 9 was heading in the right direction, Voyager too but I thought the ship should've looked more dirty and beaten up than it was.

In any case, since when is bureaucracy better then non-bureaucratic forms of rule?


12:24 AM  

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