Or, Can Star Trek show us
how to build a shared planet?
was interesting to me recently to have a conversation with someone who I know
to believe in the concept of a single shared consciousness and then to learn
that she finds the notion of no nations to be confronting. But surely the two
ideas are complementary? If one believes – indeed embraces – the notion that
humans have a shared consciousness and intrinsic connection, then surely the
idea that we would reflect that by sharing the planet via open borders would
also be embraced. But many people view other nations, and other individuals, as
competitors, coming perhaps from a biological response rather than a cerebral
one. And so wars and conflicts, and even trade deals and unrestrained
development permits, continue to inflict pain and suffering across the globe.
are at a fateful time in human history, one in which we could pave the way for
a peaceful, shared planet, where resources are valued only if they cause no
harm to anyone. A future where even harm to the most vulnerable and remote of
human populations is not acceptable.
have we imagined such a future in movies or literature? Or is it beyond us? We’ve
just past the 30th anniversary of the future imagined in Back to the Future, and that one had
ghettos and corruption, but have there been more optimistic scenarios explored for
our future in any fictional medium? And if so, what can we learn from them?
Ben Elton’s Stark to the Terminator franchise, most future
scenarios foresee an apocalypse of one kind or another. In fact, of all the
movies and TV shows I’ve seen and all the books I’ve read, the only positive
future earth society I can think of is Star
the Star Trek universe, humanity is
at peace. It is united but not homogenous. Culture and history are respected
and valued but are secondary to a common humanity. The Star Trek populace
recognises that the planet earth is one entity and at some point – a point not
explored in any of the episodes or movies I’ve seen – they realised that lines
drawn on maps do nothing to provide or enhance human happiness in a world that
is intrinsically interconnected.
we didn’t understand this but we know now that all life on the planet is
interdependent: if we pollute the water and the air, we pollute our own future.
It’s like stealing from our own company – we’re going to go broke! So maybe
with climate change threatening the existence of life on earth, maybe the scene
is set for us to realise what humanity must have realised in Star Trek – that cooperation is superior
to competition. That together we can be more than what we are as separate
already have a global economy and now here in Australia we’re coming to terms
with how to gain fair taxation from multi-national companies who trade here but
pay no tax here. On the other hand, we debate whether non-Australian companies
should be allowed to lease our ports – and maybe we should have concerns about
that – or maybe commercial operations are showing us how to become global?
Truly our national borders are becoming more and more outdated, superseded, upgraded
business-led blurring of borders is likely to be an interim step that leads us
to embrace the notion of one world (noting that to date borders haven’t
provided security from terrorism and that serious health threats like ebola
have been managed at a global cooperative level). The next step will be for
people to claim this unity for themselves and, critically, to ensure that
fairness, respect and equity are the cornerstones of our global community.
Star Trek shows us the end result of
a united earth and the heroes explore space under a fictional United Federation
banner. More often than not the show explores how to get along with others who
seem different to us by interacting with other species as they attempt to bring
peace and unite the universe.
show goes to great lengths to explore difference, greed, hatred, revenge, and
fear and demonstrates the limits and unhappiness that these bring. And they
show the opposite too: that recognising our similarities and interacting from a
place of love, trust and compassion can bring stability, peace, and happiness.
there are bigger Sci-Fi and Fantasy lovers out there than me, so maybe someone
can tell me about another imagining that has a shared, positive human future.
I’d love to hear it. Because if Star Trek
can pre-empt tablets by decades, it can also inspire us to create a single
human governance that values and respects all humans – and indeed all life –
knowing that human health and biodiversity health are intrinsically linked and
that when we value our connectedness by embracing open borders we create a
happier, more peaceful world for ourselves.
not a simple vision but it is a highly desirable one; a future that generations
of migrants and refugees have struggled to find – a peaceful place to work,
live, learn and raise a family in dignity.
Palitja Moore, text and image, 2015