Viewing posts tagged economic miracles


"Freedom at last!" says Kimus.  Because he's flying in an air car.

"You're not free yet," the Doctor reminds him.

Kimus observes that he's "free to think", yet doesn't seem to be doing so.

They chat about how Kimus' world works.  It has mines that function by themselves.

"What happens when they run out?" asks the Doctor.

"The Captain announces a new Golden Age of Prosperity and they just fill up again."

Kimus notices a certain reserve in the Doctor's manner.

"You don't think that's... well... wrong?  Do you?"

"It's an economic miracle," says the Doctor, "of course it's wrong."

What actually happens, of course, is planetary piracy.  Or, to give it another name, imperialism.  Kimus' planet ("Zanak" as Romana or Mula would helpfully remind us) materialises around other planets and then mines them down to a tiny, crushed pulp, killing anyone who happens to live on them in the process.

Real imperialism is considerably more complex than this... but the basic picture is essentially right.

Much as the people might stagily cry "hooray!" for the Captain whenever he announces another Golden Age of Prosperity, they ...

Harry Potter and the Labour Theory of Value

Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. 
- Marx & Engels, The Communist Manifesto

In this post, I noticed that Star Trek portrays the society of the future as essentially capitalist (in all but name) despite the fact that the people of the Federation have 'Replicators' that can summon material objects out of pure energy. Such a development of the forces of production ought to have banished scarcity of any description, thus also banishing any need for the exploitation of labour, the extraction of surplus and the existence of class, along with many other features of capitalism which persist (open or half-hidden) in the Roddenberry/Berman utopia.  In short, given the technology it possesses, the Federation ought to look a lot more like 'the Culture' of Iain M. Banks' (though, actually, the Culture is as much a liberal vision as it is socialist or anarchist... with its dependence upon the benevolent dictatorship of super-smart AIs ...

Economic Miracles

This is my Timelash II stuff on the subject of Graham Williams' tenure as producer... it's a bit thin because I've either posted about several stories from this era elsewhere or because I'm planning to.  Also, to be honest, some of the stories simply don't yield much grist for my mill.  That isn't to knock the Williams era, which contains some of the most politically interesting Who stories ever made (which is partly why they needed - or need - posts all to themselves).  Notice, for instance, how the stories glanced at below seem obsessed with fuel, economics and questions of prosperity vs. austerity... s'what comes of making Doctor Who in the context of the late 70s I guess...

I've written about 'Horror of Fang Rock' here and 'Image of the Fendahl' here.

'The Sun Makers'

This is from elsewhere on this blog, but it's part of a wider article.  I thought it could tolerate repeating... especially since 'Sun Makers' is a favourite of mine, for reasons which should be obvious.  I don't think, by the way, that this story has ever been more relevant than it is ...

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