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Ayn Rand and Star Trek

Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 2 months, 3 weeks ago to Culture
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I met Gene Rodenberry when he came to JPL to get a scientific perspective and to borrow the Voyager mock up for "Startrek the motion picture". His insistence on scientific plausibility and logic was very "Randian". He appreciated the fact that his ideas had stimulated much discussion of potential technologies such as warp drive, the transporter, photon torpedoes and the tricorder. The fliphone is a Startrek technology that has come and gone. He was quite a guy.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I wonder whether Ayn Rand would have approved of the direction the Star Trek franchise took after Roddenberry's death. For that matter, I wonder whether either creator understood the other.

    Star Trek embraced pure communism as an economic ideal. The Ferengi were obvious caricatures of capitalists, and in fact little more than gangsters. Roddenberry, while alive, never had the ship return to Earth. But his successors made plain: the Federation would have a completely creditless economy, based on the pseudo-abundance of the ubiquitous "replicators."

    I myself started to create a series to pick up 17 years after Deep Space Nine left off (and fifteen years after Voyager left off). In it, the New Economy would start to creak, colonists would flock to the Gamma Quadrant, and suddenly the Federation would impose Townshend-like Acts on Gamma Quadrant colonies. With the result that the Niners and the Voyagers, facing a crisis of conscience, would lead a Gamma Quadrant War for Independence, to parallel the American War for Independence. In this scenario, the Dominion War becomes the French-Indian/Seven Years' War, with all the economic stress that war laid on the British Empire, pushing them to promulgate those Intolerable Acts to begin with.

    I don't expect the rightsholders of Star Trek ever to agree to this. So I am prepared to change all the names, and even substitute an autistic savant for the self-aware android automaton ("Data") the franchise features. I believe, furthermore, that the Federation would suffer an Atlas Shrugged-style collapse, and fall under a dictatorship by the then-current clone of George Soros.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      It was because of the embrace of socialism that Star Trek got away with the Ferengi being portrayed as Nazi cartoon Jews, with big ears and noses. Ironic that Quark, played by the Jewish actor Armin Shimerman, became one of the most popular characters with an oblivious fandom of DS9. The ST establishment failed completely to create capitalist villains, falling back on autocrats, tyrants, and the fascist Romulans.
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      • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Perhaps the oddest thing is that Star Trek does not caricature humans as being all of one kind. Klingons are warriors. Vulcans are logical. Ferengi are greedy. Cardassians, Romulans, Bajorans... they all are dominated by a single culture that defines them. We are generalists. Perhaps that is our stereotype.

        The Ferengi began less well defined, even engaged in battle with starships. That was abandoned in later episodes. See my comments here:
        https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

        As noted, everyone wants to read themselves into the Star Trek universe. Romanticism is about conflicts of values that people choose. (See Rand's Romantic Manifesto for a full treatment.) When Ayn Rand said that she enjoyed the first James Bond movie, it was not because he was risking his life to defend Wilson and Heath.
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        • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Actually, the Ferengi were probably the best culturally portrayed, with a dominating paternalistic hierarchy. Remember, Quark's mom was a bit of a Ferengi feminist. I maintain that the Ferengi were caricatures of European Orthodox Jews of the 19th century, from the German-Austrian perspective.

          Klingons, likewise, are a caricature of Norse viking culture; Vulcans a caricature of Roman Stoics; Romulans a more classic caesarian, rapacious Roman culture; Cardassians a Prussian-like culture; Most of the other alien races portrayed are sketchy in detail to suit the storyline.

          What's striking about the ST series is that they almost never contact a truly "alien" alien culture. I suppose that's because the intent of the series was to reflect human problems in a different, entertaining venue. Still, it would have been interesting to see how the ST folk would have approached interacting with a completely non-human sentient species, with no help from a universal translator.
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          • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
            Right. There were a couple, the silicons in the water layer ("Home Soil") and the Silicon Avatar (eponymous). I heard Roddenberry speak once and in answer to a similar question about some other difficult point, he said that the costs of production make popular culture the market. While we all love the techie stuff, at some level, you begin to lose viewers and that means lost revenue which impacts the production.

            Books are cheaper. Feel free to write it. Fanfic is out there and it becomes profic.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 3 weeks ago
      Do you know about AXANAR? A couple of us here, Thoritsu and I, both contributed to the start-up, "Prelude to Axanar." They made an 11-minute trailer, but got bogged down in the legalities with Paramount and then Disney. (I think it was Disney. I lost interest when I lost my interest.) Anyway, they are back on track now. The thing is, though, that there is so much fanfic out there that you could probably create it as a novel and sell it on Amazon and get it out there, even if they shut you down later.

      As noted Roddenberry knew the works of Ayn Rand, including the Romantic Manifesto, which came out after the OS was cancelled. So, he was a trufan. But romanticism is not about politics or economics. It is about people in conflict over values.

      As for the anti-capitalist mentality of Star Trek, we have been fighting it for 50 years. As I noted, they actually improved their portrayals of the Ferengi. In the Deep Space Nine episode about "The Great River" of commerce, the hero is Nog who by trades is able to get the chief engineer what he needs to fix the station. Nog, of course, is later accepted at Star Fleet academy, graduates, and fights aboard the Defiant.

      The DS9 episode "Profit and Loss" is a remake of Casablanca where we discover that Quark smuggled arms to the Bajoran underground when the Cardassians held the space station.

      So, no, they will never do the Galactic Atlas Shrugged, but what they do can be passable. And, again, it is not about Austrian economics. It is about conflict over values. And, yes, I agree, that there, J. J. Abrams is lacking.

      Finally, if you google "Jewish Themes in Star Trek" you will see that lots of people read themselves into the narratives. It is a popular myth, like the Iliad or King Arthur.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      As I noted, we all like to read ourselves into the Star Trek mythology. You can find Christians who hang their hopes on "Bread and Circuses" (ST:OS) and wring their hands over the religion of Bajor. I noted a book all about Jewish influences in Star Trek (https://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Themes-... ) but just google "Star Trek jewish" and you can read for hours... And just for the flip side, Dr. Julian Bashir opened another door down the hallway created by Khan Noonien Singh. Then there are the Africans, following Lt. Uhura and Dr. M'benga ... Our culture of capitalism may be another variety of identity politics.

      Allow me to suggest that our words for money (pecuniary = fee; gold = yield) show that if you took the smartest merchants from a mere hundred to a dozen thousand years years ago, you would have a hard time explaining to them how Bitcoins are money. Even among us are those who claim that gold has intrinsic value.

      Like you, I resist what I perceive as the non-economic side of Star Fleet. Absent money, how do they know whether to establish a mining colony or build a school? But I note that mostly, we only see Star Fleet, one institution of the Federation, not the entire Federation government and certainly not the entire society.

      I once wrote: "In fact, in one episode, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard tells a man from our time that in the future, people are more concerned with improving themselves than they are with the accumulation of things. This attitude, from a man in a uniform who commands some people and obeys the orders of others, begs a few questions." here: http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20... (See also my review of The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20... )
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        I read your articles. I agree with you about the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. Whoever wrote them must have been communists. That's why I maintain the essence of the Federation economy is communism.

        And of course Captain Picard has the task of telling this "popsicle" businessman that Federal society has abolished his kind and expropriated the properties he held when he went into the Deep Freeze. That's because Federal society holds all things in common. Replicators suddenly make all things of substance have no meaning. It's all a matter of how much energy you can get, and whether the Federal government will allow it to you.

        For in a society like that, one does not have rights, but only allowances.

        BTW, the religion of Bajor is Hinduism. The use of the title Vedic for a priest of that religion gives the clue. But the Entities that control the Wormhole strike me as more in keeping with the AEsir of Viking lore than with the Hindu gods, or whatever they were.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      I believe that if you retain essentially the same characters, even if you change the names it's still a
      violation of copyright.

      Why not just start from scratch, and invent your own story?
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    • Posted by CTYankee 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      Having grown up with Star Trek, I feel compelled to chime in with a few MAJOR gaffes which we MUST rely on the theatrical 'suspension of disbelief' to digest any of the episodes' deeper or should I say underlying, cultural implications.

      The Replicator: It would be the single most transformative technological element that is for all intents and purposed simply glossed over.

      Replicator technology would completely invalidate many of the precepts of commerce as a means to alleviate scarcity and need. The transformation that even a SINGLE replicator would introduce to a planet as so overwhelming that even my creative mind cannot grasp all the implications.

      In the right hands, even one replicator salvaged from say a crashed spaceship, or a time travelling accident -- changes the world forever.

      Transporter technology: It like the replicator would be so unimaginable transformative, that we would be incapable of recognizing a post transporter civilization. It could exist right under our noses and we as a pre-transporter civilization could be kept ignorant of its very existence!

      All the more conventional technologies like warp drive, shuttlecraft, anti-gravity, and all the weapons and medical advances are the only conventionalizations that we, in our current unenlightened state can latch onto. They are all utterly unimportant when compared to either transporter or replicator technologies with regard to their potential.

      Simply put with either a single replicator or a single transporter, it is possible to accomplish anything from enlightening an entire planet into a spacefaring civilization, or to enslave or destroy an entire planetary population with equal ease.

      No other Star Trek technology(1) is capable of such enormous transformations. Even the occasional flirtations with time travel, fall short of the ability to control specific outcomes, other than a restoration to the 'original' timeline.

      Footnote:
      (1) "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clark
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      • Posted by strugatsky 2 months, 3 weeks ago
        A replicator, should one be ever created, will completely destroy our society and everyone in it. It is no different than winning giant lottery - and we all know how that ends. It is so typical of the extremely shallow elites who live is the clouds and never have to work for a living to think that Utopia can be achieved through abundance. That is why they're so gun-ho on redistribution - once abundance is achieved, Utopia is automatically here. Only they kind of believe in it, but not completely, so they redistribute other people's stuff, not theirs, just in case... Marx, who never worked a day in his life, Lenin, with the same work record, Bernie, who couldn't be made to work even for a few months in a kibbutz, Obama, who never held a job. These are the self-proclaimed intellectuals with their replicator pipe-dreams, never realizing that it is this lottery-winning replicator that will be the destruction of the society.
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      • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Replicators require energy and the matter-antimatter warp drive engine solves a lot of problems for writers. Still, the dilithium crystals wear out or burn out or whatever they do when they entropize. So, the more replicating you do in transit, the less space travel you do. I suppose that it would be like listening to Sirius in your Tesla, no matter how efficient your earbuds.

        I am not a trekker trufan but I do know that transporters have been kicked around. Why bother with spaceships if you can beam from place to place? The only answer is, as Steve Jobs said: The journey is the reward.

        But you are right in that all of the ins and outs of those two - and they are related technologies - have not been explored without contradiction. If you have answers, perhaps you could write a story and create "a world where..."
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      • Posted by lrshultis 2 months, 3 weeks ago
        Replicators are ubiquitous in reality but just not universal. There is nearly anything used by humans which is not replicated. Even the universal type replicator of Star Trek would need replenishing of matter to replicate from and thus need some sources of matter which may have a cost in, at least, machinery to obtain it.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Technical point, but while I agree that matter could feed the replicators, I think that they do it with energy by the E=mc^2 equivalence.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            E=Mc^2 is an equivalence between energy and mass not matter. Both are quantity measurements. Energy is a measurement of a number of relationships between matter, e.g., potential with respect to a force, relative translational motion, relative rotational motion, relative relations to other matter if annihilated to certain elementary particles, etc. No energy without matter or radiation such as EM or matter which composes more complex matter. Mass and energy are relative measurements depending on the context in which matter exists, e.g., rest mass and rest energy is measured in the context of being at rest relative to the measuring device.
            There is no magical energy other than matter or radiation to convert to other matter or radiation. Thus any replicator would need a supply of matter which would include photons and other forms of radiation.
            Perhaps the greatest common error is the belief that measurements and other concepts are reifiable. Mass, energy, momentum, time, temperature, climate, politics, concepts, etc., are measurements or descriptions of matter acting or in relation to other matter and not any kind of matter and end up as mental content and not as actual existing stuff in objective reality.
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            • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
              Thanks! I did not think it through well. I know better than to call the local "energy" utility the "power" company; and I never confuse mass with weight. But I never differentiated mass from matter.

              Can you recommend readings in metaphysics?
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              • Posted by lrshultis 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                E=Mc^2 should have the mass M as a change in mass or delta M. When an electron and a positron annihilate, two photons with total energy equivalent to the two masses are formed. They are considered by relativity theory to have no mass though rather an equivalent mass equal to the original mass. If two photons of the right energy combine, an electron and positron pair of equivalent mass to the energy of the two photons can be produced.

                As for metaphysic (Greek for "after physics" but better meaning proto-physics "before physics"), there is not much to be said other than the Objectivist view of the three axioms and there implications. After those the empiricism of the scientific method should rule for epistemology's rules as to what is and how knowledge is obtained, hypothesizing by deduction and induction until experience makes knowledge apparent. It should also be an empirical science.
                E.g., does just the possible existence of something having identity, say, of a galaxy seen at 12 billion light years have any sense of knowable when 12 billion years in the future, ifs now, nothing is possible to know about it since there is no way to know where it is at present or whether it even still exists. Would that be unknowable if it really still exists? Objectivism would say it would have to be knowable since unknowable would imply knowledge to know that. There are many cases where one can only speculate about the existence of objects but not about any knowledge about their present identities or whether they still exist at present.

                Objectivism's distinction between the metaphysical and man made, in my view, is just to give man some extra-natural existence, when, like all natural existents, rational animals are completely natural but like many other living things can have an awareness of objective reality and even ability to modify reality in a nondeterministic way
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                • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
                  Thanks, again. I was impressed by several assertions from Understanding Objectivism by Peikoff and Berliner. I could ask a trick question: What are the three axioms of Objectivism? Most students of Objectivism get it wrong, citing the Parts of Atlas Shrugged: Identitiy (A is A); Exclusion (A or non-A); Non-Contradiction. The three axioms are existence, consciousness, and identity. (See "Objectivist Metaphysics" here: https://campus.aynrand.org/campus/glo... )

                  I agree with your claim that an electron and positron can annihilate to produce two photons. And, as you say, those those photons can be recombined to produce an electron and a positron. Hence, energy can be transformed into matter. That is how the Star Trek replicator works. It gets energy from the warp-drive engines. I accept your claim that a starship can also reprocess scrap matter via the replicators. But it does not need to keep a cargo bay of matter just for the replicators.

                  That is what you claimed above when you said that all that exists is matter. What we call "energy" "mass" "time" etc., etc., are just attributes of matter or relationships between matters. That is the strong materialist view of metaphysics that some Objectivists assert. Energy is not a "thing" just as Nothing is not a special kind of Something.

                  This would make an interesting topic of its own under Philosophy.
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                • Posted by lrshultis 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I like Mathew Stewart's quick survey of philosophy:

                  "The Truth about Everything: An Irreverent History of Philosophy", (2005).

                  He is very anti-mysticism in philosophy and says:
                  " ... Philosophy is the love of knowledge, not superstition. I contend, however, that much of what passes for philosophy is in fact mysticism. ... Philosophy, when understood as something other than a general and favorable disposition toward knowledge, that is, when viewed as a specific project and the source of a privileged sort of knowledge, is just this sort of mysticism."
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  • Posted by rhfinle 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    On the replicator: An interesting concept. If it can replicate anything, then you only have to build one replicator, ever. That makes it a von Neumann machine, if it can replicate without intervention. A note: in Clarke's 2001 series, the Monolith (or Stargate or Zagadka, etc.) was also one.
    I enjoy Star Trek, but have always found the liberalism annoying. The no-money system is a complete joke. Sure replicators can make things, but how are you going to pay people to work? Never mind, in a totally Communist system, you just tell them TO work.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Not only do our computers replicate, the cheap copier, the Xerox, was perhaps the first replicator. Used to be, you need a scriptorium full of monks with quills and ink pots and expensive parchment or rare Chinese paper. And yet, today, we have more scribes than there were people back then.

      According to "pure communism" people are naturally individualistic enough that they just choose to do many different things. In fact, that is one of the alleged fallacies in communist utopia, that the strict division of labor is gone: you can have one trade on Tuesday morning, and pursue a different craft on Wednesday afternoon, not being ground down by repetitive labor like a cheap machine. But of course, that's communist thinking...
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  • Posted by  $  Susanne 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    I wouldn't have guessed this in a century, as the Star Trek Genre was based around a socialistic one-universe society that eschewed money and personal gain. I still remember (quite vividly) the episode where they found a ship from the 21st century, brought them back from their suspended animation, and the crew were aghast - almost embarrassed - over the one guy's desire to know how his stocks had fared, and how he should, by now, be wealthy enough to buy this starship"...

    To me, it's hard to reconcile that to an Ayn Randian ideal society... but then again, entertainment and philosophy would, at times, make strange bedfellows.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Have you read Victor Hugo's Ninety-three? (Ayn Rand wrote an introduction to a new edition some decades back.) I ask because the point is not to take sides in the French Revolution.

      On a similar note, in the Romantic Manifesto Rand is quite clear that it is not the purpose of fiction to be didactic. As long as the plot, theme, and plot-theme are integrated and the characters act in conflict over values, you have good art. Roddenberry read The Romantic Manifesto between the closing of the Original Series and the launch of Next Generation.

      Just as furious hand-waving can explain away paradoxes with warp drive in an Einsteinian universe, I can justify this, almost Objectively...

      In "The Neutral Zone" (Season 1) Captain Picard tells Richard Offenhouse that we are more concerned with improving ourselves. He did not say that money is an archaic relic of a bygone capitalist era. Also, Offenhouse is optimistic if he expected a 200-year bull market. Very few firms are around from 200 years ago. (You can google them.)

      By comparison, if we reanimated a 19th century farmer or an Ice Age hunter, how would we explain our lack of interest in the things they considered fundamental and unquestionable. Adam Smith had a hard time accepting joint stock companies. He would never have gone for Bitcoins.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        "He did not say that money is an archaic relic of a bygone capitalist era."
        It comes pretty close in that episode. In other episodes, however, the show favors capitalism, so I just write it off as this just being a bad episode. The Neutral Zone comes off as preachy, even if it had been preaching something I agree with, it really hits you with a two-by-four. I heard it described as being like a Michael Moore documentary about paint drying.

        I do appreciate defenses of the episode, just as I like reading interpretations that try to make Turnabout Intruder anything other than what it appears to be.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Turnabout Intruder would have met Ayn Rand's favor, given her opinions on gender roles. Dagny Taggart could run a railroad, but wearing a bracelet that made her looked chained was "feminine."

          I thought that William Shatner did a good job of acting like a woman, but, actually, he usually does anyway.

          What I got from the episode the last time I watched it just a few months ago was the command presence that Kirk had which Dr. Lester did not. She repeated an order. Also, while Kirk does call up on the communicator "Kirk to Enterprise" he often just expects people to recognize his voice. Dr. Lester was not in the habit of either.

          I do note now that "Lester" is a man's name. She was not Dr. Janice Garcia or something. Also, "Lester" has "less" in it, just as Jack London's Sea Wolf was named "larceny."
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            "Dagny Taggart could run a railroad, but wearing a bracelet that made her looked chained was "feminine." "
            The difference is Dagny runs a railroad successfully. She has her chain kink without it standing in the way of her getting what she wants. Dr. Lester, OTOH, can't get things done. She tries to get her way dishonestly, and ends up a whining/crying mess throwing a tantrum. She's closer to a Rand villain.

            I like to think Kirk is just choosing not to argue the point at the beginning when Lester says she couldn't be as successful as Kirk because of sexism. When she says it's not fair, he says, "no it isn't" instead of "oh no, I got here on my merits, and you didn't because of our own failings." This is the same way he doesn't gloat or seek retribution when he wins at the end of the episode. Unlike Lester, Kirk is not trying to prove anything to anyone.

            "Dr. Lester was not in the habit of either. "
            Shatner did a great job of conveying that he was a stranger to this job, and doing a routine task of calling the ship, which we'd seen dozens of times before, was new to the character.

            "I do note now that "Lester" is a man's name."
            I wonder why they did that.

            "Also, "Lester" has "less" in it,"
            I wonder if it's supposed to bring to mind the word fester, because of her festering resentment.
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            • Posted by  $  2 months, 1 week ago
              Good points. Thanks. A lot of what readers or viewers get from what is written is under the surface, subconscious, back of the mind. You are not supposed to notice it, but is is what is different between good writing and great writing. We could fall down a rabbit hole, and maybe it is best for a different discussion entirely, but one reason that "Oxfordians" argue for Edward de Vere being Shakespeare is because unlike the glovemaker's son, he really had the depth of experience to know that "Desdemona" means "always mine." Not everyone in the Globe would get that, but everyone at Court would.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    Thanks for this new data. (Star Trek speak).
    I can clearly see why Spock would be Ayn Rand's favorite character.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months, 3 weeks ago
      I may take leave to have reservations about that. Spock was shown to be deeply troubled and unhappy. Ayn Rand's heroes were not inwardly troubled usually, except maybe for Hank Rearden, and that was intentional on her part, to illustrate his philosophical problems.
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      • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
        It is perhaps the primary reason why Ayn Rand's characters are condemned as "cardboard" by literary critics. Rand's goal was to create heroes she wanted to know in real life. The dominant theory of literature probably starts with Hamlet who has too much to figure out, or perhaps Oedipus as the detective who discovers that he is the killer. But either of those could be romantic figures.

        Rand discussed two paintings, one of a junkyard, the other of a great city at night. The junkyard was the better of the two for its romantic style.

        Romantic fiction is more than a rubber stamp of what Ayn Rand wrote. She enjoyed popular literature that without knowing her personal approval of certain works, fans of her works would condemn. Sinclair Lewis' Arrowsmith is just one example.
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        • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I bellieve she said in The Romantic Manifesto that a sloppy rendition of a goddess was merely "aesthetic incompetence", but that the use of great talent to depict an insignificant thing (such as "a side of beef") was "an aesthetic crime." I, nevertheless, do not run to her to know her opin-
          ion before deciding what I like; there are certain
          Dickensian novels which I like very much, because of the pleasure they give me personally.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 months, 3 weeks ago
        For a fact I forgot about Spock's inner conflicts.
        And I do believe seen everything with Mr. Spock in it.
        I suddenly see the latest Spock as not having the same depth.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    In the Cards starts out with Jake wanting to buy a gift for his father, but he can’t because his society doesn’t use money. He arrogantly says they choose to make life better rather than make money. His friend shows him to do honest work and make some trades to get the gift. At the end they show everyone involved in the trades enjoying the benefits while a voiced-over Sisko says, “But for some reason, it now seems as though a new spirit has swept through the station, as if someone had opened a door and let a gust of fresh air blow through a musty old house. Why this is happening, frankly, is a mystery to me.” The viewer knows the reason is doing work and making trades. It’s an obvious juxtaposition with the beginning when Jake said they make life better by not using money.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Ah, yes, the Great River of Commerce! The Great Material Continuum.
      http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Gr...

      "It's my money, Jake! If you want to bid at the auction, use your own money."
      "I'm Human, I don't have any money."
      "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement."
      "Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity."
      "What does that mean exactly?"
      "It means... it means we don't need money!"
      "Well, if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine!"`
      http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/In...
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