boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
We're not actually sure how Starfleet funds anything, but what are some viable, functional alternatives to capitalism that *are* well explained in SF&F? And how do societies using them interact with capitalist societies?


One of the panels I was worried about has acquired other panelists, one has not. So, even though I am just the freelance moderator, I've got to prepare thoroughly for this one. Do you have any suggestions for SF that examines alternatives to capitalism?

Do you think Iain Banks's Culture belongs in this panel, or is it so post-capitalism that doesn't make sense to call it an alternative?


Also, I have five pink and five black "Fight Fascism" stickers, from here: https://studentactivism.net/ If you are going to Wiscon, and you would like one, call dibs here.

Date: 2017-04-22 03:51 am (UTC)
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
From: [personal profile] randomdreams
Man, that's a good question. I feel like most visions of the future are either 'everything collapsed' or 'robots took everything over'.

Date: 2017-04-22 04:16 am (UTC)
jiawen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jiawen
Good question about what counts as an alternative... I feel like the Culture is pretty well explained: Minds use various amazing technology to craft pretty much anything out of gas giants, stars, etc. that no one was using. Very post-scarcity, but demanding to have your own orbital is considered pretty gauche.

That is not even vaguely plausible by our current understanding of physics, so it doesn't work as an alternative we should be immediately trying for. But then, Star Trek makes even less sense, so maybe that's not a requirement that the panel is aiming for?

Date: 2017-04-27 01:39 pm (UTC)
jiawen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jiawen
Somewhere along the way, I got the impression that the Minds indulge us because they are generally just nice (Banks' optimism at work, I'd say, that intelligence correlates with morality). For some reason, I remember this being in A Few Notes on the Culture, but I can't find the exact phrasing now, and most of my Banks books are far away from me right now. Also, if it's truly post-scarcity, ideas like "I need to use this lump of matter for something more valuable than just constituting a human" don't make sense.

Date: 2017-04-22 02:41 pm (UTC)
j00j: rainbow over east berlin plattenbau apartments (Default)
From: [personal profile] j00j
Uhh, sorry. This one's my fault. I came up with it during my DS9 rewatch and thought I'd ask Wiscon since I didn't have a lot of great answers. :D Looking forward to seeing what the panel comes up with!

Date: 2017-04-22 10:24 pm (UTC)
maribou: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maribou
I think the Dispossessed explains both of its planets' economies (anarcho-socialist-kinda and more-or-less feudal) fairrrly well? It's been too long since I read it to be sure though...

Date: 2017-04-26 09:52 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
I'm pretty sure Urras is capitalist, not feudal!

Date: 2017-04-22 10:31 pm (UTC)
maribou: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maribou
Oh, and KSR's Mars books!

Date: 2017-04-26 09:51 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Oh, hmmm.

- Le Guin's The Dispossessed is an obvious answer, isn't it? It's even explicitly about interaction with a capitalist society.
- Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.
- L. Timmel Duchamp's Marq'ssan Cycle.

And most medieval fantasy is actually using a (often unexamined) feudal system which is really not capitalism, but I assume that's not what you mean? : )

I'm sure I have more to say here but I have so much to do, so I'm just going to post and come back later if I think of more.

ETA: Ha ha, and of course people had already suggested my two obvious ones...
Edited Date: 2017-04-26 09:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-27 08:53 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Can you tell me more about the Marq'ssan Cycle? I own the first book but haven't read it. Timmi Duchamp goes to Wiscon, so I'd be glad for a chance to talk about her work.

You can search for the series name on my journal, I have reviews of all the books. I guess they're not primarily about economics, though there is a fair amount of discussion of economic issues in the development of an anarchist society. I'd say primarily they're about trying to create a better society in the face of 1) unequal relationships between people and what they do to people both on the private and the political plane, and 2) repression from a state security apparatus.

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