You won’t believe this: Matthew Yglesias offers a Marxian analysis of Star Trek — and I agree with him! In fact, I’ve raised this very point with my friend Nick Schulz several times (though he’s not a Trek geek). The Marxist utopia requires the complete defeat of economic scarcity and, to a lesser extent, the abolition of nationalism. Yglesias raises an interesting point when he says we never get much info by way of the content of the Federation’s spats with the Romulans et al. I would argue that there’s a Leninist analysis in the offing here in that the occasional outbreaks of pro-human chauvinism — the closest thing to nationalism for a unified human race — only appears when the Federation encounters less developed species which still believe in militarism, religion and other opiates of the masses. This raises the issue of whether you can have Communism in one species just as you used to have the issue of whether it was possible to have Communism in one state. Of course, Communism in one state is actually a fairly neat shorthand for most variants of Fascism. Anyway, I’ve got to take my wife out to dinner now and I can feel my pain collar heating up.