Thursday, March 08, 2012

Five minutes a day for Star Trek

Four months ago I promised myself to spend five minutes every day advancing the optimistic vision of Star Trek in different forms of social media. It is a promise that I have kept. Some days it has been more hours than minutes of fascinating debates with people from all over the world. To me, Star Trek represents a 24th century interpretation of the very society I grew up in: Swedish social democracy. It was a society based on a strong belief in a better future but also in pragmatism, reformism and gradual emancipation.

In a time when our imagination is running dangerously low and many people are drawn towards polarizing ideologies, the legacy of that society is more important than ever. Looking ahead we can ill afford new cultural wars fought only to prove our own ethical supremacy. Instead of resisting capitalism, we should use its force wisely towards progressive ends, instead of provoking unnecessary cultural tensions with the Muslim world we should have faith in the promise of the Enlightenment, and instead of running away from technologies that have gone awry, we should work to perfect these technologies as we take active responsibility for the future. In the image of Captain Janeway above, I see all this, a future in which humans have remained humans but in which piecemeal institutional change has allowed us to be our better selves.

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