I’m watching the #StarTrek Voyager 2 part ep ‘Scorpion’.In this episode Voyager enters Borg space and discovers the Borg is at war with Species 8472. The Borg are losing the war as 8472 is advanced and can’t be assimilated.The Borg have to assimilate their enemies to defeat them.
Voyager uses the Empirical scientific method to study 8472 and finds weaknesses. Voyager has knowledge the Borg can’t acquire. Janeway offers a temporary alliance with the Borg by providing the knowledge and expertise in exchange for safe passage through Borg space.
The Borg often makes me think of Neoliberal Capitalism. The ideology is colonial in nature where it only values what it can assimilate into profit and economic productivity. Though it commonly uses Empirical science to study – it’s weakness is it tends to avoid rationalism.
Voyager and the Federation meanwhile also uses Rationalism amongst its people. The federation is founded on the principles of liberty, equality, peace and justice. They are egalitarian and don’t believe other cultures should be assimilated for profit and exploitation.
As an Autistic person I often feel I am judged by Neoliberalism in terms of my economic utility and social standing. My autism is seen as a disorder only and my reaction to stress or oppression is seen as a illness rather than a struggle for fairness or liberty.
My lack of economic utility to Neoliberal Capitalism means my rights to more social justice, adjustments and accommodations are less of priority. Much like the Borg Autistic people like me can’t be assimilated through laissez-faire market methods so I am deemed irrelevant.
What happens is Autistic people like myself become exploited as subjects of capitalism rather than as participants in society. Healthcare workers, drug companies, civil servants for benefits, the justice system etc.. are mercantile capitalists who make a living from deprivation.
In the end Voyagers truce doesn’t hold because the Borg are the anthesis of Federation values. However, Captain Janeway manages to outwit the Borg. Her Federation heritage means she is less ideological than the Borg when it comes to “bettering ourselves”.
“The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity”— Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Janeway uses her humanity to rescue 7 of 9 from the Borg collective and ultimately to defeat the Borg. Chakotay appeals to 7’s humanity by talking about family.7 is overwhelmed and disconnects from the collective.I try to appeal to peoples humanity when I face challenges in life.
On a related note I briefly discuss Empiricism vs Rationalism when discussing Autistic and Mad themes from the movie Batman Vs Superman here.