>you need (in the real meaning of the word) a lot of labor trade in order for the society to function
You're confusing "How we did it" with "How it has to be done" - that's an appeal to tradition fallacy. We've had civilization for some ten-thousand years now, depending which great leap forward you choose as a start - and we've had employer/employee relationships for 200 years -it is not the only way to produce anything. It is not even the only way to trade labour. Hell in the very next paragraph I gave you an example of labour trade that doesn't involve employers and employees (worker-owned coops).
The thing you're ignoring is that trading labour is trading the single most valuable resource on earth - for pennies. You're trading your time alive to another. A resource you cannot renew. A resource you can never replace. Hell it's a resource that even if you buy it you cannot get more off. And you get way too little of it to sell it for less than a good life.
>Those additional wages mean less need that a welfare system has to cover.
So why are you pushing for a system where wages are fewer ? And what makes you think there will ever again be enough work for more than a fraction of us to have work. You are aware that almost every welfare earner in the US actually DOES have a job - in fact, most of them have 2 ? You say we 'punish' employment, which is odd in a country where we've allowed corporations to actually outsource a huge chunk of their wagebill to the taxpayers (and claim the remainder as an expense against their own taxes) !
>And further, we have strong evidence gathered over the past few centuries, that this route works amazingly well with many billions of people, most of the world, currently benefiting from this exchange of labor.
So something invented a mere few centuries ago, that worked well - is therefore the end of invention ? By your logic we would still be on steam engines (Which, by the way, were invented [or at least made practical] around the same time and led to huge advances that benefitted lots of people).
I'm arguing we should KEEP inventing - even if you think this system is 'good' (a purely subjective assessment which I don't agree with since I consider the flaws far more egregious and important than you do) - it's ridiculous to claim we can't do better.
>And the academic world has reasons, such as an alleged concern in protecting academic free speech and scientific integrity, which just don't apply in the rest of the world
Actually - they do. Terry Pratchett wrote that the single greatest tragedy in the world is all the people who never get to discover what they are great at. All the fantastic poets who instead spend their lives as mediocre blacksmiths - and all the fantastic blacksmiths who never learned smithing and spend their lives writing bad poetry. It's a tragedy that's a direct consequence of the system you are defending so passionately - the need to have work to live, means doing what you can convince somebody to pay you to do - not doing what you are great at, and we're ALL poorer when people don't discover the thing they are a genius at.
>When there's no longer the threat of losing one's job from slacking off,
You can't lose a job if your job is voluntary - which is the only kind of job worth having, nor is it a problem if people slack off - that's the whole point. Slacking off is a phrase from that calvinist moralism I already said I do not share. It's impossible to 'slack off'. The phrase means 'not doing what other people want you to be doing'. If what YOU want to be doing is spending your life sitting on a couch watching bad reality TV (which is true of very, very few people) then you ought to be able to do that.
The proof you're wrong is that hobbies are a multi-billion dollar industry. People spend a fortune to be able to do things that make them happy which they don't do for money or profit. Just to be able to spend a little bit of time on something that makes them happy. From model trains to gaming to crocheting. Billion dollar industries exist to provide the means for people to do highly productive labour for free - just to have a chance to actually do what they enjoy and not be doing it for a boss. The hobby industry is mankind's desperate cry for help. The fact that only the middle classes can afford to have hobbies these days - that's a great tragedy. The only remedy we offer for the horror of selling a third of your adult life doing things you hate to do ... we reserve for those who mostly get to do things they actually enjoy.
If the labour market was actually a free market then the price of labour would be determined by how pleasant the work is. White collar office jobs would pay a pittance and sewage workers would be the richest people in society. The guy willing to dig through other people's shit to keep the system going - he'd be a billionaire.
>Show me the one in a million burger flipper or coal miner who makes all our lives better to that same extent.
He doesn't exist - that's the point. He can't exist because he has to spend his life flipping burgers instead of doing what he is actually good at just to survive.
>it's highly delusional to apply post-scarcity ideas to a scarcity world
I didn't say we are there. I said we're on the verge of being able to GO there. I didn't even say it's going to happen, I said we are closing to have the means to MAKE it happen.
>That kills people!
So does this system - way too many actually. You haven't shown any evidence that it will kill more.
>And it's worth noting that the Star Trek world didn't have such tenure in Star Fleet both for safety reasons
It's even more worth noting that Star Fleet was a clear exception - and that exception existed for very good reasons. Nobody had to join star fleet, the vast majority of people didn't. For everybody else - they didn't have a 'job'. They had everything they could ever want, they did something to keep themselves busy and happy. Cisco's father had a restaurant that sold traditional Louisianna food - not to live of the proceeds, just because he enjoyed cooking it and enjoyed watching people eat it.
In the TNG era this is not the state of the universe - but it is the state on earth. On the other hand - the Ferengi have the same level of technology - and they are hardcore capitalists with jobs and bosses and an ingrained desire for great wealth. Infamous for their greed and lack of ethics. A libertarian writer I know called them a 'cruel and unrealistic parody of capitalism' - I call them a euphemistic portrayal of it's horrors.
There's nothing guaranteed about building (to use Cisco's word 'paradise') out of post-scarcity, just a possibility. I believe we can do it.
>if they had to wait for someone else to die first (perhaps several someones and we're speaking of Star Trek health care too!) before they could advance to their current positions?
Actually that does seem to be the case at the upper levels. Once out of the ship-service the admirality seemed to serve until death. Advancement in the earlier ranks mostly happened by going to a different ship. We saw three different paths to advancement in TNG. You can be promoted into a new role on a newly built vessel. You can take over the role from a deceased crewmember on any of the vessels in the fleet or, you could take over from somebody who was promoted.
We also got to see how they handled what you term 'slacking off'. When we first meet Lt. Barclay he is a thorn in Geordie's side. This member of the engineering team is constantly late, doesn't focus, doesn't pay attention. Geordie goes to the captain to complain and request that Barclay be transferred to a less commanding position - on a different ship (note: not fired). And The Captain tells Geordie he won't even consider it yet. Geordie as his C/O has the responsibility of first trying to help him reach his potential - instead of assuming he isn't good enough - to find out how much better he could be and help create an environment in which he can excel.
The thing is Barclay does excel - in fact once he finds his niche in his chosen field, he becomes extraordinarily important. He makes some serious mistakes along the way, but some of what he creates ends up averting a major disaster - and he ended up writing most of the code for Voyager's holographic doctor.
> You don't need the whole world to be on board to demonstrate a prototype society.
I'm not so sure you're right about that, even so - you need a fairly large section at the very least. That said, I never said we are there, I merely said we are starting to develop the technology to be able to go there if we so choose.
> I'm sticking with what works
And fuck all the people who get destroyed by it's flaws ? Should mankind not always be seeking to advance ? Always be seeking to improve ? Do you really believe we cannot improve over a mere 200-year old system that was, itself, an improvement over 10-thousand years worth of other systems ?
You do realize that, when the enlightenment philosophers started proposing democracy as a viable way to run a country they were laughed at ? Democracy, it was said, had been tried in ancient times and been a disaster that led to far worse dictatorship than even the most unpleasant monarchs. Why would it work now ?
Yet, with some serious tweaking - it turned out to work better than monarchy. I still think it could use more tweaking - and there almost certainly is an even better system we have yet to discover.
I don't believe there is such a thing as the 'best' way to do anything -there is only the best way we've found so far.