I admit it. I am a Star Trek enthusiast. I wore an original series themed tie for my college graduation photos. In college there was a group of us that met in the basement of the Student Union every Saturday evening to watch The Next Generation. We would debate, sometimes very loudly, the morals and issues brought forth. The American Catholic blog had an article today that linked to an excellent piece on how the politics of the Star Trek Universe show the decline of western liberalism over the last 50 years.
Now, for sheer world and character building, I actually do rank Babylon 5 as a better series that Star Trek. The story arc for Babylon 5 was designed for five years. It was fun to see answers finally given to questions asked in season 1 all the way in season 5.
I agree with American Catholic, the final paragraph is an excellent distillation of thought:
"Over nearly 50 years, Star Trek tracked the devolution of liberalism from the philosophy of the New Frontier into a preference for non-judgmental diversity and reactionary hostility to innovation, and finally into an almost nihilistic collection of divergent urges. At its best, Star Trek talked about big ideas, in a big way. Its decline reflects a culture-wide change in how Americans have thought about the biggest idea of all: mankind’s place in the universe."