Yet another episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation proves to be prophetic about American politics in 2021.
A few posts ago, I argued that Star Trek: The Next Generation, which debuted in 1987, was proving to be uncannily prophetic when it came to life in the 21st century. Another episode that I just watched proves my point, although more by analogy than directly. (Spoilers ahead.)
In Evolution, the computer on the Enterprise begins to act peculiarly, putting everyone on the ship at risk. Eventually, we learn that wonderboy Wesley was doing an experiment with nanites, microscopically small computers that were intended to be programmed to work together inside systems. In other words, they were designed to be useful.
However, the nanites escaped and, once in the system they replicated, developed an independent identity, and went to war against perceived risks. In addition to attacking the enterprise crew generally, they very specifically sought to destroy a scientist on board the ship. He had tried to kill them because they were interfering with his ability to send out a probe for a once in a lifetime scientific observation.
Eventually, the Enterprise recognized the nanites as an independent new life form. The nanites announced that they were now bigger than the Enterprise, and set them free by placing them on the probe.
All I could think of when I watched the episode was that the nanites are the federal administrative state. America created an administrative state to serve the nation, which the employees functioning as servants of the people. However, the federal administrative state — which we also refer to as the Deep State — has taken on an independent life of its own, separate from its original purpose.
It no longer exists to serve the nation, nor is it a servant of the people. Instead, this new entity exists solely to advance its own interests. When Trump, like that scientist in Star Trek, recognized that it was threatening life and attempted to destroy it (or, more accurately, to return it to its original purpose), the self-aware Deep State struck back ferociously. This striking back was not about fulfilling its stated responsibilities. It was purely about destroying a threat to its existence. And just as the nanites
Once again, Star Trek: The Next Generation proved to be prophetic. I will keep you posted on more prophecies fulfilled as I continue to watch old episodes as a form of relaxing down-time.