I have a problem understanding the psychology of the Ferengis and their motivation. Ferengis live in a post-scarcity world. They do not need to work for money. Yet, they live and die for money. This is illogical. My explanation is that they are working for the reputation and honour that money brings. It is the same thing that drives human billionaires on Earth today to continue working despite not needing any more money.

Is it correct to say Ferengis work for reputation and not money? Essentially, Ferengis are driven to work for money because they want to WIN?


Ferengis do not live in a post-scarcity world. Money can be used to purchase rare goods (those that can't be easily replicated) as well as personal services. Critically, the possession of a positive amount of money at death is essential in being reborn into a new (and hopefully better) life.

It buys exclusivity

QUARK: I have a contract for which I paid considerably. All gambling on DS Nine happens at Quark's or it doesn't happen.

SISKO: A few bribes to the Cardassians when they ran this place doesn't constitute a contract, not in the eyes of the Federation.

DS9: Exclusivity

It can buy "one off" items

NOG: It's my money, Jake. If you want to bid at the auction, use your own money.

JAKE: I'm human, I don't have any money.

DS9: In The Cards

It buys sex

SISKO: He immediately made sexual advances?

SARDA: He said it was part of the job.

DS9: Captive Pursuits

It's required to rent a suitable wife

QUARK: Thank the Nagus that you didn't. Remember what happened with Nog's mother? Yeah, don't want to think about her, do you. Let me refresh your memory. You signed a standard five year marriage contract with Prinadora's father because you wanted to have a child. A simple everyday business deal. But then you fell in love with your wife and wanted to extend the contract. And you were so in love that you never bothered to read the extension before signing it. So in the end, her father swindled you out of all your money. Prinadora left you for a richer man and you got stuck with Nog. Hooray for romance.

DS9: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

You can buy your own ship

ROM: He's owed you that shuttle for ten years.

QUARK: Ever since I loaned him the latinum to start up his munitions consortium. He always said that if he became a success, he'd buy me my own ship. Now it's here.

DS9: Little Green Men

You can even buy your own moon

GAILA: Weapons is a growth industry. In a month, all your debts will be paid. In six months, the Ferengi Commerce Authority will be begging to reinstate you. In a year, you'll have your own moon.

QUARK: My own moon.

DS9: Business as Usual

If you die in debt, you won't be able to bribe the guard to get into the divine treasury and you'll end up in the Ferengi equivalent of Hell

ROM: You don't think we're in the other place?

NOG: The Vault of Eternal Destitution?

DS9: Little Green Men

Latinum functions as karma. The more you have of it at death, the better reincarnation you can afford

ROM: Maybe this is the Divine Treasury.

QUARK: Oh, don't be ridiculous. The Divine Treasury is made of pure latinum. Besides, where's the Blessed Exchequer? Where are the Celestial Auctioneers? And why aren't we bidding for our new lives?

DS9: Little Green Men

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