In Star Trek Into Darkness, specific episodes in Voyager and on other occasions, we see the homes of Starfleet officers, as well as hundreds of sky-scrapers and other large buildings. In these buildings, all different sizes and shapes, it is fair to assume that some residences would be more luxurious or desirable than others.

My question is: in Star Trek, we know that the federation no longer values money, and instead works to better themselves (as seen in TNG series 1, episode 25, 'The Neutral Zone') as seen in this quote from Picard:

PICARD: That's what this is all about. A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We have grown out of our infancy.

So how are living quarters assigned to people, if not bought, and why are some people assigned better quarters than others? Also, what happens when there is a conflict over who gets assigned better living quarters?

I sourced my quote from this link.

Thanks to anybody who answers!

  • 1
    If there ain't no money, it's politics, baby. Jun 5, 2017 at 0:16
  • 2
    If politics controls all the resources, all the resources will be devoted to politics
    – WOPR
    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:21
  • @ChrisB.Behrens that's a good point, but what happens with scientists and people moving out of their parents' homes? Jun 5, 2017 at 6:16
  • I don't think there's going to be a canonical answer to this, because, like I said above, it has to be politics, and that answer is not going to fit with the it's ideas of Star Trek. Scotty does mention that he bought a boat in Generations, IIRC. Maybe it was a houseboat... Jun 5, 2017 at 16:43
  • @ChrisB.Behrens that's a good point, and the houseboat thing never occurred to me! Thanks for answering! Jun 5, 2017 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Given Picard's comments and the general post-scarcity nature of Federation society, I'd expect the answer to be "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." With the general lack of crippling disability in the Federation and the availability of transporters to drastically reduce commute times, quarters might well be assigned randomly.

Outside Starfleet I wouldn't expect any particular apartment to be more luxurious than any other. All would be spacious and comfortable enough. Post-scarcity society isn't about having as much as you want of anything you want anytime you want it. It's about the freedom to stop worrying about the quotidian business of scratching out a living and maintaining status. It's about the freedom to get on with the business of carving out a life, learning to be your truest best self. Federation citizens are beyond caring about the fact that someone has an apartment on a higher floor.

Inside Starfleet, there is competition for assignments and promotions, and perquisites like larger quarters come with rank. Starfleet is an atavistic organization in that way, but you would hardly expect a military organization to be any other way.

  • 2
    Starfleet isn't a military organisation.
    – Valorum
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:19
  • 4
    @Valorum Ah. Any unfortunates killed during the Borg and Dominion unpleasantness were merely incidental side effects of vigorous and sustained scientific inquiry.
    – Kyle Jones
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:49
  • 4
    @KyleJones - If I may quote Gene Roddenberry; "Starfleet isn't a military organisation" and Picard "Starfleet isn't a military organisation"
    – Valorum
    Jun 6, 2017 at 11:39
  • 1
    @Valorum: Both are unreliable sources, because they have both bought into the narrative that the Federation is a utopian paradise when it obviously isn't.
    – Kevin
    Jul 4, 2017 at 5:52
  • 2
    @Kevin: quick, drink some more root beer. Jul 4, 2017 at 17:17

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