I know that TNG was made during the end of the Cold War and the parallels between the United Federation of Planets and the 'good capitalist' society of America are striking.

That got me thinking: were the Borg (UFOP's mortal enemy) intended by the writers to represent a communist society - assimilation and the loss of individuality, all succumbing to the will of the one (dictator)?

I'm not asking for opinions, but what the writers/directors/producers/actors had to say about this subject, if they said anything at all.

  • 3
    Although you specify that you're not asking for opinions, this question is highly subjective. Among other things, answers will depend on the definition used of "communist state." The rough definition you gave may not match what the producers/writers had in mind... Given that all 5 of your recent questions have the same issue, I think you should consider slowing down on asking so many opinion-based questions. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 5:18
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    I really don't get why this guy gets so much heat for his questions. Most of them would be easy to answer with a canonical source. Granted, those might be hard to find, but that doesn't render the question useless. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 5:43
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    The Borg were certainly compared to communism at the time. When I was at university studying international relations there were many heated arguments over whether the Borg more accurately represented China or the USSR (I usually responded that their pale skin made them resemble Scots, to the annoyance of my Scottish professor). Whether or not this was intentional on the part of the show's writing staff is debatable and unproven. It does seems suspicious that the first attempt at creating an enemy for the Federation, the Ferengi, were blatantly capitalist, and their replacement is a hive mind. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 7:54
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    I find it hard to consider the Federation (or at least humanity) "capitalist" when they've eliminated money.
    – Brian S
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 14:36
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    You have it backwards - the Federation is supposed to be the utopian Communist state (no money, everyone wears a uniform, etc).
    – Gaius
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


No. They were originally conceived as an insectoid race, the remnants of that storyline you can see as the space bugs in the episode Conspiracy.

Budget constraints kept the Borg from being depicted as insectoids as Maurice Hurley had originally intended, though the hive concept survived to become the overwhelming group mind known as the Collective. Q-Who

It's also mentioned that the impetus upon introducing what would become the Borg was simply a new enemy for our heroes to fight.

This was intended to lead into a series of episodes that would have introduced the Borg as a main villain in the wake of the Ferengi's complete failure to meet with audience expectations of a major Starfleet antagonist. Q-Who

It's pretty clear that later stories about Borg, at least on TNG, while dealing with a multitude of themes, came about simply building upon what was started in Q-Who, and then building on what came later. You have this implacable new enemy you want to see again but ultimately without a direct foil for the heroes. So you make Picard the bad guy and send him on a wave of destruction, only stopped in the nick of time. So then you've done the ultimate Borg show, you can't top that. So you don't, you make a small personal story with just one Borg and give it humanity. And so on. Until you get to First Contact, where you change them into space zombies or vampires or something.

If anything, I feel the utopia of the Federation represents the idealistic worldview of a post-scarcity hybrid democratic/communist state. The Borg don't really represent a political ideology, more like some kind of societal change of the ultimate integration of self and technology, possibly what writers were prognosticating at the time all the way back when, but the future we seem edging towards.

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