Episode 16: Can we survive capitalism?

 Detail from a mural on Steiner St. in San Francisco, by  Eclair Bandersnatch .

Detail from a mural on Steiner St. in San Francisco, by Eclair Bandersnatch.

Anti-capitalism is having a moment in the West, and especially in the U.S. political scene. But science fiction has been grappling with the promises and savage realities of capitalism since its very inception. In this episode, we talk about anti-capitalism in stories like The Matrix and The Space Merchants. We wonder why it’s so hard to imagine what comes after capitalism. Are our only options a post-scarcity Star Trek wonderland vs. Hunger Games’ neo-Feudalist nightmare?

Links:

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

Blipverts, from Max Headroom

Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants

Chen Qiufan (Stanley Chen), Waste Tide

Born in Flames, dir. Lizzie Borden

Manu Saadia, Trekonomics

Into the Badlands

Charles C. Mann, The Wizard and the Prophet

3%

Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad

Annalee Newitz