Thursday, February 13, 2014

"In the not too distant future…"

In Futurology Fiasco, the author claims that futurology is a Western preoccupation that serves the capitalist mode of production. For as all Marxist-Leninist's know, Socialism is the inevitable outcome of all industrial societies. After that comes Communism, where, as Marx predicted, man's central conflict will be not amongst the social classes, but with Nature.

In the film Gattaca (1997), an individual's future is determined by his or her genetic composition. Why this measure is made at birth and not in the womb, through amniocentesis, is the film's first flaw. Had this been addressed, Gattaca would be about eugenics and/or abortion. Moreover, we are told little about how this world arrived at genetic determinism, just as we are told little about why people want to leave Earth and live in outer space, as our hero hopes to do -- but cannot because he has the wrong DNA.

If the arguments posed in Futurology Fiasco were applied to Gattaca, it would recognize a film that assumes the triumph of the (capitalist) individual and, in this case, his ability to succeed in both a corporate world and a scientific one. But the science of Gattaca is not the science that today's governments keep cutting support for. That science is the one that provides evidence that we are killing Nature (fossil fuels, nuclear meltdowns), as opposed to working in harmony with it. (Perhaps this is why our hero wants to leave the planet?)

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