The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'ken macleod'
Is The Matrix a metaphor for the oppression of the workers under capitalism, with Neo representing the revolutionary proletariat? Ken Macleod (who else?) thinks so:
Reading it I thought of something I hadn't before - the real reason why in the film the machines use the humans as a power source, as 'batteries', something I have long derided. On a literal level it is of course ridiculous. But symbolically it makes literal sense: we are the source of their power. Surplus value comes only from living labour, not from machines.
If you were a neo-Trotskyist libertarian, you would probably have to be a Scottish science-fiction author. And now you'd have a blog here. And his commentary is as sharp as his novels.
America: a country where ridiculous proportions of the population believe they were created by god, abducted by aliens, and attacked by Iraq. Also where some people believe that someone who burns a paper drawing of a US flag is as good as asking to be crushed under a bulldozer. It's not just the Right. Every political persuasion in the US contains many more stupid people than it or its equivalent does in Europe. On the Left Bank of the Seine you see poststructuralists smoking, flirting, and eating veal. Poststructuralism in America gave us La-La Land liberal toytown totalitarianism. French Maoism gave us Sartre and Althusser. American Maoism gave us Klonsky and Avakian. (I could go on.)
An interesting (if somewhat old) interview with Ken MacLeod where he talks about his books and the political/social systems speculated on therein:
I think a lot of people who are libertarians now are just libertarians because the stock market is going up, frankly. As long as the market is booming, they'll be pro-market. If there was another depression or something like that, they'd probably change their tune pretty damn quick.
(from the archives of a mailing list, from about a year ago.)