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What Five Fantasy Worlds Teach Us about Our Politics

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https://fee.org/articles/what-five-fantasy-worlds-teach-us-about-our-politics/

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What Five Fantasy Worlds Teach Us about Our Politics
What are the political lessons of our greatest sci-fi/fantasy epics?

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Babylon 5

It's a cold-war set in space, with politics aligning towards left of center. It showcases the dangers of nationalism, with great leaders ending up causing enormous damage and harm because of th...

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Battlestar Galactica

It's focuses on the survivors of humans in devastated colony worlds. The politics of this series reflect the left-wing reaction to the war on terror, stressing on the significance of democracy ...

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Game Of Thrones

Game Of Thrones

... which is based on George R.R. Martin’s book series "A Song Of Ice And Fire", addresses a range of diverse political issues.

Most of the people hungry for power are showcased as maniacs ...

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The Hunger Games

It's set in the post-apocalyptic future having a ‘big brother’ type government who likes to have Roman style death matches which are nationally telecasted.

The oppressive government use...

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The Lord Of The Rings

The Lord Of The Rings

This is one of the most influential fantasy series by J.R.R Tolkien. The Rings of Power are a metaphor of political power, and as they say, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Nostalgia Reloaded

Nostalgia Reloaded

Pop culture, be it movies, music or TV series, is increasingly and blatantly relying on the past, and using our feeling of the longing of the past, our nostalgia, to bait us into watching or liking...

Back To The Future

The 1960s and the 70s saw imaginative ‘future’ oriented shows like Star Trek TOS, animated series like the Jetsons, and groundbreaking science fiction stories by gifted writers, most of which turned into blockbuster movies.

The world, which was looking forward at that time, is now increasingly looking backwards.

The Nostalgia Paradox

The feeling of nostalgia should be high when the present is unpleasant, but this isn't what is happening.

Today’s world offers infinitely better technology, information, and comfort than in the past. We have better civil rights, liberty, and greater opportunities(and options) for a successful life. Still, we hanker for the past, making this a Nostalgia Paradox.

Joker’s commentary on society

Joker’s commentary on society

Joker is a psychological movie, showing the dangers of group action and the power of group narratives.

It is a very interesting commentary on society as it mirrors the phenomenon of dei...

A dangerous movie

Many reviewers see the Joker as a dangerous film because it might inspire incels to identify with the character as a hero and copy him.

The real evil to be feared is a broken, frustrated society that is willing to participate in almost purposeless acts of violence, then put deeper meaning into it, and ultimately use it as a springboard for mass violence and brutality.

Society and Mass Violence

Gotham City in Joker is a fundamentally broken city.

  • Arthur Fleck (the Joker) is failed by every level of society.
  • However, every class in Joker wants to shift the blame.
  • When Arthur commits murder, society turns this purposeless act of violence into an act of social rebellion.
  • Despite knowing nothing about the reason for the murder, Gotham's people imbue it with shared meaning, forcing this event into their narrative, and held Joker as a hero.
  • When Arthur commits another purposeless murder, it sparks riots.
  • The real villain of the movie is the broader society that latches onto actions and imbues them with nonexistent meaning to justify their own crimes.

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Fantasy and economics

Fantasy and economics

Underlying our fears of robots stealing our jobs are more basic anxieties about money. We're using fantasy to confront fears

Sci-Fi has become a measure to assess what's happen...

Economic metaphors

  • The Hunger Games gave us a neo-Depression dystopia where media-obsessed elites torment the starving lower classes.
  • The Expanse is about class warfare.
  • The 1950 Foundation series was partly about saving the galaxy with sound economic programs.
  • The 2012 novel Three Parts Dead, was a mythical reimagining of the 2008 financial crisis. The author, Max Gladstone, said you couldn't tell a story like the financial crisis with realism. You need fantasy to explain it.

The dark side of science fiction

The “dark” kind of science fiction deals with the foundation of economics, which is scarcity. There is a fear that poverty will come faster as automation continues to devalue human labor.

People are experiencing scarcity or are afraid of it on a regular basis. Writers are turning to economists to make their financial worlds more plausible.

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