“Capitalist Realists Imagine Capitalist Aliens”

From the “great minds think alike” department comes this article, an expansion of an earlier version published on the website of the Italian art collective Wu Ming, which has published a new novel, UFO 78.

Aside from a lot of very wide-ranging and perceptive observations concerning recent events and UAP, the article has a section near the end, which shares the title of this blog post. Its theses warm our hearts:

As the best science fiction has shown for decades, whenever we wonder about intelligent life on other planets, we’re expressing some utopian impulse. The curiosity about the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the hope that there’s someone else “out there,” all of this is closely bound up with a longing for somewhere else, something other than this Capitalocene devouring our future.

Certainly The Economist, among the staunchest defenders of capitalist realism, can’t acknowledge this impulse while devoting an entire article to the new, increasingly sophisticated ways of searching the universe for extraterrestrial life. Both the article and some of the hypotheses it illustrates confirm that the capitalist imagination is gripped by a circular paranoia: it cannot imagine anything other than itself, i.e., vampirism, resource predation, exploitation, prevarication, war. After laying out the hypothesis that there may be “stellivorous civilizations,” that is, capable of using and consuming the energy of entire stars, the author of the piece concludes by warning us that making contact with alien civilizations in possession of technologies immensely more advanced than ours could be exciting, “but also very dangerous.”…

make no mistake, if other civilizations exist, they think just like we capitalists do. If we had the power to consume entire stars to draw energy from them, we’d do it, wouldn’t we? At least they admit that if elsewhere in the universe there were people like our rulers and exploiters here on Earth, well, they’d be people to stay away from.

We at the Skunkworks are thankful creative and perceptive minds such as those of the Wu Ming collective aren’t staying away from the UFO or the ways it illuminates our society’s (i.e., capitalism’s) unconscious!

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