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《Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art》 2017-06
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What's Wrong with Star Wars,Star Trek and Zizek?:A Marxist Analysis

Josef Gregory Mahoney;the International Center for Advanced Political Studies at East China Normal University;  
Star Trek and Star Wars are two of the most popular science fiction franchises in commercial history. This essay examines these two franchises from a critical Marxist perspective. Both offer fantastic visions of human development,which I will argue prove all too familiar to the reified consciousnesses of contemporary consumers. How and why do these films appeal,and how do they repackage the "end of history"in ways that normalize current logics of hegemony for a future that remains founded,nevertheless,on forms of injustice and commodity fetishism as familiar to us now as they were to Marx in the 19th century? In the first half of the essay,I will show how Star Trek has been the commodity designed to appeal directly the political and economic consciousness of its moment. I will demonstrate how these projections have degraded from a type of popular progressiveness in the 1960s to an entrenched conservative militarism in its recent film reboots. In the second half I will show how Star Wars,conversely,was designed in the first instance to appeal to consumers on a universal,timeless,and unconscious level,one that I will argue is consistent with the type of cogito-consciousness that is itself both a product and producer of capitalism. Along the way,I will contrast these ideologized narrative forms with those found in pre-modern,Chinese consciousness. Thus I will show how both Star Trek and Star Wars work in powerfully ideological ways consistent with "capitalism lately," but likewise demonstrate how the latter functions as the far superior commodity form. This then provokes,in the conclusion,a critical engagement with Slavoj Zizek's discussions of these and similar films and his unflagging defense of the cogito-consciousness as a vital presence of revolutionary agency for the future.
【CateGory Index】: J905
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