krellen wrote:So ... the vast majority of depictions of capitalism, then? Just in the superhero genre, we have basically every version of Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark (a capitalist redemption arc!), Oliver Queen, Danny Rand (admittedly this one is terribly acted). Those opposing the "mustache twirling" evil capitalists are frequently capitalists themselves.
Yeah, the superhero genre is pretty balanced with good and evil capitalists. Probably my only issue there is that most writers don't understand economics or business so their versions of good capitalism vs bad amounts to how generous the boss is to his employees. I'll grant you thats important and its as much as I could suspect. An evil capitalist could just pay his employees a lot because he likes to be liked and wants the adulation that might come with it (I seem to recall Lex was this type of evil capitalist but then his evil is driven by pride much more than greed).
I'd like to see something a bit more nuanced though. Something like maybe two traders trying to figure out an arrangement that is sustainable and profitable for both of them because they're thinking more than five minutes into the future. Or how chasing a prize fuels innovation to find alternatives to solve a scarcity problem.
But I was referring to scifi specifically. Outside of the superhero genre, it appears as though every benevolent society is something vaguely resembling socialism (which . . . not to knock it. Maybe that makes the most sense when we have replicators and abundant energy which is a very real possibility someday). Meanwhile, most scifi authors think that future tech with capitalism will go horribly wrong. Like we'll use our expanded capabilities to consume at exponential rates only to hit a wall and start sacrificing each other to maintain consumption.
And that is a valid criticism. I just think you could also show the good sometimes. Scifi has good and bad socialism, but only seems to have bad or neutral capitalism.
Maybe its because I watch too much Star Trek and not enough other scifi. That series has a very clear attitude on the subject. Every good society is socialist and every great one is inexplicably also agrarian.
Like Agrarian? Seriously. I'm pretty sure we didn't invent replicators so we could get back to farming.
They're very specific about it too. Note that societies that are based on industry are bad but also societies that are based on Hunting (think the Hirogen). So the history of humanity, according to Gene Roddenberry is that we were evil for millions of years before we finally became good for several thousand years then recently went back to being evil temporarily before being good again.