Science Fiction Film & Television

Star Trek, global capitalism and immaterial labour

Science Fiction Film & Television (1970), 9, (3), 371–391.

Abstract

As one of the most expansive storyworlds in sf, Star Trek appears to offer an imaginary representation of a post-capitalist utopia. But in the context of global capitalism the franchise’s superficial post-capitalism translates all too easily into a neoliberal fantasy of post-industrial labour and hierarchical social relations. Drawing on Hardt and Negri’s theoretical work on empire and globalisation, this essay approaches Star Trek: The Next Generation as an expression of the contradictory cultural logic of global capitalism.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Balibar, Étienne. ‘Is There a ‘Neo-Racism’?’ Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein. London: Verso, 1991. 17–28. Is There a ‘Neo-Racism’? Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities 17 28 Google Scholar

Beyond the Five Year Mission – The Evolution of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Dir. Roger Lay Jr. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2014. Blu-ray. Google Scholar

Booker, M. Keith. ‘The Politics of Star Trek’. The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader. Ed. J.P. Telotte. Lexington: UP of Kentucky. 195–208. The Politics of Star Trek The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader 195 208 Google Scholar

Csicsery-Ronay, Istvan. ‘Science Fiction and Empire’. Science Fiction Studies 30:2 (2003): 231–45. Science Fiction and Empire Science Fiction Studies 30 231 45 Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control’. October 59 (1992): 3–7. Postscript on the Societies of Control October 59 3 7 Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage, 1995. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Google Scholar

Gilbert, Jeremy. Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism. London: Pluto, 2013. Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism Google Scholar

Golumbia, David. ‘Black and White World: Race, Ideology, and Utopia in Triton and Star Trek’. Cultural Critique 32 (1995): 75–95. Black and White World: Race, Ideology, and Utopia in Triton and Star Trek Cultural Critique 32 75 95 Google Scholar

Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Empire. London: Harvard UP, 2000. Empire Google Scholar

Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire Google Scholar

Harman, Chris. Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. London: Bookmarks, 2009. Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx Google Scholar

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Malden: Blackwell, 1990. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change Google Scholar

Harvey, David. The New Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. The New Imperialism Google Scholar

Hassler-Forest, Dan. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Politics: Transmedia World-building Beyond Capitalism. London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Politics: Transmedia World-building Beyond Capitalism Google Scholar

Kotsko, Adam. ‘What is Star Trek’s vision of politics?’ An und für sich, 16 March, 2015. https://itself.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/what-is-star-treks-vision-of-politics/. Accessed 1 Jul 2015. Google Scholar

Marx, Karl. Grundrisse. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973. Grundrisse Google Scholar

Patnaik, Arun K. ‘Gramsci’s Concept of Common Sense: Towards a Theory of Subaltern Consciousness in Hegemony Processes’. Economic and Political Weekly 23.5 (1988): 2–7. Gramsci’s Concept of Common Sense: Towards a Theory of Subaltern Consciousness in Hegemony Processes Economic and Political Weekly 23.5 2 7 Google Scholar

Pearson, Roberta and Máire Messenger Davies. Star Trek and American Television. Berkeley: UP of California, 2014. Star Trek and American Television Google Scholar

Rabitsch, Stefan. ‘Space-Age Hornblowers, or Why Kirk and co. are not space cowboys: The Enlightenment mariners and transatlanticism of Star Trek’. Networking Knowledge 5.2 (2012): 27–54. Space-Age Hornblowers, or Why Kirk and co. are not space cowboys: The Enlightenment mariners and transatlanticism of Star Trek Networking Knowledge 5.2 27 54 Google Scholar

Van Dijck, José. The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media Google Scholar

Vercellone, Carlo. ‘From Formal Subsumption to General Intellect: Elements for a Marxist Reading of the Thesis of Cognitive Capitalism’. Historical Materialism 15 (2007): 13–36. From Formal Subsumption to General Intellect: Elements for a Marxist Reading of the Thesis of Cognitive Capitalism Historical Materialism 15 13 36 Google Scholar

Virno, Paolo. A Grammar of the Multitude. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2004. A Grammar of the Multitude Google Scholar

Williams, Raymond. Culture and Materialism. London: Verso, 2005 (1980). Culture and Materialism Google Scholar

Wolf, Mark J.P. Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation. London: Routledge, 2012. Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Hassler-Forest, Dan