Friday, August 12, 2011
Whose in Bioshock’s Sights Pt II: Karl Marx
As Delta awakes recovered after ten years in stasis he finds the world he knew in a shambles, but while the first one blames Ayn Rand style free enterprise for the decay of society this game’s story serves as a clear critique of Communism. Dr Lamb has taken control over the people of using clearly Marxist ideals. She is trying to use the power of the little sister named Eleanor to, basically, collectivize everyone’s minds and achieve Utopia. Delta represents an interruption in that plan, of course, as Eleanor rather quite likes her individuality and enlists you to help her in her fight to preserve herself. Basically this game makes the opposite argument of the first one, and in that regard sits much better with me.
After the fall of the Czar Lenin implemented full Communism. The result was a barter systems, followed by mass starvation. Communists critics of Lenin will claim that the failure occurred because they skipped the capitalist and socialist phase, and also the dictatorship of the proletariat. However the bigger point to make is that it failed outright because Communism lacks the incentive to encourage work and productivity without the threat of violence. The fact must also be considered that so long as humans have souls and are not mindless automatons the complete elimination of the self is not a desirable end goal for any sane individual. Because no one would work without the threat of violence Lenin lead the country of Russia backward into the dictatorship. Oh wait, was I supposed to say of the proletariat? Sorry, turns out that’s a pipe dream too.
Because Communism at various levels has been tried and has failed everywhere this game makes a fair critique of altruism and do-goodery. But sadly, like the first one, the argument is made over the sounds of gunfire and that is not the best way to have such an important debate. I don’t know about you but I worry America is getting to the point where political disagreements will be handled that way, just like it’s starting to happen in Europe. When I see how Union Thugs have responded to the necessary austerity measure in Wisconsin I get very worried. The crass emotionalism of Marx can be seen in these mobs, just as it permeates the villains of Bioshock 2 who try to pretend they are too intelligent to feel, but in reality just want to force everyone around them to feel what they are feeling. The sad reality we have to face can be glimpsed through the desperation of the bad guys in this game. Hunger, fear and insanity control their moves even though Dr Lamb convinces herself it’s the desire to do what is right for the collective. Collectivism reduces them to savage beasts like it has reduced the youth of England to savage beasts. Rather than the self being eliminated self gratification becomes the central function of the feral collectivist.
In real life Collectivism has proven to be destructive. It’s destroying Europe, and has been destroying us for quite some time. Only austerity measures and individuality can save the world now. We must peacefully roll back the well intended but destructive collectivist vision of the Progressives and their Communist counterparts. That is a discussion we need to have face to face and in the calm of reason… And in the end Reason was what Ayn Rand was really arguing for. It’s a shame Karl Marx and the altruistic butchers that would follow him gave in instead to crass emotionalism killing those who would argue with them, rather than having a rational debate. All the while pretending they were intellectually superior.