by Ryan Zickgraf published in Jacobin
Read original on Jacobin's website
In his review of the video game "Cyberpunk 2077," ...Show description
Posted 563 days ago
Posted 760 days ago
I very much agree with Zickgraf's argument that Cyberpunk has been reduced to "a cool retro aesthetic." It absolutely is and can no longer nearly as impactful as it could have been because it is part of the grim side of mainstream media (people like murder shows, violent fantasy sagas, etc.).
But I also have to say that I don't think Cyberpunk was really ever not a cool aesthetic except in its very very early days. Sci-fi books were churned out in templates to print serially in magazines or sell to young kids or adults. We shouldn't ever pretend that the genre was ever some avant-garde philosophy. It has always been intrenched in "technology" and making money, lots of money. I'd argue that only some of the early Sci-Fi writers, Arthur C. Clarke or H.G. Wells are some of the only ones that were in it for the revolutionary appeal. Alot of their predecessors were there to make some cash. Especially in books essentially written for Hollywood today.
Also, saying that Cyberpunk is inherintky anti-capitalist is wrong. It's anti-authoritarian more than anything. Of course there is anti-capitalism, but there is tons of anti-communism and anti-socialism as well. Most of these writers saw any form of central government as dangerous with futuristic technology. The genre is way too broad to label "anti-capitalist."