Monday, April 26, 2010

Stephen Hawking and the Evil Space Aliens, Part 2: The Menace from Earth

The Articles:
Do Aliens Exist? Will They Kill Us? (Discovery News)
The Alien Menace! (Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com)

This is the follow-up to this entry. In the Discovery News article, Ian O'Neill says in answer to Stephen Hawking's warning that we may have already doomed ourselves with our ancient transmissions. Conversely, an alien civilization may try to destroy us because of our attempts to conquer the universe. But Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo says Hawking may really have been speaking in science fiction about the alien invaders that already exist on Earth. Namely, the American Empire and the corporations that own it. Raimondo says of Hawking's description of the space-pirate menace: "That sounds like our ruling class, all right, and it's certainly no surprise they're extending their hubris into outer space."

For all the criticisms of his derivative script and new-agey "noble savage" sentimentalism, James Cameron struck a sore point when he made the villains of his ultra-popular movie Avatar (DVD, Blu-Ray) a resource extraction corporation and it hired mercenary marine army. THIS is what Hawking's talking about! O'Neill has precisely this in mind when he says alien civilizations we contact are more likely to destroy us because we're the aggressive colonizers. The American establishment hates Cameron because he depicts the alien menace (on Pandora, that would be the savage earthlings) as an American-style corporate empire hellbent on consuming the entire universe. Raimondo writes:
As the US rampages across the globe, imposing its will, one can easily imagine how we’ll act once we get to outer space – without going to see “Avatar.” Just as the logic of a foreign policy based on US military, political, and cultural supremacy has led us to invade and occupy large portions of the earth, so the same mentality will inevitably lead to interplanetary imperialism – which, first of all, will be about completing the conquest of our own planet.
As a science fiction author, I can't help but speculate. I already know what the alien menace is that Hawking's talking about. It's us in the future — or rather, the American Empire, long since become the Terran Empire, invading the past in order to conquer it — us, their ancestors — in their lust for universal conquest. Pandora is just one battle in the Empire's eternal crusade. For sooner or later the Empire's top weapons scientists will create a time machine. You've probably seen such a scenario in Star Trek: Generations, in which the Borg gets hold of a time machine and attempts to assimilate all the societies of the past, starting with contemporary Earth. In fact, it's one of the classic space epic plots.

Philip K. Dick, that most Gnostic of science fiction writers, notoriously claimed that "the Empire never ended": the Roman Empire never died; rather, its tyranny keeps taking new form — medieval Catholic Christendom, followed by the Spanish, British, and American Empires, to be succeeded by the New Chinese Empire, up to and including the Terran Empire, well into the 40,000th century of Warhammer. The brutal Bush-Obama invasion and colonization of the Middle East, he would say, vindicates him. And if a massive pirate armada comes from the future to treat its Terran ancestors the same way the Terrans treat Pandora and its natives in Avatar — that is, exactly the same way the Americans treated the Native Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries, and treat Middle Easterners today, and for the same reason: total domination and corporate profit at all costs — Dick wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

Back to The Space Helmet Show...

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