Through the Lens of Accelerationist Utopia: The Critical Role of Science Fiction in the Transition to a Post-Capitalist World in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy

Cheryl A Bailey, Salve Regina University

Abstract

Since the advent of neoliberalism in the late 1970s, growing gaps in income and wealth inequality have left many thinking that there is no alternative to the global hegemony of late capitalism. By contrast, the contemporary social and political theory of accelerationism posits that the only way out of neoliberalism is through it. Accelerationists propose to expand, repurpose and accelerate through neoliberalism in order to establish post-capitalism as quickly as possible, yet an analysis of accelerationism as social and political theory reveals that it falls short of fully articulating how such a transition to post-capitalism may be achieved. This study asserts the value of an accelerationist aesthetics. In particular, an accelerationist utopia provides an authoritative, interpretive lens through which to examine how a transition from neoliberalism to post-capitalism may affect the techno-human condition. Through the lens of accelerationist utopia, an analysis of Kim Stanley Robinson’s vision of a post-capitalist world in the Mars trilogy assists the reader to envision and prepare for a post-capitalist future in an era of exponential technological growth. Most importantly, in the face of the impending existential risk of artificial intelligence becoming super intelligent, an accelerationist utopia compels the reader to move beyond critique to actively participate in shaping the future of the humanity/technology nexus toward the benefit of humankind.^

Subject Area

Modern literature|American literature|Aesthetics

Recommended Citation

Bailey, Cheryl A, "Through the Lens of Accelerationist Utopia: The Critical Role of Science Fiction in the Transition to a Post-Capitalist World in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI10788748.
https://digitalcommons.salve.edu/dissertations/AAI10788748

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