Idea for a movie in which aliens invade the Earth and fix the economy. I haven’t decided how they’re going to do it yet. Maybe they’ll practice capitalism with an inhuman face: turn up at the meetings of the G8, the ECB and the Federal Reserve wielding powerful lasers; seize control of the banking system, start printing money and erase all debt. Or else they’ll introduce Marsism and collectivise everything. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Or you’re all going to die.
|The new director of the International Monetary Fund|
Idea for a movie in which aliens invade the Earth and eradicate poverty. They have studied us for a long time from their hideouts on Mars. Decades. Maybe centuries. They cannot understand the thing where some people seem to have too much of everything and many more people go hungry. But they won’t bother to teach a man to fish. ‘You have the resources,’ they’ll say. Then they’ll put all the money that Warren Buffet has on a single credit card and take the entire planet out for pizza.
Some will decry this as a populist move, but only after eating their ice-cream.
Idea for a movie in which the aliens don’t stop at symbolic acts of redistribution, but tackle deep structural imbalances in global production and trade.
How will they do it? They are the 0%. They are the hors-texte. Whatever solutions and resources they bring are external to the situation, non-contingent. It will truly be the End of History, as whatever happens next will lack explanation based on what came before. Like with BC and AD. Something truly new. At first it won’t seem right. Decisions are being made for us. But we’ll look at the economy and say hey, it is fixed. We had been struggling with this.
Idea for a movie in which we think about it and realise that bankers, bond-holders, the Troika, Shell, Coca-Cola: it’s not as if we were making our own decisions before. Ask Cyprus.
Idea for a movie in which we ask Cyprus. ‘Oh,’ we say afterwards.
The freedom-loving rebels are few. The external force is benign. This is what is truly strange. It is like no colonisation that anyone experienced before. And the system works. Whether it is capitalism with an inhuman face or Marsism, the economy stays fixed. Free from want or need, humanity is able to pursue higher things. Finally after many years the aliens get ready to leave. Our work here is done. You are saved. But the same few who rebelled against the aliens when they took over now wage a guerrilla war to stop them from leaving. Sabotage the ships. Chain themselves to the reactors. It’s as if the people of Earth were afraid of being left to themselves. But we have furnished you with a robust set of institutions, say the aliens, and it’s time for us to get going. They mumble something about being late for a barbecue on Venus. Frankly, it sounds like an excuse.
The aliens leave on a Thursday morning. History re-begins.
Idea for a movie in which you wouldn’t believe what happens next.