Monday, March 18, 2013

Idea for a movie in which aliens invade the Earth and fix the economy



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.



11 comments:

Philip said...

Economy fixed, the aliens fly;
The good guys learn and the bad guys die.
War and profit start anew,
But hey - to our own selves we're true.

Word Verification: orkeeq, an alien term incorporating connotations of capitocommunistic libauthorigarchical individuo-collectivism, the sanctitiy of motherhood, the right to bear arms, and cheesecake.

Peter Bradburn said...

You've got to love your alien. Birds Nest Roys.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssC-epEs5o0

Taramoc said...

Great reverse of the good old trope of SF in which aliens will contact us when we are ready for space, typically triggered by humanity achieving faster than light travel.
You may be right, presently the odds that we are contacted because they feel sorry for us and wants to help seems much more plausible.

WV: voccesso: term that stands for all the reasons why a crime or other unsavory act shouldn't be investigated for the common good. Example: "Stop accusing me of killing your father. I'm telling you, it was voccesso."

James Butler said...

As opposed to the alien within, strong AI. I forget who it was who said that the SF went from modern to postmodern when we went from fearing that computers would take over the world to actively trying to bring it about (not that the two are mutually exclusive).

No, captcha, prove that you are a robot.

Shackleford Hurtmore said...

I can't think of a good feature movie plot, but can imagine an episode of the Twilight Zone where naive aliens "help" by delivering several tonnes of gold to each and every human before flying off, patting each other on the backs with their philanthropic tentacles, congratulating themselves on a job well done, whilst leaving the planet slightly more screwed.

Stephen said...

In the words of Douglas Adams on a slightly different matter: "there is another theory which states that this has already happened."

James Butler said...

from modern to postmodern

On reflection this doesn't sound right. Modern is when we try to bring it about, postmodern is when we assume it's already happened and we can just coast from now on?

George D said...

Some will decry this as a populist move, but only after eating their ice-cream.

This is a particularly Adamsesque line.

Where I work, a strange race of beings known as malae came after incredible devastation, and they are telling the humans how they reach perfection. I have somehow infiltrated their ranks.

Peter Bradburn said...

Then metanoia.

Ben Wilson said...

I can't think of a good feature movie plot, but can imagine an episode of the Twilight Zone where naive aliens "help" by delivering several tonnes of gold to each and every human before flying off, patting each other on the backs with their philanthropic tentacles, congratulating themselves on a job well done, whilst leaving the planet slightly more screwed.

I'm pretty sure Marvel did this in the 1980s, in the second Secret Wars. The Beyonder turned up and tried to fix earth by turning a whole building into gold. It was declared a disaster zone, Spidey helps get all the people out of the building along with some mysterious goons who turn out to be working for the Kingpin of Crime, who is the only person that actually profits. Spidey is so outraged that he steals something from the building, reversing his pattern over the last 80 years of being an impoverished teenager who won't use his powers to actually make a buck on account of feeling stink about his uncle getting shot. I don't know how it all ended, cause I grew out of comics right about then. But given it was a Secret Wars sequel, I presume it was humanity at its finest, fighting over shit.

Megan Clayton said...

Idea for a movie
in which you and I go back in time
to get her.

She cries when she sees your face
but we, without discussing it,
allowed for that.

Idea for a movie
in which we, two atheists, grow wings
to soften landings.

Who would be unhappy
to be caught in the feathers
of our service?

Idea for a movie
in which it all happens
offscreen.

You and I
shuffle around the kitchen
nominally bereft.

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