Albert Camus Reads Richard Morgan: Unsaid Existential Absurdism…(Abstract/Blurb)

For the upcoming conference on “The Intellectual Geography of Albert Camus” on the 3rd of May, 2019, at the Alliance Française, New Delhi. Watch this space..

Imagine the real world extending into the fictive milieu, or its mirror image, the fictive world territorializing the real leaving it to portend such an intercourse consequent to an existential angst. Such an imagination now moves along the coordinates of hyperreality, where it collaterally damages meaning in a violent burst of EX/IM-plosion. This violent burst disturbs the idealized truth overridden by a hallucinogenic madness prompting iniquities calibrated for an unpleasant future. This invading dissonant realism slithers through the science fiction of Richard Morgan before it culminates in human characteristics of expediency. Such expediencies abhor fixation to being in the world built on deluded principles, which in my reading is Camus’ recommendation of confrontation with the absurd. This paper attempts to unravel the hyperreal as congruent on the absurd in a fictitious landscape of “existentialism meets the intensity of a relatable yet cold future”. 


What I purport to do in this paper is pick up two sci-fi works of Richard Morgan, the first of which also happens to be the first of the Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy, Altered Carbon, while the second is Market Forces,  a brutal journey into the heart of conflict investment by way of conscience elimination. Thereafter a conflation with Camus’ absurdity unravels the very paradoxical ambiguity underlying absurdism as a human condition. The paradoxical ambiguity is as a result of Camus’ ambivalence towards the neo-Platonist conception of the ultimate unifying principle, while accepting Plotinus’ principled pattern or steganography, but rejecting its culmination. 

Richard Morgan’s is a parody, a commentary, or even en epic fantasy overcharged almost to the point of absurdity and bordering extropianism. If at all there is a semblance of optimism in the future as a result of Moore’s Law of dense hardware realizable through computational extravagance, it is spectacularly offset by complexities of software codes resulting in a disconnect that Morgan brilliantly transposes on to a society in a dystopian ethic underlining his plot pattern recognitions. This offsetting disconnect between the physical and mental, between the tangible and the intangible is the existential angst writ large on the societal maneuvered by the powers that be… be continued


Life Inc., Fascism, Corporatism

G7, G20, G77…Oh what scams are these? G and scams have somehow become equivalent in their usage. Funny. Probably, introduction to alphabets would in time have G for scams. Who knows?

Importantly, what has happened is the formation of transnational economies that have sprung up as a result of these coalitions. I halt, and go back a bit, and then resume saying that these mushrooms of coalitions have resulted in a Transnational Economy. So, would a Transnational State be far behind? It is anybody’s guess, that it would not. The Financial Times reported that this is precisely how close we could get to a World Government (Source: I do not exactly remember, come on, you cannot shoot the messenger in me!!). If such is the case, then the next obviously logical deduction happens to be for these transnational bodies like the IMF, WBG, WTO (The Unholiest of Trinities) to swing into action and strip power from, or make dictations to parliamentary entities, thus swaying the equations of power towards the corporations heavily favoured by these TN bodies. When all of it is logically deducible, where does the problem lie if we dare say that what is happening in the world today is nothing but a mirroring of the Fascist era? There are totalitarian thoughts into action even today, as they were across the spectrum then. Remember Mussolini’s adage, when he quipped that all that is required is fascism to be understood as corporatism, the culling together of state and corporations.

By Totalitarian thoughts in action today, I’d in mind how are we submitted to dictates, with the very following line in the piece attributed to Mussolini substantiating my view. I am on the edge of democracy with the coming together of corporatism and state becoming one. So, components in the form of corporatism and democracy becoming one is totalitarianism, which acts from without me to finally become within me, since I cannot escape. This is more in line with what Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’ has in mind when he talks of autonomy over communism, or rather with the former, I have to have the will to escape this situation, which somehow lacks due to the strong coupling of corporatism and state. Obviously, curiosity on the point “Importantly, what has happened is the formation of transnational economies that have sprung up as a result of these coalitions (Isn’t it the other way around, just curious?)” is more in line with conventions well believed to hold more water. Yes, ideally this should have been the case, but, coming together to forge alliances and then realizing them through a common platform is what stands here as transnational economies. These economies are different in context from the ones you suggest precisely in that rationale I prefer to call Transnational Economy. I move back and forth here to corroborate the idea of a World Government, to corroborate the idea of totalitarianism in action.

So, what is the way out? Maybe, it is better articulated in this book by Douglas Rushkoff Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back? Check the attachment for the book. The book at least is one more implosion on the Wall Street (2009), but philosophically spotty, and the futuristic scape on the canvass reminds more of Richard Morgan than William Gibson.