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The 2020s Are About to Explode: What We Can Learn From Akira's Vision of Destruction and Rebirth




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R. Kasahara



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 366
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:55 am Reply with quote
Good article, hitting on the larger themes of both the manga and the film. One notable difference between the two is how popular protest is handled: it's front and center in the film (with Lady Miyako leading the protestors), but similar large crowds are pretty much absent in the manga. Dissent there is much quieter, and mostly shown through the Resistance and short scenes involving the media.

Also, perhaps there's something to be said about how modern excesses can strip someone of their humanity, as what has happened to Akira. The few glimpses of his acting like a regular human being are some of the most intimate and powerful passages in the manga (especially the first one); he temporarily breaks away from what horrors and expectations society has poured into him, and that's when change starts to happen. The far more human Tetsuo provides an interesting contrast as someone who isn't able to contain all that stress as well as Akira-- literally-- and in that way, is maybe meant as an avatar (or cautionary tale) for the rest of us.

There is one thing I'm confused about. The article notes that Lady Miyako says that Akira can divert the stream, but the explanation I remember from the manga is that Akira is outside of the stream, and doesn't make any mention of his influence over it. I haven't read Kodansha Comics' new translation, but this is how it's worded in the Dark Horse version, iirc.

Anyway, such a complex, nuanced set of works. The film was my entry into anime fandom, and I still reread the entire manga every few years.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:36 pm Reply with quote
"Overthrowing the powerful forces of capitalism, white supremacy, and the like can seem impossible, but the injustices of today create the very conditions for their eventual destruction."

As somebody who lives in a country almost destroyed by social democracy and that has to take care of population fleeing from other neighbor countries straight destroyed by socialism when we don't have enough to survive ourselves I have always found these kind of phrases bizarre.

Specially because when I ask what do they mean with "Capitalism" its normally either Corporativism or Keynesianism and the later it's quite popular among left winged governments in LATAM.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 1237
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:41 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
"Overthrowing the powerful forces of capitalism, white supremacy, and the like can seem impossible, but the injustices of today create the very conditions for their eventual destruction."

As somebody who lives in a country almost destroyed by social democracy and that has to take care of population fleeing from other neighbor countries straight destroyed by socialism when we don't have enough to survive ourselves I have always found these kind of phrases bizarre.

Specially because when I ask what do they mean with "Capitalism" its normally either Corporativism or Keynesianism and the later it's quite popular among left winged governments in LATAM.


Capitalism is just a slanderous term against the middle class. You are correct there are underlying school, but the generalized hate toward 'a freedom of trade' I find backwards. Societies that embrace freedom do have some problems that come with the freedom. But to throw out freedom because some people choose to be jerks isn't good enough. The Free market is simply 'nature'.

Anyways, back on to the article. There is an old tale of some dude who is cursed to forever push a boulder up hill. And every time he gets to the top of the hill it rolls down and he must start over. Mankind is like that. We like that. Even in last year's hit, Tenki no Ko, that newer of the Shinkai movies, Tokyo goes through some bad times. People pick up. People rebuild. We adapt to our new reality and move on.
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ATastySub
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 19 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:52 pm Reply with quote
H. Guderian wrote:
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
"Overthrowing the powerful forces of capitalism, white supremacy, and the like can seem impossible, but the injustices of today create the very conditions for their eventual destruction."

As somebody who lives in a country almost destroyed by social democracy and that has to take care of population fleeing from other neighbor countries straight destroyed by socialism when we don't have enough to survive ourselves I have always found these kind of phrases bizarre.

Specially because when I ask what do they mean with "Capitalism" its normally either Corporativism or Keynesianism and the later it's quite popular among left winged governments in LATAM.


Capitalism is just a slanderous term against the middle class. You are correct there are underlying school, but the generalized hate toward 'a freedom of trade' I find backwards. Societies that embrace freedom do have some problems that come with the freedom. But to throw out freedom because some people choose to be jerks isn't good enough. The Free market is simply 'nature'.

Anyways, back on to the article. There is an old tale of some dude who is cursed to forever push a boulder up hill. And every time he gets to the top of the hill it rolls down and he must start over. Mankind is like that. We like that. Even in last year's hit, Tenki no Ko, that newer of the Shinkai movies, Tokyo goes through some bad times. People pick up. People rebuild. We adapt to our new reality and move on.

Might wanna do some looking into that 'freedom of trade' idea there and figure out why when that trade is conditional on who has more money that the freedom of it suddenly becomes pretty stacked in a certain direction.

As to Sisyphus, you might also be surprised to learn he was an absolute monster of a person. Like, the absolute worst. Did a whole lot of stuff that fits pretty well into capitalism, like screwing over others for his own gain and causing a lot of pain and misery for everyone else. He believed he got away with it all because he prospered. Then in the end he got a never-ending punishment for his deeds. That's not an uplifting tale of humanity. It was a story that gave a way to reconcile that the people doing horrible things to people in this life would at least be punished after it, because the systems currently in place would not.
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Tempest
I Run this place.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:02 pm Reply with quote
H. Guderian wrote:

Capitalism is just a slanderous term against the middle class.
I don't think you know what "capitalism" means. There's nothing insulting in the term. I also suspect you don't know what "slanderous" means, since it's impossible for a word to be inherently slanderous.
You should probably read this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
You should probably also read this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

Quote:
There is an old tale of some dude who is cursed to forever push a boulder up hill.
The dude's name is Sisyphus. I don't think you understand the story remotely. You should probably read this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus

-t
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El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 393
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
As somebody who lives in a country almost destroyed by social democracy and that has to take care of population fleeing from other neighbor countries straight destroyed by socialism when we don't have enough to survive ourselves I have always found these kind of phrases bizarre.

Specially because when I ask what do they mean with "Capitalism" its normally either Corporativism or Keynesianism and the later it's quite popular among left winged governments in LATAM.


When people talk about wanting socialism they usually just mean they want free healthcare or something along those lines. They don't actually want to live under a socialist regime. I can certainly see see why all the jokes about it are probably bit distasteful to those who've had to live in those kinds of countries and conditions. My girlfriend's family immigrated from Romania to America in the 50s and I've heard plenty of horror stories from them.
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Brent Allison
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Joined: 01 Jan 2011
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Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:31 pm Reply with quote
In lieu of arguing the ideologies of political economy, I think this selection offers a helpful extra dimension to the idealism (with Max Weber as a kind of standard-bearer) vs. materialism (obviously Marx) referenced in the article. It may be a kind of false dichotomy:

Mark Gould wrote:
Weber is sometimes accused of providing a circular definition of modern capitalism. He recognized that capitalism has often existed in the absence of “the spirit of capitalism” and that this set of rationalizing value-commitments was at the time only found in modern Western European and American capitalism (Weber, 1958 [1904–1905]: 52). He might be accused of explaining modern capitalism (the pursuit of profit on the basis of a rational organization of formally free labor when coupled with rationalizing values) in terms of one of its definitional attributes, the spirit of capitalism (the rationalizing values). His position is clarified if one recognizes that the Protestant ethic had positive consequences for the development of capitalism only when it legitimated actions within a specific mode of production, manufacture, and that the predominance of manufacture is understood to lead to the dominance of machine capitalism (where machine capitalism, not “modern capitalism,” is the explicandum). Machine capitalism may be defined without reference to either the Protestant ethic or the spirit of capitalism (p. 333, boldface mine).


Gould, M. (2016). Marx and Weber and the logic of historical explanation: The rise of machine capitalism. Journal of Classical Sociology, 16(4), 321-348.

In short, this "conflict" could also be thought of as a kind of confluence of historically contingent factors - where one assumes the dominance of one or the other, or of one being contingent on the other, in answering certain social questions - that results in the kind of political economy we see today. In Gould's case, he thinks that Protestantism legitimized the movement from one form of capitalism (e.g. cottage-industries where workers worked under the same roof but not very interdependently) to the more "rationalized" machine capitalism.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13971
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:14 am Reply with quote
We already passed Back to the Future's 30 years travel to the future, so sure why not Smile
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