Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The Dark Forest: The Economized Hunting Ground for Human Capital in Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy

The Dark Forest: The Economized Hunting Ground for Human Capital in Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy Liu Cixin’s Three-Body trilogy has become more than a work of science fiction. The Dark Forest discourse Liu proposes in the stories has reached beyond the domain of literature, becoming a broader social and cultural phenomenon during China’s historical economic transformations. The Dark Forest has even been dubbed the ‘Bible’ by a group of leading entrepreneurs for its seeming ability to provide inspiration for how people behave and make decisions in a post-socialist modernity developed by market-oriented reforms. This article examines how the Dark Forest metaphor relates to China’s post-socialist transition, where the subject is remade into human capital and where competitive market principles penetrate every social sphere. Through investigating the dehumanizing impulse in the Dark Forest, I will argue that this process of turning people into ‘non-people’ is a literary representation of the process of ‘economization’ in China’s current reality. Building on this point, I will demonstrate that in this Dark Forest only the ‘bestial nature’ of the post-socialist subjects could lead to eventual victory. The popularity of Liu Cixin’s ‘Dark Forest’ theory in China, therefore, provides an important viewpoint through which to perceive the conditions of post-socialist Chinese society. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Critical Studies Edinburgh University Press

The Dark Forest: The Economized Hunting Ground for Human Capital in Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy

Comparative Critical Studies , Volume 19 (3): 19 – Oct 1, 2022

Loading next page...
 
/lp/edinburgh-university-press/the-dark-forest-the-economized-hunting-ground-for-human-capital-in-liu-ecxAuRDm8I
Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
1744-1854
eISSN
1750-0109
DOI
10.3366/ccs.2022.0453
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Liu Cixin’s Three-Body trilogy has become more than a work of science fiction. The Dark Forest discourse Liu proposes in the stories has reached beyond the domain of literature, becoming a broader social and cultural phenomenon during China’s historical economic transformations. The Dark Forest has even been dubbed the ‘Bible’ by a group of leading entrepreneurs for its seeming ability to provide inspiration for how people behave and make decisions in a post-socialist modernity developed by market-oriented reforms. This article examines how the Dark Forest metaphor relates to China’s post-socialist transition, where the subject is remade into human capital and where competitive market principles penetrate every social sphere. Through investigating the dehumanizing impulse in the Dark Forest, I will argue that this process of turning people into ‘non-people’ is a literary representation of the process of ‘economization’ in China’s current reality. Building on this point, I will demonstrate that in this Dark Forest only the ‘bestial nature’ of the post-socialist subjects could lead to eventual victory. The popularity of Liu Cixin’s ‘Dark Forest’ theory in China, therefore, provides an important viewpoint through which to perceive the conditions of post-socialist Chinese society.

Journal

Comparative Critical StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2022

There are no references for this article.