ERIC Number: EJ1038417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 57
The Law and Its Illicit Desires: Transversing Free Market Claustrophobia and the Zombie Imaginary in "Dredd 3-D"
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v36 n4 p298-319 2014
With the rise of biopolitical modernity, states justify both the existence of zombies and their monopoly on coercive violence via an imperative to care for the populations within their purview. But biopolitics' intrinsic link to the rise of a neoliberal model of governance, demonstrated by Foucault (2008), places a contradiction at the heart of the entire project: The exploitation inherent to capitalistic accumulation runs counter to the interests of the subjects from whom the system extracts surplus value. This article examines how the zombie imaginary and free market claustrophobia reinforce each other, bolstering confidence in state-supported and often racialized forms of violence despite mounting evidence that the socioeconomic system itself is a primary source of social ills. A recent science-fiction (sci-fi) film, though not a zombie narrative in the strict sense, nevertheless provides a telling example of the generic pattern at play. By evoking the vocabulary of chronic social crisis, the sci-fi film "Dredd 3-D" (released in 2012, hereafter called "Dredd") addresses issues regarding the policing of cultural difference that beset Western nations struggling to maintain a position of dominance in a shifting geo-politics. Rather than directing critique toward the structural determinates of this ongoing crisis (such as the role played by Western nations as the police force for a capitalist marketplace that produces the very crises it purports to manage), "Dredd" recuperates potentially dissenting energies back toward support of the system itself, displacing what should be a political-economic critique onto specific racialized and gendered subjects. These discriminatory, racist imperatives are hidden behind a superficial commitment to diversity and a more humane police force.
Descriptors: Neoliberalism, Governance, Films, Popular Culture, Free Enterprise System, Racial Bias, Violence, Science Fiction, Time Perspective, Ideology, Satire, Imagery
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A