Marxism Revealed: “World of Tomorrow” Don Hertzfeldt

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Updated: Dec 02, 2022
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After engaging with the rigorous content of Don Hertzfeldt, “World of Tomorrow”, it became clear that most of our actions and even aspirations are predetermined. In Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow” death is an inescapable reality, through means of cloning and the stories focus Emily and her interactions with a future generation Emily. Marxism is present through the lack of class, ideologies on a contorted perception of death and love, as well without death individuals are continually worked, for the “greater good”.

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The primary function of reincarnation is to revalue human life in this semi-futuristic socialist society as all are cogs to constantly drive the machine of efficiency and stability. Embarking into the wild misconceptions of what it means to be human, it’s hard not to question what it means to live a full life. In our society, we are constantly blasted with images and stories of how we should live: in advertising, movies, television, and literature. This constant invasion of free thought helps to shape and prepare you for one’s: education, occupation, even religious beliefs, marriage, and kids.

The things in which we are given the free choice which make up our freedoms, however vast, are limited from before we were born by ideas from the past and what society has widely accepted. By the use of class-consciousness and social relations, Marx views on the fetishism of commodities can be seen as a practical model for ending capitalism or attaining communism. The people in capitalist society value commodities more than the labor.

The argument of Karl Marx highlights the social relationships based on the fetish commodities. The argument is a criticism to the political economy as Mark thinks that people involved in the production of these products must be valued more. This view uncovers the realities of the social relationships in which one group continue to repress the other one.

The society attaches intrinsic value with the objects created by the labor but fail to associate real value with the producer of those objects. He claims, “products of human hands appear in society as autonomous entities with a life of their own” (83). Marx in his argument of commodity fetishism identifies capitalism as a result of competition existing among humans, groups, and classes. This view has also added to the enormous power of one group that uses the less powerful for the manufacturing of goods.

In “World of Tomorrow”, these aspects of marxism are perfectly seen. The futuristic world they live in is clearly ran by the rich and with that said, a seemingly vanished middle class. The rich live forever and have the better technological advancements. Social relation between persons is replaced by material relations. Because the people of capitalist society value commodities more it has changed the dynamics of social relations. People at work feel no connection with other employees because they sell labor-power as a product. Marx claims, “instead, they experience material relations of persons” (83). It represents a criticism of the transformed human nature due to the materialist incentives.

The lust for commodities has caused a devaluation of the humans and relationships. The concept is also linked to the alienation of labor because Marx highlights how changing thoughts have undermined humanity. Labor remains at the disadvantaged side because the owners derive the benefits in the form of products and money. The owners are less likely to value labor or pay them better wages, depicting the realm of capitalism. The benefits derived by the capitalists depend on the exploitation of the labor (Buck). According to Marx, materialism is an unwarranted theology that promoted a population divide between the rich and the poor.

The working class works for meager wages but provide enormous profits to the owners with their consistent efforts and struggles. Although labor holds the power of overthrowing capitalism, but they lack consciousness. Marx claims that the revolution is possible only after the workers attain consciousness. To achieve communism the society needs to distinguish from traditional materialism or idealism. He mentions, “ideologists are those who work for misty ideologies” (105). Their focus is on denying equal benefits for the labor and remain at the receiving end. He rejects the concepts of traditional and social science that accepts the class gap as a natural process. Marx ide is different as he states that the working class is capable of acquiring equal benefits and better positions (Taussig).

Classification of society under capitalism is material not intelligent. The theory of fetishism criticizes the traditional science of accepting a distinction between the owners and the workers. The supporters of this ideology accept the view because they focus on material, not humans. The modes of production and commodities have necessarily created inequality between the people of same race. Valuing the labor or working class will improve their conditions, and it will reduce the gap between the two classes. He presents a solution to end materialism by providing his viewpoints on class consciousness. It will allow the labor to recognize their worth and unite them to act against the exploitative practices of the owners. Only on gaining consciousness they would learn to change the corrupt activities of the capitalist system (Holmgren).

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Marxism Revealed: "World of Tomorrow" Don Hertzfeldt. (2020, Feb 22). Retrieved from