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Communism and the end of the world

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Drawing on Fredric Jameson's thesis that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, this article examines recent representations of communism, anti-communism, and the end of the world, in popular film and television, and argues that both work towards re-enforcing the utopian view that there is no viable alternative to liberal democracy and capitalism. In the context of the ongoing financial crisis and global political uprisings, representations of the apocalypse are being paralleled with a return to images of the 'communist threat'. Here, it is argued that such images aim to dissuade people from thinking about alternatives to the existing system. This article concludes with a discussion of recent reconsiderations of the 'communist hypothesis'.
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Keywords: Utopia; apocalypse; communism; cynicism; fantasy; ideology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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