Anti-Megacorporation/Anti-Corporation

Immortality

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Hi everyone. I hope you’re all well,

So this need not be classic science fiction, it can be modern science fiction as well. I actually prefer modern science fiction.

So I’m looking for books on the evil mega-corporations ( you can shorten it to just anti-Megacorp) or evil corporations. If you're pro-corporation or capitalism, that need not be the discussion of this thread, I’m touching on another taboo subject here, capitalism. So let’s not discuss whether one is pro or con. Recommendations only, thanks. I would really, really appreciate it. My criteria :

1) Anti-megacorporation , anti-corporation , or anti-capitalism science fiction. A megacorporation , is something like the science fiction classic ‘Metropolis’ ( written by Thea Von Harbou. which is not really what I’m looking for because it has a negative outlook on technology) . A megacorp just gobbles up all other corporation factions and uses them for spare parts and spits it all out. In fact, the megacorporation is so powerful it becomes its own sovereign state in some science fiction I have read, with even it’s its own secret military, etc.

2) Must not be against technology in the story, so pro-technology.

I understand some cyberpunk ( it doesn’t have to be specifically cyberpunk, just science fiction in general ) has this kind of trope, still I’m looking for recommendations I may not of heard of that you know of. For example, I liked the science fiction book ‘Jennifer Government’ by Max Barry very much, that a science fiction book that fit my criteria. I love this stuff, so I hope you have a recommendation or two.

‘RoboCop’, although not a science novel should give you an idea of what I’m looking for, it’s not against technology ( has a more ‘neutral’ look towards technology., technology just exists in that world, which is fine with me in your recommendations ), and is anti-megacorporation. If you don’t think ‘RoboCop’ is anti-megacorporation then you missed something. Prefer science fiction books, but as always with me I like film and television recommendations that fit my criteria too. Like ‘Mr. Robot’ tv series for example, that’s the only show I can think of far. It’s not anti-technology and is definitely anti-corporation ( e.g ECorp aka Evil Corp ).

Feel free to message me privately to give me recommendations. Just in case you don’t want others to think you may be anti-megacorp, anti-corporation, or anti-capitalism. If you can’t think of anything, I’m willing to go outside science fiction and you can recommend any genre, as long as it fits my criteria above 1 and 2.

Thanks so much everyone,
Best
 
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J-Sun

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Anti-corp; not anti-tech:

Classic: The Space Merchants by Pohl & Kornbluth.
Cyberpunk: Eclipse by John Shirley.
Recent: The Lost Fleet and Lost Stars series by Jack Campbell (not anti-corp, but definitely painting an ugly picture of capitalism run amok as one of the threats to democracy).
 

Dave

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You mentioned the RoboCop series. There were a lot of SF films and books in the 1970's that were anti-corporations. Corporations were rising in their power and some had already become more powerful than nation states. The natural assumption was that if this continued the world would become a global corporate state. Coca-Cola and McDonald's never did take over the world, and some big corporations from then are no longer with us, but now people are looking again at the rise of Google and Amazon with the same views. Take a look at the original Rollerball, set in 2018, which had the world controlled by corporations called simply Energy, Transport, Luxury, Food, Communication and Housing.

If you are looking for books, JG Ballard's High-Rise from the same period.

Classic: The Space Merchants by Pohl & Kornbluth.
That's a classic book too!
 

AllanR

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The role playing game Traveller the Mega Corp was often the antagonist in the adventures.
A new novella called Unauthorized Bread (Cory Dockrow) is along these lines
 

alexvss

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Neuromancer. But I'm not sure if I would recommend it. I hate that book :LOL:

There's also the RPG Cyberpunk, now adapted into the videogame Cyberpunk 2077.

People were talking about the 70's here. The 90's were also an era of anti-corp in pop culture. Off the top of my head, I'd say that Final Fantasy VII is a great example. Gemini man's screenplay was written at that time, but its production was postponed due to the lack of technology needed to make the film.
 

alexvss

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Cyberpunk's attitude sure drew attention, the FBI's attention
Interesting. I did not know that. But it seems to me that's a typical case of government being slower than society. Things advance fast and the bureaucrats don't understand them. That's the result.

Doesn't the Resident Evil franchise have an evil megacorporation, Umbrella, with its own military. I've only seen a couple of the films, but Wikipedia says...
YES! Another great example from the 90's.
 

Vince W

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Neuromancer. But I'm not sure if I would recommend it. I hate that book :LOL:
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Vince W

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While there is a lot of cyberpunk that fits this mould, and I would recommend Neuromancer and the follow up Count Zero, you might also look at a book that I don't see mentioned much, The Unincorporated Man by Dani and Eytan Kollin. A man in suspended animation wakes up a few hundred years in the future to find that every person is a corporation. There are four books in the series. I keep meaning to finish it.

If you want a game with anti-corporation leanings, SJ Games Cyberpunk is good, but Illuminati is much better and more fun. There was a second edition published with updated themes, but it doesn't quite capture the original.
 

Venusian Broon

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What's taboo about being anti-corporate or anti-capitalist in SF?

Most SF I read tends to extrapolate some of the worst excesses of modern capitalist life into grotesque imaginings.

For example, who is the real bad side in the Alien franchiase? Clue: they are made up of humans.

Actually I think it's quite easy for books and films to put the bad guys as corporate and ultra-capitalist. Just off the top of my head, a lot of PKD novels painted a very dsytopian corporate future (although it was really just a backdrop to what he really wanted to write about, which is more about reality, what is it to be human etc.) Corporations can easily dehumanise their workforce and customers, focusing more on numbers, profits and greed for the elite few at the top - so putting a pyschopath antagonist in a corporation as the main bad guy, is something that everyone can buy into.

(I'm not saying it always happens this way in real life and that all big corporations are stuffed full of psychos, but I'm sure we all have anecdotes in our personal lives where it has happened.)

As for other fiction - this doesn't quite work, because it wasn't really the author's intention to explore the post-capitialist world in terms of economics - but Iain M. Bank's Culture novels are set in a kind of communist command economy. In this society, all the hard work, such as generating energy, goods, food etc are handled by unthinking machines, while hyper intelligent AI organise the human economy (or perhaps needs and wants) using this 'free' stuff. His reasoning being that if you have enough intelligence and knowledge and are actually able to forecast and understand what a human-like society needs to operate and flourish, it would be far more efficient to organise it from the top down, rather than leave it to 'market' forces, which would be more inefficent and very prone to booms and crashes.
 

Rodders

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Always an interesting topic and with the rise of big capitalism, I don't think this reality is too far away.

I remember reading Eve: The Empyrean Age a while ago and one of the story threads was a corporate revolution caused by a lowly worker. It was a surprisingly good read.

Market Forces by Richard Morgan was interesting enough and a little different from other books with evil corporations, although i personally found it a bit too far fetched.

Jennifer Government features a series of indentured workers whose surnames is the company.
 
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Hi everyone. I hope you’re all well,

So this need not be classic science fiction, it can be modern science fiction as well. I actually prefer modern science fiction.

So I’m looking for books on the evil mega-corporations ( you can shorten it to just anti-Megacorp) or evil corporations. If you're pro-corporation or capitalism, that need not be the discussion of this thread, I’m touching on another taboo subject here, capitalism. So let’s not discuss whether one is pro or con. Recommendations only, thanks. I would really, really appreciate it. My criteria :

1) Anti-megacorporation , anti-corporation , or anti-capitalism science fiction. A megacorporation , is something like the science fiction classic ‘Metropolis’ ( written by Thea Von Harbou. which is not really what I’m looking for because it has a negative outlook on technology) . A megacorp just gobbles up all other corporation factions and uses them for spare parts and spits it all out. In fact, the megacorporation is so powerful it becomes its own sovereign state in some science fiction I have read, with even it’s its own secret military, etc.

2) Must not be against technology in the story, so pro-technology.

I understand some cyberpunk ( it doesn’t have to be specifically cyberpunk, just science fiction in general ) has this kind of trope, still I’m looking for recommendations I may not of heard of that you know of. For example, I liked the science fiction book ‘Jennifer Government’ by Max Barry very much, that a science fiction book that fit my criteria. I love this stuff, so I hope you have a recommendation or two.

‘RoboCop’, although not a science novel should give you an idea of what I’m looking for, it’s not against technology ( has a more ‘neutral’ look towards technology., technology just exists in that world, which is fine with me in your recommendations ), and is anti-megacorporation. If you don’t think ‘RoboCop’ is anti-megacorporation then you missed something. Prefer science fiction books, but as always with me I like film and television recommendations that fit my criteria too. Like ‘Mr. Robot’ tv series for example, that’s the only show I can think of far. It’s not anti-technology and is definitely anti-corporation ( e.g ECorp aka Evil Corp ).

Feel free to message me privately to give me recommendations. Just in case you don’t want others to think you may be anti-megacorp, anti-corporation, or anti-capitalism. If you can’t think of anything, I’m willing to go outside science fiction and you can recommend any genre, as long as it fits my criteria above 1 and 2.

Thanks so much everyone,
Best
Hunger Games?
 

Immortality

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What's taboo about being anti-corporate or anti-capitalist in SF?

Most SF I read tends to extrapolate some of the worst excesses of modern capitalist life into grotesque imaginings.

For example, who is the real bad side in the Alien franchiase? Clue: they are made up of humans.

Actually I think it's quite easy for books and films to put the bad guys as corporate and ultra-capitalist. Just off the top of my head, a lot of PKD novels painted a very dsytopian corporate future (although it was really just a backdrop to what he really wanted to write about, which is more about reality, what is it to be human etc.) Corporations can easily dehumanise their workforce and customers, focusing more on numbers, profits and greed for the elite few at the top - so putting a pyschopath antagonist in a corporation as the main bad guy, is something that everyone can buy into.
Well, I suppose I thought if the reading the material is anti-megacorp, anti-corporate, or anti-capitalist in it’s very nature then I assumed the reader may be partially anti-capitalist himself or herself ( or transexual or non-binary or alien entity?) Sorry, I don’t know exactly what to say these days when I’m talking about genders.) Also the last President was a businessman not a real politician ( sorry I had a real itch to scratch there, lol. Not relevant. Sorry. ) Anyway, money and capitalism are definitely taboo subjects to talk about, I suppose not as taboo as incest , but money is a taboo topic, isn’t it? Start a thread on anti-capitalism and see how long that goes on for, assuming there are any anti-capitalists anywhere to be found on this forum...probably just me. So not much of a debate if it’s me against this entire website, I might lose the debate, but I still would know I was right. You see , now you got me started. I must end it here, before I go on a full on debate on the wrongs of capitalism.

Anyway...

Thanks for the recommendations everyone, thanks so much. Great stuff !!!
 
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Immortality

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Always an interesting topic and with the rise of big capitalism, I don't think this reality is too far away.

Jennifer Government features a series of indentured workers whose surnames is the company.
1) My thoughts exactly.

2) Jennifer Government was a good read, in fact I need to reread it in order to find out if maybe it was a great read. Go Jennifer Government !!! Loved this book. I think you will love it too, if you are anti-corporation/anti-capitalist read it sometime, it’s a fast read, but at the same time gets you thinking. Catch-22 meets The Matrix some book reviewer from ‘The Economist’ magazine called it, and I thought that was pretty darn accurate, heh.
 

Immortality

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Cyberpunk's attitude sure drew attention, the FBI's attention
Sounds like a joke? Is that real? Typically not the FBIs attention, the attention of big corporations, perhaps. If cyberpunk actually started an uprising, which in a sense some authors actually want its readers to be driven toward action to actually do something, then they would take note, guaranteed.

Films are the same way , do you know how many film directors made anti-corporate films and other films, who wanted their films to drive people to action? More then you think . Michael Moore told his audience that he wants his films to drive his audience to activism. Books are the same, some authors want to drive you to activism, others don’t. ‘Jennifer Government’ actually did drive corporations to action, in the book he speaks ill of McDonalds , Nike, and other big corporations, that book got the attention of many a lawyer from those exact same corporations. So I wouldn’t say these books aren’t watched by corporations, big corporations watch everything that is against them. It used to be the government that watches everything , actually it’s the corporations that watch everything these days. So if you speak bad of big corporations in a novel expect to hear from their lawyers. Small companies, well, they don’t really care or have the money to get the lawyers on you.

Edit : didn’t mean to type all of that in bold. Sorry.
 
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Immortality

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The role playing game Traveller the Mega Corp was often the antagonist in the adventures.
A new novella called Unauthorized Bread (Cory Dockrow) is along these lines
I forgot to mention Cory Doctorow, he is definitely anti-corporation. Keep the recommendations coming, you gave me some ones I have never heard before, thanks so much for that. I prefer if you recommend books here for me to read. I certainly can’t stop you if you want to recommend films, tv , etc. so feel free, just remember I like to read more then watch film or tv, unless it’s sonething really great like Mr. Robot, then yes bring the recommendations on.

I found J.G Ballard's ‘High-Rise’ to be more of a microcosm about how how society is divided into classes, and how that creates a big problem in society. He’s one of my favorite authors. That’s probably the scariest book I have ever read.

Moderators + Forum Members : Thanks to the person who moved this to the correct forum, I thought science fiction classics would be fine, but I should of put it in book discussions. Apologies. Since this has moved to Book Discussion instead of Classic Science Fiction feel free to talk about modern science fiction that relates to me criteria. Also if you know of other genres that belong to anti-megacorp , anti-corporation, or anti-capitalism in another genre of fiction feel free to make recommendations their too.

Is The Space Merchants still worth reading , it’s an old book. You say it’s a classic, so I will still read it, but I’m sure it’s out-dated in many parts by now. Is there a modern version of that book? Thanks very much.
 
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Rodders

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I saw Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 at the cinema last night and I realised that both Tyrell and Wallace were both pretty evil mega corporations by creating a race of slaves.
 

Immortality

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I saw Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 at the cinema last night and I realised that both Tyrell and Wallace were both pretty evil mega corporations by creating a race of slaves.
Definitely. I would call them megacorps too, as apposed to your typical corporations like Target or Walmart, which have the possibility of becoming megacorps by the way. I hope that day never comes personally, but it seems to be headed that way. In some cyberpunk I have read, the megacorps become way more powerful then the government and even have their own militaries and become their own sovereign states or countries. In the Heinlein novel ‘Friday’ there is a part where a government goes to war with a corporation and loses.

Still the megacorps keep the governments around, although they hate them, they keep them around in case they need them for something, of course they only use government organizations around to make the megacorps even richer. The ‘Ghost in the Shell’ franchise is the a great example of what I’m looking for in this type of science fiction. It shows the amazing complexities of how megacorps really work. With governments and megacorps, in a state begrudgingly, mutual support.

Any more books recommendations? I like video games, films, etc. too, but I could use some modern science fiction that fits my criteria. I hope that’s not it, I sure love this kind of fiction. If that’s is it, I hope not, but if that is it, thank you all so very much everyone. If anything comes to mind or you found something somewhere on the internet please share with me, I would be very, very interested because I really want to start digging into some modern science fiction ( or other genres ) but especially science fiction and cyberpunk that fits my criteria listed above in my original post, I’m willing to give elbow room of course, but the closer to my criteria, the better I will probably like the book.
 
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