FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Objectivism and Bioshock: The Art Deco Connection

Here’s the typical art deco cover for an Ayn Rand book.
It was first published in 1957 but I think this edition came much later. Perhaps someone in the publishing industry saw a common thread between the attitudes of elites in the 1920-30s and the objectivists. Or perhaps because that’s the era that produced Ms. Rand?

Now here’s an art deco style angel from real life. This one is a monument to humanity attaining a divine level of mastery over nature at the Hoover dam. It’s a relic of a world where people saw humanity headed ever upwards with man on the verge of becoming God. This unbridled optimism only seems all the more horrific to us in retrospect as Western civilization was running straight for the cliff’s edge even as everyone was celebrating.
Something seems to have broken in the Western spirit after two suicidal world wars and a great depression.
Ever since then, we’ve seen the growth of a Modern Art that tries to actively destroy beauty and meaning and the spread of existentialism and atheism.

In retrospect, art deco seems creepy, tragic, naive, fallen, and above all hubristic.

It’s now usually portrayed in a dark and/or sinister way in modern culture.

Batman’s Gotham city is a good example.

Better still is the aesthetic of the computer game, Bioshock in which a Randian superman founds an underwater dystopia in an effort to leave behind the slave morality of our society and achieve human perfection and godliness on Earth.
The main villain of the game looks rather like a piece of art deco statuary by the end of the game.
And his name is ‘Fontaine’ French for ‘fountain’ I believe. Certainly not a coincidence.

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