Alien Capitalism


Over the past three centuries, Planet Earth first turned into a factory, and later on into a laboratory. Planète Laboratoire documents this transformation.



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Of A World Becoming Alien: Research Hypotheses On Capitalism Aims And Genesis






The Anthropocene debate aims to date the moment when human species, or part of it, started to become a significant driving force of major and irreversible terrestrial environment transformation. Hardly able to figure out an earthly human project unity leads to extend reflexion on this transformation real agents. This investigation states the probability than this major transformation may be the fruit of a power, alien capitalism, denying present and past Earth humankind ontologies.


• A first hypothesis speculates about a capitalism whose Earth devastation with a view to its future desertion would be the «alien» symptom.

The alien here, would be the one that would come out his terrestrial origin to become something else, to give himself other bodies, other becomings, possibly getting back this way, other origins that these his cradle pregnance would have detracted from him. He would come from a power effect who in the name of humanity in progress cosmic destiny, would strive to redefine or even free itself from humans and non-humans terrestrial co-evolution to leave Planet earth and go into outer space.

Russian cosmism imagined this departure as a logical extension of humankind evolution, but the atom bomb deserved the right to remind us only chosen ones could reach it, leaving the post atomic working class locked in a devastated planet.

This scenario opposing average earthlings versus cosmic elite could yet be reversed: isn’t disalienated working class utopian horizon to become non-terrestrial, to become an Other? Isn’t it from now on deported into space, away from a murdered planet controlled by capitalism chtonian forces? Isn’t there an ultimate way for men and women to renew with their stellar origins? The alien qualifying term depends here on the chosen centrement point: Capitalism is alien by disowning its terrestrial filiation which it uses as a simple medium serving its cosmic aims. Human is alien whereas breaking away from a devastated planet to keep utopian views. And non-alien would be these undertaking a tragical re-rooting, a return to Earth, riding themselves of the alien saga.


• A second hypothesis refers to Planet earth own alien roots. Earth would be far to self-belong and would itself be part of cosmic economics, which loaded the planet with gold, water, precious metals, viruses, actors of its evolution and transformation via asteroids bombing… to fertilize it, so organic resources could come to its surface. Earth would then be a place of socialisation and acclimatisation, a becoming-earthling of alien entities and components. In this way, Earth could appear as a pirate place gathering treasures by accidents accumulation, and giving terrestrial society as a shipwrecked sailors society, building the becoming of their island either voluntary or involuntary.

The potential design of such a complex and multi agents process could also invite to consider as a last resort, extraterrestrial management monitoring the planet and its inhabitant’s future. The destiny of growing beings on Earth shall then tightly depend on a large cosmic economy, on an alien managers class. The alien here, is the Capitalism effective power on Earth, the new control class fantasy face. It is not humankind counterfeits, its bad anthropomorphic copy, nor a simple regulator but a control system, an imperceptible control class not acting under cover but in a way that is simply not intelligible yet.

Behind anthropomorphic mask, of whom is alien the name of? This investigation could lead listing an entities taxonomy (technological entities, algorithms. Entities coming out of the future or the past, non-terrestrial, immaterial beings, unconscious forces, non-human, etc…) operating on Earth and throughout it, feeding on it under purposes which have yet to be clarified…


• A third hypothesis questions a triple privilege: privilege of humans on other species, terrestrial or not (speciesism), privilege of Earth on other cosmic environments (earth-centrism), privilege of living organisms on other carbon-free organisms (biocentrism). A post-humanism, a becoming alien of the human based on an intelligent agent’s plurality, relying on moral criteria freed from the humanistic canon or even from the terrestrial and biocentric canons, arises from these questions. This post-humanism would arouse the building of new ethical community forms, new functional assemblies, and the experimentation of new being processes, as non-humans, could be defined as alien.

Alien capitalism represents here the discentrement and deterritorialisation power, setting off a categories radical crisis. The lack of consistent capitalism ontology results in engineering and global agents mix up (bodies, souls, matter,…), the acceptation of a xeno status of the being, which out of a proper frame and moral values, can be built, rebuilt, transformed or reassembled. The non-alien post human questioning this capitalist chaotisation while breaking out humanistic canon, comes to redefine a terrestrial being based on terrestrial agents assumed intersubjectivity, expanded to their cosmic environment.


• A forth hypothesis turns alien capitalism into a meta-discourse, an abstraction field looming over what is real, producing a strong effect of authority. It indexes resources from the labs abstracts sites (Market itself being sort of a lab), enunciates their respective roles in a same large system. This meta-discourse relates the planet turned into Capital, set to work, namely driven a stranger to itself, managed as an innovating company. Capture devices and projective spaces orienting our actions, canalizing our desires, do control bodies, legitimize regulations, drive industrial mutations, govern or subvert mass cognition scientifically wise, and they are issued from this discursive machine substantiated by simulations, technocratic narratives, convincing constructions of facts. Alien capitalism is used here as a calibration procedure of the real, as a strategic tool establishing things properties.

What are these alien capitalism investigations aiming to? It first means to open the Great transformation imaginary space. From the factory planet and its share of destructions and ecological disorders, to the laboratory planet meaning to substitute to it an engineered rational and organised resources management, which are the decentrement procedures able to free us of world frames that aren’t even reassuring us anymore?

Alien capitalism is a trauma input figured as a strangeness. World is unknown again, possibly terrifying. Many entities than abstract humanism had managed to keep out of its field of view, are emerging and operating. Coordinate systems are appearing too. Sky also finally widely opened up, black endlessness ocean endlessly filled up with worlds.

La Planète Laboratoire, 2015


Planète Laboratoire is a journal and editorial collective founded in 2007 by Ewen Chardronnet and Bureau d’études. Ewen Chardronnet has published Mojave EpiphanieBureau d’études participates in the collective Aliens in green.