iPhone vs Android. PC vs Mac. Coke vs Pepsi. Xbox vs PS3. McDonald’s vs Burger King. Pizza Hut vs Domino’s.
Already we live in a world dominated by brands. We support the products we love just as we advocate the politics we agree with. The corporations that make these products have gross incomes that rival national governments. It is no stretch to imagine a corporation which exerts power the same way a government does: there have already been such companies. Usually these are broken up by federal antitrusts, but why? These corporations take care of us just like governments do: we are their precious customers, their loyal citizens.
The meat of Deus Ex seems to be in its bioaugmentation: this is much of the ethical dilemma the game wants the player to confront. However, there are many more underlying themes. A fascinating one is the direction of capitalism.
In Deus EX corporations exert an unbelievable amount of control over the world. As corporations grew in power governments became weaker. Unable to resist the monetary influence of corporations, governments slowly ceded power to the largest ones until they gradually began to dominate the lives of citizens more than the governments did. People lived in corporation-built homes, used corporation-built tools, and worked at corporate jobs. People became attached to corporations just as we currently are to governments.
This is the world I would want to live in. Sure, bioaugmentation would be awesome, but the majority of average citizens don’t have access to the cool ones. The ethics of the situation, though interesting to consider, would probably be dull to live through: just like with the major issues of our time, the average citizen’s opinion does not really matter. But to live in a corporate world, now that would be fantastic. It’s hard to imagine one corporation taking care of all your needs, from housing to eating to entertainment and occupation, but I would love to experience a world like that. Not because it would be better, but because there is a sort of magic to corporations that is currently limited by their scope. Mac vs PC can be pretty intense and bitter, but what if we lived in Apple or Windows homes and ate iFood or FoodXP? Now that I have to