The Eighteenth Brumaire of Gaius Balthar: Colonialism Reimagined in Battlestar Galactica

King, Laura and Hutnyk, John. 2010. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Gaius Balthar: Colonialism Reimagined in Battlestar Galactica. In: Arlo Kempf, ed. Breaching the Colonial Contract. (8) Springer, pp. 237-250. ISBN 978-1-4020-9943-4 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Marx notes that the philosopher
G.W.F. Hegel had observed that “all the great events and characters of world
history occur twice” (Marx 1852/2002:19). To this Marx added the wry observation
that this repetition meant that the second time round things happened as farce.
Few would disagree that this sentiment captures a key element of contemporary
political drama. The U.S./British presence in parts of the Middle East seems to be
a restaging of the old colonial script. The son follows the path of the father, not so
much with a coup d’état as the ‘little nephew’ had followed Napoleon’s overthrow
of the French Government in 1799, but where the ‘War-On-Terror’ repeats and
expands the atrocities of the Gulf War, where the manufacture of the Al Qaeda
threat caricatures the Evil Empire of old, where the spectre of ‘unfinished business’
(in Vietnam) haunts the regime and is used to restore a pyrrhic ‘pride’ in the armed
forces and the nation. We note many examples where the repertoire of demons and
scenarios is doubled in horrific yet untenable parallel: Most recently, in August
2007, George W. Bush went so far as to think of Iraq as a new Vietnam and used
this as reason for never contemplating an end to the war.

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Book Section

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Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)



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Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2010 14:53

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17 Mar 2021 05:15


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