Third, the struggle: Equality and capital

For the communicator, social relations seem to be nothing more than a free, optional and changeable interpersonal interaction, so that the "reality" as it is understood is nothing more than a collection of external phenomena and information perceived by the individual. In this sense, the "blending of virtuality and reality" is nothing more than the "similarity" of fleeting appearances and their replicas, neither of which is the real reality. On the contrary, Marxist social relations are reality itself. To criticize this aspect is to grasp the essence of the meta-universe to a large extent. There are two approaches to such criticism: one is to actively maintain the meta-universe and the powerful productive forces it represents, and to be vigilant and transform the hierarchical relationships in it; The other is to completely return to the technical level and production relations of the metauniverse, to return to Marx's critique of capital, to reveal that the essence of the metauniverse is nothing but the condensation of capital under the production of new technologies.

For the former approach, some scholars have used Marx's "phantom metaphor" and pointed out quite perceptively that the real effect of the "meta-cosmic structure" is that "the relations between people acquire the nature of a virtual body, and thus acquire a 'ghostly object', which masks its basic essence with its strict, seemingly perfect and reasonable autonomy." That is, all traces of the relationship between people ", "the meta-universe is not a romantic illusion that has got rid of the real social relations", it is precisely based on the "real social relations", is "a new landscape, a reshaping of social relations presented under virtual and digital technology". Such social relations are, of course, hierarchical and involve material interests, for which the meta-universe becomes a disguised instrument. However, in his view, we do not have to "destroy the technological foundations of the meta-universe," but to explore "how to use the space of the meta-universe to shape shared and equal social relations." In this regard, removing the centralization of the media platform itself seems to be one of the measures to equalize the meta-universe. This vision of equality is also positively and critically conceived in the latest work of F. Richard Yu: "Like our real-world universe, the meta-universe has developed special socio-economic structures in an orderly manner." It enables the rapid flow of matter, energy, information, and intelligence, effectively reducing the imbalance of matter, energy, information, and intelligence, thereby promoting the stability of the meta-universe and the real-world universe." He argued that metaverse evolution follows the laws of the real universe (such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs), but is faster and creates elements that are not present in the real world. Obviously, for the "equality" that is difficult to achieve in the real universe, we can only hope that the meta-universe, although it is still unequal at present (because it must conform to the laws of the real world first).

Compared with the relatively moderate position above, the representative of the latter approach seems to be more austere. In this view, since the development of technology and intelligence is nothing more than "the infinite desire of capital for surplus value", then the sudden emergence of the meta-universe assumption is actually "another wonderful exercise of capital and technology collusion", "but the internal need of financial capital to explore new investment growth points for itself"; Since the meta-universe relies on the "technological base", it must be "a manifestation of technological radicalization promoted by the logic of capital in the big industrial age", in the world of the meta-universe, "people will have to live more and more dependent on the development of network technology", "financial capital will be more and more dependent on the sale of new concepts to sustain its life".

When the shelter is removed and the capital is exposed, the relationship between "virtual" and "real" is not the same/different and continuation/rupture in the ideal sense. Whether virtual and reality are parallel or integrated, they are either fierce struggle, or hidden. The metaverse can be a revolutionary opportunity to overturn inequality, but won't it also be a substitute for illusory compensation? In the sense of the above phantom metaphor, will the meta-universe also become an Althusserian picture of an "ideological machine," another kind of spiritual opium? This illusion itself has led many scholars to overlook the capital game at play. The meta-universe is only a new battlefield (or "mental battlefield") of real struggle and compromise. Thus, another meta-problem arises, or an ancient conundrum: how to conceive of a space that is both intrinsically combative and harmonious?

Iv. Ontology and the Anthropocene

For the previous meta problem, we can also ask, how can we conceive of a more "original" meta

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