“Altered Carbon” Asks Who Owns You?

“Some things can’t be bought, like me…” ~Takeshi Kovacs

He woke up in a body not his own, with a face he didn’t recognize…

Netflix’s Altered Carbon shows a Blade Runner-esque future where when people die, they have their consciousness uploaded into the body of anyone the state has full control over. I’m just starting to binge this series as the summer begins, but it incites a very philosophical point–who owns you?Altered Carbon loosely follows the motto, live, die, repeat–except you don’t get to choose what body you come back into, or even if you can come back to life at all. Though the right to stay dead is a strange concept, the right to live how you want to live can be just as strange in an authoritarian world.

When you really dig right down to it, can we conclude that everything is just borrowed time from the government? Do you really have the right to live? If so, does that mean you have the right to die? But the question is never whether you have the right to, everyone’s gut reaction is to say yes, but the difficult part is when the government gets involved. This is a concept we don’t discuss much. Our government can determine when life begins, just with the stroke of a pen or with a random vote. Our government can even determine when a man dies, by drone or injection.

One minute they can say life doesn’t begin until after a few weeks, then they might say it starts at conception. They say all life is valuable, but never put a face to “collateral damage.”

Altered Carbon makes you question whether or not life is a gift that you yourself own, or if it is just a commodity on loan from the state.

Do you have the right to live? Do you have the right to die? Only you should have that answer, never the state.


Remso W. Martinez is a journalist and political commentator in the D.C. area. Remso is the author of the upcoming book “Stay Away From The Libertarians!” available on Amazon on June 23, 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @Remso101


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