Surrogates is the five-issue 2005-2006 graphic novel by Robert Venditti (author of The Homeland Directive, which we discussed about this time last year). It was made into a 2009 Bruce Willis movie. The basic premise is that sometime in the next ten-odd years, a company called Virtual Self, Inc., perfected the technology to permit people to operate what amount to robotic avatars. So instead of physically going to work, an operator can “link” to their “surrogate” body and drive their surrogate as if they were physically present.
This obviously has enormous social, economic, and political implications, and Venditti knows it. There’s a lot to look at here, but today we’re going to focus solely on the labor issues. Specifically, Vinditti suggests that surrogates would revolutionize gender and race relations and touches on (without explaining in great detail) the role of organized labor in the widespread adoption of surrogates. Continue reading