Grand Theft Auto only gives the illusion of freedom

Oh how Calvin would chuckle. He would love the illustrative potential of GTA. “Wake up!” I imagine him shouting. You are not creating this world. It has been created for you by unseen designers working in Dundee. And it doesn’t give you real agency. Yes, to some extent you can do what you like, but you cannot be who you like. You are cast as a gangster. You can hijack cars, shoot the police and pick up strippers in bars. But you will always be a gangster. That is predetermined. It only gives you the illusion of agency. And this illusion of agency is precisely what the world’s real unseen designers (currently in Davos not Dundee) want you to have because it robs you of any real control.

What a metaphor for modern life, and specifically for the illusions of free-market capitalism. Just to be clear: I don’t buy predestination or any of the metaphysics behind Calvin’s theology. I don’t buy the idea that God is some super-intelligent grand designer secretly pulling the strings. Richard Dawkins is right about all that.