Rick and Morty, while distant from being a basis of political propaganda, have been packed with good old science fiction while having a subtle social criticism wrapped with callous jokes.
Rick, a sociopath and alcoholic scientist which was entitled as the smartest mammal in the universe runs the spontaneous intergalactic adventure with his alter-ego grandson, Morty. This animated science fiction television sitcom, specially, my favorite, sixth episode of season two, “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” has poked fun at various significant issues in today’s society.
Slavery with extra steps
The episode runs around Rick trying to fix his Space Cruiser’s ‘Microverse battery’ when it behaved wrong in the middle of their alternate multiverse adventure for movies and ice cream. Inside the battery is a universe inhabited by sentient beings whose sole purpose is only providing Rick free electricity to power his engine and charge his phone and stuff.
This is unknowingly done by the people of the Microverse by stepping continually on a device made by Rick called the Gooblebox, which converts their movement to generate electricity sending 20 terawatts of juice up to Rick’s engine.
Upon seeing this, Morty reacts to his scientist grandfather for “enslaving” an entire planet for the sake of energy. Rick, however, argued that he just created a functioning society whose byproduct is electricity. Morty rebuts seeing through Rick’s poor rationalization and convinced that the Microverse’s civilization is founded on “slavery with extra steps.”
The civilization Rick made is a metaphor of Marxist interpretation of capitalism. Which the people in the labor produces surplus value, and regarded as the profit of the capitalist. Surplus value is the additional value which the worker produces but does not getting paid for, which is an abundant setup in the country, allowing capitalist to gain.
The surplus value is in the form of additional energy generated by the Microverse beings, as most of the energy is silently taken by Rick for his own gain. Same rationalization with the defenders of capitalism, they see this setup as justified as it enables society to function.
How lies power society
In order to maintain such system, Rick disguised as a ruling elite alien establishing culture and taught some of its made up language like “fuck you” as an equivalent for peace and “blow me” as a reply. There is also an event like Ricksgiving, and also an education structure which is arranged in deifying Rick as a hero and an elite.
This is similar to how our today’s society is engineered to deify certain traditions and groups: not because of their moral righteousness, but in respect on how they developed the account. This is exactly what’s seen in holidays like in Valentines and December that both spur the expression of love through consumerism, purchasing things, in spite of supposedly being generous.