I wanted to follow-up on the idea presented in-class that Snow Crash takes a similar stance on both prejudice and democratic government. Eventually both will be pushed out of existence as capitalist competitivism acts as the ultimate driving force for all socio-cultural change.
Consider the messages about prejudice found in the novel. Japanese (to use Snow Crash's terminology, "Nipponese" from here on out) businessmen rule economically, despite whatever prejudice may have existed in the past. The New South Africans have their own franchise with every right to create whatever racist rules they want (82), but they only exist because they had some economic value (and they prove quite easy to dispatch â€“ see pp. 301-302). As they cease to remain competitive, they will crumble in this world of no external support. Moreover, with more and more of life taking place in the metaverse, the idea of identity changes rapidly. In the 'verse, "your avatar can look any way you want it to, up to the limits of your equipment" (36). Race and gender become preferences that one can hide from an outside world. With an altered physics, overcrowding no longer becomes a physical problem â€“ there is no physical urban space to fight over as everyone can occupy any space and only the most advanced have created a means of physical combat. Combined with an inability to produce results within this ultra-capitalist world, prejudice becomes obsolete.
Snow Crash makes similar predictions about the future of the US democratic government. From the introduction of YT's mother it becomes clear that the government no longer functions in any way truly meaningful to the people it used to serve. With the CIA and Library of Congress corporatized, the government begins to sound just like another franchise: "Feds don't make much money, but they have to work hard, to show their loyalty" (101). With weekly polygraph tests and no obvious influence on the rest of the country (security is privatized and services, to the extent that they exist at all, are provided by each burbclave), the feds seemed to have turned on themselves to keep busy. The steadily increasing power big business stripped the government of any legitimate function. In this capitalist world, they quickly disappear into the fringes of society.