Whose side is Civil War on?

Many of the negative responses to Civil War boil down to Alex Garland’s failure to tell us whose side he is on

Damien Walter
2 min readApr 21, 2024

People went in to Civil War expecting the thrill of confirmation bias, of being told that our side, in the ever more polarised politics of the United States, is the right side.

Instead Alex Garland throws in references to right-wing militias and “Portland Maoists” that suggest he’s not very happy with either side.

Texas allying with California is a useful way of indicating that this civil war is not between the sides we might expect. But it’s also a MASSIVE complement to California and Texas. When the chips are down, and tyranny is arising, America’s two most powerful states will overcome any difference and unite to fight for liberty.

Let’s hope that is so.

Because Alex Garland isn’t angry with Texans or Californians. He isn’t angry with Liberals or with Conservatives. Alex Garland isn’t angry with Americans. Alex Garland isn’t even angry with war.

Alex Garland is angry with all the people, left or right, Texan or Californian, American or otherwise

Performatively LARPing our way towards a senseless conflict

just because the LARP is quite entertaining

Analysing the meaning of Civil War, this weekend’s video essay on the Science Fiction channel



Damien Walter

I tell stories about the future, technology and culture. Published by The Guardian, WIRED, BBC etc.