Friday, March 17, 2017

A Dystopic Prophecy

There's a review in the New York Review of Pinkaj Mishra's Age of Anger: A History of the Present. It has an interesting thesis, that there are a lot of people across the world who are fed up  with "Modernism".  Now we already know about radical Islamism, but he is folding in the xenophobic nationalists of America and Europe.  And his argument is a bit plausible, after all Trump got elected by a lot of disaffected rural Americans.  And I'm sympathetic with his explanation that it's the neo-liberalism that has brought this about, and Hillary Clinton was a staunch neo-liberal.  The problem is that neo-liberalism has swept aside the working class.  Now I'm, of course, strongly for gay civil rights, but somehow trade unionism and the problems of the working class has faded from the Democratic view.

The very popular movie series, the Hunger Games, fits in well with this.  Society is divided into a rural class with which we are very sympathetic (including my favorite, Jennifer Lawrence) and a hyper-narcissistic urban class.  This fits in well with Mishra's description of our present situation.

I had developed a sequel to my novel, The Last Age that provides a very different picture.  As civilization begins its collapse from global warming, the people I know, people working to preserve the culture of our civilization, our art, our literature, our scientific knowledge, retreat to the cities surrounded by desperate people ruled by warlords.  Its the opposite of Hunger Games, and Mishra.

I guess I really don't know what is going to happen, or even what is happening now.  I do know that time is running out for our civilization. And I want to hope that it's not Hunger Games that we have to look forward to.