Posts Tagged ‘fukuyama’

Jump, you fuckers

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Those immortal words, flung in abuse by a protestor on Wall Street last fall, also constitute the title of Dan Hind’s essay on the economic crisis. Hind, the author of a book on our use/abuse of the Enlightenment, seeks to get to the root causes of the accelerating economic downturn, and finds them in the dismantling of the Bretton Woods agreement, which allowed the U.S. to run up massive debts even as the rich became disproportionately richer—and the overall system became ever more unstable amidst the orgy of profit-taking green-lighted at the very highest levels of the political/economic elite, all at the expense of the Average Worker.  This is the kind of explanation you’re unlikely to see much of among the elite’s Tame Intellectuals (as Hind so aptly calls them), who are charged with continuing to proclaim their Faith in the Free Markets, as well as “let’s not blame the system for a few bad apples”, but it’s one of the more compelling arguments I’ve read thus far on what we’re facing.

It also gets at one of the things I thought about a lot while writing MIRRORED HEAVENS:  the notion that our civilization is heading rapidly toward some kind of mega-discontinuity/overhaul out of which something new will emerge, for good or ill.  Again, our Tame Intellectuals don’t help us here—they’ve encouraged us to believe in our current Way of Life as the culmination of everything that went down before (see, Fukuyama, Francis). But imho science fiction is all about this discontinuity, whether it comes in a month, in a decade, or in a century. It’s about somehow unshackling our minds from the tyranny of the now—that mindset that literally can’t envision anything else. We’ve got a long way to go here; preoccupied with its own petty infighting, SF is largely absent from serious debate on the causes or ramifications of our current crisis. One hopes this will change as the situation worsens (as it assuredly will); now, more than ever, we need to take the long view.