Sunday, June 5, 2011

America’s Dystopian Future

Nicholas D. Kristof has an excellent piece on how the economic ideology of the GOP is helping to erode America’s position as a First World country. I would add that the United States is only adopting the unfortunate aspects of poorer countries. I don’t really see families or communities becoming stronger and more cohesive in the States, at least not among the less affluent. Instead, if things continue on the present trajectory, I don’t think it is outlandish to say that the United States might end up looking like a cyberpunk dystopia. Glitzy technology will  help to mask the miserable social, moral, and cultural conditions of the majority of the population, as it already does to a certain extent today.

4 comments:

  1. Honestly, when he mentioned the military taking priority in the budget, criminals not being "coddled", and everyone deeply patriotic, the first thought in my head was "Like North Korea?" Then he mentioned Pakistan, but I still think DPRK is another good example.

    Good find, thanks for sharing.

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  2. Quite so. But then, we have been here before. After the fall of the Soviet Bloc, we took on its vicious secularism, its stunningly high levels of abortion and divorce, its rampant alcoholism, and its warehousing of small children so that their mothers could be conscipted into the workforce, but we did not take on its full employment, its high academic standards maintained by means of very traditional teaching methods, its high art on ordinary people's radio stations and in ordinary people's railway stations, or its recognition of the importance both of the radio and of the railways.

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  3. "United States might end up looking like a cyberpunk dystopia. Glitzy technology will help to mask the miserable social, moral, and cultural conditions of the majority of the population, as it already does to a certain extent today."
    This is a very true and dangerous trend in Western Society, for example even back in 2009 20 million Amercians were registered and spent a total 17 Billion Hours on Xbox Live alone. http://www.pixlmonster.com/fireball/online-gaming/
    With an average of 7.3 hours a week. This online gaming trend will only escalate and surely further sedate the 'working class'.

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  4. Thank you all for the great comments.

    CA Constantian,

    Good point about North Korea. The communist states were oddly “conservative” in the American sense on some issues. The Communists were VERY tough on crime, anti-laziness (every adult had to work, and shirkers could be punished for being “parasites”), and of course the militarism and extreme patriotism.

    Mr. Lindsay,

    Exactly. It is sad how the leaders of the Western nations often learn the wrong lessons from history.

    Mr. Smith,

    Wow. Those are some incredible statistics. That is bad news for social life and community cohesiveness, as well as grassroots politics. I think the powerful would rather have us be lonely screen addicts than social people with strong opinions and the capacity to organize.

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