Tuesday, June 6, 2017

By Their Dystopias Shall Ye Know Them

While some pundits tout The Handmaid's Tale and/or 1984 as the dystopian novels which offer the most insight into our troubled times, Bruce Thornton is confident that another work of fiction is a closer match:
Well into the second decade of Islamic jihad against the West, we all know the bloody script. In London, “radical jihadists” or “Islamist extremists” for the third time in a year went on a rampage, ramming pedestrians and slashing throats, and leaving seven dead and 48 wounded so far. Police immediately round up suspects they obviously could have snatched before the carnage. Prime Minister Theresa May blusters “enough is enough” and “terrorism breeds terrorism.” Politicians across the world issue rote “condemnations” of terrorism,” then go back to business as usual. Shrines of teddy bears, flowers, candles, and therapeutic bromides are the best the Brits can do in response to yet another act of a war they don’t even know they’re in. 
Welcome to the new normal for a Western civilization, content, like H.G. Wells’ Eloi, to party and consume in leisure and affluence until the Morlocks devour them.
Me? I think ancient history, and not any single work of fiction, holds some clues as to what could be in store for a decadent people suffering from civilizational ennui.

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