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The Penetration Of The Mainstream

From Oliver Morton's excellent Guardian review of Martin Rees' Our Final Century:
Devastating famines, mega-droughts, wars and plagues, both natural and not, are all possible, even likely. But they are not inevitable; enlightened statecraft, open societies, international solidarity, overhauled medicine, respect for human rights and the wise and accountable use of technology could help us not only avoid the worst of our future but also build on its best prospects.

In left-leaning science-fiction circles you increasingly come across Alasdair Gray's exhortation to "work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation", advice which remains applicable however bad the outlook. In that Rees's timely warnings underline the need for the sort of participatory optimism Gray describes, they are useful. They would have been even more welcome, though, if he had offered a little more by way of strategies for survival.
Time for Mr Rees to read some Karl Schroeder or Al Reynolds?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
rfmcdpei
Jun. 14th, 2003 08:41 am (UTC)
The problem with too much of the broad-tent category of left wing, I've found from my limited experience, is that it tends to be defeatist; it lacks any long-term goals beyond that of reacting to challenges, and so constantly lacks the initiative. It needs to regain it. Dubya and friends might be making mistakes, but they've got a vision, at least.

How would you go about implementing Grey's recommendation nowadays? French-style grand projet, or something different (and better)?
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