In Ray Nayler’s novel The Mountain in the Sea he explores the marine habitat of a hyperintelligent species of octopus, endowed with its own language and culture, is seized by a global tech corporation determined to harness this non-human intelligence for profit in new systems of artificial intelligence.
In his dystopian novel Splinterlands, John Feffer looks ahead to life on planet earth in the year 2050. The signs of societal breakdown in the not-so-distant future, if we look, are already apparent in our world today. Feffer follows them to their logical conclusion.
For all the avowed patriots who demand my Pledge of Allegiance and salutes on Loyalty Day, Fourth of July, and other patriotic, militarized holidays, I fling this question to your hearts: how deep and far does your loyalty to your country run?
It happened so subtly, we missed the corporate coup. Like shadows, corporations surrounded our country and slowly strangled it. They crept into Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the military, the Department of the Interior: everywhere you look, a corporation controls the decisions of this nation. We have become the occupied territory of brand names, corporate logos, monopolistic power, and corporate greed.
A smoothly functioning society is created and maintained by the people. Children go to school, workers show up at their jobs, shipments are made, groceries and purchases are bought, bills are paid, goods and services are delivered; and so on. In times of justice, when the workings of society are fair, respectful, and uphold the rights and dignity of humanity, then the people have every reason to collectively maintain functional workplaces, schools, roads, social events, and so on.
I did not realize until I read Trails of Memory – A Century of Nazism how much that time and political movement has harmonics in this time. I am in the U.S., where decades of effort on the part of one of the major political parties – Republicans – moved them, and perhaps the nation, deeper and deeper to the right. At the same time, the efforts of capitalists continued to break the bonds of community and the treads of continuity, while the broader efforts of Republicans created a more jaded and less informed public. I did know from my studies of white nationalism that it was an ideology that actively spanned continents and was not just contained to North America. Likewise, this movement towards right-wing populism is not confined to the United States, and it is not the only nation experiencing the awful allure of strongman leaders with dreams of dictatorial rule.
In the political arena of double-speak, outright lies, serpents’ tongues, appalling misnomers, and sins of omission, time alone stands up to champion truth. Time will tell, they say … so listen close to this report: