Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dystopian Review

If you want an entirely conceivable picture of the US after an economic collapse, you don’t have to subscribe to anything as internally contradictory as Kunstler’s Long Emergency, just look at much of the Third World today. As anyone who’s spent any time there knows, for the most part it bears little resemblance to the hell of brutality and rat-eating barbarism that fires the middle class imagination with terror, it’s mostly a place of long lines, limited mobility, less physical comfort, hard work, and larger scale poverty. Unfortunately for Kunstler, it is not “intensely local” in the pure, bucolic, Jeffersonian way he imagines, as elites still manage to wreak local havoc through crony capitalism, and millions of people must shift about the globe continually in search of work. The idea that some of them might be white Americans in the future is the only new thing about the scenario.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It… A Review of Some Current Speculative Thinking on Collapse