Humans don’t know the future. But we think we do, or at least can extrapolate it.
This worked very well in the times of Gorg and Morga, cave people who donated us the brain we think with. (Okay, no, I don’t know for sure, but as an explanation, it sort of works.) It didn’t take a genius to know if you went to fight the Hurgs over the ridge by your lonesome self, or even with your three brothers you would lose. Why they had 100 people and that new fangled throwing spears thing. The same way if a hunter went out in drought or famine, he was likely to come back empty handed, etc. And if Morga hasn’t conceived a child in ten years, she probably won’t tomorrow.
We live in a world that’s far more complex, and filled with different inputs in information, all of which give you a very different idea of the future.
And since all through the 20th century — partly mind you simply by the human desire to be in with the “crowd” and to be “right” in the opinion of those with power, partly because so many people were captured by the Marxist nonsense and because those in power kept those who disagreed out — the media, the entertainment, and the general culture was heavily Marxist, the input was filtered through “capitalism bad, and it will crash and impoverish everyone.”
It was further filtered through the sense most conservatives seem to have (heaven only knows why) that prosperity is bad (I think y’all have some Puritan ranter in the backs of your brains, okay?) and that you should live in caves and eat acorns or the future will be corrupted. (Okay, some puritan ROMAN ranter. Never mind, that’s who lives in the back of mine.) This gives you “if things are good, or at least not terrible, we’re headed for disaster.”
Then there are the people who are convinced left to their own devices people make terrible decisions. These are mostly educated beyond their abilities, or as we call them bureaucrats and others of their ilk.
The result of this is that the inputs most people in my generation got were horrendous. They were also, as we’re becoming OBVIOUSLY AND PATENTLY FALSE. (They were obviously wrong to me sometime in my thirties, when an anonymous donor sent me a subscription to Reason and I started thinking about what I’d been fed.)
Stuff like “The world will be massive overpopulated by 1990.” Or “We’re running out of fossil fuels” in the seventies. Or “There will be no food or potable water for everyone.”
We now know those are bullshit, of course, but it was — go look if you don’t believe me — the ethos of science fiction in the eighties and nineties, and it is still, massively, the ethos of science fiction published by traditional sources today. (Baen mostly excepted. Salutes.)
Sometime in the early nineties, my scream was “NO MORE RUSTY FUTURES” which was my description of futures in which everyone lived in the gutter, ate bugs, and groveled before an unaccountable elite.
Now I’m not going to say me and my kind are prophets. (I hope not. Mostly I write what’s interesting, not what I think will happen.)
And we know only what? 0.8% of the population even reads science fiction/doesn’t think we’re terrible eggheads with no clue.
In fact, it’s sort of the other way around. My tribe tends to write a distillation of what they’ve been fed. (Which combines with the editors’ ideas of what’s coming, and wanting our fiction to rest on “solid foundations.”) Which means the dystopias of the 80s and 90s is what everyone believed would happen.
I found is so depressing, I started reading alternate history or historical.
Not only because the futures were depressing, but because I found them so unlikely. I mean, how are you going to have cities packed to the level of New Delhi in the sixties when so few people are even having kids? And why is everyone wearing masks against pollution, when our air is clearer than it was in the early 1900s? And–
My suspension of disbelief was hung by the neck until dead.
BUT what was out there was what had seeped to the back of people’s brains and it was as expected as that tiger jumping on you would be to a caveman.
What is this in the name of?
Well, I look at our exquisitely
indoctrinated educated “elites” and the world they’re trying to bring about.
The US hasn’t reproduced enough to cause massive overpopulation, but they’re sure it’s out there, somewhere, so they are importing people by the batch load over the Southern border. And they’re sure we’re running out of fossil fuels, so we must transition to “clean/green” energy now. And they KNOW we’re massively polluted, even though we’re obviously not, so we’re all going to dieeeeee. when Gaia gets offended enough she turns up the thermometer. Oh, and we must eat bugs or go Vegan, because otherwise how will we feed everyone.
This is all absolute and complete twaddle, of course. But it’s in their back brains, as “obviously” so they can’t argue with it. They just go along with it, because it’s “true.” True at that level they can’t think, because it’s the assumptions fed to them in the seventies and eighties (and for the younger ones recently, as word from above.)
THIS is what we’re fighting against.
And I’m not absolutely sure how to do it. I promise, and intend to continue to beat those ideas up on my blog, and hopefully to incorporate the ideas of a bright, hopeful future into my fiction, to try to turn this around.
You see, what they project can’t come about. But it can destroy a lot of wealth and kill a lot of people before it crashes.
It’s time to attack the false prophets. I can’t, of course, do it alone, so I must ask that you amplify it, in words, in blogs, in stories.
Let’s build a bright and hopeful future, to which we can aim our civilization.
Be not afraid. Steer to the future we deserve.
America comes from that better future. And we’re going back there.