Oh, cheer up. At least the FBI didn’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary. But if worse comes to worst, I’ve got good news for you. Donald Trump, along with Brexit, could give dystopian fiction a big boost—well, at least as long as dysfic fans still can scrape up enough money to buy books.
Publishing Perspectives asked writers and editors to explain the flood of dystopian works that have followed The Hunger Games. Boiled down from the quotes there, the best explanation might be this in simplified form. Dystopian fiction resonates because in so many ways we’re already living in a dystopia. How else to account for a con artist like Trump becoming the presumptive GOP candidate for President? Or No-Longer-to-Be-So-Great Britain most likely leaving the EU despite all the economic and cultural benefits? Or—on an even grander scale—the fact that “Everyone is disadvantaged by the one percent,” in the words of SF editor John Joseph Adams? And now Trump and Brexit could make the cosmos still worse.
A sign outside a U.K. bookstore nicely encapsulates the Zeitgeist: “Fiction…because real life is terrible.”
That, in fact, is why so many people have voted for Trump in the first place. I agree at least partly with comments by TeleRead community members such as Steve Prior and Michael Perry. The EU has flaws, and the same global mindset among the American elite led to trade treaties that opened up our markets without adequate protections for U.S. workers. But the Trumpian and Brexit dystopias would be even scarier than the callousness that Washington and Brussels have so often shown toward working people.
In a related vein, check out Welcome to Trump’s America: an illustrated dystopia, from Fusion. Trump makes good on his pledges…
Except for the wall he promised he would build and get Mexico to pay for. President Trump did freeze the remittances immigrants were sending back once Mexico refused to pony up billions for the construction, even after $25 billion in money transfers were blocked by the U.S. government. Predictably, the Mexican economy has taken a giant hit. Two years later, there’s still no wall, because such a wall, which would constitute the largest public infrastructure program since the creation of the American highway system, is a financial and logistical nightmare, and neither Mexico nor the United States can afford it now that both of our economies are even worse off than before. Trump’s policies have not only devastated the Mexican economy—they’ve driven down wages even further in the United States increasing the demand for low-wage immigrant labor.
So no wall, but a lot of irony: The United States has more Mexican immigrants than ever.
Oh, the horrors! A dystopian villain who can’t even function well as a demagogic dictator.
After leaving the EU Britain will be a sovereign state capable of negotiating for any and all ‘economic and cultural benefits’ which actually are benefits and which accrue to both sides. But it will no longer be obliged to implement the ‘benefits’ which are one-sided or mutually disadvantageous.
@Jon: The EU won’t give breaks to the UK without demanding things in return. No free lunch. Meanwhile the current uncertainties won’t exactly help the UK economy.
Quote: “Oh, cheer up. At least the FBI didn’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary. ”
Yeah, we wouldn’t want to do anything to damage the basic principle of post-1992 law, that there’s one law for the powerful and well-connected liberals such as the Clintons and another for the rest of us.
Rape, groping, the sexual exploitation of underlings, and vicious schemes to silence the women so hurt, that’s fine if you’re a Clinton, Bill or Hillary.
Meanwhile, the federal government is forcing universities to pursue the male side of drunken hookups without even the semblance of due process. Originally, these 19-year-old boys could not even have a lawyer present to represent then as they were railroaded. Now a lawyer, it is conceeded, can be present but can’t say anything. Heck, even the Nazis behaved better than that in their People’s Courts.
Compare Hillary getting off free to what’s happening to a Navy sailor who merely took a few pictures in a nuclear sub rather than have a mailserver with hundreds of highly classified material open to every hacker on the planet:
“The sailor now faces a maximum possible sentence of up to ten years in prison, but faced up to 30 years if found guilty on both charges. Federal guidelines discussed in court Friday appear to call for a sentence of about five to six-and-a-half years, although the defense has signaled it will seek a lighter sentence.”
Take note that link is to Politico, virtually a house organ of the Democratic party, so don’t take its excuses for Hillary seriously.
And that’s not getting into the real reason Hillary had her own server. As Secretary of State, she was selling off our foreign policy to foreigners. Thanks to her, a spooky Russian billionaire now owns half the uranium in the world. Ah, but that’s just uranium. It’s not like you can make a nuclear bomb from it or something.
Quote: “The EU won’t give breaks to the UK without demanding things in return. No free lunch.”
Actually Germany is already signaling that it wants the departing UK treated most nicely. The UK buys far more manufactured goods from the Germany than vice-versa, enough that some 750,000 German jobs depend on that trade. Get nasty, and the UK can send those orders elsewhere, the U.S. perhaps. Hey, I’m liking this idea even better.
Keep in mind that the UK isn’t like most European countries. It’s always traded with the world, particularly the one-third that used to be in the Empire. It’s now free to make any trade agreement it wants with countries, unconstrained by EU protectionist countries. It can even conclude a trade agreement with the U.S. once a petulent Obama has departed. That’s not something the EU has been able to do. And all those agreements will hinge on one principle, that it benefits the two countries involved. No bother with Italians wanting to keep the price of their tomatos free of competition.
The basic flaw in the EU is that it’s deliberately designed to be deeply hostile to democracy. Agencies appoint their own heads. Voting out crooks and incompetents is almost impossible. The pay is so inflated, some 200 EU officials make more that the UK’s PM. Even finding out who’s responsible for a stupid law can be difficult It took years to ridicule the EU into abandoning a silly ‘bendy banana’ law about how much curve a banana can have.
There’s really no reason for the EU as it has become. Countries can make and change laws that serve the wishes of their people far better than those imposed from afar by strangers. The single currency for some of the region, the Euro, has proved precisely the disaster many predicted.
The only real downside is that UK was a major restaining force against EU expansion. With it gone, the EU is likely to become even more intrusive. The little countries of Europe will be even more dominated by the Germany-France axis and forced to accept still more impositions. And with a few exceptions, their economies are much more closely tied to Europe than the UK’s has been. They may want to leave, but find departing means enduring the meanness that the French want to impose on the UK.
Note too that the people in countries across Europe were never permitted to vote on membership or a “constitution” that was imposed on them by dictate. Not having approved of it, they have no emotional stake in doing their own Brexit.
One final comment. As a mental exercise, translate the EU impositions onto national economies into some distant set of officlals imposing on your household. What you buy, how you heat your home… the list goes on and on, are all dictated by officials who’ve never met you and don’t even speak your language or understand your customs. That’s the EU. Perhaps the only thing that’s surprising it that it wasn’t hated more and sooner.
And quite frankly, I can’t even make sense of why anyone would want something like today’s EU. It strikes me as like joining one of the intrusive cults that dictate every aspect of your lives.
But then again, if you listen to EU fans it does sound like a cult down to the sanctions they want imposed on those who leave and warnings that the end of the EU means the end of the world, almost.
No one has been able to quite chase down the actual G. K. Chesteron quote, although he said similar things. The remark attributed to him was: “When men cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing. They believe in anything.”
And for some that “anything” is the EU. To depart, as the UK is doing, is to engage in rank heresy.
@Michael: No, Hillary Clinton isn’t Ms. Perfect, but compared to Donald Trump, she is angelic. As for the EU, I myself have very mixed thoughts. I fervently agree with you on such issues as the excessive pay and arrogance of Eurocrats. Still, far better for the EU to exist – given the risk of life without it. I don’t especially relish the idea of the revival of the nationalism that led to two world wars.