Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Millennium-Shock

I think of it as millennium-shock- the mindset that has propelled conservative governments and dictators and demagogues into power and influence all round the world. We're afraid of the future with its shinyness and its mind-and-body-warping technologies and its promise of an end to life as we know it, and we fall back on the defence of green-mouldy certainties from way back when. Thus the demand for sharia law throughout the Muslim world, thus the dominance of the religious right in the USA, thus a Pope who decries personal religion and demands that his young people submit to (his) authority. We're a race of scaredy-cats. We'd prefer to have the Middle Ages back rather than commit ourselves to the unknown.

I think in the end we'll get over this reactive fit. Science and invention will continue to motor away- and we like the goodies they provide too much to shut them down. And ideas are harder to censor than they used to be, now that we have the Net. Even so, these are hard times, and those of us who don't want a new Dark Ages to descend- and the world be run according to the lights of Bush and Khamenei and Pope Ratzinger- are going to have to make a fuss.
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