You may not have noticed, if you don’t hang about the the wrong interweb street corners, but the Libertarian Party sent a copy of ‘1984’ to every member of Parliament. (You can see the response to a response of one laughable nuLab wastrel.)

This post is nothing about that. I can make the jibe that they will see it as a textbook (and rereading ‘V for Vendetta’ recently, the supposed chilling panel on the first page shows a CCTV camera with a listening device attached. This was put there as exaggeration, this could never happen here…) but I won’t. This post is about which books can be seen a prophetic. Not dystopian, although I guess that is a theme that runs through them. More just a 90° twist to what we have. A single flick of the wrist.

1984’ is an obvious one, indeed. So let us move on. How about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’? Well, I reread that a while ago, and it sucks. Heavy-handed, overly obvious, nothing subtle about it at all. If it wasn’t so, well, obvious, it could be some indicator of some future state, some direction maybe taken. But it isn’t, not really. (As an aside, if you are avoiding Ms Atwood’s output, don’t ignore ‘Alias Grace’, for it is a beautiful book.)

I might be able to make a case for ‘Lord of the Flies’, the breakdown of mainline society, the rise of knife crime and gang culture. I might be able to make it a bit more forcefully if I lived in South central London. ‘Fahrenheit 451’ is probably easier to use as a cautionary tale, but I could only every enjoy it on an intellectual level, it never engaged me the way other books did. But I am not really after cautionary tales, either.

All very obvious so far.

Let us spiral out a bit, before ending with the closer. How about ‘Requiem for Homo Sapiens’, the trilogy that follows the mighty, mighty ‘Neverness’. A bit of a stretch, but as they are all fantastic books, and I can see them from here, I thought I would throw them in. Or maybe not that much of a stretch. The other books I can see from here that might be prophetic are the Poppers and the um, two volume Hieroglyphic dictionaries. But I only want to count novels.

Of all them, though, I think the most prophetic is ‘Atlas Shrugged’. Because the world is heading that way, and while I am no Randroid (even though I do admire her loads), she was way ahead of her time in predicting the political climate. I am not going to say you should read it (even though you should), as I doubt it would change anyone’s mind. But it is a nice insight into mine. And it has garnered some reaction while I have been rereading it on the daily commute. Stupid lefties. And yes, I do have a thing for Dagny Taggart. Who wouldn’t?

Something, somewhere, sometime, has made the world undertake a subtle shift of direction, a minute change of gear, and I am out of step. Globally, locally and personally.

  1. I am a big fan of Atlas Shrugged but not a true believer in all this laissez faire capitalism nonsense- there has never been an example of this on planet earth and , much like communism I think it may stand up in theory but fail in practice. I would agree that the collapse of the financial markets and the , ahem, nationalisation of certain financial institutions may lead one to believe that the world is heading this way, however, I don’t believe that those who travel by private jet and helicpoter will see much difference in their lifestyles. Very unlike Hank, Dagny et al.
    I myself and preparing for the coming year as I see trouble ahead.
    Read this site, very enlightening indeed.

    Tue 02 Dec, 9:26AM

  2. Oh, those of power and privilege will always be alright. History tells us at least that much, no?

    Sure, Atlas Shrugged is great, but it really is just set piece speeches by Ms Rand :)

    Stray Taoist
    Tue 02 Dec, 9:41AM

  3. I have tried reading one of her books about being selfish and have to keep setting it down. I don’t like being lectured to at all. Coming from a communist country I understand why she turned 180 degrees but she is most definitely a ranter and no mistake.

    Mon 08 Dec, 2:41PM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Leave the dark corners of the interweb alone. Go to the bright spots shone on by the Beautiful Ones

The BlackStar Diaspora

The wulf insists on text here...and I shall leave it at that.

People I know

I know people who didn't work at BlackStar, and they have weblogs too. These are they.

News, politics and paranoia

The State is not your friend


It is a well-known fact that the Stray Taoist (nee Toaster) isn't as internally consistent as he thinks he is. Welcome to his world.

Feeds: RSS | Atom