Futurist thought for the day

Marina Benjamin’s pre-millennial (1998) Living at the End of the World, is hugely entertaining, particularly in the opening chapter which is filled with heroic generalisations about the public mood, and has something interesting to disagree with on every page.

However, after emphasising what she diagnoses as prevailing pessimism, and a tendency toward apocalyptic thinking, she also says this. Aside from sharing the problematic use of “we” and “us” which is hard to avoid in cultural criticism but equally hard to justify, it has a plausible ring, to me.

Given the tendency for media interest in apocalypse to veer, without rhyme or reason, between scare-mongering and leg-pulling, it needs to be said that most of us, ultimately, are able to cope with feeling at sea in a world in which we have abandoned a biddable future without rushing to subscribe to the doctrine of the end of the world. As we stumble through the prevailing chaos, we seem determined to discover new opportunities and freedoms in disorder.

If this is right for the time it was written, I wonder if this feeling has got harder to maintain since then?

 

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