Re: SciFi&Eco: Back to the Future?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 08:45:22 MST

John Marlow wrote:
> > But why was the renascence of a red-blooded,
> > fundamentalist capitalism not
> > foreseen? Why, indeed, did Huxley in Brave New World
> > (1932), Orwell in
> > Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Clarke and Kubrick
> > in A Space Odyssey (1968)
> > have so little to say about economics, given its
> > centrality to human life?
> > Why, in effect, did they assume that technology or
> > planning would take care
> > of economic issues?
> >
> **Because economics is boring and reading about it is
> no one's idea of a good time.

The authors were writing about specifically different problems. Orwell
was certainly warning about the problems of socialist tyranny,
propaganda, and mind control, while Huxley was warning about the tyranny
imposed by the stratification of a consumerist society along the lines
of Classist Britain, totally ignoring the potential for automation
eliminating the need for there to be Beta, Delta, Gamma or Epsiolon
classes. Their novels were specifically dealing with the problems with
imposing some economic structure on society by force. Since Space Odessy
took place primarily in space, and I don't think Hal drew a paycheck
(nor is there much economy you can create between two humans on a ship),
economics really had little place in the movie or the book, although it
did show evidence of brand names, such as Howard Johnson's, so
presumably Clarkes vision implied a capitalist future for at least
western and international venues.

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