Over the years, I have read quite a bit of science fiction. This started when I was in high schule and has continued since. My reading peaked when I was spending a lot of time on airplanes; science fiction diverted me from thoughts of the dipsomaniac/psychopath in the cabin and the lousy maintenance to be expected from large corporations. So I read a lot and pined for the good old days when the Yankee government told the airlines when they could pass gas, where they could go, and when.
In retrospect, the end of that era was a signal of the feudalism to come.
When I retired, I slacked off on reading science fiction, mostly due to a dissatisfaction with the density of contemporary authors who can’t plot or compose to my expected level. There are exceptions, but in the main, contemporary science fiction authors are crap. So I mostly re-read the old bits which don’t engage as well because I have changed and I remember too much.
Much of what I read was, naturally, stories about the future. Generally, science fiction authors then and now are pretty dismal folks. The future is almost always nasty and needs fixing. Somehow that seems to have come true. Somehow the country seems bent on reinventing feudalism.
Lately, I have seen several articles about how the democrat party is on the verge of embracing socialism. Some of the articles view this with alarm; some with amusement.
Back when I was adolescent and into adulthood, socialism was widely viewed as a slightly lesser evil that communism. Communism was bad because it wasn’t real democracy. It was an oligarchy dressed up like a democracy. And like most oligarchies, it wanted more. What hurt the capitalists was that the more wasn’t money, it was direct power and ground. Socialism was bad because it didn’t want money either, just no oligarchs (or capitalists?) And their evils were construed in monetary form. Because money is the only good in a capitalist environment.
Now, with the democrat party in disarray and the republican party learning how to wear jack boots, there is a lot of unhappiness in the land. Too many people not getting enough money. So one way to solve that problem is to do away with money.
Nice theory but rather like trying to run a motor without lubricant. Money serves a purpose and that purpose isn’t served if there is no money. Also if too much money is tied up in Scrooge McDuck fortresses.
The reason the fifties and sixties were good was because there was a drain on those fortresses and the spill-off went into the people’s hands. People could save enough to retire; make their lives more comfortable physically along the way, and afford medical care uniformly for the first time.
And this was evil in the eyes of the oligarch-capitalists.
What we seem to lose sight of in all the Nuremberg drone of “fake news” is that much of the rest of the world has some form of limited socialism. It’s not a national hippie commune, but a fundamental fabric of citizen support.
Which, incidentally, is supposed to be why we have government in the first place. To protect and support all citizens. And the citizens are supposed to keep the government honest and on track.
And we seem to have both failed.