Political Science Fiction

New York Times columnist David Brooks posted a provocative column on American futurism, optimism, and innovation. He proposes that the quality that makes America unique is an "Eschatological faith in the [that] future has motivated generations of Americans, just as religious faith motivates a missionary." But right now due to the sad state of politics, we have lost that faith in the future, that trust in technological progress has moved to China. What we need is a leader (Obama) who can create a national vision of the future, exciting our country to again lead the world.

I agree with Brooks; Americans no longer believe in the future, pessimism and catastrophe are the modern ideologies, and they are poisoning our future. However, the politics of the conventional will not be enough to make this change. We need visionary drive, and Brooks forgets our current visionaries and futurists: science fiction authors. Sci-fi needs to move out of the nerd ghetto, and become part of the national discourse.

Laying out this vision is the hardest challenge that President Obama faces. Even his astounding rhetorical skills may not be up to the task. But if he is going to be that transformative leader that America so desperately needs, he must articulate a national mission. More-so than health care, Afghanistan, and the economy, we have to restore the national engagement with the future


  1. Anonymous18.11.09

    Another reason why NASA needs funding. America needs to conduct a scientific achievement on a grand scale. Gone are the days where we would simply blow up an island in an atomic blast or put someone on the moon, though these are still possible.

    Some possible goals: deep space travel implementing non-chemical propulsion on a grand Ark ship scale.
    Creating the first non-human autonomous person/citizen within the next century.

  2. Anonymous18.11.09

    Well then atomic bombs are the answer. They will inspire people in many ways and reduce the population

  3. Dead Kennedys always have the answer --> http://popup.lala.com/popup/1657606142528204064

    Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of good options aside from Obama. The man can deliver one hell of a speech when he sets his mind to it, and maybe dealing with an issue that is not endless bowls of steaming shit (Economy, Healthcare, Afghanistan) would cheer him up.

    But yeah, what else is there? Bruce Sterling for the mayor of Neo-Orleans!