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FUTURE OF THE PASTORAL IDYLL

In 1995 Theodore Kaczynski wrote Industrial Society and Its Future in which he proposed overthrowing the economic and technological basis of the present society. His reasoning was that individuals had become over-socialised, pursued false goals and lacked autonomy. Scientists and technologists were culpable of pursuing surrogate goals and marched on blindly regardless of the welfare of the human race. His evidence of the failure of the industrial system is leftism, which he regards as a symptom of the disruption of the power process. His solution after revolution is to disperse technologies and organisations, with most people accepting hardships to live idyllically close to nature, feeding themselves as peasants, herdsmen, fishermen or hunters. His paper is available on the Internet.

My novel The Grass Is Always Browner (2011) tells a different epic fictional political thriller of several generations of a people, beginning in the year 2237, based on current technological trends, including climate change. Independently of the Kaczynski analysis, industrial society collapses after famine and coastal flooding, with the population dispersing from urban centres to grow their own food and self-sustain on acreages. Political organisation is led by a dynasty of Aboriginal people, who arbitrate in religious conflict between the descendants of European settlers and immigrants from Asian countries.

Both works forecast attempts by ordinary people to regain the idyllic state of nature idealised by the Romantic poets and later by hippies. To reach it, dystopian transition conditions could be necessary. However, lives could be improved by it and this story enables us to consider modifying the direction of technological development or even rejecting it.

The Grass Is Always Browner is on Amazon. Further information: https://martinknox.com

FUTURE OF THE PASTORAL IDYLL

In 1995 Theodore Kaczynski wrote Industrial Society and Its Future in which he proposed overthrowing the economic and technological basis of the present society. His reasoning was that individuals had become over-socialised, pursued false goals and lacked autonomy. Scientists and technologists were culpable of pursuing surrogate goals and marched on blindly regardless of the welfare of the human race. His evidence of the failure of the industrial system is leftism, which he regards as a symptom of the disruption of the power process. His solution after revolution is to disperse technologies and organisations, with most people accepting hardships to live idyllically close to nature, feeding themselves as peasants, herdsmen, fishermen or hunters. His paper is available on the Internet.

My novel The Grass Is Always Browner (2011) tells a different epic fictional political thriller of several generations of a people, beginning in the year 2237, based on current technological trends, including climate change. Independently of the Kaczynski analysis, industrial society collapses after famine and coastal flooding, with the population dispersing from urban centres to grow their own food and self-sustain on acreages. Political organisation is led by a dynasty of Aboriginal people, who arbitrate in religious conflict between the descendants of European settlers and immigrants from Asian countries.

Both works forecast attempts by ordinary people to regain the idyllic state of nature idealised by the Romantic poets and later by hippies. To reach it, dystopian transition conditions could be necessary. However, lives could be improved by it and this story enables us to consider modifying the direction of technological development or even rejecting it.

The Grass Is Always Browner is on Amazon. Further information: https://martinknox.com

OPINION: LIBERTY COULD BE REDUCED


Individuals exposed to infection by COVID19 have responded mainly in three ways. They have accepted the risk unprotected, self-protected, or have obtained protection by government restriction of their own and others’ activities. Consequences are not yet fully known but government intervention has already created a precedent for public health policy.
Given a choice between catching a dangerous virus and losing employment, few people would hesitate to stay home. Response to past influenza outbreaks was largely individual, without regulation of individual activity. Regulative response to COVID-19 has attributed new potential for infection but this has not been manifest in all countries. Virulence of COVID-19 has been summarised by Swiss Policy Research as follows.
‘In countries like the US, the UK, and also Sweden (without a lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, overall mortality is in the range of a mild influenza season.’ 
Compared with previous responses to influenza, lockdown in Australia for COVID-19 has had new levels of social control compared with past outbreaks, when it was left to individuals to decline risks, or accept them with mild social sanctions. Unless COVID-19 is significantly more virulent, social and economic consequences of government protection seem disproportionate to other influenza treatments. Perhaps public health care has advanced and people expect better protection nowadays. Ordinary influenzas nevertheless continue to kill without social regulation. In Australia in 2017, 4269 deaths from influenza and pneumonia had less social control, whereas in 2020 there have been 103 deaths to June 25 from COVID-19. Protection imposed by restriction of public behaviour for COVID-19 is relatively a loss of liberty, compared with for example: inability to go to work by accepting personal risk similar to crossing the road. Young lives could be stunted. Those who want protection would be free to self-protect at home, especially elderly people who are most vulnerable. Supposing that COVID-19 hangs around for repeat seasons, or new virulent viruses arrive, the regulation of the many, for the benefit of the few, could threaten restoration of society, unless we revert to the kinds of voluntary behaviour that were accepted for so long. When difference in virulence numbers between countries is clear, actions needed could be clearer.
https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

INDIGENOUS LIVING MATTERS


INDIGENOUS LIVING MATTERS

HISTORY
Australia’s indigenous people have experienced 4 phases in relation to the majority.
1. Mutualism briefly after Europeans arrived
2. Elimination, by disease, physical combat and genocide.
3. Assimilation of survivors
4. Incarceration of objectors

In 2020, indigenous persons were 3.3% of the population, and one in four were in prison.

INDEPENDENCE
Australia’s outback has retained some largely-indigenous communities from before European settlement and developed others since. These communities are stable and self-sufficient, with self-administered health and welfare services, police and education.

INTEGRATION
Indigenous living in Australia has a spectrum of integration, from dispersed living in cities, through partial ghettos, to integrated communities in outback towns.

GHETTOS
Leicester in England is one of several English cities where ethnic residents have adopted separate living in ghettos, condoned by secular authorities, bringing peace to the city’s suburbs. A research finding is that poor Somali students can accomplish more learning in ghetto schools than in better-off integrated schools.

SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT
Brisbane’s Hymba Yumba is an independent school where about 200 mainly indigenous students between Years 1 and 12 study selected school subjects across the national curriculum, presented in indigenous languages. Separate development of indigenous people encourages independence but could reduce assimilation.

APARTHEID
Racial segregation by territory is not present in Australia. Archbishop Tutu declared that treatment of Palestinians reminded him of apartheid, only worse. Israel’s repression of Palestinian citizens, African refugees and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza is reported to have become more brutal over time with ethnic cleansing, land seizure, home demolition, military occupation, bombing of Gaza and international law violations.

CONCLUSION
Assimilation is partial. Independence, integration, ghetto-living and separate development are alternatives. No single development strategy is followed. Individual choice is limited by affordability. Social friction has been exacerbated by Black Lives Matter conflict in the USA.
My speculative fiction novel The Grass is Always Browner considers indigeneity in Australia 250 years in the future.
http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com

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