Friday, June 15, 2012

Excerpts from Robinson's '2312'

Here is a series of excerpts from 2312, a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson:
"the space diaspora occurred as late capitalism writhed in its decision concerning whether to destroy Earth's biosphere or change its rules. Many argued for the destruction of the biosphere, as being the lesser of two evils

one of the most influential forms of economic change had ancient origins in Mondragon, Euskadi, a small Basque town that ran an economic system of nested co-ops organized for mutual support. A growing network of space settlements used Mondragon as a model for adapting beyond their scientific station origins to a larger economic system. Cooperating as if in a diffuse Mondragon, the individual space settlements, widely scattered, associated for mutual support

as feudalism is the residual on Earth, capitalism is the residual on Mars

the existence of the marginal economy, semiautonomous, semiunregulated, resembling anarchy, filled with fraud, double-dealing, and crime, delighted all free marketeers, libertarians, anarchists, and many others, some enjoying the bonobo barter and others the machismo of a wild west and wealth beyond need

confining capitalism to the margin was the great Martian achievement, like defeating the mob or any other protection racket" (pages 124-126)
Indeed. (Your humble blog correspondent here.) As our financial institutions have shown us again and again, they will hold the world economy hostage, extorting wealth beyond need for a select few. I admire Robinson's optimism. I hope that we do move beyond capitalism to something more sane and egalitarian.

1 comment:

  1. I read this on my commute home yesterday (July 19). Then I read the New Yorker's comment on the drought in the Midwest and South, the likelihood that climate change is contributing to it, and the the utter lack of any discussion of the issue in the Presidential race in the world's secondrbon emitter because it is, as they put it, "a downer". And I have to hope some of us are able to get off-planet before the collapse comes.