Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Collapsitarians


Posted on February 19, 2009 at 6:15 PM | Kevin Kelly

As far as Google knows the term collapsitarian was coined by Jim Kunstler in a January 26, 2009 New Yorker article on Dystopians.

There seem to be about six species of collapsitarians:

Luddites, anarchists, and anti-civilization activists (see The Unabomber Was Right) who are trying the hasten collapse as soon as possible.

Goldbugs, survivalists, Y2K holdouts, and slightly right wingers who see collapse as the penalty for modern liberalism.

Conservationists and greenies who see collapse as the penalty for environmental sins.

Somewhat leftist anti-globalists who see collapse as the penalty for globalism.

Critics of American super-power who see the collapse of America as an inevitable imperial overreach. Many are native academics, many reside outside of America, many are prominent historians.

Former financial employees who see nothing good in, but no escape from, this doom.

The idea of progress has been slowly dying. I think progress lost its allure at the ignition of the first atom bomb at the end of WWII. It has been losing luster since. Even more recently the future has become boring and unfashionable. No one wants to live in the future. The jet packs don't work, and the Daily Me is full of spam. No finds the Future attractive any longer.

The only thing left to believe in is collapse. That's not boring! The end of civilization would be terribly exciting, and unlike any future we could imagine, probably more likely. Dystopias are a favorite science fiction destination now.

We all are collapsitarians these days.

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