Change as Future Shock

Prez Obama, when asked about investigating former President of Vice, Dick Cheney’s possible illegal and top secret campaign to “send out hit squads of CIA to execute Al Qaeda operatives” (he never even told Congress about it), recently said,”We should look forward and not backward.”  This statement reminded me of one of the best non-fiction books I ever read, Future Shock, by Alvin Toffler (written in the 1970s).  Actually, his old book really explains what our politicians have learned to sell us all the time now, and Obama is also the “high priest” (perhaps in more ways than intellectual) of this kind of Tofflerian “change”:

“‘The future as a way of life’, which argued that change was going to accelerate and that the speed of change could induce disorientation in lots of people. We coined the phrase ‘future shock’ as an analogy to the concept of culture shock. With future shock you stay in one place but your own culture changes so rapidly that it has the same disorienting effect as going to another culture”

In other words, as long as we stay “shocked” by always looking for futuristic “changes,” then politicians can have their way with us.  It’s when we do what Santayana proscribed and “learn from our past mistakes” that we begin to get in the politicians’ think tanks and begin to create a little real history of our own!




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Filed under Political, Science Fiction

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