- Author: Peter Frase
- ISBN: 1781688133
- ISBN13: 9781781688137
- Language: English
- Pages: 160
An exhilarating exploration into the utopias and dystopias that could develop from present society
Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail.
Could the current rise of real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender’s Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth—but there’s no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of “likes,” wouldn’t rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.
“This book is an exercise in public thinking as a political act, charting courses for movement-builders and citizens. In a project of that sort, a somewhat hysterical dystopia is worth the time of day.” —Jedediah Purdy, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Are the robots eating our jobs? Will technology set us free? These questions aren’t new, but Frase’s approach to answering them is refreshingly inventive. Four Futures is a thought-provoking work of political speculation. This incisive little book offers the vital reminder that nothing is set in stone—or silicon—and that in order to fight for a better world we first need to be able to imagine it.” —Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform
“An engaging thought experiment on the intersection of technology and the environment. Indeed, as we ponder the interplay between digital abundance and physical scarcity, the digital industrialist solutions of most thinkers in this space pale in comparison to Frase’s more open-minded, less deterministic understanding of the future unfolding before us.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed and Present Shock
“A remarkably clear-eyed view of the futures we’re facing, bringing humor and intelligence to the lab of speculative fiction to create four smart and sharply lit early warning signals.” —Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine and Transmetropolitan
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