Modern Stupidities That Will Go Away

The only thing I’m going to say about the left-wing utopia meme is in the form of a short fictional exchange. It’s not part of anything I’ve written, but it’s very close to a pulp science fiction book I wrote a few years ago with someone who still only know my alias and who I’d come out to if I ever got the chance to talk to her again.

A little bit of background: the story is set 1,400 years in the future, in particular about a thousand years after a very socially turbulent 25th century, which marks the transition from what’s called the modern period (circa 1700-2400) to the classical one (2500-). Ellie, the protagonist, is being inducted into a progressive terrorist group called the Tribes fighting against the Empire as well as against a fascist terrorist group called the Hand.

Helen shrugged and said, “Well, the joke in these parts is that a progressive Hander is someone who’d like to go back only to 2200, rather than to 1500.”

Ellie wasn’t sure if the Tribes were that obtuse or if the Hand was really that bad. She regurgitated what she knew about the Hand’s politics, “I’d be surprised if they really want to revert to modern society – at least, if they do, they idealize it to the point of ignoring just how bad things used to be. A thousand years ago, people believed that religious mythology was fact, that women were inferior to men, that your skin color mattered to who you were, that sex was shameful, and that people under eighteen – not even sixteen – should obey their parents’ whims. Even the most reactionary Handers don’t advocate any of that.”

In one sense, equal rights are irrevocable: once a group achieves full equality, bigots stop hating on it, and often present it as evidence that they’re reasonable people. It’s happened to Irish-Americans, and Jewish-Americans came within centimeters of that at one point. At the end, even the fringe rightists – i.e. the Handers – stop opposing a given group’s equality. It’ll take more time for women, gays, Africans, and Aborigines (in both the Americas and Australasia) to get there, but they will, eventually.

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