We are not alone

For those who might be saying, I’m probably over-reacting, nobody believes this is for real, here’s some crowd-sourced information that might both assure you (that you are not the only one) and terrify you (that it probably is for real):

Amazon’s top 12 editions of political fiction as of right now (Feb 10, 12:50 .m. EST):

1. 1984 by George Orwell (Signet ed.)
3. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (Signet ed.)
6. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (Kindel ed.)
7. Animal Farm by George Orwell (Signet ed.)
10. 1984 by George Orwell (Berkley; 60th anniversary ed.)
11. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
12. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (Audible ed.)

  1. …and yet ultimately aren’t we all alone? Strange times, strange times. when I was about nine, I looked at the state of the Western World and understood we were mirroring the Roman Empire – just before it fell. Not bad for a nine year old! I have been teetering on the edge of the cliff for the past forty five years, like the chicken in the children’s tale who runs around crying that the sky is falling in. Terrified and unsurprised. My eldest son, who is far more politically astute than me is happily less traumatised . He shrugs his shoulders as if to say ‘ What else?’

    • Anne, have you ever read the novel Every Man Dies Alone by Nazi resister Hans Fallada? It is a stunning portrait of “aloneness” and the terror of trying commit little acts of resistance in a time where every can be assumed to be an informer. The tension is really almost unbearable, even (or especially) knowing how it is going to end.

      Your son is probably right that this is not the first time we are on a precipice with the ground around us crumbling. It’s not even the first time in our lives. The nuclear sabre-rattling of the 50s-60s followed by the “limited wars” of the 6s-70s were apocalyptic times. Walking through Manhattan in November and December of 2001 was surreal. But this time seems to me to be different. This is the first time that the West (or should I say the UK and US so far) have decided that they are not going to be part of the world anymore. And it’s everyone for himself even here. Plus here in US we are plagued with the added anxiety of having an unstable, close-minded, vulgar authoritarian with his stubby fingers on the nuclear button and presiding over the world’s greatest data mining operations. At one time it was us against them. Now it is us against us. This does not look like the kind of problem for which there is a solution, particularly now that half of us believe that rationality and evidence are not useful tools. The motto of our current age seems to be: “Posterity? Who needs them?”

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