i am from the future


On September 4, 1972, the novelist and futurist Fereidoun M. Esfandiary published an editorial on the op-ed page of The New York Times concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. Titled “A Plague on Both Your Tribes,” it announced that the situation had become a “monumental bore”: that the leadership had failed, and the antagonists, “acting like adolescents, refuse to resolve their wasteful 25-year-old brawl,” even as other nations of the world were “rapidly patching up their differences.” Esfandiary decried the violent stalemate over territory, especially since the world was, in any case, “irreversibly evolving beyond the concept of national homeland.” Citing a recent United Nations study on global youth, he extolled a “new kind of population, more resilient and adaptable than their elders,” with a “feeling of world solidarity and a sense of common responsibility to achieve peace.” In a future that was just around the corner, today’s youth would take care of the Arab-Israeli problem—in part by realizing that it was already obsolete. He concluded the piece with an exasperated injunction: “Let us get on with it.”

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