Alan Jacobs at The New Atlantis:
We have taken a somewhat tortuous path from Michael Oakeshott to campus protesters to visions of the colonization of Mars. But the road back, perhaps, will not be so strange. We may commence the return journey thus: The novels of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy constitute a vast thought experiment in the political, ecological, and technological shaping of a new world, a frontier. What do we learn from that experiment that can be used in our current moment and location?
First, if there is a place in the world for those who treasure a myth that claims to transcend technopoly, it will be, at best, a hidden place. If transnational technopoly can hunt you down and root you out, it will; and it probably can. Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, dissenting from his Irish Catholic culture, said that his weapons would be “silence, exile, and cunning.” To those whose dissent from technopoly is rooted deeply in a mythological core, these are words to survive by.