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08 June 2010 @ 12:53 pm
Life in these Untidy States: Serf's Up.  
Mostly for my own reference: some thoughtful and measured words about emigration.

I'll tell ya: ever since reading Toffler's predictions for the future of the two "Second Wave" superpowers in 1990's Powershift, and watching it come true in the Soviet Union less than a year later, there's a part of me that's been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Yes, I'm fully aware that this kind of apocalyptic paranoia has contributed to the paralyzing stasis of my life since graduation.

Still, there's an important truth in play: things aren't getting any better in the Untidy States, and the best-case scenario is to hope that the continual erosion of our rights and freedoms will be sufficiently gradual that we won't notice.

And the alternatives ... well, we seem to be using all the worst clichés of Cyberpunk as a road map as it is, why not that one, too?*

I would really like to convince myself that this is just pessimism due to the latest economic downturn, but even during the boom years of the '90s, I saw the "New Democrats" quietly and casually continuing the trends of restricting the rights of biological individuals and increasing the freedoms of "corporate persons". Some oppressed groups have made a few advances in acceptance, but really, it's just welcoming them to the same Village that the rest of us live in. One step forward, two steps back.

I'm in the process of reevaluating my life, realigning my goals, and trying to get a better grip on how the "real world" works.

And around here ... it doesn't. Not very well. Not in ways that will do me any good, now or in the future.

Realistically, if I'm trying to reconstruct my present to make plans for my future, "emigration" needs to be one of my options—even and especially if I land the elusive "Real Job" locally.

The big issue, of course, is that the other Anglophone nations don't really want more USian expatriates.

This is not a post about pessimism or defeatism. This is a post about options.
*See next post.

I feel: contemplativecontemplative
Leodrleo on June 8th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
I disagree with the classification of these words as measured. I'm also not convinced that they're thoughtful, because none of this is really news. It's the same, as you put it, apocalyptic paranoia combined with smug superiority because he left the country. But given the publication, I don't think there's any real attempt to be measured, and he just fails at being thoughtful by mistaking snarkiness and doom-saying for thoughtfulness. He writes with the same unquestioning faith in his own beliefs and ideas of the others he decries in his writing. He even claims to predict the future with certainty. I suggest you not put too much stock in this when evaluating your own life choices.

Things are certainly bad, but this is the same kind of fear-mongering used to motivate many of the horrible developments he cites. I for one refuse to be terrorized by anyone, and instead make decisions about my life rationally.

Your Obedient Serpent: Eye in the Pyramidathelind on June 8th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, certainly, the source is biased. He is, however, verbalizing concerns I've had for a very long time. I linked to the article not so much as an influence as a reflection.

Please note that my final conclusion was not "AAAIIIIIEEEE! Must flee the country now! Gotta escape! There's a weather balloon chasing me!"—it was "I need to give serious consideration to emigration as an option".

If fear has influenced my decisions, it's been the fear of leaving the country that my ancestors stole from the natives fair and square.

Oh, and the "thoughtful and measured" line? Irony.

Edited at 2010-06-08 08:38 pm (UTC)
Leodrleo on June 8th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Ah. My browser didn't render the <irony> tags around your text.
Your Obedient Serpent: Ommmathelind on June 8th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Time to hit the kitchen store for a new pan; looks like this one is dead.
Paka: pied crowpaka on June 8th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
I'm really not sure what to think. I actually do have more options than a lot of people in bailing out of the country, but this place is still my home, not Britain and not Israel. Israel makes me a little uncomfortable (I do not like religious assholes no matter what religion, I don't like the rightwingers who seem to keep winning Israeli elections, it does not speak well for the people who keep electing them, and I'm not sure I like the blunt if honest attitudes that seem to characterize Israelis). My parents were in Britain when I was born so theoretically I'm still a British national and can bail there... but Brits seem to have this nasty tendency to elect Tories (and they really, really should know better), Labour seems to be basically a repeat of the Democrats, and their politicians seem to love doing away with privacy at the drop of a penny. So I honestly don't know whether those are viable alternatives.