The Future of Society

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The Future of Society

In Olaf Stapledon's 'Last and First Men' the future of the human race is studied from a late 1920's viewpoint. It gives us an interesting insight to the birth of science fiction and futurology. The book is both rich and startling in scale.

The book tackles issues such as genetic engineering, evolution, the collapse and formation of society, terraforming and the migration of the human race to both Venus and Neptune while at the same time overlooking space exploration (within 200,000,000 years), computers and nuclear weaponry.

Perhaps the most interesting theme is that through the distinct 18 species of human detailed in this book is a maturity from barbarism into an enlightened state, a species that is telepathically a communal race made up of billions of individuals all devoted to personal intercourse, pleasure and to find the answers to scientific and intellectual pursuit and view the universe from a higher mentality.

The First Men (in other words us) is destroyed after the Americanized World State succumbs to greed and a mental insanity (in his words a decline in intelligence and spiritual stagnation.

Is our existence futile until we are hit by catastrophe and evolved? Does our mentality as a species awaken to appreciate life and the universe for what it is?

The book is here. What do you make of the book?