"Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then Sayin, Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams But mine was a little different you see I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me I didn't see you around
Well, now time passed and now it seems Everybody's having them dreams Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else Half of the people can be part right all of the time Some of the people can be all right part of the time But all of the people can't be all right all of the time I think Abraham Lincoln said that I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours I said that."
- Bob Dylan - "Talkin' World War III Blues"
When the real world is this insane, conspiracy theories can't keep up. Virtually all futures are on the table now; there are no futures that are too crazy, too left field, too out to lunch. We're shuffling through the buffet line of all possible outcomes. "CalExit" is trending on Twitter today--probably because of bot accounts--and yet the idea isn't really beyond the pale. If the president says NY and CA are on their own and he will only assist states with Republican governors, then how exactly are 2 of the world's largest economies supposed to react?
That's one future.
Another: two massive economic disruptions in a decade caused by the ruthless efficiency and inflexibility of global capitalism coupled with the utter failure of Federalism to react to the COVID tragedy leads most people to ditch globalism in favor of regional and local economies. Americans turn en masse toward a slower, more equitable and sustainable lifestyle, where we trade the constant grind of the global economy for a world where we may only be able to get strawberries in the summer, and apples in the fall, but so much more of our time is our own. Where many of us grow a lot of our own food, and hang out with our neighbors, and work about 20 hours per week, or in stores of our own, or we make things for others because we like it and because our friends and neighbors need these things too.
You may say that I'm a dreamer.
But now I know I'm not the only one.
Though a great many of the potential futures are scary, violent, and brutal, they are no more real than the utopian visions. Everything is going to change, is changing, and all possible futures are on the table, so don't listen when they tell you something isn't possible. Everything's possible. It's been awhile since imagination has been a key part of building the future. We've been coasting on this wave of neoliberal global capital for so long that it seems like an extravagance to imagine other futures, to dream of a better world. But the time has come again when writers and artists and all the imaginative people of the world will regain their cultural importance.
A whole lot of dreamers is what we need right now.
I'll let you be in my dream if you let me be in yours.