“There is a curse.
They say:
May you live in interesting times.”
― Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times

Whether your cancer is Trump’s ‘anti-immigration’ policies or the hypocrisy of Leftist anti-free speech protests, there can be little doubt that we are living in ‘interesting’ times. But these times are not original in their threats.

Here are ten books that are cautionary must-reads for anyone concerned with the modern hyper-polarized West.

“The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they became with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier to see something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow.”
Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

“You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.”
Ayn Rand, Anthem

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” ― George Orwell, 1984

“you’re deluding yourself that you have some deep spiritual connection, like you didn’t just read it on Wikipedia. There’s a difference between tradition and culture.”
Lauren Beukes, Moxyland

“If you love freedom, if you think the human condition is dignified by privacy, by the right to be left alone, by the right to explore your weird ideas provided you don’t hurt others, then you have common cause with the kids whose web-browsers and cell phones are being used to lock them up and follow them around.”
Cory Doctorow, Little Brother

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
Aldus Huxley, Brave New World

“There is no final one; revolutions are infinite.”
Yevgeny Zamyatin, We

“A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope.”
Phillip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

How many have you read? Which are your favourites and which do you think are most prophetic?


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