Transgenic plagues in fiction

I’m going to quote from Chapter 30, but don’t skip ahead, read the whole book, it’s a quick read:

The lesson, once again, was that closed borders were essential to survival. It wasn’t just movements of people that had to be controlled. It was easy enough to send a bacillus by shipping container or mixed in a bulk commodity. Foreign trade fell drastically throughout the world as every import had to be quarantined, examined, and tested. Only what was local was safe, and even at home we developed a “neighborhood watch” to report any suspicious basement laboratories. This didn’t require a police state. People were eager volunteers, because they knew the mortal danger genetic engineering posed to everyone.

It was funny, at least for those with a sense of irony, the way Americans in the early 21st century had howled about the stupid mistakes of earlier generations in pursuing “better living through chemistry” and similar scientific great leaps forward. As they scorned their forefathers, they made the same blunder on a vaster scale. Genetic engineering rolled Frankenstein’s monster, “The Fly,” and the Black Death all into one, yet they hailed it. Computers reduced their operators to mindless androids while hooking them on the drug of virtual reality, yet they were the miracle machine no one could do without.

It wasn’t a case of those not knowing the past repeating it. They knew, yet they repeated it anyway. That’s what brings civilizations to their end.

We in the Northern Confederation were lucky, once again. We figured out early what everyone who survived learned eventually. Just because a technology exists doesn’t mean you have to use it. Those who depart from the ways of their ancestors do so at their own peril.

This entry was posted in political economy. Bookmark the permalink.

comments with fewer than 4 links should be auto-approved if everything works properly...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.