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May 5, 2013

The Continuing Relevance of Philip K. Dick

What is this but a Philip K. Dick universe?

Dick, it seems, was a far superior prophet than the colleagues who disdained him, because, unlike many of them, he had a line on human nature, which never changes.

So what does Dick have to say about surviving and prevailing in this world?

Dick had no political solutions. His personal politics was as convoluted as the rest of his personality. He was a man of the "left," but, like Orwell, very much a left of his own devising. He was once thrown out, within a period of weeks, of meetings by the local GOP and the Communist Party, in both cases for asking penetrating questions. He had no use for authoritarian systems. (His short story "Faith of our Fathers" is one of the eeriest condemnations of communism ever written, in which the leader of a victorious worldwide communist party is indistinguishable from death itself. When he grips the protagonist's arm, he leaves stigmata that continue bleeding and refuse to heal.)

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