Intervention – “Future Shock” by Andy Merrifield

Andy MerrifieldAndy Merrifield, Fellow, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Speculating on the future, especially on the political future—and especially especially on a Left political future—is something you get slammed for these days; “they” tell you you’re writing fiction, particularly if your future threatens the status quo. (Check out Austin Williams’ recent review in the Architectural Review of my The New Urban Question.) On the other hand, if your future can be absorbed within the status quo, or else puts a different spin on that status quo, your future is realistic, permissible not dismissible: technocratic futures are okay, as are big futuristic master plans that involve lots of high-tech urban design stuff—lots of corporate high-tech urban design stuff—ones endorsed by some billionaire and administered by a patented scientific corporation. The reasons behind this are of course intellectual and political, particularly when ideology and politics underwrites commercial economics.

Contemporary academia…

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