Just a few years ago, if you spoke out against authority, there is an extremely high likelihood that you would have been deemed as an anti-government conspiracy kook. Now, it is pretty much the norm to have a distaste in political figures.
However, while this may be a change in the tide that we weren’t expecting, according to Carl Sagan’s writings, it seems almost as though he predicted it. One quote in particular, which comes from his book wrote in 1995, “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, could even be seen as a near-perfect mirror of 2016,
“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”
If that alone isn’t enough to give you goosebumps, then what about this quote from an interview he took with Carlie Rose in 1996:
“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It’s a way of thinking. A way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.”
Much of Sagan’s prediction rings true, while other parts could be vaguely associated with a variety of timelines in our past. Sagan died the year after his book was published. Regardless of whether you view the entire quote as an adaquate prediction, the dismantling of civilized society is beginning to seem like an inevitable occurrence. While it may not feel like it, there is always a possibility that things will soon turn around for the greater good of mankind.
And of course, the book itself is always worth a read. In fact, you can begin listening to the audio version in the video below.