Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality...
Ursula K. Le Guin, in her speech accepting the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
At a time when capitalism is attempting to re-entrench itself in the face of the largest protests and movements that have ever emerged confront its contradictions, cruelty, and inhumanity, and with capitalist realism -- Mark Fisher's term to describe how so many people have become totally incapable of even imagining that an alternative to capitalism could exist -- being put to the test, her words ring truer by the day. She said these words in 2014, predating the sudden ascent of proto- and neo-fascist elements from the fringes skirting the edge of the mainstream (let us not pretend they are sudden, they have been present for a very long time) into the very center of culture -- and, faced with fascism, capitalism's last and final resort when all other methods of restoring the complacency of the lower classes fail, she is right, we do need visionaries, utopians, dreamers, those people that she calls (in maybe my favorite phrase ever) the realists of a larger reality.