The Kids Know – We Live in a Dystopia

We live in a time of uncertainty, fear, and ignorance about the problems facing society, nations, and the planet. We live in a time of instantaneous communication, often leading to distrust, polarization, and superficiality. Science – and especially its derived technologies – has given us immense powers to cause physical and psychological change, destruction, chaos, and even self-annihilation.  Single individuals can now wield immense power, be it for terrorism, ideology, or personal gain.

We no longer have societally-sanctioned rites of passage for citizens, such as the Eleusinian rites practiced in ancient Greece. We constrain and often condemn most means of expanding consciousness and mental well being. We have decreased moral, ethical, and civics education in our public schools due to state legislatures and parents arguing that such education is not ‘appropriate’.

Youth are concerned with the societal and planetary problems and issues which their adult parents seem unable to address. Youth are concerned about the deteriorating state of the planet and of its societies – and very concerned for their own future.

Music, poetry, literature, and drama are effective means of expanding consciousness, presenting realities, and empowering empathy and creativity. Protest songs come immediately to mind. Novels have been especially effective: Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Sinclair’s The Jungle, and Huxley’s not very well known Island.

We are attracted to novels, songs, and theatre addressing these challenges. Young adult novels and films dealing with dystopian as well as utopian systems are particularly popular today.

Media which deal with critical thinking, reality, cognitive liberty, creativity, and empathy are especially needed to help reorient our current states of distrust, fear, uncertainty, and ignorance. Specific examples include Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (followed by his more Utopian Island), Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and many, many more – including attempts to treat impending dystopia:  State Change – A Chemical Fantasy ( www.statechange.us ) ‘uses’ biochemistry to ‘treat’ empathy deficit disorder (EDD) and ideology paralysis.

Talk with your kids. They read, they know, they fear.

 Andrade IBE 4-2017 Keynote Slides final4reducedpdf

Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, Aug., 2016

Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

Midwest Book Review (Aug., 2016)

 

State Change – A Chemical Fantasy

Joe Andrade

Andrade Self-Publishing

978-1-4951-9851-9

Price: $0.00 (Free) – only available online. Bound book copies available from author, for free, to qualified reviewers and libraries.

Website: www.statechange.us

 

Novels typically do not contain manifestos – but State Change incorporates both. In a future world gone mad (a world akin to our own), the very boundaries of social and political process are tested as humanity’s trials and errors demand that traditional leadership be rebuilt and replaced.

 

But how do rulers and leaders evolve beyond preset assumptions which are contributing to the fall of mankind? Replacements take time and are likely to arrive contaminated by the same perceptions as their predecessors. There’s only one quick solution: change the mindsets of existing world leaders through chemistry. This approach is not only in the public interest. It’s in the interest of humanity’s survival.

 

This is the basic concept of this quasi-novel, in a nutshell. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride through the process (and ultimately, the call to action) that blends the forms of a novel and a social statement in State Change.

 

In the opening act, the state of the nation is deteriorating, the planet is falling apart, and change must happen if humanity is to survive. “The Challenge” opens with the narrator’s introduction to political interests and the basic foundations of the concept of “State Change”, which are built and explored throughout the events that transpire.

 

How can revolutions be engineered? How do belief systems evolve, and how do social and political circles support them? What are the failings of education and awareness when faced with entrenched dogma and blind ideologies?

 

Even though the word ‘fantasy’ is in this book’s subtitle, readers shouldn’t expect work of traditional fantasy or entertainment here. State Change is about how real change occurs at its most fundamental levels, the barriers to realization and effective evolution, and the efforts of individuals to transcend the juggernaut of political ineffectiveness. As such, it’s a serious work that blends ideology with a dose of fiction that revolves around Utah protagonists and their daring attempts to not just change, but transform the world into something better.

 

State Change is no light production. It demands a higher level of thought, political and social interest from its readers, and not a little acceptance of some radical ideas about chemistry’s applications in the name of lasting solutions that belays the usual intention of a novel to entertain in some manner.

 

There’s a solid coverage of history along the way, analysis of political process, and the growing conviction of a myriad of characters who envision a new world evolving from the virtual end of civilization as we know it. As chapters rush through a mix of familiar-sounding modern dilemmas and futuristic concerns, they come steeped in much research and explanation and thus require slow reading and time for contemplation as they present a satisfying blend of complex activist and scientific concerns with characters concerned about changing the world in the best possible way.

 

There is no competitor to State Change. It stands in a class by itself (one perhaps occupied by Huxley, Vonnegut, and other authors of classics on social change) in presenting a different kind of futuristic possibility that rises from the ashes of the Koch Brothers and other political special interests familiar in today’s world.

 

Discriminating fiction readers with a penchant for more than entertainment will relish its approach, diversity, and complex observations on the processes and challenges of mental enhancement.