"Science fiction is necessarily political because it depends on what assumptions you have about the nature of society," he says.
I no longer define myself as a socialist, but it stuns me that there's a whole generation of growing up - a generation who are younger than my own children - who lack the idea of socialism as an implicit alternative...
"What might a future without any socialism look like? It's not necessarily an attractive prospect." ...
"I was a regular reader of the Morning Star back then," admits MacLeod, who fictionalises a future version of this paper in some of his novels.
"For me, in the '80s, the Morning Star was a voice of sanity in a mad world, even if it was sometimes a rather dull voice...
A lot of the formal rules of the left are still based on 19th-century communications technology - the idea that revolutionary politics are built around a top-level party line set down by a newspaper, which everyone has to agree with. The internet negates that process," he says, adding hastily that "the Star has a head start, in that it allows in voices from outside the party."
MacLeod reserves special disdain for elements of anti-humanist thought in the green movement, which he satirises in several of his novels.
"I think siding with nature against humanity is despicable. The fundamental thing as far as I'm concerned is that you have to judge everything in terms of human interest.
"There is an element in green thinking which rejects this totally and says that the interests of other organisms, and rocks and so forth, need to be taken into account.
"This is not my view at all. I'm quite strongly in favour of humanity developing and improving, and suspicious of the Malthusian logic preached by people like George Monbiot."
So does some green thinking tend towards the fascistic? "It's much worse than that - at least fascism believed in some human beings!"
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ken MacLeod interview
Scottish science fistion writer has an interview in the Morning Star