The Age of the Conglomerates: A Novel of the Future
This novel is too plausible to be speculative fiction. If you’ve read much about the corporate takeover of government (say, for instance, Thomas Franks’ The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, reviewed in Words this week, page 45), Nevins’ thesis that eventually corporations will run government is all too believable. What happens when the bottom line for quarterly profits becomes the only measure of success? Less productive members of society get downsized. In this case, “Coots,” the unproductive elderly boomers and Xers, are sent off to camps in the Southwest. Kids who don’t fit in take extra resources to raise and are discarded. And get used to being watched. You’re always on company time. This dystopian near-future is just too real for comfort, but it makes for a thought-provoking read.