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In a doomer world is Steampunk becoming more Punk.

Started by rovingjack, July 16, 2023, 01:22:16 AM

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Punk was counter culture. Cyberpunk is sometimes seen as a dystopian world with dehumanization and high-tech lowlifes repurposing the same tech to rebel against the dystopia.

Steampunk doesn't have quite as much of the underground rebellion aspects... or does it?

There's a lot of doomsayers and hopelessness these days. Enough so that it seems to be the cultural mindset of the time. So I wonder if optimistic science and technology positive adventure and discovery seeking is the new rebel underground in the modern world.
When an explosion explodes hard enough, the dust wakes up and thinks about itself.

J. Wilhelm

QuoteEnough so that it seems to be the cultural mindset of the time.
This statement is absolutely correct. We're living in a repeat version of the 1930s. Fear generates new directions of behavior, for good or bad.

The World today is awash in doomers because leaders of all stripes (and I mean all kinds of doctrines and positions) have discovered that fear buys followers. Universally, regardless of the region where you live and your ideology, the fear involves a dystopian future, and even a "dystopian present," which according to carefully curated propaganda departs from some idilic past, oftentimes a severely distorted version of the historical past. Those who are meant to be fearful are often too young to have lived during that idilic time, and that's why they're easily manipulated (they have no real knowledge of the past, let alone experience in the past, and they just have a fantasy which they were sold and which transformed into a type of mythical nostalgia). But if you think about it, that fear is the cause for rebellion! Rebellion against progress. You see that all over the world right now.

So, in that sense, rebellion comes in pairs: rebellion to preserve an imagined past, and rebellion to achieve an imagined future. Both of these rebellions are competing against one another, and are based on idealized versions of reality (history), and are highly subjective.

You're right. Hope for the future is definitely the opposite of the doom mentality.

But what's weird about Steampunk is that it's hopeful about the future while holding to the better parts of the past. It sort of blows your mind, doesn't it? Steampunk shows that the binary rebellion is not a net zero sum. There's no perfect symmetry between the future and the past. And you want to know why?

Because time can only move forward, and Steampunks by way of their industrial inspiration understand that progress is inevitable, but due to their anachronism, they also understand that some things are worth preserving. That's a unique skill missing in most of the world today. Steampunk, thus is a powerful release valve which can lower the present tension between the two sides of rebellion. We can become useful as a third kind of rebellion in favor of reason.