Author Rating: A

The Futurological Congress (read 2/26/08) Recommended

Translated from Polish in 1974, this is indeed a remarkably prophetic book. In the distant future Ijon Tichy awakes to find pharmacology is used to “correct” people’s perceptions. With populations exploding, raw materials scarce or non-existent, aerosol hallucinogens are used by the government to create the illusion of beauty and plenty where there is in fact neither.

We obviously have not reached the extreme that exists in this novel but we do indeed live in a world where children are medicated to control their behavior and people are diagnosed as mentally ill because they are unable to reconcile what goes on around them. Depression and anxiety are viewed as physical problems rather than a reaction to unworkable, artificial social and environmental conditions.