Neal Stephenson's Camp of the Sinners
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Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash is about the San Fernando Valley in a near future when the state has withered away and the world is run by various ethnic mafias such as the Cantonese mafia and the Sicilian Mafia mafia (who, as the pizza delivery monopolists, are pretty much the plot’s good guys, such as they are). It is widely considered by libertarians to be a utopian novel for such inspiring visions of America’s future as:
When it gets down to it — talking trade balances here — once we’ve brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they’re making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here — once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel — once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y’know what? There’s only four things we do better than anyone else: music movies microcode (software) high-speed pizza delivery
A major plot element, presumably inspired by Jean Raspail’s 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints, is The Raft, a vast agglomeration of flotsam, inhabited by impoverished south and southeast Asian refugees drifting inexorably across the Pacific, headed for California. Stephenson’s description of The Raft is a pretty funny variation on the usual sentimental cant about how illegal immigrants have more gumption than us natives, and thus are just what us decadent Americans need:
“When [The Raft] gets to California, it will enter a new phase of its life cycle. It will shed much of its sprawling improvised bulk as a few hundred thousand Refus cut themselves loose and paddle to shore. The only Refus who make it that far are, by definition, the ones who were agile enough to make it out to the Raft in the first place, resourceful enough to survive the agonizingly slow passage through arctic waters, and tough enough not to get killed by any of the other Refus. Nice guys, all of them. Just the kind of people you’d like to have showing up on your private beach in groups of a few thousand.” [p. 272]
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