The Portland Rising committee of Portland Jobs with Justice is excited to announce that it will host a six-session reading group, starting in February 2022, to discuss the recently published novel The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. We hope you will join us!
This is a big, powerful, and exciting novel that directly confronts the climate crisis and the ways in which people, movements, countries, and international institutions might well respond to it. It is ultimately a hopeful book in that humanity survives, but it doesn’t downplay the difficult decisions and complex processes involved in achieving that outcome. It is, in large part, a novel about our lives. And we believe that a collective discussion of the issues and challenges it raises will help us all become more effective fighters for a better world.
If you are interested in joining the group or just learning more about our plans, please send your name and email address, with “Reading Group” in the subject line or body of the message, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are our current thoughts:
If you need more enticement, here is Kim Stanley Robinson himself:
When [Fredrick] Jameson said it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, I think what he was talking about is that missing bridge from here to there. It’s hard to imagine a positive history, but it’s not impossible. And now, yes, it’s easy to imagine the end of the world because we are at the start of a mass extinction event. . . But I would just flip it and say, it’s hard to imagine how we get to a better system. Imagining the better system isn’t that hard; you just make up some rules about how things should work. . . but the story of getting to a new and better social system, that’s almost an empty niche in our mental ecology. So I’ve been throwing myself into that attempt. It’s hard, but it’s interesting.
And here is an interview with Robinson in which he discusses his background and aims for the book.