‘The Machine Stops’ by E M Forster

The-Machine-Stops-E-M-Forster climate-revolution worlds-end-shop

First published in 1909, ‘The Machine Stops’ is a short science fiction story written by E.M.Forster, better known for novels like ‘A Passage to India’.
In it he describes a world run for pleasure by a machine. Through the generations, people rely more & more on the machine until they do nothing without it. They don’t even try to do anything not provided by it. The machine becomes almost a new religion.
Then, although the people don’t understand this, the machine starts to break.
During its collapse & before the machine does break completely, the people keep making excuses for the machine’s behavior.
When the machine does stop, civilization totally collapses & the human race becomes virtually extinct.

Vivienne has picked up on this story as the exact metaphor for our own situation today.
One example of this is our complete reliance on fossil fuel energy which is imminently going to kill most of us through climate change.

Read Vivienne’s blog in the Huffington Post here

Read ‘The Machine Stops’ here

Read about runaway climate change here

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One thought on “‘The Machine Stops’ by E M Forster

  1. Thanks for this post, Ben. This story is a perfect metaphor for what is going on in our world today. Once all the phones and computers “break” and the internet crashes our society will collapse. It sounds grim, but I believe this is where we are headed.

    Best Regards,
    Jeffrey