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