Thursday, June 18, 2009

Michael Moorcock Answers All Your Questions

The readers of BoingBoing sent Michael Moorcock a set of questions in connection with the forthcoming publication of The Best of Michael Moorcock, which he very kindly answered over on Tachyon. I'm struck once again by the fact that virtually every writer of whatever type will eventually reference Wodehouse as a favorite (or at least highly reliably good) read. Jonathan Carroll and China Mieville also get a thumbs up, among many others.

He's also still very politically conscious, in a practical way that seems rare now, and is therefore refreshing:

I remain a great optimist, though I have few theories how we're going to get out of our present predicaments. I remain a Kropotkinist anarchist, which many people will see as unrealistic, but, if I'm unrealistic, so be it. I see my anarchism as a moral position, in that it's scarcely a realistic political one! But from that position I can very quickly determine what action to take.

I am of course concerned about the erosion of civil liberties in our democracies. There was a wonderful period in the 60s and 70s when many of the basic liberties we now take for granted were established in the UK and US. Since around 1980 a variety of politicians under a variety of political flags have been trying to take those liberties away from us. I'm not as worried about CCTV cameras as the symbol of that erosion since they seem to have been as useful in catching crooks and crooked cops as anything else, at least so far. I am more worried about any extension of police powers, erosion of civil liberties in general and rationales allowing 'authorities' further unchecked, unsupervised behaviour. It's up to us to remain vigilant and aggressively vocal wherever we can be heard. I believe we also have to extend our civil liberties, building on the gains made in that 60s/70s decade. I think we can do it, and that we have to keep a clear eye on what's happening. ... If we have to take to the streets, flood our politicians' mailboxes, make it harder for them not to hear us than to hear us and so on, then we must be prepared to spend the time doing it.

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