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Bastani’s book can be read symptomatically as typifying a particular wish-fulfilment-fantasy style of thinking, characteristic of our time – more science fiction than practical manifesto. But while he has correctly identified some of the problems of the present, Bastani’s vision of the future is ironically outmoded. A political vision that equates wellbeing with abundance needs to be retired, if intelligent life on this planet is to have any realistic chance of outlasting the ecological emergency. We urgently need to face the brutal reality that we are not flying out to the stars but heading towards ecological collapse. The only conceivable way to stave off disaster is to be free of outdated fantasies and to strive collectively to soften our crash-landing.

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