Magazine article New Internationalist

The Berlusconi Bonus

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Berlusconi Bonus

Article excerpt

The Berlusconi Bonus by Allan Cameron (Luath Press ISBN 184282 057 5)

Allan Cameron's intriguing novel is set in a near future world where the predictions of the US theorist Francis Fukuyama have been taken to their logical conclusions. Fukuyama declared that, with the collapse of the USSR and the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism, history had come to an end. In Cameron's book, history has indeed 1 been halted by decree and the citizens live in a permanent present of spurious consumer choice and endless material consumption, their bovine lives ruled by the embedding of Rational Consumer Implant Cards in their brains. A cardless underclass exists in the Fukuyama Theme Parks, vast squalid concentration camps on the outskirts of the cities. At the pinnacle of this society sit those lucky individuals who. because of their dedicated oursuit of stuoendous wealth, are awarded the Plutocratic Social Gratitude Award, popularly nicknamed The Berlusconi Bonus as it effectively puts the recipient above the law. …

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