Q :Do you think the future is going to be dangerous?
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Sagan : Absolutely. The present is quite dangerous also, though. Let me give you an example. I think it’s clear that none of the forms of government that exist in any of the 200 or so countries on the earth today are applicable to the middle of the next century. Not a one. We have to get from here to there somehow. How can you do that without disturbing the here? The world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. Human survival depends on dealing with those changes, but governments generally are concerned with changing nothing.
I think that any nation with a serious concern about the future would be busy inventing experimental communities to try, on a practical basis, to find the society that is going to work in the middle of the twenty-first century. I think the alternative communities of the Sixties were a premonition, a spontaneous recognition by a lot of people that society, by and large, wasn’t working, and that they had to see what else they could do. The larger society was unhappy with the idea of alternatives. The possibility of a better world is a rebuke. It says, “Why haven’t you worked to make that change?” Since very few of us manage to make any significant changes, we tend to resist that exhortation.