It is a rare thing when human events run ahead of science-fiction predictions. Usually, we’re years behind: According to George Orwell, we should have been living under the boot heel of a high-tech fascist panopticon state since the Reagan administration, while Philip K. Dick had cyborgs digging away as extraplanetary miners during the first Clinton term. But we are running well ahead of Star Trek: According to canonical sources, we were not supposed to encounter the Borg until sometime in the ’60s — the 2360s — but here is Melissa Harris-Perry of Tulane University and MSNBC, some 350 years or so ahead of schedule, announcing that we will be assimilated — and that resistance is indeed futile.
In April, Professor Harris-Perry declared herself at war with the “private notion of children,” in favor of a “collective notion” of child-rearing. “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities,” she declared. Once the private notion of family has been abolished, then every child is “everybody’s responsibility,” and objections to the progressive political agenda inevitably evaporate. The reaction on the right was electric, but she remained fixed in her ideology. When critics pointed out that she was in effect calling for the political abolition of the family and its replacement with the state, she reiterated her point in classically progressive language, harkening back to Rousseau: “We as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good.”