The United States has inspired a weird French dystopia. Jean-Christophe Rufin's Globalia, which spent 15 weeks on L'Express' best-seller list, is about what Rufin calls "totalitarian democracy."
The NYT's Alan Riding writes that "In the novel Globalia, which embraces much of North America and Europe and parts of Asia, is the political unit that dominates the globe, aspiring to be a perfect world in which organ replacement ensures extraordinary longevity, private companies flourish and social welfare is guaranteed, political and ethnic conflicts have disappeared thanks to the abolition of history. Its motto is "Liberty, Security, Prosperity."
Riding quotes a passage spoken by a Globalian psychologist: "The greatest threat to liberty is liberty itself. How do we defend liberty against itself? By increasing security. Security is liberty. Security is protection. Protection is surveillance. Surveillance is liberty."
"I didn't want to write an anti-American book," Rufin told the NYT. "That's not the idea. Rather, it is to describe the United States as a laboratory, not a country, a democracy with all the trappings of democracy which, through its internal workings, can become extremely dangerous, if not actually totalitarian."
Such a novel seems at least a half-century late, no? Philip K. Dick (among others) mined this issue rather more imaginatively decades ago.