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One answer from Kingsnorth’s fiction lies in limits. No human, nor all of us put together, is sovereign over the fate of the world, despite the unprecedented power we enjoy over life and death within it.
What would be helpful is a book that acknowledge both sets of trends and moves beyond name-calling to begin the hard work of engaging in the tensions and trade-offs between them. Beneficial too would be a clear-eyed encounter with the fact that measures of human happiness and fulfillment have not skyrocketed along with our greater health and wealth. People need more than just more stuff.
Paul Schrader, the famed screenwriter and director, does not make subtle films. His latest movie, First Reformed--the story of a depressed, emotionally exhausted, and...