The Swerve is a romantic tale of a book lover, but it is so much more. True--it's a tale of passion and sacrifice, but also of fanaticism and philosophical determination. The war of beliefs that rages today is not new, but is merely a continuation of fear versus reason, and belief versus logic. The violence we see between ourselves stem from the same ignorance and hatred, fear and exercise of domination. Heretics who believed in atoms and the end of the soul were burned at the stake, after torture and mutilation, in the name of religion. Ideas had power then and a whisper of complaint could cost you your life. We war, still, at rallies, marches and over the internet. What is this desire to control the hearts and minds of our fellow human beings, I'll never understand. Reading The Swerve showed me that intolerance is not new, and we have not evolved. Funny that Thomas Jefferson considered himself an Epicurean. America was built along the linage of Democritus, which describes a civilization more appealing than fire and brimstone. Is fear truly the only way to advance our civilization?
Addendum: A belief system not addressed in The Swerve is a Republican/Conservative one that holds corporations at the same or higher regard as people. Workers and consumers are important only to further the profit of the corporation. Unfortunate side effects such as pollution, toxic products, and dangerous working conditions, and fraud are ignored, denied or tolerated for profit-driven growth. Like the church of old, anyone who disagrees with this will be shouted down, stomped upon, or ridiculed. This election is a battle between humanism and corporation-ists. Like the yin/yang symbol, both sides bear blemishes of the other.
So, new visions have entered the world stage, but the method by which they battle has not changed, it has become more psychological, perhaps, but just as manipulative.
Oh, by the way, I highly recommend this book.