My first thought is bullying, as it's something I’ve written about, and because it's a great problem for young people in many places, but I only have to look at the book Tom Brown’s School Days, the 1859 novel by Thomas Hughes, to know that it is not a new social problem.
Is it still slavery? What slavery? Slavery was abolished years ago. But what of sexual slavery, and the slavery of under classes in third world countries, working in subsistence conditions to produce western goods.
I have to ask, what in the world has really changed? The problems of almost two hundred years ago still exist today, though we hide them all the better in places further afield, or in sweat shops that we still ignore.
To me, the social conscience is changing, but never changing. The ills of the world move position, they hide for a while until they are uncovered again, but they are still around, just shifted to somewhere new. The London slums of Charles Dickens still exist in the slums of Asia, Africa and the Americas. The slavery of Mark Twain, still exists in sweat shops and sex houses on almost every continent, and in almost every developed and under-developed country in the world.
As present day authors, we still have a challenge, and always will, to alert the world to what is wrong; what can be better; how we can improve the human condition. I look back at my own writing and see that I have done so almost unconsciously. It’s simply part of my being to write what I think. I look at internet threads by other authors, and see their outrage… then they write about it.
Cheers to you all. Write angry words; write words of your experience, never fear to say that something is wrong, though we have all suffered from saying so. Write what your heart tells you, my brothers and sisters - wherever you are.