The Tenets of Dieselpunk Culture

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Tesla Express by Stefan
Artwork by Stefan Prohaczka

As dieselpunk has began to foster a mindset of its own, it is only prudent to wonder what exactly defines this new and exciting attitude. In “The Tenents of Dieselpunk Culture,” Tome Wilson of Dieselpunks proposes a range of pillars that inspire the dieselpunk mentality.

“Dieselpunks are not interested in historical purity,” writes Wilson. They don’t hide in the coffins of history. Rather than confusing the past with the present, dieselpunk fuses the two, building “something new that would be unexpected in any age.” But it’s more than that. “It is not enough to live in the shadow of another generation,” he attests. Dieselpunk enthusiasts should not be content with reviving past ideas or inventions; they must have their eyes firmly fixed on the future to “achieve greatness and inspire others to do the same.”

Every dieselpunk is an individual in this progress. The community may bolster his efforts, but he and he alone is responsible for fulfilling his potential.

Like a skyscraper, a dieselpunk should reach for the greatest heights imaginable knowing that he is supported by the experience of those around him, but he should not rely on others to push him upwards.

“The greatest crime a dieselpunk can commit,” according to Wilson, “is not contributing to his own vision of the future.” He cannot afford to rely on the efforts of others nor demand entitlement to the fruits of another man’s labor. The dieselpunk enthusiast sets out to make his own future, armed with whatever tool is at his disposal, be it the brush, the pen, the camera, or the wrench. “Unrestricted by class, gender or prejudice, dieselpunks are free to build our own vision of the future; limited only by our own ambition.”

This is the New Promethean mindset that Dieselpunks is trying to give meaning to. It entails a decidedly different perspective from the blissful reminiscence of steampunk. Steampunk explores a past that wasn’t. Dieselpunk craves a tomorrow that never came to be: a proud future of accomplishment and industry, free of guilt and smallness. Nostalgia merely provides the dieselpunk with inspiration. His imagination can shape the future.

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