As a look back at old editorials and news reports makes plain, that was unmitigated bullshit then, and it is unmitigated bullshit now. However, watching all that occur I couldn’t help but feel that I had the inside track on this astonishing destructuring of the established world order. I remembered how a few years earlier Silo had said to us that, the Soviet Union had already collapsed; the Soviets just didn’t know it yet and it will take them a few years to realize that their empire has fallen. I for one nodded my head knowingly as if I understood what he was talking about. He went further and claimed something apparently even more ludicrous. He said this (the Soviet collapse) is for all intents and purposes done, but its fall would allow Islam to move with renewed fervor into the West and create enormous upheaval.
The Soviet Union gone, some old religion disrupting the world of global economics and real politic. It was like a joke. The politicians, and pundits (and I along with many of my friends) prefer to remember the extraordinary events that occurred as things we foresaw. We didn’t foresee anything, well clearly Silo did. But as for the rest of us we (and this is my point at last) were all hypnotized by a kind of static naturalism, in this case a vision of the world where a powerful Soviet monolith ruling half the world, immovable, and unchanging.
He also spoke of enormous displacements in China, perhaps because of environmental degradation that would be a great factor of future destabilization. Well we’ll see how he does on that one.
The point is that things do change. Everything is in movement. And from where we sit that movement often seems like a series of cycles. Empires rise and fall. Civilizations are born and die. Day follows night and night is followed by day. The Winter comes and goes making room for summer once again. No wonder some people explained the underlying reality of the world as obeying a law of cycle.
This is now clearer than ever: who — just a few years ago would have thought the United States could so quickly find itself in it’s current situation? Now of course everyone can see how long standing internal divisions have widened into chasms threatening that nation’s stability. And what about the EU? Who would have predicted what would happen when a global pandemic struck? Well a number of experts did of course, but static naturalism made their informed observations seem unbelievable to most everyone else.
Do these enormous instabilities herald the end of a world, or the beginning of a new one? Today, we all are beginning to understand the fragility the system in the face of what is in fact a relatively minor pandemic (imagine if it were as deadly as ebola or small pox and as contagious as measles).
This principle brings me to consider that perhaps this moment that I embrace or reject, celebrate or loath, is a really moment in a larger dance where what was wet becomes dry and what is dry becomes wet, the old fades and the new arises, the decay of death makes the ground fertile for new life.