How it was yesterday, and how it is today, will be how it is tomorrow. This paucity of imagination and historical perspective constitutes one of the most common and dangerous of assumptions – the linearity delusion.
‘As I have always known it, is how it will always be.’
The order that emerged from the conclusion of WW1, and that was cemented into place by WW2, has, exhausted itself. Such order is held in position not just by the institutions (U.S. military, U.N., World Bank, International Court of Justice etc.) that enshrine and enforce it, but by the ubiquitous, perennial longing for permanence and certainty in a world capriciously inclined to chaos.
The failure of this long-standing order will be shocking, even to those aware of its imminent denouement. For those blindsided and thus unprepared, it is nothing less than the church bell announcing their funeral.
When the western Roman Empire collapsed. The population of Rome declined, in no time flat, from an estimated one million living in sewered civilized conditions, to a few thousand goat-herders.
I would stress that I am not predicting such a dire outcome, but neither can I make a convincing case that it won’t happen.
Those most responsible for the coming collapse are those who remain most sure that tomorrow will be the same as today – a/ the neo-cons who aggressively promote the West’s military supremacy, b/ the politicians who take for granted the permanence of the West’s prosperous superiority, and c/ the Woke brigade who assume that there will always be technology and food and a system that will look after them.
The fact that the primary (far from the only) victims of linearity delusion are those more responsible for it will be scant consolation. Schadenfreude (a delight in the misfortunes of another) lingers only for the petty and vindictive.
How it was in the world of yesterday and which still lingers today, will not be how it is for our children in the world of tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be the world of disorder. It will last until a new Order is imposed. It will likely take a few generations – at least.