Sunday, July 29, 2018

the unpredictable future and its possibilities

One thing that predictions about the future have in common is that they’re always wrong. That’s because we know nothing at all about the future but we know a lot about the present. Therefore we assume the future will be just like the present, only more so.

The problem is that sometimes the future turns out to be nothing at all like the present. That’s because unexpected spectacular events occur that change everything. A good example is the First World War. It’s not that the war itself was unexpected. What was not anticipated was that this would be a new type of war and that its political, economic, social and psychological results would be unprecedented. European civilisation as it has existed up to 1914 ceased to exist and a new civilisation took its place. And all the rules had changed.

The Bolshevik Revolution had a similar effect. There had been successful revolutions before. The idea of a socialist revolution had been around for many years. But the cataclysmic nature of the Bolshevik Revolution was not anticipated.

The combination of these two events ushered in a world that nobody in 1913 could possibly have anticipated.

The thing about unexpected events is that we call them unexpected events because they’re unexpected. By their very nature they cannot be predicted.

This has relevance to the situation in which our society finds itself today, and it has enormous relevance for anyone who believes that the way things have been going for a half century or so simply cannot continue, that some kind of drastic change is inevitable and necessary.

If we view the future as something that will be just like the present, only more so, then our options for effecting change are extremely limited. In fact our only real option is to try to work within the existing “democratic” framework and given that our enemies have an absolute stranglehold on the media (both the old media and social media) and on the education system the odds are very much stacked against us. And our only viable strategy would appear to be to try to slow down the pace of social destruction - fighting defensive battles that so far have invariably ended in retreats which quickly become full-scale routs. And it has to be said that if the future really is going to be pretty much like the present then our chances of success are very very poor.

But as we’ve seen the future is often entirely different from what we were expecting. And this is not something rare. Game-changing events on the scale of the First World War are not very frequent but less spectacular examples occur quite frequently. Such events are often unpleasant. When history springs a surprise on us it’s not very often a pleasant surprise. But such events are always opportunities. They can create entirely new possibilities. Fascism did not even exist before 1914 but the First World and the Bolshevik Revolution created the possibility for such a movement and Mussolini grabbed the opportunity with both hands and gained control of Italy in a bloodless revolution. In 1914 the Bolsheviks were irrelevant and Lenin seemed destined to die in exile, just another forgotten failed revolutionary. The First World War changed the game and by 1917, under the new rules, Lenin had won the game.

So defensive strategies, just trying to hold the line against the tidal wave of the Poz, are futile. If even if tomorrow is going to be pretty much like today those strategies don’t work anyway. And if the future holds unexpected surprises and opportunities then such defeatist strategies are nothing but a hindrance. It’s better to aim at achieving something real and worthwhile, a genuine restoration of sanity and normality. At least it’s inspiring to have such objectives and if and when an opportunity does arise, if the rules of the game do get changed, it’s a good idea to be prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity.

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