11 December 2016

The end

It's the end.

Well, it's the events of the end; we can count 2017-01-01 or 2016-12-19 or 2017-01-20 if we want, or
something in the past year, or just wait until whatever future historians there happen to be come to a consensus.

The precise moment doesn't really matter. What matters is, yeah, it's the end.

Not the end of the Enlightenment; the Enlightenment died with Progress in the deicide of the Great War. Not the end of capitalism, because capitalism either began with accounting or was always a lie.  Call it the end of the Century of the Common Man, if you like.

It's clear that the upper classes really don't believe in the consent of the governed. It's clear that the articulation of need by the citizenry is broken. It's clear that the common existential crisis -- climate -- isn't going to be addressed because it hinders the certainty of an existing profit. (This is the distinction between capitalism and aristocracy; the capitalist of myth expects they might lose. The aristocrat is certain God did not produce so defective a universe as that.)

So whatever future we get -- and however much of it -- it's not going to look like the past of living memory. 2016 was the Last Normal Year.

Me, I cope by accumulating hand tools. It's not likely to help but it involves feeling less helpless.


orc said...

IMO, "the end" happened in 2000 when the USSC decided to intervene in the USA's presidential election. That's when the United States was killed (and the death throes pulled in so much of the rest of the western world.) The stain "winning" the US election this year was like sticking another knife into the corpse, but the whole business of a large part of the US deciding that law is for chumps has been going on for a while now.

Graydon said...


I think 2000 is when the Republic fell. No argument from this quarter there.

By "the end" I'm meaning more ... maybe not industrial civilization, but certainly the industrial civilization we expect from past familiarity. And the weather and the seasons.

Kai Jones said...

After all, there's a reason teen dystopias have been incredibly popular basically since...about when my kids became teens.

Icehawk said...

Remember the 'End of History' in the 1990s?
Remember the 'permanent Republican majority' in 2001?

Things continue to change, in unexpected ways. Only in hindsight are things clearer.

For example, I had no clue when I spent '96-00 at grad school in the US that I was there in the USA's golden age. The college kids I taught were so optimistic, so happy, they expected a bright shining future.

The future will surprise us yet.

orc said...

The future is likely to surprise the fascists; thousand year reiches don't tend to last as long as expected, and the disintegration of this one is likely to be extraordinarily spectacular.