Friday, October 9, 2015

The Great Devolution


I have been struggling for a while with what to call this period we are currently going through as “a global community of nations”. Is it a second Cold War -- Cold War II: Return of the Improbable & Unnecessary? Is it a new Great Game (now with more graphic violence and gratuitous mass killing)? Or, is it a New Westphalian Era (because we really didn’t have enough megalomaniacs the first time around)?

But none of these epithets seem to capture the spirit of the age, an age in which an order that was more “official” and “formalized,” no matter how tentatively, than anything we have ever had before, is collapsing long before it fulfilled any of its promises, especially those related to democracy, justice, accountability, and the responsibility to protect civilians from all harm, natural, and man-made. Indeed, the only term that seems to make any sense at all is the one long introduced by American science fiction author, Alexander Jablokov, in his celebrated novel, Nimbus (1995): the Devolution Wars. Are we going through the era of the Great Devolution?

Though my understanding of current developments lead me to think of them more as a restructuring process, mostly unguided and, at times, ill-guided, subject to certain objective laws that governs general population dynamics, and the interactions between distinct population groups, be they defined nationally, linguistically, religiously or socioeconomically, I think the term Devolution is far more appealing, and captures enough of the spirit of the age to warrant consideration.

So, welcome to the Great Devolution people, the era where, despite the obviously flawed nature of all our schemes, there will always be enough conspiracy theories and theorists, and enough ideological filths, filth-peddlers, and filters around to keep us all guessing about the “truth” and fighting over our guesses for decades, perhaps even centuries, to come. Come to think of it, perhaps, it should be called The Age of the Great De-Enlightenment. The New Dark Ages – now with far more darkness not so carefully camouflaged under the accumulating pretenses of a know-it-all mentality.