Friday, February 05, 2010
The First World War ended in 1991. The fighting had quite petered out well before the end in any case. All that remained were some colonial wars administered by the successor of the Royal Navy guarding the world trade lanes. This is how the short century now appears to us but this provisional perspective will probably change as our view gets longer. It might be, though it does not appear that likely at the moment, that we will once have such continuous spans that one can see this mad half millennium of explosion of information, technology and people as one single, brief moment in history. At this crest (and that's where we have always been), there is no way of knowing, no certainty of direction, no finality of judgement on the past. It is a gloomy moment, surely, with this decadent triumph of capital (which once seemed like a very messy, partial victory of reason, progress and social liberalism, but a victory nevertheless) - it is only a brief moment though. Who knows what will come, this particular constellation will shortly pass.