Archive for September, 2016

I’ve been getting kind of bored with what I’ve been posting lately, which is why I haven’t added anything in several months. I’ve kept starting entries and then trashing them because they were too abstract and intellectual to hold even my own interest.

Part of the problem has been that since last spring we’ve entered one of those transitions where everything stable and familiar falls apart and the active visions undergo a transformation that will set up the ruling assumptions of the next forty or fifty years. When something like that happens, everything else seems trivial by comparison.

Moments like these represent unique points of indeterminacy in the cycle. During prolonged periods of stability, the visions unfold in a way that is largely predetermined. But when the world is in flux, multiple paths spread out before us and a choice of futures is possible. And then we select just one, and the others go back into the box of might-have-been and someday-maybe.

However, this indeterminacy applies only to the newest visions. The older ones, which have long since lost their own capacity for creative innovation, will merely be reshaped by the impact of those that are younger and more dynamic.

The two oldest of the current visions — democracy and chaos — will fare the worst. The partnership between them, which has provided the consensus norms of our society since the 1970s, is in a state of collapse due to its inability to resolve the financial meltdown of 2008. And the democracy vision in particular, which has been hollowed out by rampant corruption and inequality, has suffered a loss of legitimacy from which it will never recover.

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