May 27, 2004

Proposed theory of living history:

Human history can be encapsulated within two major dynamic movements:
  1. invasion/raiding/settlement/colonisation/immigration/forces from outside seeking to exploit existing settled areas, concluding with either annihilation or assimilation;

  2. polarised and mutually intolerant schism along the core conceptual framework of the time (belief system, nationalism, industrialisation, economics), dividing either internally (where the political structure is large and established enough) or externally (between nation-states), ending with its loss of relevance and replacement by a new core conceptual framework.
If this theory holds any water, the seeming current dominance of capitalism in the previous (economics) polemic might have arrested any possible further evolution, and perhaps frozen us in a state of perpetual and inevitable war. Polemic struggles tend to continue until what is being fought over no longer has relevance ... but utter dominance by one might keep any other values from surfacing. Historically such stalemate has sometimes been shattered by invasion-as-exploitation: a possible explanation for borders in dominant countries being tightened and tariffs raised. (Such countries, after all, would not find change in their interest.)

Another alternative is that the conceptual framework has already invisibly shifted, with new lines of polarised and dynamic contention being drawn. Some have called this the Information Age, but "Info-tainment" Age might be more appropriate. What with so many people just tuning out what they find unnecessary or irrelevant, image and presentation to demonstrate personal relevance to paradigm becomes far more important than content. Thus, I don't think access to and use of information will turn out to become a core conceptual framework: tool/mould/casting of that framework, rather; mirror-image fitting into whichever pole of the evolving dynamic paired-opposites is adhered to.

For now, I suggest fundamentalism ... the mono-idea generally: such that all else cannot but be seen through that filtre, all fields of knowledge subsumed within that theorising. (Although that is too loose: all those frameworks could fit within this definition. Have to work on this further.) Perhaps: political/religious v. political/economic v. political/academic (postmodern?) fundamentalism? A three-way polarity?

Leave it there for today.

Smile of the day:

Three people in a prison camp decide to compare why they had been sent there. The first one says: "I was late for work, so I was arrested for sabotage."

The second one says: "I was early, so I was arrested for spying."

The third one says: "I was on time; I was arrested for buying a foreign watch off the black market."

(Slavic humour!)

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