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Chilton Williamson had a very thoughtful essay in this month’s issue of Chronicles which reflects upon the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan and could encompass which takes place in our “post-modern” world. Here’s an important excerpt:
“What the postmodern world will not recognize is that it is vulnerable to the exact degree that it is marvelous, It is exquisitely fragile, not least because it is founded on the same exquisite ephemera which makes up its substance. Indeed, we are aware of this fragility. The postmodern world stands with bated breath in anticipation of catastrophic blows to its fantastic, nearly expansive and ultimately unfathomable structure: power outages, computer crashes, hacking by terrorist and enemy spies, viruses, systematic malfunction and so forth. It also lives in fear of late-industrial and postmodern weaponry, weapons of mass destruction, sparing employed since their inception but who can say for how much longer?
I am not a statistician or even a bridge player, but certainly it seems reasonable to expect that, sooner or later, all hell must break loose among the nations of the world and its highly mobile, non-national entities. If the cyber network system implodes or is taken down and of war, invasion or revolution should occur internationally, the postmodern world will vaporize like an exorcised genie, only the potsherds of the vessel from which it issued remaining behind. Mankind would find itself rudely returned to something like the original state of nature.
Although I doubt he had it in mind, Mr. Williams may well be channeling this movie as an example of what he means.