‘Tis the season for making predictions about the events lurking in wait for us all in the upcoming year, and I see no reason to demur from that common if risky habit. Those of my readers who’ve been following my blog since the days of The Archdruid Report know that my method in making these predictions is at once simple, effective, and highly unpopular. Put briefly, I pay attention to what happened when the same conditions occurred in previous historical epochs, and predict that the same consequences are going to follow.
It’s simple because I’ve got five thousand years of history to work with, and since human beings are much less original than they like to think, it’s a safe bet that the events taking place now have occurred many times before, with predictable consequences. It’s effective because, again, human beings are much less original than they like to think, and the more of them get involved in any given event, the more of the Brownian motion brought into being by individual cussedness gets canceled out. Sure, we have lots of shiny new technogimmickry now, but the brains, hearts, and less mentionable organs guiding said technogimmickry haven’t changed noticeably since the end of the last ice age. That’s why the American special forces wasting their time and your money in the northern Euphrates valley right now are enacting a failed strategy that was already old when the legions of the Babylonian Empire were doing the same thing in the same place three thousand-odd years ago.
It’s highly unpopular, finally, because an astonishing number of people in today’s industrial societies labor under the bizarre delusion that when we make the same old mistakes and get the same overfamiliar consequences, we’re actually doing brand new, innovative, unparalleled things that will inevitably succeed in ways nothing has ever succeeded before, and how dare anyone suggest that we might learn something from the lessons of history!
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