Suspicion of disaster as a possibility sometimes succeeds in breaking through the outer shell of social complacency, but in curious self-disarming ways. The acute concern at the recent turn of the century over the “Y2K” computer-programming problem offers a case in point. All sorts of panic-stricken predictions hung on the belief that on 1 January 2000 every computer in the world would shut down causing the infrastructure of the industrial nations to grind to a halt. The “Global Warming” hysteria has something of the same character, with its predictions of a rising ocean inundating Florida and millions of people dying from heat stroke, as even the temperate zones become uninhabitable. To the list of doom-scenarios one could add fear of plague (AIDS, it used to be, or nowadays “bird flu”) or anxiety about a giant-meteor impact of “Dinosaur Killer” magnitude. Such apocalyptic fantasies characteristically elide the most probable cause of any impending systemic collapse of civilization.


2 responses to “Collapse

  1. Pingback: Collapse | Reaction Times

  2. brigadon August 25, 2014 at 4:04 am

    The difference is, no one WANTS a global flooding or asteroid strike. They are not actively agitating and helping it to come about.

    History is also not on the disaster theorists side. Economic societal collapse, however, has happened so many times that it could be said to be inevitable.

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