It’s interesting that a science of turbulence, Chaos Theory, has arisen in the course of one of the most turbulent ages in history — what we have taken to calling “the post-modern”. Although the term “post-modern” only came into self-conscious use apparently around 1973, we have been hurled into the post-modern condition since the First World War shattered the dreams of, and prospects for, an Age of Reason and the ideal of “universal reason”.
The phrase “the gloves have come off” gained some notoriety in early 2003 when it was uttered by a White House official in respect of the impending invasion of Iraq. The commentariat at the time found the phrase perturbing in its implications. Consternation was voiced in many places about the abandonment of the instruments of law and treaty, the bonds of common principle, the exercise of diplomacy, the common ties of decorum and propriety, shared scruple, rights, or just plain old decency.