Ban Ki-Moon: Our “Darkening Horizons”

In a speech yesterday, which unfortunately didn’t seem to get the media attention it deserved, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned that the global situation is worsening and that our horizons are darkening.

Did I retire The Dark Age Blog too soon? Or, just in time?

Readers of The Chrysalis who were also former subscribers to TDAB probably recall how bleak it was. For almost a decade, and through around 900 essays, TDAB raged against the blind tunnel-vision of the Mr. Happy Face “end of history” Polyannas while tracking the evident signs of civilisational disintegration and decay to which they seemed oblivious. I have to admit I frequently felt like a Cassandra. A time of Polyannas and Cassandras. What an age!

I retired The Dark Age Blog, to the lament of some subscribers, because I felt the need to refocus attention on the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” — the possibilities of a “new era” or a “new mutation”, as Jean Gebser would have it — arising and emerging from the ruins of the old era and its consciousness. I wanted to explore the possibilities of our outrunning or leaping ahead of the tsunami that seemed to me increasingly unavoidable — a new Dark Age, a new eclipse of the spirit, Nietzsche’s “two centuries of nihilism”.  I wanted to explore that question of whether the disintegration and incoherence of the times — its deconstruction — hid an essential re-structuration, too: a civilisational “dark night of the s0ul” that presaged a new dawn.

But, whether or not we can anticipate such a new dawn, it now occurs to one of the highest offices in the world that, yes, our horizons are indeed darkening and that, yes indeed, we could be facing a new Dark Age — something not exactly anticipated as the real meaning of “the end of history” and its myopic, polyanna-ish, and darkly comic triumphalism. I had to ask myself how human beings could be so deluded and so amenable to being deluded.

It took me a while to understand that Dark Age wasn’t something looming on the horizon, but what we were in already, although perhaps not the uttermost depths of it. The Dark Age Blog felt increasingly like closing the barn doors after the horses had already bolted. Why belabour it?

So, now the UN Secretary General has said it, four years after I retried The Dark Age Blog — our horizons are darkened. We aren’t walking in very good paths. Whatever opportunities and moments we had to outrun the worst of it we seem to have missed taking. The question now is not how to outrun it, but how to get out of it — “in one piece”, as the saying goes.

The disintegration and de-coherence of the Modern Era may not be the literal end of the world (although it may come pretty damned close). The cure for Dark Age is to lighten up. So, I think TDAB was retired at just the right time. It was beginning to feel like I was looking at our reality through a rear-view mirror.

There are still too many self-important and self-aggrandising conceits, too many mass delusions and self-deceptions, too much narcissism for Ban Ki-Moon’s warning to be taken seriously. That’s why it didn’t get the attention it should have received. “You can’t stop progress”, eh?

It’s the Age of Ironies, too.




4 responses to “Ban Ki-Moon: Our “Darkening Horizons””

  1. LittleBigMan says :

    Yes, indeed, TDAB was the crown jewel of the internet, as The Chrysalis is that today. I’m sure I will remember TDAB and The Chrysalis even in the afterlife as one of the highlights and great gifts of my time on earth. It also restored my faith in humanity to see that individuals like yourself, Scott, do exist out there in the great expanse of the world.

    At the same time, in order to be true to the truth-seeking spirit of The Chrysalis, I must admit that I think Ban Ki-Moon and the organization he is the figurehead of are just as corrupt as Mr. Harper and the government he is the figurehead of. I interacted with the UN and its officers long before Ban Ki-Moon took office, but I found the organization and its officers to be highly deceptive, corrupt, and disingenuous.

    In my opinion, and given my unfortunately long experience with them, the UN, and the crimes that have been committed under its flagship, is one reason why we are in this Dark Age. The UN is the epitome of a puppet organization.

    Here’s how the former U.S. Ambassador, Frank Rudy described the U.N. at one time (It is from a video clip that I transcribed a few years back):

    “The United Nations has no activity. It can’t require anybody to do anything. It can get people together and they sit around and talk and agree to do nothing. And that’s essentially how the United Nations works. It is a big political machine. It has nothing to do with right or wrong.”

    Frank Rudy was correct about most of what he said, except of course that the UN is a “political machine.” Here is how Erwin Lang, the Austrian Foreign Minister (1983 – 1984), described the UN while dismissing it as a political machine (once again this is from my transcription of comments from the same video clip):

    “The present generation of politicians has no feeling for them [that is, for people’s jobs and rights]. They are neo-liberalists and they want to make money and get influence for making even more money. It’s a money-maker generation [of politicians] not a political generation, even if they are politicians.”

    So, Ban Ki-Moon’s statements in his address come too late. Especially, considering the fact that he was in the middle of it all. With those words, he is trying to restore credibility to an organization that has none left. But the great powers know that if they abolish the UN simply on the basis of its not being effective at all, then, that would be hugely detrimental to the psyche of the masses globally. So, the great powers keep funding this flagship of mass deception with the money from taxpayers who will then watch their TV just to see and hear that the organization accomplishes nothing. Even as the great powers agree on something behind closed doors and then run it through the UN microphones just to make it look as if it was the UN that got it done.

    • Scott Preston says :

      The UN is dysfunctional and toothless because nation-states still guard their prerogatives and sovereignty quite jealously, and because there is no real universal consensus about what “human” actually means, or whether even humans have a shared destination or purpose at all. The nations are not really “united” about anything, much as our universities.

      The only purpose of the UN is to try to prevent World War III from breaking out. It really doesn’t have a positive programme apart from that, nor do the member states want it to have much more of a role than that.

      Before the UN can actually function as a “united nations” at all, there needs to be a universal history of the human experience as a whole. There isn’t one, although Rosenstock-Huessy felt that this was the great task of the planetary era. In other words, a new “grand narrative”. As long as all the nations are pulling in different directions, we can’t speak of them as “united” in any sense.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        Yes, definitely, at macro-level, the UN Security Council will do what it can to prevent the next world war.

        But at micro-level – and I am talking, for example, about the individual who heads the UN office branch in a disaster region or country – there is a great deal of embezzlement of allocated funds by the UN officers in charge, violation of trust, and intentional failure to follow due process.

        Ideally, the UN representatives themselves must be selected from those who have had the dire need to use their services at some point in the past. But, in practice, they are the children of the elite from various nations. This creates a huge disconnect between those who are put in charge of dispensing services and those who are to receive them.

        Here’s one but the tip of the iceberg involving Kofi Annan’s son, Koji Annan:

      • LittleBigMan says :

        By the way, the example of Koji Annan is an example at the top. There are lots of minions at the UN regional offices who are utterly corrupt. Every time you hear a regional UN office is ransacked, it is exactly because of the actions of those corrupt regional minions that have upset a lot of people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: