The Near Future: A Picture of “Havoc”

We have referred recently to the economist Peter Pogany’s posthumously published new book Havoc, Thy Name is Twenty-First Century which interprets the near future of the Earth and the world economy through the lens of thermodynamics.

This morning I received one of my regular notifications of new articles published at TomDispatch.com (The Nation Institute). Usually, I leave these missives largely unread, but this one, by John Feffer, attracted my attention because it paints a very clear picture of that near future “havoc” that Pogany anticipated in his book.

On the Verge of the Great Unraveling” is a kind of thought-experiment on that near term future of global havoc. Although it’s likely that Feffer didn’t have Pogany’s book in mind when he wrote it, the article seems itself to be a fitting footnote to the book. Feffer imagines himself as a “geo-paleontologist” writing in 2050, and the article purports to be an excerpt from his study called “Splinterlands”, an experiment in the imagined contemporary history of the Earth and the course of “globalisation” from 2016 to 2050.

Feffer has done a great job of picturing both Pogany’s “havoc” and Jean Gebser’s anticipation of “global catastrophe” in the present dis-integrative tendency of Late Modernity (and if anything, he may have even understated it). There’s quite a bit in it that I could comment upon further, but I believe it to be a fairly accurate characterisation of the ultimate “endgame” of the present Era, if not the culmination of Nietzsche’s anticipated “two centuries of nihilism”.

 

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2 responses to “The Near Future: A Picture of “Havoc””

  1. abdulmonem says :

    It is a crying scene. The aftermath of the blind invasion of Iraq. Disintegration everywhere.When law and morality go, everything goes as Feller said. The picture is horrifying, nobody can put it in a graspable vision. The multi-dimensional and ever-expanding ramifications are beyond the perception of the human,beyond his imagination. The deluded human control over the land appears glaringly obvious. Terror groups, the breed of the states terror are shouting everywhere. What is built on lie ends in the pit of demolition. Lies against the divine truth can not continue and death is the end of everything but death is at the same time is a door to a wider convivial world where we all will be in the presence of the divine that have recorded everything. Let the atheists rejoice before they die. I expected Scott to be more expressive in this dire description of the the movement of our global ship. My hope can not falter.

    • Scott Preston says :

      A “crying scene” indeed, and unless something unexpected occurs to thwart this near future scenario, it’s all very likely — a pretty accurate take on Pogany’s “havoc”. Any chance we had of dodging this outcome we probably blew by already without grasping it.

      I think that point was after the demise of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. But Fukuyama came out with his “end of history” screed and lulled everyone into smug complacency. I think that’s the point in which the probably future described by Feffer became an inevitable fate for us. I was really outraged by that.

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