Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, November 06, 2005
Guardian Fuel's paradise? Power source that turns physics on its head: "It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. If that does not sound radical enough, how about this: the principle behind the source turns modern physics on its head." Anti-innovation failure This is the sort of thing that could halt the dark age in its tracks. Still, they do say that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Sailors demand Somalia protection: "Ships off Somalia need extra protection because of the upsurge in piracy in the region, a UK maritime union has said." International disintegration

Malaysia warned over pirated CDs: "Pirated discs produced in Malaysia have been found across Europe, Asia, Latin America and, most recently, in South Africa. " Although the story is specifically about attempted integration, it hints at an underlying situation of international disintegration-disorganisation coupling.

Malaysia warned over pirated CDs: "Pirated discs produced in Malaysia have been found across Europe, Asia, Latin America and, most recently, in South Africa. " Although the story is specifically about attempted integration, it hints at an underlying situation of international disintegration-disorganisation coupling.

French riots rage despite warning "France has suffered its heaviest riot damage yet as warnings of tough prison sentences failed to deter arsonists." Internal disintegration The Camp of the Saints looks prophetic.

COPS CALL FOR END OF DRUG WAR "One of the most influential groups calling for the government to end the war on drugs is an organization of law officers that have first hand experience of its failures, according to The Albuquerque Tribune...Despite massive budgets and resources thrown at the problem LEAP members point out that usage of methamphetamines is exploding throughout the country. Jack Cole, the executive director of LEAP says" Internal disintegration The war on drugs has, just as the global war against poverty or the various campaigns against racism, seen very limited success.

'Unrest' in Iran Arabic province "Ethnic unrest has broken out in Iran's Arabic-speaking province of Khuzestan, according to Iranian media. One newspaper reported that around 200 protesters gathered in the city of Ahvaz to shout anti-government slogans...In April, days of rioting by Arabs in the oil-rich province led to several deaths and hundreds of arrests after protests at government plans to encourage more ethnic Persian Iranians to move to the province." Internal discohesion Should the remige of the Mullahs be overtoppled, we might expect the process of disintegration to deepen.

Historic Iraqi flight to Tehran "An Iraqi passenger plane has landed in the Iranian capital, Tehran, for the first time since the outbreak of war between the two countries 25 years ago." International cohesion/organisation

Somali PM 'escapes convoy blast' "Mr Gedi was making his second visit to Mogadishu since his appointment at the helm of the transitional government. Officials said he was travelling from the airport into the centre of the city when his convoy was attacked by gunmen, who hurled grenades and detonated a landmine." Internal disintegration

Saturday, November 05, 2005
UN fears tension in Ethiopia will turn into war International disintegration It is the absence of the hegemon that is most striking and in itself a clear indication to future historians (operating with the benefit of hindsight) that our present global civilisation was reaching its final stage.

Iraq war has exposed us to terror at home, says Meyer The declining civilisation is beset by impasse and contradiction. Everything it does to increase its security ends up decreasing its security.

An unsafe world for US companies: "The White House's failed CEOs have pursued a global agenda that, at best, benefits a narrow slice of the American business community and leaves the rest exposed to a world of popular resentment and economic uncertainty." Expanding world

Tough French warning for rioters "Sporadic violence was reported in Ethiopia on Saturday as police and troops tried to quell unrest blamed for at least 46 deaths this week." Internal discohesion/disintegration 900 cars torched last night. The story is slipping from the news only because it has become a fixture. See also The authorities have cleared away the burned-out vehicles from in front of the tower blocks in Clichy-sous-Bois, but the smouldering resentment felt by the area's young residents cannot be extinguished so quickly.

Ethiopia bids to quell violence "Sporadic violence was reported in Ethiopia on Saturday as police and troops tried to quell unrest blamed for at least 46 deaths this week." Internal disintegration

US launches new offensive in Iraq Attempting to achieve Intern(ation)al integration. The overall message is that the hegemon is still not in control of this part of the planet's surface.

Hooligan bans reach record high "The number of new football banning orders issued in England and Wales in 2004-5 topped 1,000 - bringing the total number of bans in place to 3,153." Internal integration on the one hand. On the other, the practice suggests, that the underlying problem of cohesion has not been resolved.

Waziristan explosion 'kills six' "At least six people have been killed in an explosion in Pakistan's North Waziristan area, close to the Afghan border, the army says." Internal disintegration low intensity conflict

Far-right claims Russian holiday "More than 1,000 ultra-nationalists have marched through central Moscow to mark a new national holiday that has left many Russians bewildered...Swastikas and Nazi salutes were seen among the crowd who carried banners proclaiming the supremacy of the Russian nation." Internal re-cohesion? The break-up of the Soviet Empire came as a humiliating experience for Russia and therefore, a political backlash may ensue. However, according to dark age theory, another age of nationalism is not on the cards.

US-Philippines drills 'must end' "The demands for an end to the US participation came after six marines were accused of raping a woman at a former US naval base earlier this week...The US - the former colonial ruler of the Philippines - kept a strong military presence until its last base was closed by the Manila government in 1992. The role of the US military has long been a divisive issue in the Philippines." International discohesion continues, despite (or, rather, because of) the fact that the hegemon has abandoned a formerly large military base on the Philippines.

Cruise ship repels Somali pirates "At least two boats closed in on the Seabourn Spirit, reportedly firing automatic weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade. But crew took evasive action, repelling the attackers without returning fire." International disintegration As we move towards the dark age we may expect more coasts to become unsafe.

Friday, November 04, 2005
Latin America prepares to 'say no to Bush' International discohesion Ascendant civilisations enjoy the loyalty of their own citizens and are respected and admired abroad. At the height of the Roman Empire, everybody wanted to be Roman. King Attalus III of Pergamon left his kingdom to Rome in his will. The west, and its current torchbearer, the USA, is not an ascendant civilisation today.

'Hundreds of years' of oil available "Debating peak oil vs. deep oil perspectives, Smith went head-to-head with Matthew Simmons, author of "Twilight in the Desert" on the cable news outlet's program. Smith, CEO of Swiss America Trading Company, contends that oil is not a fossil fuel. Rather, he believes it is being producing deep within the earth and is brought to attainable depths by centrifugal forces of the earth's rotation. In contrast, Simmons argues that oil is a finite resource and that Saudi Arabian oil supplies are dwindling, putting the world in a possible economic and political crisis." Disorganisation/innovation failure? Well, they can't both be right. However, civilisations never decline because of external problems such as running out of a vital resource, but because they fail to take such things in their stride.

Five jailed for race hate crimes "The organisation, which is a splinter group of the right wing Combat 18, wrote of their hatred of non-whites and articles featured anti-Jewish headlines such as Roast A Rabbi. With a picture of a firebomb, the magazine said: "With the winter nights to shroud you in darkness we thought a few of you would like to don your disguises and rubber gloves and make things a little warmer." And, by the side of a swastika on the front cover, it said: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."" Internal discohesion While the attitudes of these individuals are obviously distasteful, the fifteen years in prison that they have received, following a guilty plea, seem somewhat disproportionate and suggest that the authorities appreciate that such sentiments may be the tip of an iceberg of resentment. See also: Muslim graves destroyed in Handsworth in Birmingham. The dark age site, of course, is not attached to any particular religion or civilisation, and rather believes that, after a large amount of bloodshed in the coming dark age, a greater degree of understanding may be achieved among the world's peoples.

Personal insolvency levels hit new heights in UK "In the third quarter of 2005 the number of individual insolvencies reached the record level of 17,562 - an increase of 46 per cent on the same period last year." Internal disorganisation

Asbos soar by 85%, with Manchester at top of list "The number of antisocial behaviour orders imposed by the courts has begun to accelerate, with 897 issued in the first three months of this year - an 85% increase over the same period in 2004." Internal disintegration? To be sure, evidence that a dark age is coming cannot solely be found in statistics, which are often unreliable.

French unrest spreads outside Paris "A disabled person was badly burned and more than four hundred cars were torched during an eighth night of rioting in Paris suburbs...Reports of unrest surfaced in Rouen in Normandy, Dijon in Burgundy and the Mediterranean port of Marseille. A bus depot was set on fire to the west of Paris in the town of Trappes, near Versailles, destroying 27 buses." Coming dark age After the London bombings, some journalists praised the French for alledgedly being more efficient at integrating immigrants than Britain. Since all large European nations are faced with the same set of societal problems, this recent outburst of violence is a sign of (worse) things to come.

U.S. fears prospect of Saudi coup, weighs invasion plans "The House Armed Services Committee considered the possibility of a Saudi coup and U.S. response during a hearing on Oct. 26... O'Hanlon said such a coup would also destabilize Pakistan, a nuclear power since 1998. "This type of scenario has been discussed for at least two decades and remains of concern today — perhaps even more so — given the surge of terrorist violence in Saudi Arabia in recent years as well as the continued growth and hostile ideology of Al Qaida along with the broader Wahabi movement," O'Hanlon said." Wars coming soon The words are not taken from a conspiracy website but reflect the views of senior figures within the US leadership.

Police Muslim cartoon 'sacrilege' "A chief constable has condemned the portrayal of Muslims in a police magazine cartoon, describing it as offensive and sacrilegious.The Police Federation magazine cartoon shows officers taking their shoes off outside a mosque, as a bearded man escapes clutching bags of explosives." Internal discohesion Changing Britain Related: Family guilty of 'honour killing'

India tightens security for Eid "Extra police have been deployed around mosques and shrines, after the bombings in the Indian capital Delhi last week in which 62 people died." Internal disintegration? Expanding world?

Chinese billionaires on the rise "The number of Chinese billionaires has more than doubled in the past year, according to a survey." Internal organisation However, one should cast an eye at the problem of growing wealth differentials.

Bid to seal off US-Mexico border "A senior US Republican is pushing for the construction of a 2,000-mile (3,200km) fence along the entire length of the US-Mexico border." A reaction to the ongoing barbarian invasion. A physical obstacle will not reverse the societal processes which have led to the present state of disintegration.

Thursday, November 03, 2005
These Stats Are a Crime: "The number of people who went to New York City hospitals because they were assaulted jumped sharply in four of the last five years for which figures are available—a direct contrast to the plunging number of assaults the NYPD reported. " Internal disintegration? A possible antidote to the claims that crime has been plummeting in the US. One should not really trust statistics in either direction. Nevertheless, declining societies increasingly lose touch with reality, for it is only when you accept that you have a problem that you can do something about it.

Thai districts impose martial law "The announcement came as police said three people had been killed in the latest violence in the region, including one man who was beheaded." Internal disintegration low intensity conflict

Vodafone to boost S African stake "The company is also expanding into other African markets and now has three million customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Lesotho and Mozambique." Innovation Mobile telephone services is one of the few areas in which there seems to be some progress in Africa.

Compensation 'fears gripping UK' Internal discohesion-disorganisation coupling The Lord Chancellor wants to reverse this trend, but he will be swimming against the tide of history.

New war fears in Horn of Africa International discohesion in the African dark age. Africa's borders are an artificial legacy of colonialism. Africa's people must fight it out and arrive eventually at a just and sensible way of dividing up their continent. Then they may begin to develop in peace.

Japan, N Korea in 'honest' talks International cohesion

Delays in opening Kashmir border International re-cohesion delayed.

Paris braced for more rioting Internal disintegration See also, French PM holds riot crisis talks.

School language decline continues Internal disorganisation? Perhaps a by-product of an expanding world.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005
US is losing ‘war on terrorism’, say experts "US terrorism experts Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon have reached a stark conclusion about the ‘war on terrorism’: the United States is losing. Despite an early victory over the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the two former Clinton administration officials say President George Bush’s policies have created a new haven for terrorism in Iraq that escalates the potential for violence against Europe and the United States." International disintegration

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | French Muslims face job discrimination "Days of rioting in the bleaker suburbs of Paris have highlighted discontent among many French youths of North African origin." Internal discohesion-disintegration coupling

'Blatant copying' in coursework "Examiners say they detected "blatant copying of material from the internet" in some of this year's coursework for GCSE English...They also said some schools gave students so much help it amounted to "a kind of mass plagiarism"." Internal disorganisation Why make waves? Exam results continue to climb steeply upwards.

Royal visit not yet making waves Internal discohesion? Delegitimisation of the British monarchy is felt abroad.

Hamas Promises to Retain Truce in Israel International cohesion

Violent Clashes at Mexican Border Double "In the face of tightened security along the border, increasingly desperate drug and immigrant traffickers have assaulted agents with rocks, marbles fired from slingshots, even gunfire and Molotov cocktails. At least 687 assaults against agents were recorded in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, up from 354 in the previous year, and the highest since the agency began tracking assaults along the border, the Los Angeles Times reports." Internal disintegration The control over its borders is a principal task of any state.

Delphi demands US auto workers accept poverty wages "Citing the need to rid themselves of “uncompetitive labor agreements”, Delphi executives are demanding: * A 65 percent wage cut for production workers, including a pay reduction for current workers from $27 an hour to as low as $9.50. New-hires will see starting wages lowered from $14 an hour to as low at $9 an hour. * An end to traditional overtime pay. Overtime will no longer be paid after an eight-hour day, but only after working more than a 40-hour week. Cost-of-living adjustments and profit-sharing will be eliminated. * A tenfold increase in out-of-pocket health care expenses for employees, including the imposition of insurance deductibles for the first time." Internal disorganisation? Life becoming harder? (to be fair, the source is not exactly neutral, however, the piece of news would not run against current trends.)

Spain debates Catalonia autonomy "Under the proposals, the affluent region would be called a nation and given the right to control taxation and change laws passed by parliament. The plan is expected to pass a first hearing, but has caused divisions within the ruling Socialist Party and infuriated conservatives." Internal disintegration ahead? The debate is in line with the process of devolution in Britain and attempts at autonomy in Northern Italy. It has to be seen what will emerge out of this trend which is in some way contradicted by the process of European integration.

Deutsche Telekom cuts 32,000 jobs Internal disorganisation

Venezuela threatens US over F-16s "President Hugo Chavez has warned the US he could give some of his country's F-16 fighter jets to Cuba or China. Mr Chavez accused the US of breaking a contract to supply spare parts for the jets it sold to Venezuela in the 1980s." International disintegration - arming the barbarians One reason why hegemonic powers ultimately face decline and defeat is because their (military) technology is diseminated among (potential) adversaries.

'Commuter riot' leaves 20 injured "Passengers and masked demonstrators set fire to their train after being told it would not leave Haedo station, about 15km (nine miles) west of Buenos Aires...Correspondents say the incident was one of the worst in the country since the street rioting seen during Argentina's economic collapse four years ago." Internal disintegration

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
US quake helicopter 'fired upon' International discohesion?

Baghdad on the slide "'The first thing you should know is that the plane lands in a corkscrew landing - perhaps appropriately a downward spiral." Thus began a "visitor's guide" e-mail by Anne Barnard, The Boston Globe's woman in Baghdad. I was familiar with the landing technique, to avoid ground fire, from the bad old days in Cambodia 30 years ago. What surprised me was the downward spiral of Baghdad, despite all I had read." Intern(ation)al disintegration. See also: October proves deadly for US in Iraq

Violence spreads in Zanzibar over disputed elections "Violence spread in the tropical paradise of Zanzibar today as government security forces clashed with opposition supporters over the disputed results of Sunday's elections in the province" Internal disintegration

Popular protests as Syria backs down to UN threats in Hariri probe: "Syria today promised to co-operate fully with a United Nations inquiry into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's best-known politician and former Prime Minister." International integration but international discohesion

Koreas 'to unify Olympics teams' International cohesion

Family targeted in arson attack "Flammable liquid was poured through the letter box of the house at Renown Court at about 0400 GMT on Tuesday as Lisa Allen's two children slept upstairs." Internal disintegration Not Cambodia, not Somalia but the reality in Northern Ireland.

Iraq rebuilding 'hurt by attacks' "Attacks by insurgents on oil pipelines have also disrupted exports... On electricity, the report says supplies have not risen significantly in a year. Once again, it blames persistent insurgent attacks. But rising demand for electricity and fuel do suggest a growth in economic activity overall - and there are now 3.5 million mobile phone users in Iraq." Internal integration-organisation coupling? Meanwhile, the situation in the formerly rather quiet south seems to deteriorate: Basra car bombing causes carnage

Kyrgyz jail unrest claims lives "Mr Zubov said there was rioting in practically all the country's jails after police arrived at Moldovanovka on Tuesday morning to remove 28 inmates suspected of involvement in the killing of MP Tynychbek Akmatbayev, two deputies and prison system director Ikmatullo Polotov." Internal (dis)integration

Koreas 'to unify Olympics teams' "North and South Korea have agreed to compete as a single team in the 2006 Asian Games and the 2008 Olympics, according to a South Korean official." International cohesion A unified and stronger Korea would pose new challenges to the major players in the region. From a broader dark age point of view, one might speculate whether things would turn out similarly as in Germany in the 1990s.

Drugs bust 'a sledgehammer blow' "HMS Cumberland seized two tonnes of cocaine worth £200m after intercepting a speedboat during a routine patrol." International integration However, we of course agree with the statement of Captain Simon Ancona, HMS Cumberland's commanding officer: "The trouble with the drug trade, especially from South America, is there's no lack of the raw material nor is there a lack of a market, all one can really do is effect the tube in between." From a dark age perspective, the continual existence of a large demand for drugs highlights the underlying problems of internal discohesion.

Monday, October 31, 2005
Fourth night of riots in Paris : "A police union spokesman says a Paris suburb is seeing "civil war."" Internal disintegration

Texas leads nation in household hunger: Internal disorganisation Meanwhile, the minimum wage is held to the floor. Beggaring your workers is ultimately counterproductive, as they are also your customers.

FDLR rebels
Rebels targeted in DR Congo park: "The Democratic Republic of Congo army and United Nations peacekeepers have begun a five-day operation to flush out Rwandan rebels from a national park. Some 2,000 Congolese soldiers backed up by 500 UN troops and attack helicopters have moved into the vast mountainous Virunga park on the border with Rwanda." African dark age

UN steps up pressure on Syrians: "The UN Security Council has unanimously endorsed calls for Syria to co-operate fully with an inquiry into the death of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. However the resolution's sponsors - the US, France and the UK - dropped a specific threat of sanctions at the last minute in order to win support." Wars coming slowly

Gunmen shoot top Iraqi officials "In the latest of almost daily shootings in Baghdad, many of them targeting government officials, a cabinet adviser was killed when his car was attacked by gunmen and a deputy trade minister was wounded in a separate attack." Internal disintegration expanding world

Airport-style scanners for trains "Airport-style security scanners are to be used at London's Paddington railway station, the government is to announce. Heathrow Express passengers will walk through the X-ray machines as part of a trial to establish whether tighter security is possible on the railways." Internal (dis)integration expanding world

Ambush kills 12 Yemeni policemen "The fighting occurred in an area of the country which last year saw repeated clashes between Islamist rebels and government troops. Tribal elders in the north-western Saada province said the policemen were ambushed by armed men as they passed through the town of Munabbah." Internal disintegration low intensity conflict

'Drug lord' arrested in Colombia "The raid was aimed at the last remaining traditional drug cartel
Police in Colombia have arrested an alleged leader of a powerful drug cartel who is wanted in the US for drug trafficking and money laundering." Intern(ation)al integration It is difficult to see much more than an ongoing game of table-tennis with regards to Columbia's overall situation. Another drug lord is arrested, the problems of violence and narcotics traffic remain.