Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, July 16, 2006
The Coming Dark Age by Roberto Vacca The classic analysis, written in the 1970s. Perhaps he was a little under the influence of the oil shocks, but Mr Vacca deserves much credit for his prescience.

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs: "A Dark Age is a culture's dead end." Wrong. A dark age is a time of renewal.

Peoples of the Dark Ages: "In the aftermath of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, a new era began in Europe and the Mediterranean world. The ancient certainties of the Pax Romana lay in ruins and while the eastern emperors, ruling from Constantinople, kept the light of Roman civilisation burning, in the west that light flickered and almost... almost, went out. " Previous dark age

DARK AGE "Sometime around the turn of both centuries everything went to hell. The world was crawling out from under its third recession in twenty years. Everything added up to end the idea of a bright clean future. The rising world population, urban sprawl, record unemployment and the unwillingness of those in power to change brought about civil unrest and even civil war. The next 150 years are whirlwind of future shocks and manmade terrors." Coming dark age

The Zimbabwean Pundit: Eddie Cross: The dark ages "We tend to forget that Europe went through a long period of history, which is now loosely described as the "dark ages"...Could it be that Africa is going through such an era?" African dark age

Army hit by 3,000 front line shortfall "The Army is short of 3,000 infantry as soldiers quit because of the war in Iraq, leaked documents reveal." International disintegration-internal discohesion coupling

Cross border independence backing "The drive towards independence is gathering momentum in England as well as Scotland, it has been claimed." Internal disintegration/discohesion Political/social fragmentation is a classic dark age sign.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
Becoming Israel's greatest enemy: "The Qassams regularly fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza at Israeli towns have inflicted some casualties, but are crude, blunt instruments - rusty iron pipes welded together with engines and fins in secret workshops in Gaza. What was left of this Katyusha betrayed a sleek, professional weapon - slimmer, steelier, more lethal than its homemade brother." Disintegration Levelling the playing field. Even the terrorists and insurgents have rockets. This is why the hegemon and states in general find it increasingly hard to dominate. For re-integration, some technological/sociological breakthrough is needed to un-level the playing field again and allow political authorities to dominate. It probably needs a dark age before that will occur.

Somali refugees languish in Yemen "An average of 30 boats, carrying more than 1,000 people, set sail every month in 2005. But because of a new round of factional fighting this year, even more people have been setting out, despite the heavy risks involved in making the crossing." African dark age Africans are today's barbarians. The lights have already gone out in many parts of their continent and this site thinks they could at some point lead the world out of the turbulent times that lie ahead. See also: Chirac warns of 'African flood'

Gunmen abduct Iraq Olympic chief Expanding world

El Salvador swoops on street gang "There are believed to be more than 10,000 gang members in El Salvador. In February, several Central American countries signed an agreement to help combat organised crime and tackle the gangs, seen as the main security threat in the region." Internal (dis-)integration The story tells us more about problems within the economy and society of El Salvador rather than about the success of its police in dealing with the matter. If thousands of young men join a "gang" that implies that other, legal opportunities must be rather sparse.

US city gets tough on immigrants "A city council in Pennsylvania has passed what are said to be some of the strictest local laws on illegal immigrants in the United States." Barbarian invasion The measure is a drop in the ocean and will hardly change the underlying realities that have lead to today's situation.

Friday, July 14, 2006
65% of Brits now regard U.S. influence in the world as 'predominantly malign' "A majority of Britons think American culture and the actions of the present US administration are making the world a 'worse place to live in,' and well over half of those interviewed regard the US as an 'imperial power bent on dominating the world by one means or another.'" International disintegration-discohesion coupling This opinion would change quickly if the US could achieve a convincing 'win' in Iraq or anywhere. Even the Arab world would rediscover its admiration of American culture if the American legions brought peace and economic growth. Rome, which conquered both Britain and Arabia, was an 'imperial power bent on dominating the world by one means or another,' but its historical reputation is pretty fine.

Plug pulled on all-night lighting "Councillor Rodney Bass said: "We take very seriously our responsibility to take local action on global environmental issues. "We encourage residents to think about the impact of their personal actions and we expect our staff to be equally responsible about saving energy." Internal disorganisation

VAT fraud 'reaches record levels' "Criminal activity may have accounted for £6.5bn worth of UK trade in the last quarter alone...Officials say that fraudsters import goods from Europe tax free, sell them with VAT, then disappear without passing the tax on to the government." Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling

Thursday, July 13, 2006
Israel attacks Beirut airport after rockets hit Haifa International disintegration

Yushchenko Rival Nominated in Ukraine - Forbes.com "Ukraine's newly created pro-Russian governing coalition on Tuesday proposed a bitter rival of President Viktor Yushchenko as the next prime minister, an appointment that would mark a humiliating defeat for the president." International disintegration/discohesion? Last year Ukraine, thanks to its "Orange Revolution", seemed to be on its way to eventual EU and NATO membership, delivering a severe blow to Russia's drive to consolidate its new found economic and political power over the "Eurasian Chessboard" and particularly over its so-called near abroad. But now things there may be unraveling for the West. Ukraine is a large, populous, and potentially rich geopolitical prize for which ever side can finally secure it. Supremacy there could be considered a bellwether for today's Great Game; supremacy in the Great Game, a bellwether for the future prospects of the hegemon and the West.

Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death "I returned to Baghdad on Monday after a break of several months, during which I too was guilty of glazing over every time I read another story of Iraqi violence. But two nights on the telephone, listening to my lost and frightened Iraqi staff facing death at any moment, persuaded me that Baghdad is now verging on total collapse." Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling

Brazil hit by upsurge in violence "The latest violence followed a large operation against the gang. Officials say there were nearly 40 attacks in Sao Paulo state overnight and carrying on into Wednesday morning." Internal disintegration

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Government rules out amnesty for illegal immigrants Internal integration Rolling back the barbarian invasion?

Rise in attacks on Afghan schools "Human Rights Watch documented more than 200 attacks on teachers, students and schools since January last year. It says that recently, such attacks appear to have increased sharply, with more attacks on the education system in the first half of 2006 than in the whole of 2005." Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Pentagon revises Guantanamo detainee policy International disintegration The Bush administration will now follow the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of prisoners. Also, the Iraqi government will ask the UN to revoke legal immunity for US soldiers who commit criminal acts while participating in America's military occupation of that country. Instead of establishing its own standards of behavior, the hegemon's discretion in fighting its wars will now be constrained by international norms. The positive side of hegemonic rule is that the hegemon establishes order and security from which come the extension to the conquered provinces of a predictable and civilized way of life, presumably at a higher level than before, including increased material prosperity. All this establishes the legitimacy of the hegemon's rule over the province. Of course it took the Romans many years to legitimize their rule over certain provinces, but things seem to happen much more quickly in our era. America must soon turn the Iraq situation around before it becomes a precedent for both military defeat and the delegitmazation of America's authority to extend it's political, social and economic system to other lands.**

Rumsfeld Says Drug Trade Aids Afghan Insurgency "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, en route here for talks, said today that proceeds from the rampant narcotics trade in Central Asia were fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan, with the Taliban making common cause with heroin traffickers." International disintegration Seems ironic that the civilization which is consuming drugs from Afghanistan, which helps finance the insurgency, is the same civilization experiencing difficulties subduing the insurgency in that country. Of course, there are also news reports indicating that some of the warlords associated with the pro western Karzai regime are equally responsible for selling drugs to finance their own military operations.**

White House announces Geneva Conventions U-turn "All detainees held by American forces across the world, including those imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are now entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions, the White House announced today." International disintegration The hegemon's power being curtailed.

Co-ordinated Bombay blasts kill 135 on rush hour trains Internal disintegration Low intensity conflict rears its ugly head.

Nuclear plants set for go-ahead "Number 10 says "wishful thinking will not keep the lights on", as ministers look set to give the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations...Trade and Industry Secretary Alastair Darling is to outline the long-term energy strategy in the House of Commons from about 1545 BST (1445 GMT)." Innovation ahead? This all sounds fine but it has yet to be seen whether the west will cut down its reliance on Mid Eastern hydrocarbon reserves significantly over the next 20 years.

Passport fiasco as families who applied online face delays "The new system was designed to speed up the passport application process by enabling customers to fill in forms online and then sending them off to the Passport Service with other supporting documents. However, technical glitches in the new IPA2 system mean that passports - which should have been issued in just three weeks - are taking up to six weeks to process." Internal disintegration? The forgers are more efficient, and cheaper.

Monday, July 10, 2006
Oxfam closes two Darfur offices Expanding world

'Lab-made sperm' fertility hope Pro-innovation Males may become redundant (not).

Bloody battle in northern Darfur "Sudan's Darfur region has seen its bloodiest few days since the signing of a peace agreement over two months ago." African dark age Slowly but surely being exported to a continent near you.

France warns over Africa migrants: "Europe must be careful not to turn itself into a fortress just to keep out immigrants, a French minister has said. " News from the barbarian invasion.

Japan Considers Attacking N. Korea Missiles "(IsraelNN.com) A Japanese government spokesman said that Japan is considering whether launching a preemptive attack against North Korea’s missiles is consistent with Japan’s pacifist constitution." International discohesion Such statements have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The underlying intention may be to heighten the pressure on the US. Anyhow, the arms race in East Asia constitutes a growing source of instability in the international system. See also: Agni-III flight unsuccessful

We've six months to defeat the Taliban "As one senior British officer told me: "If the Army could not control an 84-mile long border in Northern Ireland, it is hardly likely to control the 1,500-mile border with Pakistan." " International disintegration Britain's involvment in Afghanistan highlights the issue of relative decline.

Chechen warlord Basayev 'killed' Internal (dis)integration A swallow doesn't make a summer, and a killed warlord doesn't make a functioning civil society.