Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Iran’s strongman loses grip as ayatollah offers nuclear deal "IRAN’S supreme leader is considering a change of policy on the country’s nuclear programme in an effort to defuse growing tension with the West, according to senior sources in Tehran....Under proposals now being debated, an international group made up of the permanent five members of the UN security council, plus Germany or a nuclear power such as India, would oversee and monitor Iran’s nuclear programme. Washington may judge this too little, too late. But European negotiators would be expected to regard such a move as a significant step towards reopening talks about the programme." International integration? A victory for the hegemon, or is Iran merely downgrading a president whose statements, especially about Israel and the Holocaust, have been impolitic to say the least? Then again, something like this could have been the plan all along - the ploy of good cop, bad cop, with Iran's supreme Leader cast as the good cop. It wouldn't be unreasonable for the Iranians to muzzle Ahmadinejad, split the Europeans off from the Americans -letting them continue to sink into the quagmire of Iraq - and go about their own business preparing for a world without a Western presence in the region - just as Pakistan seems to be doing. The fluidity of this situation, however, is breathtaking, emphasizing its unpredictability and dangerousness.

Scottish Nationalist Party Plan 1 million pound Toll For Trident: "AN SNP-LED Scottish Executive would openly challenge the government's decision to renew Trident by imposing a £1 million toll on every warhead transported in nuclear convoys." Internal discohesion-international disintegration coupling, if implemented. The SNP is not yet in charge, though.

Frontline troops are refused kit to fight Taliban: "British soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have had dozens of urgent requests for operational equipment turned down on cost grounds, it can be revealed. Demands by officers for attack weapons and vital tools, as well as night-vision equipment and thermal-imaging devices used to distinguish friend from foe, have all been refused by the Ministry of Defence." Internal disorganisation-international disintegration coupling The dark age team finds this one difficult to understand - and let's remember it's only a newspaper story so not entirely trustworthy - but it suggests how economic failures (or government mismanagement?) are compromising the UK ability to contribute to the western hegemonic role. The days of effortless domination, when it was the Gatling gun against spears and blowpipes, are long gone. **

Pakistani Role Seen in Taliban Surge at Border "Have Pakistani intelligence agencies been promoting the Islamic insurgency (in Afghanistan)?...More than two weeks of reporting along this frontier, including dozens of interviews with residents on each side of the porous border... found many signs that Pakistani authorities are encouraging the (Taliban) insurgents, if not sponsoring them....After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, President Pervez Musharraf, under strong American pressure, pledged to help root out Islamic extremism.... But according to several analysts, Pakistani intelligence officials believe it is more prudent to prepare for the day when Western troops leave Afghanistan." This article states bluntly what a number of recent news stories have been suggesting. Taking a larger view, at the time (2001-02) American power in this region, and perhaps generally around the world, was sufficient to force Pakistan to abandon the Taliban and join its "War on Terror". A year later, in 2003 upon the capture of Baghdad by the Americans, Iran, feeling the crest of this power allegedly sought a negotiated accommodation with the US on many outstanding issues. These overtures were, however, rejected. Now, a short four years later, if this article is correct, Pakistan is quietly abandoning its alliance with America, preparing for a future shaped by an anticipated American failure (withdrawal - collapse) in the region. America may still be able to reverse this, with a successful attack on Iran, for example. But the time for an American counterstroke is obviously running out. **
International disintegration-discohesion coupling...on the cards.

A Proposal to Ban Spanking Sparks Debate "A (California state legislator, Sally Lieber) says she will submit a bill next week...proposing that California become the first state in the nation to make spanking of children 3 years old and under a misdemeanor. Penalties could include child-rearing classes for offenders to one year in jail....“ I have to question why our society holds so tightly to physical discipline among the very young,” said Ms. Lieber, who does not have children." It seems that in our socially atomized, and affluent post modern world, our thinking about the most primordial of relationships, that of parent and child, has become increasingly removed from the most authentic human necessity of that relationship which is in the end, existence, propagation and survival. In the coming dark age, when considerations such as these once again become the overriding purpose of the human family, the fashionable affectations of our present era concerning many things, including child rearing, will be remembered as the vague fables of a long lost age, if they're even remembered at all. ** This is difficult to classify. We have seen this trend before. In the time of the Roman republic, the paterfamilias had the right of life and death over his sons and his servants. As time wore on, the Roman state increasingly interfered, protecting the rights of slaves and youngsters. Is this something to do with integration - the state's insistence on a monopoly of force? Or is it to do with cohesion becoming more widespread but more diffuse? At any rate, we can say that it is a familiar path trod on the way from ascendancy to decadence.

Revealed: march of the new casinos "The commission is considering applications for a further 57. Industry insiders predict there will soon be more than 200 casinos in Britain, double the number when Tony Blair came to power." non-organisation Here too, British society has been "following" recent trends in Russia. The gambling "industry" involves no innovation and contributes to growing wealth differentials.

Row over anti-rocket defence "FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer has raised the prospect of Australian commercial airliners being ordered to carry missile evasion technology to protect passengers from terrorists using shoulder-launched rockets." Expanding world (international disintegration) Temporary alarmism or an issue that will continue to bother security planners?

Arsonists target medical centre "A medical centre has been targeted in an overnight arson attack in north Belfast." Internal disintegration Such news is not an exception but has become normality in Northern Ireland, which continues to lead western Europe into the dark age.

U.S.-style rehabs take root in China "Across China, there are more than 200 voluntary drug rehab centers...When the Communist Party assumed power in 1949, it cracked down on what it said were 20 million drug users, who had been helped along in their addiction by foreign drug traders, especially British opium sellers. But in the 1980s, the opening and reform of China's economic policies and the relaxation of border controls allowed drug trafficking to resume, much of it coming in from Southeast Asia." A sign of accelerated decline? When the European powers forced China to open its ports, the Middle Kingdom found itself in a deep crisis. Time will tell on what foundation China's present rise is built.

Saturday, January 20, 2007
US plans envision broad attack on Iran -analyst ""We're not talking about just surgical strikes against an array of targets inside Iran. We're talking about clearing a path to the targets" by taking out much of the Iranian Air Force, Kilo submarines, anti-ship missiles that could target commerce or U.S. warships in the Gulf, and maybe even Iran's ballistic missile capability, White said." Wars coming soon

Pope offers olive branch to China: "Pope Benedict XVI is to write a letter to China's 10 million Catholics and attempt to restore full diplomatic relations with Beijing. " International cohesion

'Green' Charles cancels ski trip "The Prince of Wales has cancelled a skiing trip to Switzerland in an effort to reduce his "carbon footprint". " Expanding world

Millions of kids avoid measles "Global measles deaths have dropped by 60 per cent, health authorities announced in a report yesterday, with one senior official calling it a "historic victory" for public health." Internal organisation People's lives improving. The vaccination against measles is not an innovation of the early 21st century. Hence, one could argue that this spectacular improvement is firmly based on our past success. A simple and effective cure against aids or cancer would represent a true breakthrough in our time.

US base plan opens rift in Italian coalition "Although the dispute appears unlikely to bring down Mr Prodi’s government, it marks the first time since his poll victory last April that a foreign policy issue has caused such a public display of mutual recriminations." Intern(ation)al discohesion The hegemon's forces are increasingly unwelcome.

Serbian election highlights the west’s fears about Russia "The trouble is that before any plan has been published, Mr Putin and his ministers have already made clear they will only back a [Kosovo] settlement if it has the support of Belgrade. A senior Russian diplomat told an EU colleague recently: “The trouble is that you are too logical. For us, this is an emotional question.” " International discohesion Russia has its own ideas about the 21st century. See also: EU told to cut reliance on Russian energy

Senate passes ethics plan "The measure would also deny pensions to senators convicted of bribery, publicly identify the sponsors of any special projects slipped into massive spending bills and require disclosure of negotiations by any senator for a job in the private sector. Internal discohesion Morality in western societies has been in favour of the liberation of the individual for centuries (which may be a natural effect of growing scale). It seems safe to say that such efforts as the above mentioned "ethics plan" are rearguard battles.

Fashion designer accused of exploiting illegal immigrant models "A fashion designer has caused a row in Spain by using illegal African immigrants as models in his show, prompting accusations that he took advantage of their plight to sell clothes." Barbarian invasion The discussion is indicative of discohesion.

South African alert at power cuts "There have also been technical problems at seven power stations, with units having to be shut down...South Africans are not accustomed to power cuts and don't normally have back-up generators. But last year Cape Town experienced several months of power shortages." Internal disorganisation? The World Cup 2010 will provide an opportunity to see in which direction this country is moving. In the long run, we expect public mass events like the Olympics or the WorldCup to stop being held amidst a climate of growing fear and discord.

Friday, January 19, 2007
Gunfire at Somali leader's home "Heavy gunfire has broken out at the residence of the Somali president in the capital, Mogadishu, witnesses say. Unidentified attackers are said to have used mortar fire against Villa Somalia before engaging the presidential guards in a 30-minute exchange of fire. " African dark age Artificial political solutions cannot be imposed on Africa. It must be fought out, and eventually a stable solution will emerge.

BA drops ban on wearing crosses Although it seems to be about western civilisation fighting back, this is really about internal discohesion insofar as it involves an "in-your-face" right to do what you want, irrespective of the feelings of everyone else. The BA rule was about making all staff look the same; now the right of the individual has triumphed over the right of the community.

Concern over China's missile test "It is thought that the Chinese used a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile to slam into and destroy an old weather satellite...While the US may be unhappy about China's actions, the Washington administration has recently opposed international calls to end such tests. It revised US space policy last October to state that Washington had the right to freedom of action in space, and the US is known to be researching such "satellite-killing" weapons itself." International disintegration Growing power of America's rival. One can envisage near-earth space being left a mess of splinters of former satellites after the dark age.

US condemns China 'space weapon' "The Americans say the Chinese sent up a ballistic missile to destroy an ageing weather satellite. They say the test went against the spirit of co-operation both countries aspire to in the area of civil space." International disintegration What a dispiriting act of levelling the playing field, potentially threatening America's dominance in the domain of C4IR. The short term weather forecast is bleak, the long term future looks as good as ever. See also: 'Star Wars' missile test heralds new arms race in space

Chinese in a froth about Forbidden City coffee shop "The majority of respondents agreed with Mr Rui’s view that a foreign café was inappropriate inside a 15th-century building that is a symbol of Chinese civilisation. Some attacked its presence as a disgrace while others criticised the Palace Museum, that administers the Forbidden City, as a “slave of money”." International discohesion The days of western gun boat diplomacy in Asia are over. Now it seems that "Starbucks" may also be out, while many would prefer to have a coffee in "Hitler's Cross".

Trapped leopards beaten to death "Two rare leopards have been battered to death and a bounty has been placed on the head of a third, highlighting the growing conflict between humans and endangered wildlife in India...It is estimated that there are 14,000 leopards, in India. They are protected by law." Internal integration "Our Dominion therefore over beasts, hath its originall from the right of nature, not from divine positive Right:..." (Thomas Hobbes, De Cive, Chapter VIII, X). On a more serious note, what is perhaps illustrated from a dark age perspective is the fact that India has still got a long way to go until its society will have fully caught up with the west. It might never do so before the onset of the dark age.

Mexico moves to limit rising tortilla prices "Tortilla prices rose by 14 percent in 2006, more than three times the inflation rate, and they have continued to surge in the first weeks of 2007. The rise is partly due to U.S. ethanol plants gobbling corn supplies and pushing prices as high as $3.40 a bushel, the highest in more than a decade." Internal disorganisation We may expect tensions to rise as the US fails to improve the lot of its southern neighbours.

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Israel hands Abbas frozen funds International cohesion Appearance of trust.

Somali viewpoints: "Life is harsh here because of recent events; and it's been made worse by Ethiopian interference. Prices are rocketing, unemployment is rising and chaos prevails. We feel afraid because there is a rampant lack of security. We see more assassinations and we hear more bombings; shops especially are being targeted. " African dark age It's going to take 200 years. The Islamists will surely be back, next time perhaps with more success.

Iran's Discontent With Ahmadinejad Grows "Prices for vegetables have tripled in the past month, housing prices have doubled since last summer — and as costs have gone up, so has Iranians' discontent with hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his focus on confrontation with the West." Wars coming soon? or spanners in the works? Another piece of the puzzle. This report comes on the heels of others which have pointed out the Iranian president's deteriorating political situation, mostly due to Iran's persistent economic weakness. And Iran's economic problems will certainly increase now due to the curious timing of Saudi Arabia's opposition to additional OPEC oil production cuts. This, along with warm weather in the US and other factors, has sent oil prices much lower. Often leaders who appear to focus too much on foreign affairs are singled out for that by their peoples when domestic conditions go bad. So perhaps war will be averted after all. Since neither Bush nor his rival, Ahmadinejad, can count themselves as politically secure at home, there's a chance neither will be willing to push the situation over the edge. Then again, sometimes political leaders seek out foreign confrontations precisely because their popularity is weakening at home.**

Educated women 'more likely to binge-drink' "Highly-educated women are substantially more likely to drink excessively in their 20s than those without qualifications, according to a study to be published today...Less-educated men were almost two-thirds more likely than highly-educated men to be binge-drinkers, whether in their 20s or 40s." An indication of internal discohesion We do not belong to those who recommend that all women return to the kitchen and cradle. What the report however suggests in the most general terms is that in some respects higher education has become dysfunctional.

Moscow property fixer killed by car bomb "An official with a million dollar signature, who could make or break fortunes in Moscow’s property market, has been killed by a car bomb in what is believed to be a contract killing." Internal disintegration Economic organisation is about the exchange of complimentary services. In Russia, it appears that violence is distorting this notion, thereby gradually undermining the functioning of society.

Crystal meth made class A drug "Use of crystal meth is already a major concern in several countries including the US, Australia, Thailand and Japan. In March last year, the United Nations' drug control agency - the International Narcotics Control Board - said crystal meth was becoming a global problem." International disintegration The growing drug problem seems to be, amongst other things, a correlate of our global, high scale economies and inadequate political institutions.

EU stands by China arms embargo "The European Union has not changed its conditions for lifting an arms embargo on China, the EU head of foreign relations has said at bilateral talks." International cohesion (pro-integration) inasmuch as the EU pleases the world's hegemon (US) by denying China access to cutting edge military technology.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Doomsday Clock moved two minutes closer to midnight "The keepers of the so-called Doomsday Clock, which counts down to Armageddon, today moved its hands closer to midnight for the first time in four years to reflect the growing threats to mankind from nuclear proliferation and climate change." Wars coming soon One day, all wars will be nuclear.

Diplomatic row deepens over Big Brother race allegations "25,000 complain...Protestors burn effigies in India" International discohesion showing disintegration. Loss of "soft power" (see comment below on swastika issue).

Euro displaces dollar in bond markets "The euro has displaced the US dollar as the world’s pre-eminent currency in international bond markets, having outstripped the dollar-denominated market for the second year in a row...Outstanding euro-denominated debt accounts for 45 per cent of the global market, compared with 37 per cent for the dollar. New issuance last year accounted for 49 per cent of the global total. That represents a startling turnabout from the pattern seen in recent decades, when the US bond market dwarfed its European rival: as recently as 2002, outstanding euro-denominated issuance represented just 27 per cent of the global pie, compared with 51 per cent for the dollar." International disintegration (declining economic power of the hegemon). This report is much more ominous for the long term status of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency than was the recent report that there is more Euro denominated currency in the world now than currency denominated in dollars. How drug dealers may store their earnings may be interesting - and in its own way instructive - but the really big players out there, like OPEC oil dealers for example, don't store their earnings in currency, they use the international bond markets. It matters, of course, in which currency the deals are denominated, but for the long term status of the dollar, it matters a lot more in which currency the money is finally invested. American political and financial policy makers have till now smugly stated that the dollar is in no danger because American debt markets are by far the deepest and folks who sell thing around the world have no other choice except the dollar. Now it seems this may no longer be the case. **

Iraq backs Iranians seized by US Are the Americans trying to provoke a confrontation with Iran? This would certainly fit in with the many news reports lately concerning a buildup of American military forces in the area. In any case the Americans seem to have blundered into a confrontation with the current "government" of their conquered province of Iraq, certain elements of which may in fact be allied with Iran. So far, and apart from making the obligatory statement denouncing the arrests, the Iranians haven't seemed to have taken the bait. International discohesion/disintegration (undermining US hegemony); wars coming soon [Side note: Those who can remember, or who have studied about, the Tonkin Gulf Incident of the Vietnam War of the 1960's and early '70's will see a parallel here. Back then, and early on in that conflict, a false accusation by the Johnson Administration alleging an unprovoked attack by North Vietnamese "naval forces" on American warships led to the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" by Congress which authorized expanded presidential authority to wage war in Vietnam. Overcome with war hysteria, few members of Congress voted against it, although afterwards, many of these same patriots came to regret their vote once - and only at the point - the Vietnam War had gone bad and become an embarrassing political liability. Just like many of today's American senators and congressmen. Of course, if the Bush Administration wants to go to war with Iran badly enough, it will - with or without a decent or plausible excuse. Unfortunately, Bush's Gulf of Tonkin moment, the "9-11" attack along with its emotional political aftermath, has already come and gone. These days Bush risks going to war with a Congress, a good bit of the military, and much of the American people already arrayed against him. An inauspicious beginning for what many fear could be a conflict with no clearly predictable outcome.]**

Russia Delivers Surface-to-Air Missiles to Iran Looks like all the players are rushing to get their pieces on the board. Wars Coming Soon.**

Medical Breakthrough Could Change Global Politics "The approach is called "ethical pharmaceuticals," and it was unveiled on January 2 by Sunil Shaunak, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College, and Steve Brocchini of the London School of Pharmacy, the Guardian reports. Their team of scientists in India and the UK, financed by the prestigious Wellcome with technical assistance from the UK government, have developed a method of making small but significant changes to the molecular structure of existing drugs, thereby transforming them into new products, circumventing the long-term patents used by the corporate giants of Big Pharma to keep prices - and profits - high. This will give the world's poorest and most vulnerable people access to life-saving medicines - now priced out of reach - for mere pennies." Innovation Cheaper medicines can only be a good thing, economically as well as on a humanitarian level.

Hindus Against Proposed EU Swastika Ban "Hindus from the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy want to form a pressure group in the European Parliament in May to oppose the ban. They plan to visit European Commission leaders and members of the European Parliament to put pressure on them to resist the German move." Internal discohesion This episode is a reflection of the West's fading "soft power" (i.e. values, term borrowed from S. Huntington). "Forms of discrimination that we have not even dreamed of will be discovered over the coming years and used to justify further progress in cutting the political authority down to size." (The Coming Dark Age, Part 4, Chapter 32)

America is the land of the free women "While popular culture — from Little House On The Prairie to The Simpsons — has long portrayed the married couple as the cornerstone of the American social unit, the reality is increasingly different. For what experts say is the first time, more American women are now living without a husband than with one." Internal discohesion We do not want to deny that this change has brought more freedom for women, which can be viewed as a positive development. From a broader perspective, there are question marks as to the impact it will have on society as a whole. The outcome is likely to be an even more atomised and less resilient social fabric that is less capable of withstanding sudden, catastrophic shocks.

The Death Of US Air Power "The decay is most pronounced in the U.S. Air Force, the service that would have to take the lead in coping with urgent threats posed by Russia, China and other industrialized countries...The end result is that the U.S. Air Force now flies 45-year-old aerial refueling tankers using a plane retired by commercial airlines a quarter-century ago; its F-22 fighter program has been cut 75 percent even though the aging fighters it would replace are so old they operate under flight restriction; its production lines for C-130 and C-17 transport planes are scheduled for closure despite lack of adequate airlift;...The only bright spot on the horizon is the tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but Navy efforts to slash funding for JSF suggest the Air Force can't even count on that program coming to fruition." Relative decline - international disintegration ahead The author of the article partly blames America's obsession with the war on terror for its neglect of other threats. At the end of the day, what it all boils down to is the incompatibility of rising ambitions and declining capabilities. Australian defence analyst Carlo Kopp points out to the fact that the Roman and the British Empires "...faced similar issues in the latter centuries of the empire, as nation state opponents reduced in numbers and tribal conflicts at the periphery of the colonies dominated planning and expenditures. The British Empire faced a similar dichotomy in its latter years, and preoccupation with force structure planning to deal with colonial rebellions and movements had much to do with Britain's inability to deal with the rise of Germany and Japan during the 1930s."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Spain seeks US soldiers' arrest International discohesion

Passport control 'under pressure' At peak times immigration officers sometimes felt under pressure to let people through unchallenged" Barbarian invasion Perhaps we are living through the last times when passports have any meaning. Soon the barbarians will come more arrogantly.

Iraq cultivating ties with Iran "The Iraqi government is moving to solidify relations with Iran, even as the United States ratchets up its rhetorical heat and bolsters its military forces to confront Iranian influence in Iraq." International disintegration/discohesion

Big Brother racism complaints hit 3,500 "Over the weekend, former beauty queen Danielle and ex-S Club 7 star Jo poked fun at Shilpa's accent. The incidents have provoked Big Brother fans to debate the racism question on websites." Internal discohesion The whole idea of "big brother" itself seems rather discohesive. It has nothing to do with team spirit and or the community but constantly revolves around selfish behaviour and petty conflict.

'Boozer bus' to save Irish pubs "More than 800 pubs in small towns and the countryside have closed in the past three years due to falling profits, raising concerns about the collapse of traditional social networks." Internal disorganisation, possibly with an aspect of discohesion. Instead of going to the cinema, youngsters tend to watch the newest DVDs at home, instead of going to the local pub, a growing number of people prefer to consume alcohol at private parties, discos and more "exclusive" clubs.

Pakistan air raid on 'militants' "The Pakistani army says it has carried out air strikes on camps used by militants in the tribal area of South Waziristan near the Afghanistan border." Internal (dis)integration Pakistan is still a far way from being a pacified nation. See also: Pakistan 'nuclear' kidnap foiled

Corn prices surge to 10-year high "Corn prices have surged to a 10-year high on strong demand for ethanol, which is an environmentally friendly fuel and can be mixed with petrol." Internal disorganisation The news story suggests that what is known in dark age theory as innovation failure (here: running cars with ethanol) is part of the problem.

US sends warplanes to Turkey's Incirlik military base "According to Local Cihan News Agency, at least 16 F-16 jets joined by early warning system AWACS airplane, as well as tanker airplanes landed here at Incirlik coming from an American base in Germany." Wars coming soon? Wars have been a perennial feature of human history. As we move towards a dark age, we expect them to increasingly expose the fragility of western societies. See also: Two Royal Navy minehunters have arrived in the Gulf to reinforce a naval frigate on patrol in the area.

Monday, January 15, 2007
Somalia shuts down broadcasters: "Somalia's main broadcasters have been ordered to close, shortly after the interim president set up a new team to end the 'chaos' in the capital. Three top Somali radio stations and al-Jazeera TV are affected. They have been ordered to appear before the national security agency...President Abdullahi Yusuf was elected at peace talks two years ago but has been powerless until Ethiopian forces helped drive out Islamists." African dark age President Yusuf's position seems artificial, not based on real power, and therefore not destined to prove effective. The closure of the radio stations suggests that he does not enjoy public confidence.

Navy puts clamps on Lockheed on costly ship project: "The Navy ordered Lockheed Martin to halt work on one of its two littoral combat ships - which are designed for close-to-shore missions - due to significant cost overruns, the service said on Friday." Internal disorganisation-international disintegration coupling

Far-Right EU Lawmakers Form Coalition: "A new far-right faction in the European Parliament will provide a platform for the movement to push some of its most important goals: limiting immigration and resisting the EU's drive for closer integration." Internal discohesion The rise of these right-wing parties tends to imply a delegitimation of the existing political context. They are less not more inclusive and seek confrontation rather than accommodation with other cultures.

Massive media surge in sub-Saharan Africa "The survey found radio to be the dominant mass media channel across Africa, while television is far less available and newspapers still tend to concentrate on urban consumers. But mobile telephones have shown spectacular growth across the continent, while the Internet is also beginning to make inroads and satellite sport channels are winning more and more viewers, the report said." Internal organisation Rolling back the African dark age?

Scientists prepare to move Doomsday Clock forward "The group did not say in which direction the hands would move. But in a news release previewing an event next Wednesday, they said the change was based on "worsening nuclear, climate threats" to the world." Nuclear war is likely to become a reality in the 21st century. To most people, it embodies the ultimate global disaster which might seal the fate of humanity. In the 1930s, there were widespread and perhaps similarly deep fears of a "knock-out blow" from the air against large cities. We believe that nuclear war will be seen to be survivable and that ultimately, i. e. after the dark age, further advancements in military technology might propel humanity towards even higher levels of international integration.

Pupils kept in crumbling classrooms by red tape "Hundreds of thousands of pupils will be taught in dilapidated classrooms because the Government is abandoning its targets for a £45 billion schools rebuilding programme." Internal disorganisation Life gets shabbier.

Devious, dissembling, dodgy. And that's just the police "Cases such as the one I have outlined are very common. All my doctor and lawyer friends are familiar with them. Their prevalence is part of the dialectical relationship between the degeneration of the public service, which is now a vast trough from which a large class of educated people feed, and the appalling behaviour of the public that makes the expansion of the public service necessary, or at least justifies it, in the first place. As a 16th-century German bishop put it, “the poor are a gold mine”. " Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling