Mulling the BIG picture the other day ... as in world history, major milestones, societal and cultural transitions, what it all means ... I found an old profound truth worth dusting off for presentation here.
I was reminded that, focusing a remote lens back through time, it is clear there are very few significant transitional moments that define subsequent changes of direction for civilization as noteworthy as when outright warfare is waged between or among motivated powers. In fact, in plotting world history, some would say that periods of peace are merely featureless straightaways between the push-pins marking history's violent intersections. It is those inevitable painful pile-ups that redirect mankind's long-term future, for better or for worse.
Is it just historians and other scholarly minds who keep such a high-level perspective on things today? Frightfully, in America, that may be the reality. However, we must come to grips with the fact that there are countless major interests in other cultures today that are not bound by the constraints of a self-absorbed consciousness. And in fact, it is not only "corporate" interests, but individuals out there who naturally embrace the long-view as being the only thing that really matters.
The point to be retained is that few among us can fathom such a different perspective from our own. It is that collective inability on our part to come to terms with how those "larger than me" movements do matter here and now out there in the world, and that it is our ignorance of the significance of that really big picture that ultimately makes us vulnerable.
War is Unavoidable
In historical retrospect, when one is totally removed from the emotional issues populating a place in time, most everything but the final score and a few of the resulting statistics are all that are left to mark the course of mankind's progression. What is clear is that in this earthly plane of existence, in the long-run, war is the only real means to change the course of history. A war also becomes the marker in history that defines a generation.
Yes, advances in technology also warrant careful historical tracking, but since technology often becomes a subset to reporting on the progression of wars and how well new capabilities can be brought to bear against an enemy, then we are best served to keep in mind that time is ultimately measured by major conflict, rather than by invention or innovation.
As for diplomatic milestones, failures are what history records ... human nature ensures that significant diplomatic activity is little more than strategic positioning for conflict.
In the end, the social or political power in place remains there for as long as that power proves to be the most motivated, worthy, and aware. There are always rivals and competitors, and they who are the most selfless in their pursuit of the goal of overtaking "number one" are the ones who have the capacity to pull off the next big upset in the schedule.
Eventually every power resting at the top becomes sanguine, soft, and self-destructive. The ripeness of the moment becomes evident to those who would topple them, and war to the death erupts to take survivors in a new direction, even if the challengers are defeated, as there is nothing like a major war to recast reality in every corner.
Is It Time?
I strongy suspect we are almost upon another intersection of fates. The result is not predetermined (with all due respect to those who believe their understanding of Biblical prophecy ordains a specific result), only the redefining clash that is now unavoidable, and indeed already underway.
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