Headline, February 11 2024/ ''' SELF DESTRUCTION SEED '''


 SEED '''

IN 1928. - H.G.WELLS PUBLISHED A BOOK : ' TRANSFORMATION OR EXTINCTION ' have been nature's invariable alternatives. Our is a species in an intense phase of transition.

'' Much turns, as the novelist well knew, on that ambiguous final word. Both transformation and extinction are transitions after all.'' Wells once quipped that after he died, his epitaph should read : '' I told you so. You damned fools.''

WHAT MAKES AN EXTINCTION PANIC A PANIC is the conviction that humanity is flawed and beyond redemption, destined to die at its own hand, the tragic hero of the terrestrial pageant for whom only one act is possible.

The irony, of course, is that this cynicism - and the unfettered individualism that is its handmaiden -greases the skids to calamity. After all, why bother fighting for change or survival if you believe that  self-destruction is hard-wired into humanity? 

What the history of prior extinction panics has to teach us is that this pessimism is both politically questionable and questionably productive.  Our survival will depend on our ability to recognize and reject the nihilistic appraisals of humanity that inflect our fears of the future, both left and right.

As a scholar who researches the history of Western fears about human extinction. I'm often asked how I avoid sinking into despair. My answer is always that learning about the history of extinction panics is actually liberating, even a cause for optimism.

Some of these earlier panics were caused by faulty, misinterpreted or creatively applied scientific developments. New paleontological and geological theories stoked a rash of extinction discourse in early-19th-century. England, for example and experts ginned up fears of famine and population explosion in the 1960s and 70s.

Other moments of paranoia, like the various spasms of nuclear induced distress during the Cold War, were grounded in all too-real threats. Nearly every generation has thought its generation was to be the last, and yet the human species has persisted.

As a character in Jeanette Winterson's novel '' THE STONE GODS '' says, '' History is not a suicide note - it is a record of our survival. "

CONTRARY TO THE FOLK WISDOM that insists the years immediately World War 1 were a period of good times and exuberance, dark clouds often hung over 1920s.  

The dread of impending disaster - from another world war, the supposed corruption of racial purity and the prospect of automated labor -

Saturated the period just as much as the bacchanals and black market booze for which it is infamous.

The 20s were indeed roaring but they were also reeling. And the figures articulating the doom were far from fringe.

On Oct 30, 1924 - tophat in hand, sporting the dour, bulldog grimace for which he was well known - Winsron Churchill stood on a spartan stage, peering over the shoulder of a man holding a newspaper that announced Churchill's return to Parliament.

He won the Epping seat the day before, after two years out of Parliament. The dapper clothes of the assembled politicians and his wife in heels and furs were almost comically incongruous with their setting : a drab building with dirty windows and stained corrugated siding.

It was a fitting metaphor for both the decade and for the future prime minister's mood. Churchill was feeling pessimistic.

The previous year saw the publication of the first of several installments of what many would come to consider his finest literary achievement, '' THE WORLD CRISIS,'' a grim introspective of World War 1 that laid out, as Churchill put it, the milestones to Armageddon.

In September 1924, one month before his Epping election, two other notable events in Churchill's intellectual life - one major, one minor - offered signs of his growing gloominess. 

The major event was his decision to run for Parliament as a constitutionalist with Conservative Party support, marking the end of his long affiliation with the Liberal Party and the beginning of a further rightward drift.

The minor event was the publication of a bleak essay that argued new war machines may soon wipe out the species. Bluntly titled '' Shall We All Commit Suicide? ''

The Extinction panic is back, right on schedule.

The Honour and Serving of this Latest Global Operational Research and Thinking on our Species Extinction and Threats, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Tyler Austin Harper, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

With respectful dedication to the Global Founder Framers of !WOW!, and then Mankind, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers. See You all on The World Students Society for Great Global Elections : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!