The Coming Pivot
Notty Bumbo, 2017
It has started to feel as though our species is on the cusp of one of those world-changing pivot-points. Where the choice we make will determine the entire future for many generations to come. And while there is a considerable supply of possible reasons this might be so, I think there is one set of variables that are central to all of the ones we might imagine. It comes down to whether we choose the future, or we choose the past. Or rather, a past that has never actually existed, but holds the illusion of regaining control over what for some feels beyond their control at the present moment.
To be even more precise, the split is between those who can see the future and the incredible diversity of potentials the future can promise, versus those who fear the very notion of diversity. Think of the notion of tribalism: tribes are essentially made up of a clearly identifiable group, whose characteristics remain essentially fixed for indefinite periods of time, sometimes for centuries. We might say the opposite of tribalism is in fact diversity and global community. Not globalism as merely an elite economic order designed to further concentrate wealth and power, but true globalism, where the diversity of nations becomes a celebratory and inclusive community collaboration. We might then say, to more succinctly narrow the focus closer to the axis of this "pivot", that the choice we are coming to is whether to retreat to a parochial and intolerant tribal Balkanization of the world, or advance to an egalitarian diversity in global community.
Here's the thing: The one choice very nearly assures massive upheaval and destruction, suffering on a scale we have heretofore only experienced in fictional depictions. Whereas the other choice will require patience and a great will among the vast majority of the species if it is to come about. What is most clear to me at this juncture, however, is the lack of a third option. There seems no middle ground at this moment. Not that it may not appear, but merely has not yet done so. This has created a dangerous void at a time when the two sides of this epic battle are accelerating apart with increasing velocity - and anger. This is not a good prognosis.
So the question becomes - besides which choice shall the entire species make - is when will we reach the tipping point? Will it come sooner, or later? Will it come as a result of reasoned debate, or an irreparable rupture that leads to extended and widespread chaos? Unless we all start grappling with this issue, acknowledge the impending pivot, we will likely drift into the more awful scenario, and at that point, it may be too late for any sort of rational approach to the question. Historically, that usually means war.