The architects of our post war civilization suffered greatly for their knowledge. Having watched Europe stumble blind into disaster in 1914, blundering on to genocide thirty years latter these policy makers earned in blood and toil a terrible respect for the Vulcan power inherent in the industrial systems they managed, power for both good and evil that all too easily grinds individuals to dust. Even before the outcome was clear, in the thick of World War II these humanists began to lay the groundwork for what would become the most successful framework of political economy in human history, a framework that would take the world from 2.5 to 7 billion souls who live both longer and better.
The burden of such success is pressure each of us now bears to exceed the standards set by our predecessors. Occasionally epochs consume their paradigm and having done so raise this pressure logarithmically. When success outstrips the basic conditions that spawn it and progress stalls before what is old has finally collapsed, with the new defenseless in utero, the resulting hiatus is a limbo where both grand vision and epic execution are required just to maintain the achievements of the expiring era. To even imagine a future, something fundamentally new must be conjured into being. This is what we are living through. As the Homogenocene extinguishes species at a pace to rival the Cretaceous asteroid impact, our voiceless dominions in other genomes are expressing their disapproval by simply vanishing. The narcissistic cacophony of our politics drowns their growing silence as we shout down even the distressed humanity who bear in hardship the shortcomings of our aging and overtaxed systems at who's margins it is increasingly difficult even for people to survive.