Monday, 20 February 2017

Rough Beast, Its Hour Come Round At Last--

        Capitalism’s regular cycle of crises come round and round again, and each time a new crisis hits us the ugly body of the behemoth fascism, spawns its malignant twins, “Racism” and “Nationalism” who scurry forth in ever growing confidence, creating division among our people. Today, in capitalism’s latest crisis, we see their malevolent hands create hatred, between brother and sister, drown rationalism in dogma, shed blood in the name of ideology, drag humanity to the edge of the precipice. However, time and time again humanity, by solidarity, understanding and tolerance, has tamed the beast and hauled itself back to a brighter horizon. Today is such a time to muster these qualities, as the beast runs rampant across our world, fed by those captains of capitalism, who have most to lose, should capitalism stumble further into crisis. This time we should not aim to tame the beast, but to destroy it, obliterating it from humanity’s consciousness.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats, 

 What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Bethlehem?
         In the darkening dawn of the 20th century, William Butler Yeats wrote, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold." Yeats' Second Coming glimpsed a nightmarish "rough beast, its hour come round at last" slouching towards Bethlehem to be born. As we move into the 21st century, my fear is that the "center" is getting too strong--there seems to be no limit to what technology and government can do.
       Computers can only get so fast, but quantum computing harnesses parallel timelines to do things that just aren't possible in a Newtonian universe. A fully-functioning quantum computer should break the barriers between relativity and quantum physics, and should also be able to bioengineer proteins from scratch. Given today's pace of progress, I expect decent quantum computers to be operational by 2025, yielding a whole new generation of technology by 2045.
       Technology isn't the only thing that changes. There's a pace of progress in human relationships, too. I'm not aware of any "Moore's Law" for human interconnectedness, but we've gone from writing to printing to telegraph to radio to television to internet to blogs to Facebook to Twitter over time. Communications move further and faster. The news cycle has gone from monthly magazines to weekly papers to the nightly newscast to 24/7 cable to a constant feed to the Blackberry.
       Yeats heard the winds of chaos scattering the ashes of Europe after World War I. Today an invisible web is twining its tentacles around a shrinking world. Who knows what the future holds?
 Visit ann arky's home at

No comments:

Post a Comment