There is something about the events of the past week that seems to confirm that the game is now well and truly over. It wasn’t a re-run of Saigon, or Teheran or the Bay of Pigs, though it looked very much like it. It was far worse with a hint of finality about it. I had a hunch that when the great celebrations erupted with the defeat of Donald Trump, the devil we didn’t know was going to be much worse that the one we did and so it turned out to be.
They say that we get the leaders we deserve. Well now we know. Where is the Churchill, the De Gaulle the Mandela the Havel? There were those who said, that as far as the west was concerned, Donald Trump was our only hope. Its hard to believe, but there surely was some truth in that. Biden has simply replaced a loud mouth with a feeble one. Our own bungling buffoon styled himself on Churchill, but it was all bluff. There would be no fighting on the beeches or the landing grounds instead he chose to run, first from the illiberal mob on their diet of identity politics, then from the virus and now from the Taliban. Ahmad Massoud the only glimmer of light in the resistance is now isolated with his fighters in the Panjshir valley. The people of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Crimea, Ukraine and the Baltic states now know they are on their own. The Uighurs, Armenians and Kurds are not likely to get any help soon. We have pulled up the drawbridge and retired to our lager. But this time we are unlikely to defend even that. Our belief in our selves has gradually collapsed after decades of self-induced self-doubt, self-loathing and crippling guilt and we are ready to throw in the towel.
If western civilisation does implode, as it could well do, and all that remains are the architectural ruins of our cathedrals and cities, the lost symphonies, plays and novels the half-remembered philosophies, sciences and poetry and the faint recollection of a now forgotten way of life, what will the world look like then? It could be, as Churchill suggested, “the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science” This time that science in the control of politicians, would include the horrific might of nuclear and biological weapons and with an all-seeing all-knowing all-powerful technology. It could be a world fuelled by big pharma, big tech, big data, big-business and big-government whether as a centrally controlled totalitarian state or a worldwide Caliphate. Or it could be the demise of overgrown empires and a world scattered into small nations of little people. It’s impossible to know or second guess, but the times they are a changing, that’s for sure.
It was an act of mercy that God brought confusion on the people building their tower on Shinar plain, and he may do that again. It is certainly true that throughout history all empires, though they looked unmovable and unbeatable at the time, eventually, did fall and sometimes spectacularly so. In the Genesis account it was interesting that he didn’t destroy the tower. He confused their language so they couldn’t communicate easily. The parallel with the comprehensive and immediate communication available through the internet is striking and if this giant suffered a complete breakdown the world would be quite different altogether. That’s a strong possibility and not all that fanciful either.