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Armageddon, Determinism and Rage

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Analysts apply theories to interpret events, to forecast, to influence and even to warn. Behind this is determinism, the theory that all events are inexorable, the result of causations independent of human foible.

Determinists rule our century, we bask in their hubris and ignorance. When their theories fail, a new algorithm applied to fake data is turned to, and the descent into catastrophe, though inexorable to the rational, disappears at the determinists’ other theory, that of denialism.

As we move into February 2020, the tensions, the hate, the anger can be felt around the world. To most, if not all sentient mammals, the idea of governments and institutions as primary actors is at an end. Banditry, hypocrisy and hedonism rule.

The denialists in Washington are tasked with prolonging the fall of the American empire. The determinists view the death throes and call them “trends.”

Rationalists, if they existed, would offer a different view. They might well postulate that the criminally insane have taken over the asylum and all the rest of us can do is buckle up and enjoy the ride.

We will take a few examples, but the real issue is controlling rage. After all, we are only as civilized and abiding as our reptile brains allow, shielded and encased in a structure of laws, of religions, of a narrative that speaks of trust in institutions but drowns us all in rage.

Syria provides several examples. Days ago, residential neighborhoods in Damascus came under missile attack by Israel. VT’s offices there were nearly hit. There are no military facilities nearby. The attack, against one of the best air defense systems in the world, was perpetrated by launching missiles that followed a Russian civilian passenger jet into Damascus airport with 172........

© New Eastern Outlook