FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Why Splitting the Atom Split the Traditional Society

By the Middle of WWII most the world was starting to look less politically diverse than the Risk gameboard.

The world was centralizing rapidly as a few winner states with the most resources, biggest guns, best scientists, and most ardent nationalism were curb stomping the remaining minor players out of existence.

At the conclusion of WWII an all powerful US found itself at the top of the world followed by a gigantic Soviet Union in a distant 2nd place.

Eventually even the Soviet Union disappeared and for a decade or so, one clearly dominant state remained seemingly unopposed…for the first time ever.

A historian named Francis Fukuyama hailed the collapse of the USSR as the “end of history.”

He was right to recognize a critically important milestone, but it did not mean what he thought it meant.

History as it had been known had ended in 1945.

Before the industrial revolution and modern science, warring states felt sufficiently secure that their root stock civilian population and critical infrastructure was too numerous and too widely spread to be easily destroyed all at once.
The stakes were not quite as high for rulers, so wars were frequently deemed a worthwhile risk.

From the mid-19th century onwards, methods of destruction became so effective as to make mass wars on open battlefields impracticable, excessively costly, and excessively risky for States and Societies themselves.

The invention of an ultimate weapon was just the decisive and logical culmination of the trend.

The atomic bomb changed everything.

Before there was a doomsday weapon, every man was very likely sometime in his life to be needed as a soldier.

Societies that wanted to survive had to make sure their men could hope for sufficient wealth and a woman who would bear his kids.
Thus he was given the necessary status and esteem by society to accomplish these goals.

Before there was a doomsday weapon, societies could ill afford internal dissent. It was a paradise on earth for the robber parasites of each respective society.

For thousands of years, even if you hated the duke who sent armed men to collect the rent, life and society itself could be wiped out by a conquering army. If your family was to have any chance of survival…long live the King.

The collective standard of life, like wages, could be forced downward according to a collective iron law to the lowest people could be persuaded to accept. The alternative was annihilation at the hands of invaders living in as desperate a poverty as themselves.

No beast on the Savanna ever has a chance to optimize its lifestyle or treat itself for worms because it must constantly be watching out for predators instead…

To survive, the state, society had to function in certain ways so implicit and obvious, that one might as well be defining the nature of the atom. Both the peasant and the King were crammed together in a society’s nucleus. However strong the forces of self-interest pushing them apart, even stronger external forces held them together as allies in the struggle for scarce resources and the mere privilege of existence.

As the nucleus of the atom has been split, much the same has happened to societies.

Doomsday weapons did much to alleviate the ever present external threat that held it all together.

Ever since, people have been discovering that without the fear of immediate extinction, their best interests lie beyond any arbitrary State. Like is free to ally with like. Every breed knows its own.

First, the Kings themselves with their superior access to information freely multiplied their wealth by unchaining themselves from any particular population of subjects.
The previous order had already been good to them but competition had been fierce. Now they could cooperate better with one another while the masses of the world were still ostensibly locked in the ancient competition.

With the expiration of the USSR the last excuse for a world defined by competition between states had vanished.

For a decade or so, things seemed to coast along smoothly as a recognizable traditional system, but the centralized society had been steadily unraveling for decades, a trend that was suddenly and exponentially accelerated by the eruption of personal computing, the internet, and wireless communications.

There is no going back now because all the pieces that composed the old social nuclei have recombined in countless new associations. Associations more strongly governed by innate attraction than mere fear and reaction to immediate danger.

Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama: The man who proclaimed the end of history.

2 responses to “Why Splitting the Atom Split the Traditional Society

  1. Luther Burgsvik December 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    ‘Doomsday weapons did much to alleviate the ever present external threat that held it all together.’

    It reminds me of the fictitious work ‘Report on Iron Moutain’ that said that humanity needed some external threat to it so that it maintained integrity. Any group without an external threat usually turns on itself. The ‘Iron Mountain’ report came up with vartious ideas including Aliens and Environmental degradation.

    I also wonder whether excess security/certainty is a bad thing for any group of people (either on a local, national or global scale). If you look back to the greatest historical Empires (Egyptian, Aztec, Roman, British) they all started to come undone when they had defeated all of their enemies, i.e. they had no external threat. Although on second thoughts, it could be as Yockey said that all cultures have a lifespan (circa 75 generations, 1500 years or so).

  2. Matt Strictland December 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I think they are playing the environment card right now Luther. Its a clumsy play even though, the degradation is real. Instead of leading to more unity its leading back to tribalism and zero sum thinking .

    As for the topic at hand, yes but its the H-Bomb that was the clincher along with the pill and industrial automation. The H-Bomb effected the alliances, automation damaged the carrot/stick control of factory work (no factory jobs means no factory mindset) and the pill , well the pill is the ultimate capitalist tool for the masses.

    Seriously. In the past citizenship costs and the like were subsidized by the parents and organizations for the benefit of the elite. The pill is changing that so they people who would be forced to subsidize don’t have to as much. This means the best citizen material “K” selected types aren’t reproducing as much, drying up the pool of future citizens . Hence the low global birthrates

    Some nations obsessed with multiculturalism or some other brain dead idea like cheap labor have tried bringing in R selection types but this only works for a short while as either the R types become a social burden since they lack the biological and cultural traits needed to participate , take over displacing the elite or the less marginal (and thats a lot of them) evolve a more K like strategy.

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