History in the Making

History in the making seems to be a matter of lulls and big events, with undercurrents flowing all the time. In some ways it’s like geology, where forces are at work all the time but are not noticeable except to experts who are aware of stresses building up that at some point will result in a devastating earthquake or volcanic eruption. It seems to me that in recent years, big events have been piling up at an unusual rate, e.g. the election of a sociopathic aspiring autocrat as president of the United States in 2016; the failure of the Republican Party and the great majority of Republicans to repudiate him and hold him accountable, in effect adopting his moral ethos as their own; the rise of authoritarianism and brutalism and weakening of democratic institutions throughout the world; the stark failure of humanity to combat global warming; the transition of the Supreme Court of the United States into an instrument for implementing an extreme right-wing agenda; the great pandemic and threat of future ones; the rise of an imperially minded regime in China and rapid militarization of that country; and, as demonstrated in recent days and weeks, the shedding of inhibitions on the part of a Russian dictator of Napoleonic bent, resulting in a grave threat to world stability and a peril-generating resumption of the Cold War.