I disagree, but I do so with guarded caution. The reason why I disagree with the notion that a major change is poised to occur is the fact that
similar notions have been put forward for as long as we can remember. Genuine, paradigm-shifting change, whilst possible, is so rare as to preclude it
from happening in a given generation.
It is easy to look at events occurring in the world and feel as though we are on the cusp of some kind of major event. Just looking back at the last 5
years, we have experienced a series of significant events which have indeed changed the world, albeit in a less dramatic fashion then that which I
think you are talking about. The year 2000 and the dawn of a new millennium brought to the surface every millennial end of the world fear we have
harboured since the year 1000. Even without the threat of the shifting millennium, the simple act of entering the 21st century heightened expectations
that significant change may occur. Speaking personally, I felt a great swell of optimism during the 2000 celebrations. We had made it to this
milestone year and we had not destroyed ourselves. The future seemed bright.
But then came 2001 and the 9/11 attacks. I am firmly of the belief that these attacks and the events which ensued are intimately linked to suggestions
of imminent major change. Prior to 9/11, I did not believe that sudden, drastic changes in the world were possible. I viewed change as something that
took place gradually and had never witnessed truly violent, overnight change on a grand scale. As I sat watching the scenes in America unfold, I was
struck, as were all those around me, with the surreal quality of the experience. Everybody I spoke to said the same thing: "It's like a movie". And
it was, albeit a nightmarish movie made all too real.
I remember sitting in my lounge room on the morning of 9/11, after the attacks. We still did not know how many were dead, who had committed the
attacks, what the response would be and the news was reporting that explosions were taking place in Afghanistan. This later proved to be an attack by
the Northern Alliance on the Taliban, but we did not know that at the time. At that instant, I truly felt that massive, violent world change was
possible. My friend, who is very practical and level-headed, declared that "It's like the whole world is going to hell". At that moment, I believed
that this was truly possible (not in any literal sense, of course).
After 9/11 came the invasion of Iraq and the War on Terror and all that has unfolded since - the Boxing Day Tsunami, the oil crisis, Katrina, the
situation with Iran. People have been shaken from the pre-2001 notion that sudden dramatic change is impossible. I personally am more prepared to
accept that radical change can take place quite suddenly.
So why do I not believe that a truly major paradigm shift is imminent? Because, as horrific as the changes and events that have unfolded since 2001
have been, they are far from being truly Earth-shattering (in the way that a second American revolution would be, for example, or a major war between
the super-powers, or official contact with an alien race). Events such as these are truly rare and I am certain that every generation thought that
theirs was somehow special or that "now was the time". So I shall continue to believe that no major change is about to take place and shall then
express a lack of surprise when it does.
[edit on 23/9/05 by Jeremiah25]