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The End of the Mayan Calendar

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 8 August 2011 in Art & Design.

Just now I'm reading David Priestland's history of communism. An engrossing reading with many lucid depictions of past events, people, and their backgrounds. And sometimes it gives you these déjà vu moments when it explains the several causes for the turmoil, the many attempts to break well-worn patterns of politics and social realities: the stuffy bourgeois society, bound to profit and exploitation; predetermined lifes; corruption; economic crises; incompetent social parties and unions; a widening gap between 'upper' and 'lower' parts of society, and so on.

While the western societies of the 19th century made use of nationalism as a valve for these tensions, which was followed by a war of ideologies in the following century, these valves don't work any longer in our times. Since the catastrophic events of both world wars (including the Cold War) were the results of national and ideological clashes, their absence should be a welcome circumstance. So why are we still reading news like this, this, and now this?

It seems that unstable circumstances and the obviosuly existing desire for violence are carrying war into our societies. Without having a definite enemy image and without governments capable of channeling the violence, self-destructive tendencies of the society gain the upper hand. Inner and outer pressure are still growing: economic expectations are meagre, and they will increase the tension on a world-wide scale.

Against this background the situation of Russia in 1917 looked very familiar: a run-down ancien regime, a lost war, a ruined economy, an impoverished population, and a lot of anger in the cities.

Will history repeat itself, even in our disillusioned times? Or will our fragmented societies just fall apart? What's coming next, if anything happens? And who is going to pay for it?

(Image: The choir of St Denis; the windows are probably historistic and remind of the works of Jean-Baptiste Capronnier in Brussel's Cathedral.)

Z from Shanghai, China

Brilliant shot of the glasses. A 5 star shot! It's interesting to read your thoughts of the war. The history repeats itself again and again; i pessimistically believe in that...

8 Aug 2011 5:25am

@Z: "...first as tragedy, then as farce". (Marx)

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

One of those images that has a presence way beyond the dimensions . . almost an experience. And, yes, those clouds you list are gathering still.

8 Aug 2011 11:01am

@Ronnie 2¢: It's not a real surprise, is it!

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Stunning windows, exposed really well, please don't tell me these have been stitched too :-)

8 Aug 2011 6:07pm

@Curly: No, this is a single shot!

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Beautifully captured with incredible height. Nice viewpoint in your narrative as well.

9 Aug 2011 3:00am

@Steven: Hope it will get nice again! Doesn't look so at the moment.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

who knows what's around the corner?

9 Aug 2011 5:48pm

@Ted: Yes, take care of yourself!