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Thirties

Sometimes I wonder if we live in another 1930s, a runup to global war, with events spiraling out of control.

But today, rereading the post-WWI diaries of Count Henry Kessler (which I recommend to everyone), I noticed something. In his slow, ground-level account of that decade, there was a constant note of instability. That no one was sure what was going on with the Great Powers, what direction they would take, from Germany to the United States.

Whatever you want to say about the Great Powers of our age, they’re not unstable. I don’t know if it’s demographics or what, but all of the powers of our age have, as Tom Wolfe said, the same center of gravity as a deluxe sofa. There may be exceptions yet revealed–Russia and Saudi Arabia seem candidates–but for now, we know exactly what everyone will do.

That gives us one up on the Thirties. So far.

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