If you want to understand 2021 and beyond, keep thinking about World War II and the atomic bomb

by Bob Schwartz

Everything you want to know about where we are and where we may be going can be found in a study of World War II and the atomic bomb.

In 1945, we witnessed two phenomena.

We learned about the depths to which an “advanced” society could descend. That human beings in substantial numbers, who pretended to embrace civilized ideals, could endorse and follow a path that can be described as demonic.

We learned that as technological developers, we were capable of threatening the physical well-being of the entire planet. We could literally produce an apocalypse.

Each of those is with us now.  

The ease, for example, with which leaders and followers of certain ideologies seem willing to throw away principles we thought were inviolable for the sake of their ideology, disguised as the greater good.

The threat of technology to the entire physical world, and to all who live in and on it, so that irreparable damage is increasingly inevitable.

Keep thinking about World War II and the atomic bomb. About what 1945 might teach us about ourselves and our possibilities.