Saturday, December 5, 2009

2 new books

that have been quite well reviewed have come out recently about Eastern Europe in 1989. I'm fascinated often by the retrospective obviousness of history, the quote (I cannot remember to who it is attributable), is that 'all revolutions seem impossible until they occur, at which point they become inevitable".

I was thinking about this today because I'm reading some essays of Bertrand Russell's from the late 1940's. Russell was talking about the future of the "global anarchy" between the forces of Russian totalitarian 'communism' and American capitalism, and the how this conflict would, in short order, lead inexorably to the end of life on earth as we knew it.

Not that this renders prediction useless, we can learn a great deal from the exercise of prediction even if the predicted results have no bearing on actual events, but it struck me as a reminder of how dramatically unpredictable events can change the course of history.

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