The world has ended so many times. It just hasn’t ended recently for white people in the northern hemisphere. It’s hitting us hard because we’re not used to it and somewhere, underneath, we don’t think this can really happen to us. But then, very few people have ever believed this could happen to them, even while it was happening.

Remember that the Roman occupation of Britain lasted longer than America has existed as a nation state. Three centuries, give or take? When the legions left, it was the end of a world. But it was also the end of a world when they arrived.

It was the end of many worlds when Anglos brought their diseases and weapons to the Americas. Many people, many nations, saw their world end. They were shattered by it. Their surviving members are still trying to recover from the end of the world.

It was the end of the world for millions of Africans when they were kidnapped and sold into slavery. It was the end of the world when the Mongol Horde overran much of what we now call Europe. It was the end of the world when Greece conquered its neighbours and, ages later, when Rome conquered everything in sight.

Civilisations fall, nations vanish, languages die out. It happens. It’s not pretty. It’s not nice. It’s not fair. Often, it’s brutal and ugly and criminal. Sometimes, it’s just stupid and selfish and lazy. I hate it, personally. But it would be grossly unfair and childish to think that we, our generation, our civilisation, our language group, somehow gets a free pass, that our civilisation can never fall, that we’re just so special.

Our civilisation has made all the same mistakes as earlier ones, we’ve just made them faster and more efficiently thanks to our clever technology. And we’ve done more damage to rest of the biome, thanks to the same technology. I think humans will survive, because we’re clever and tough and hard to kill (hell, we made it through the Toba Bottleneck). But yes, it’s looking unlikely that the future will include performances of Shakespeare or re-runs of Buffy (or whatever cultural artifacts are dear to you or me personally). That’s sad, but it’s a sadness that we’re not alone with; millions of people have felt it before us. And yes, we should try to salvage what we can. That’s what others did before us, and we have those determined salvagers to thank for much of the material on which we built our own culture and our own time.

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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