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XXI : A Crucial Century

Updated: Nov 12, 2021


In 1999, Humanity looked to the future with hope. The terrible twentieth century would soon come to an end. That century, which had known the worst wars in the history of mankind, the worst atrocities and the development of the worst weapons ever imagined, was coming to an end. Given the technological and social advances at the end of the century, there was reason to hope for a bright future at the start of the third millennium. The Cold War was over, nationalist ideologies were in retreat, human rights were advancing everywhere, access to information was boosted.

20 years later, the desillusions are overwhelming. But I'm not going to list in this column everything that happened between 2000 and 2020. We all remember what happened. Instead, I will focus on what lies ahead.

Indeed, the XXIst century is by far the most critical in our history. The gravity of the situation is such that a failure to apprehend them will be situated on the catastrophic scale between the fall of the Roman Empire and the collapse of the Bronze Age.

Over the next few weeks, I will therefore study point by point the risks that await us in the near future with a thematic approach. I will also try to suggest solutions and try to learn from past events. I am convinced that what does not kill us makes us stronger. And Humanity has already survived many cataclysms. Sometimes, faced with such challenges, our civilization took a leap forward, sometimes it collapsed and started from scratch but with more solid foundations. We have the potential to surpass ourselves and the Universe sends us these kinds of obstacles to force us to rethink ourselves, to better ourselves.

But it is undeniable that if we are not up to the task, we are headed for disaster. Everyone knows it, everyone feels it. Most of the time, we choose to ignore this feeling. Concentrating day and night on what awaits us is so anxiety-provoking in 2021 that we could not live if we did not forget a little about the world we live in. But on the other hand, if we don't think about it enough, we won't avoid what lies ahead.

For years now, I have strived every day to surpass myself, to learn more, to contribute as much as I can to the common effort. I cannot remain passive. The world demands effort and commitment, not idleness. But I must admit that for some time now I have the impression that everything is futile. I feel a lot like all those who wanted to avoid the rise of fascism in Europe in the years 1920-1930 and who knew that we were heading for, and could not stop it.

But on the other hand, it motivates me even more. Because I cannot wait for the catastrophe to take place. And even if I failed, I would have tried. So what can we say to end this Introduction? Well I can simply say that the advantage that we have in 2021 in facing these challenges that lie ahead is that we know what awaits us. This is a huge advantage considering that all past collapses have occurred when Humanity did not understand what was happening to it. It means that we have the means to avoid the worst. But for that, we must first draw up a sober assessment of our future prospects.

I therefore invite you to follow my thoughts about our future in this difficult century during the following weeks. This column is a substantial update of a column that I had already conducted in 2015, so for those who have followed me since that period, you will recognize certain articles by their content.

So let's start the XXI Chronicle of 2021.

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