It has always been tempting for thinkers and historical observationalists to overlay a narrative onto to what they have known of the world; humans have a long and colourful history in the denial of contingency, in the art of myth, and of fevered teleological dreams. There is nothing in essence wrong with such a play so long as a humble agnosticism is maintained, and the myth building doesn’t spill into hubris. More promising has been the increasing acknowledgement and embracement of the value of uncertainty and the denial of universal absolutism.
Having struggled through the false-oppositional maze of recent human mental history, with all of its ontological gates and stiles, blacks and whites, and thrashed in the relativity of the post-modern void, we seem to be approaching a kind of tipping point, a seeming critical-mass of a particular awareness that is less anxious of the Vast. This awareness is one that is enabled to taste the universe anew, with a palate cleansed of outmoded notions, disabling dogmas, and the disastrous social ideologies that have been substantiated by the modern myth of progress.
The attempt to overlay new social systems onto ‘civilisation’ has always typically either been sinister or ridiculous; however, I certainly don't think we have seen the last of such attempts or of their avatars. Unfortunately narcissism, psychopathology and hypocrisy are the inevitable inhabiters of all such projects of forced social evolution. Social ideals and ideas are forged in a dangerous flame and their theoreticians are often flippant, enveloped as they are in their own personal fantasies, little imagining that their Utopia's might actually come to pass or come to literally smoulder in the recklessness of their derivative simplicity.
Personally it seems to me that in these troubled and troubling times, huge opportunities exist for fringe and novel thinkers, there exists a potential to embolden valuable and neglected memes, of ancient cultural practices and of futurist technologies; we cannot afford to limit ourselves. Not only can we feedback onto our environment, but we have the opportunity to do so consciously and with intent and a now relatively sophisticated historical cognisance.
Nevertheless I believe a time of great hardship and psychological dislocation is upon us, one that will test and terrify us all. In this time we will have to be very vigilant of ideologues and messiahs; there are many dysempaths roaming the hinterlands of our ‘civilisation’, some shunned and chained, others sadly we have elevated (or neglectfully allowed to rise) to the highest echelons of our societies, where they wreck and ruin. If we value our self-respect and our inchoate intellectual privileges, we cannot afford to keep blundering blindly into the future, whilst neglecting the lessons of the past.