The 1,000-year Reich
Adolf Hitler claimed that his Third Reich would last for one thousands years. WB Yeats played off of millenial anxieties in "The Second Coming."
The 1,000 year figure offers an interesting template for asking cultural questions. Ones that occur to me are below, with my proposed answers:
Q: In 1,000 years, will the United States still exist, and will it be essentially ruled by white Christians?
A: My simple answer is "Yes."
Things were much different in 1000 CE, the Medieval Age. But in Britain, I'd be willing to wager that the law of progenitor, where the eldest son inherited the father's property, kept wealth in the same ancestral hands. In North America, white Europeans were still to create the United States and commit genocide upon the native population. That was ~400 years ago.
When I think of social mobility, I think that uttering the term seems to say, "Hey, I can be upwardly mobile!" But the historical fact is that the upper classes have a strong economic interest in keeping their subjects down there. Words like "shiftless," "inscrutable," the N-word, "Chinaman," "trash," and an elaborate web of signifiers that essentially say "We are superior to this other group of people" have amazing sociological and semantic meaning. It makes my chest weak when I hear someone say "faggot."
These words will still be with us, as will similar economic conditions, in 1,000 years. That's pretty close to when Geoffrey Chaucer was writing -- his language and class critique applies directly to our own point in history.
There are a few simple premises to the study of economics. 1) resources are scarce; 2) human desire is unlimited; 3) "economics" is how these two facts meet. Economics will surely apply in 1,000 years, and because of the strong, change-inhibiting drive of the upper classes (and their exploitation of the concepts of "race" and "nationality" and gender), things will be pretty darn close to how they are right now -- you'd be amazed, I'm betting.
The "game-changer" would come when resources would become unlimited, but that would only be if resources (and goods and food) could be created from nothing, which I must wager is impossible. Scientists aren't likely to turn carbon into gold and rock into food anytime soon.
Even if Earth II is created and we have all the natural resources imaginable, somebody's still got to tend it, distribute it, and so on. Economics still apply, which strongly discourages drastic change.
Q: Will places like Red Oak, IA, population 6,000, or Harlan, IA, population 5,000, and other small rural towns in the United States exist similarly in 1,000 years?
A: Yes, rural, relatively isolated locales may change their modes of production (like million-dollar combines)...
...but they're still doing the same thing. In the US, people are quickly moving to warmer climates, but with climate change, the North is suddenly quite tolerable except for 2-3 months.
One of the absurd things about the Bush Administration is their claim that the fight against "Islamofascism" is a mega-conflict to protect All Things American. Come on, the United States will never be invaded and fully occupied. The US is currently occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and our 10-year stays will be a blip on the historical chronological graph, with the local population and culture essentially unchanged.
The big game-changer is genocide, though. White Europeans have near-totally destroyed Native American culture (and all but a relatively small population). Hitler, the man of the 1,000-year boast, nearly destroyed the Jewish people of Earth. But he didn't.
One of the powerful indicators of the power of the upper class's will to Keep Things the Same is marriage. How many biracial Rockefeller heirs are there? I strongly doubt there'll be Jewish/Christian Wal-Mart heirs. Imagine your own examples.
Let's draw this entry to a close. But I want to add that for a moment while writing this, I had a short ebb in my horror at what our country is currently doing in Iraq -- the wretched bloodbath. The lower classes have always fought and died for concepts that do not fully benefit them, like nationality specifically. Perhaps they always will.
Darwinism can be applied to people. If you want to die in George Bush's War, then sorry folks (this'll sound completely nasty), you're stupid and a complete fool to allow your children to grow up fatherless. (Children lacking a strong father figure are statistically less likely to succeed -- what'll they inherit?)
More 1,000-year questions may follow.
No profanes - sacred