The Decade of Decision
We are now in the 1980s—the decade of decision.
Every decade is a decade of decision in one way or another, but this one is different because it involves the whole world and because it involves the life and death of civilization.
It was possible in past periods of history for a particular civilization to decline while others remained flourishing. When western Europe was in the "Dark Age" between A.D. 500 and 1000, southeastern Europe, northern Africa, and southern Asia were doing very well.
And it was possible for the civilization that did decline to recover and move even higher than before, as western Europe began to do after A.D. 1000.
This may not be possible now. Thanks to the steady advance of science and technology, the world has become so small that it is now a single economic unit with the welfare of each advanced portion of it dependent on all the rest.
Thanks to the steady advance of science and technology, the stakes are now so high, the requirement for material resources and energy so intense, the numbers of people and the intricacy of the environment in which they live so great, that any stumble could mean so huge a smash as to make recovery impossible.
And, thanks to the steady advance of science and technology, the means for destruction in the hands of human beings is so great that the world could be ultimately devastated for thousands of years to come if we were to try to fight a war with all the power at our disposal.
But, then, thanks also to the steady advance of science and technology, there are possible solutions ahead if we care to take advantage of them.