The Dynamics of World History

The Dynamics of World History

The Dynamics of World History

The Dynamics of World History

Excerpt

Two hundred years is a relatively brief space in the history of mankind upon the globe. But in that time a greater change has taken place in man's ways of living than in all the preceding centuries of recorded human existence. The inventions introduced by the scientific revolution of the past two centuries have transformed the face of nature and of human society, and in all the five continents people are being moulded by the standardizing influences of a technological civilization. Nor is it likely that the present movement of rapid social change will in any degree abate its speed. It is this fact which imparts a unique character to the social situation of the present moment.

But it has not been simply the scientific revolution which has shattered the patterns men have inherited from the past. Equally destructive have been the social and political upheavals of the past forty years. The impact of two world wars in one generation of the twentieth century and the development of totalitarian ideologies in Central and Eastern Europe have radically changed the structure of European society and fundamentally altered the balance of power on which European world hegemony rested. No longer is it possible for Western man to view the rest of the world from the eminence of a privileged position of superior power and wealth. Within Europe itself the hurricanes of war and revolution have levelled to the ground many of Europe's most historic institutions; while from without, the rising tide of Oriental nationalism and xenophobia has all but erased the islands of European culture and political power which previously existed in the East.

It is little wonder that such a situation has increasingly turned the attention of the educated layman and even the general public . . .

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