H/T: Mark Sherman via Derek Thompson at the Atlantic Monthly
In my book (whose copy-edited version I just sent back to the publishers after two months constant work – and hence neglect of my blog), I analyze an oft-repeated claim by Lenin in the aftermath of his treaty with the Germans in 1918 that Russia was only months away from a complete reorganization and economic power. While some dismissed this claim as a rationalization of the dubious treaty, Trotsky insisted that Lenin meant it.
The reorganization of Russia on the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the nationalization of the banks and large-scale industry, coupled with exchange of products in kind between the towns and the small-peasant consumers’ societies, is quite feasible economically, provided we are assured a few months in which to work in peace. And such a reorganization will render socialism invincible both in Russia and all over the world, and at the same time will create a solid economic basis for a mighty workers’ and peasants’ Red Army.
I use this passage to describe the warped sense that invades people who have entered “apocalyptic time” in which the body social appears to be infinitely and rapidly protein. (It contributes mightily to the development of totalitarianism, which I define as the effort of apocalyptic believers who, having taken power and becoming impatient with the dismal failure of the millennium to materialize, chose to carve out the perfect society on the body social.)
What the two pictures above illustrate are the marvels of modern technology and the stunning dynamism of Chinese society (economy, technology, planning), and a realistic acceleration of time that, were it not empirically true, would be close to unbelievable. Prometheus unbound, turn of the third millennium.