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On the edge

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This is a post about how things can fall apart quite quickly.

I’ve got nothing systematic to say here; I’m just noting some impressions about a series of events that are either unconnected, or connected in complicated ways.

(1) The Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Ukraine’ fight to maintain its independence

(2) China’s ongoing saber rattling over Taiwan.

(3) North Korea testing what it says is an underwater nuclear-capable drone.

(4) The sudden nationwide protests in Israel.

(5) Donald Trump calling for violent resistance against any attempt to enforce the law against him.

(6) The simmering tension on the US-Mexico border, where the lawless violence of the drug cartels, the flood of political and economic refugees from Central America, and the Mexican government’s attempts to deal with these crises threaten to collide in unexpected ways with America’s brutal immigration policy.

Again, the connections between these crises, and various others as well, are complex, but they are at least in my mind creating a sense of events being on the edge of spinning out of control of those who nominally control them, in the way they do at moments that in retrospect seem inevitable tipping points in history, such as the summer of 1914 or the fall of 1989, to name a couple such inflection points.

Whether we will look back on this time in those sorts of terms remains to be seen of course, but my impression is that things are shifting and destabilizing in serious and seriously unpredictable ways, both here in America and in many other places as well.

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