Every civilization needs a myth of the future. Civilizations fall to entropy and disintegrate without it.
What does a myth of the future look like? It is the story we tell ourselves collectively about the ultimate direction. It is a story that stands out of time yet permeates with meaning the present and everything we do.
These stories are not good or evil. They just are. The role of the myth is to provide teleology for all that happens within a civilization as a system. Without it there is no collective point to the future.
The Chinese myth – Tianxia [All Under Heaven] – is the most literal and succinct demonstration of that role. Perhaps this is why China is the oldest civilization around.
The Roman myth was SPQR – Senatus Populusque Romanus [The Senate and People of Rome]. When Rome stopped believing in its sacred nature, disintegration began.
The medieval world’s myth was Regnum Dei [The Kingdom of Heaven] and, occasionally, Deus Vult [God Wills It]. The Black Death put an end to that.
The modern myth oscillated from For God and King to The White Man’s Burden. It was drowned in blood and mud on the fields of WWI and WWII.
Western civilization has lost its collective myth of the future. It doesn’t even matter how or why. It is not a new thing. Spengler was the first to see it.
There is only an eternal present now. Hypertrophied consumerism with no sense of purpose, direction, or meaning. A sunset administered by an outsourced answering machine.
Ironically, when the
trotskyists neocons declared the end of history and the last man, thinking it their final victory speech, they instead pronounced the death eulogy for western civilization.
Without a myth of the future a civilization automatically loses its past as well. The end of history is also the end of the future. Only a disintegrating present remains.
I believe a new civilization will rise from the miasma of the present and with it, a new myth of the future.
What could it be? I think Ad Astra would work.