9 Epilogue

Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here?

This is where I leave you.

“But we’re so close to the end,” you might say.

End? History never ends, as long as there are historians to re-tell it. At this point, you are historian enough to re-tell the most recent history your way. The “conclusion” of this year’s story is up to you.

I mentioned in the beginning that, very commonly, the past 70 years or so take up something like seven chapters in a textbook, whereas the first chapter can cover something like 300 years (as ours did). It’s not that the Western world has gotten any more complex (it’s always been complex, just like anything else). It’s just that we’re not sure what’s really significant to the late 20th century with all these texts that are out there. We don’t have enough distance from events to make that type of definitive conclusion. What will be our “Renaissance”—or our “Dark Ages,” for that matter? What will be the one trend that people in the 23rd century will say, “That was what the 21st century was all about—everything else we can ignore or put as a sidebar in the textbook”?

This school year, we have seen how the Western world has come to dominate the entire world throughout the second millennium. Will that dominance continue in the third millennium? It’s far too early to predict that.

But it’s never too early to evaluate your own time. We’ve seen how the folks who question their society are the ones who change it. To sum up this year in one sentence:

Questioning the past is the only way that the present becomes the future.

Pessimists may say that questions have taken on more and more destructive answers—we’ve seen that with questions like: “How do we keep these revolutionary ideals?” or “How do we get more natural resources for our factories?” or “How do we create order in society?” or “How do we end the war?”

However, I say that questioning—particularly the type of snarky questions that punk teenagers ask all the time—is the basis of keeping or replacing values. In this historian’s view, these values keep on improving for each generation—as long as that questioning and critical-thinking is grounded in a moral center. If the answer to the question is, “We should keep doing what we’re doing,” that’s great. However, that answer will only become valid if we ask the question deeply enough.

Good luck “finishing” the book.


3 thoughts on “9 Epilogue”

  1. I don’t think there will be another dominant power will continuing in the third millennium. Because nowadays, the whole world is proceeding, the power gap between countries is becoming smaller and smaller. There won’t be a real dominant country or race anymore. Europeans can become dominant in the second millennium because due to their excellent “factor” advantages, they were able to be industrialized much earlier than other continents. That is why the European can be very powerful at that time; it’s different now because most countries in the world had already fully industrialized and developed.

  2. 1. The Dark Ages of our time period would be a downfall of cell phones and when there may not be as much communication as there is now. Where in this period there wouldn’t be ways to track history as we have in the past. This will block out what has happened in the time period. As this has not happened yet there is still a way that it could happen where that is in the near future or far. This will cut off communication between people in the country.
    2. The trend for the 23rd century would be the development of technology. This will change the way that we think because we have more influence from other sources whether that is people or websites. This can influence us in both positive and negative ways, the positive reasons would be you can have more of an open mind when learning about something, but it can have negative effects on seeing biased news that may not be completely true as you can only see one point of view on the situation. Technology has changed the way that we act as people whether that is our communication, the way we treat one another, or the way we see things like social issues or big issues around the world.

  3. Thinking back on the history of the second millennium, it is very hard to compare their history to our current history in the making. This is because throughout the second millennium I feel as if their history had more effects on our world than our history in the making now. For example, the fact that the wars that happened in the second millennium have caused the death of so many lives and they had many more wars than we have now. Also, the effects of the dominance that the Europeans had during the second millennium strongly affected our world today as Europeans still tend to use their dominance throughout politics.
    If there were to be a textbook written about our current history in the making I feel like the thing that would be most talked about is of course the coronavirus that has impacted the world forever. Other than that I feel like currently, we have the most technological advances than at any other time in history right now. But this of course could not have been done without our previous technological advances throughout history, which is why all history is important as it all builds off of each other.

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