From the Great Plains to the Great Frontier.

We tend to think of history as the past just because that is the meaning of the word. Historiography is, of course, the writing of history, or the study thereof. As a historian I have to look to look to the future in order not to produce future shock. Asimov [Machines That Think] comes to mind.

I live in a multiple and very complicated world. As a historian, I live in the past, while not so much that I don't look to the future, while living here in the present. I live in a metropolitan area and deal with rural peoples and matters. As a historian I see through some of the veil of the future -- urban sprawl, megastores, megachurches -- all part of the ever expanding megalopolis of my early life. I see the changing of the small town and "mom/pop" operations losing way to these mega-things.

I have talked about the romantic side of our Native Clans and Nations and I have talked about the romantic side of the Great American Desert over the past four years. In the next couple of weeks I want to concentrate on the future, where we will become more universal regardless of our community size or location -- it could be called historiographically: futurism.

Historically in the late 1900s the westward movement of the North American Frontier came to a screeching halt ... except for a pocket or two, such as Oklahoma or northwest Canada. We ran out of space in the process to put this world under the plough [and not all plows are Oliver's <smile>]. The rest of the world also ran out of ‘expansion'.

It is/was quite evident that the westward expansion everywhere on this planet was at an end. The goal of colonization everywhere, under the Eurosystem [coined word meaning "Western"], was over. What next?? In this country it looked to some of us like it was the paving of the entire continent. And, with the "urban sprawl" it looks like we will accomplish it.

What has been the history of the world for 500 years [expansion and colonization by the Western Civilization] had basically ended by 1900. This had to be replaced by something. On the surface it appears to the modern person that the "new" frontier is outer space, "other worlds". But, what is the Great Frontier?

I believe that it will be far different than our Euro-background imagines. The Domination over non-Western peoples has reached its limit. These non-Western peoples have paid attention to lessons presented to them by Western peoples. They have been learning from the mighty conquerors, the political arts of resistance and of national self-assertion. This overthrow of Western domination, though overt in Asia and Africa and veiled in Central and South America, has ended colonization. Include also, our North American First Nations. Therefore, what next?

While there is always a veil over the future [which recedes as time progresses] some things are becoming apparent. Surprising and probably least expected is that non-Western nationalists who have become victorious against Western domination, politically and/or economically, are using the freedom of choice won in order to induct their respective countries into membership/partnership in a "new" society. Progressing in its present direction it will be a "world" society in a "united" civilization. The most surprising element is that given its present course it will be a "new" society based on the Western way, for all those countries have struggled persistently to throw off the domination of the Western peoples but not the Western way. In fact they have done so quite radically.

The halting of expansion does not seem to have hurt the Western nations one iota. America and other Western states have never been more prosperous. The factor unaccounted for is the same factor which made for success in the geographic expansion. This was namely, since the introduction of the industrial revolution, the winning hand at the poker table: technological precocity [oh, being a wordsmith is so much fun <grin>]. This is applied to our improved use of things such as cell phones and computers. You know ... as soon as you take it out of the store, it is outdated.

While we often take a rural conservative view of the changes to our world; the urban centers will continually push for constant change.

Well, I'm for progress!! I just don't like change!! After all, where would we be without our technology?? <very tongue in cheek>