In a military age of conquest, the tacticians and the generals drive the culture. In an age of faith, the priests and the theologians are the cultural movers and shakers. In a commercial age, the managers set the rules of the game. We’ve been through all these ages, we’ve inherited everyone’s game, everyone’s rule-book, we’ve amassed a huge capital of leadership model – and we make the same mistakes, or put ourselves in new situations so that we can make the same mistakes all over again.
That is not so much because we are hopeless than the fact that the challenges remain always the same: how to reconcile freedom with order, pleasure with safety, the invisible with the visible, the individual with the group, etc. Something else which hasn’t changed is the belief that the old conundrum has been resolved, the ancient knot untied. Every age has the presumption to consider itself the last stop on the journey, the lâcheté to gaze at itself as the peak of decadence. Every age feels the prologue and the denouement beating in its chest, and the truth is that it has neither – it is a drop in a lake, moving from one river to another, flowing neither downstream nor upstream, but simply moving along. And that is a miracle and a mystery in itself.