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Back at the темная ноча entry, I spoke about what Will envisages as the worst-case scenario: complete breakdown of western civilisation. I should point out though that I do not believe this is the most likely outcome. Far more probable is the degradation of what we have. Slow, gradual erosion. Sliding further away from the Star-Trek future that the geeks of the world would like to believe is our fate.
tallyho.jpg If we look at areas of the first world where things have gone wrong – and the storms that hit my hometown in last month are a great illustration of this – what we find is that the great “backup” that we think we have in our governments is simply not there. The governments almost consistently are more concerned with maintaining public order. Governments do not have plans to cope with the erosion of infrastructure and services.
So if we cannot rely on governments to help us, who can we rely on?
As in the Novocastrian situation last month, or the fires that went through Rome a few years ago, or any other situation, the only people we can really rely on are our friends and family.
It is for this reason that I have returned to Rome.
In Jerusalem, I was vulnerable. When I needed help with anything, I was alone. In some circumstances, I could get Jim to assist, but only really in situations where there was direct benefit to him. He was that kind of person. And although there were people I could have fostered the kind of friendship that would be useful for helping each other out with things, the reality was that those kinds of relationships for me existed really only in Rome. After all, when I discovered last week that the provincial government had screwed up and invalidated my licence, all I had to do was call Will, and within a day, he flew to Jerusalem to pilot me home. In Jerusalem, I didn’t have someone who could cart some boxes across town. In Rome, I had someone who would lose two days to fly across the country and rescue me. And in reality, Will’s not alone – I have that kind of support here from several people.

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