An interesting observation (and by no means the only such) from Ian Mortimer (MILLENNIUM):
Many of the changes [over the past millennium] have something in common: they are about a breaking of boundaries. Geographical boundaries were smashed by Columbus, Cabot and other early explorers. Boundaries of perception were shattered by the supernova of 1572, and by the microscope and the telescope. Social boundaries were dismantled in the French Revolution and, in the nineteenth century, by reformers throughout the West. The Earth’s atmosphere was breached in the twentieth.
Many of these boundary crossings can be understood in terms of the ‘Go West, young man’ paradigm. You go westwards, you find the boundary, you cross it, you discover, you acquire, and you become rich. This paradigm characterized the expansion of the Vikings, Normans, Crusaders and explorers of the New World. It underpinned scientific discoveries, world exploration and economic growth.
But with the recognition of the approaching exhaustion of our fossil resources on Earth, this boundary-breaking mentality is out of date. The challenge now is not one of expansion but self-containment: a series of problems with which the all-conquering male is ill-equipped to deal. We, homo sapiens, have never before had to face the problem of our own instincts threatening our continued existence; they have always been for our benefit, the survival of our genes. The frontiers we face now lie not on the horizon—or even in space—but inside our own minds.
Mortimer believes we need nothing less than a paradigm shift from “the all-conquering male” to the more nurturing female:
The character traits we commonly associate with women, which are less to do with testosterone-fuelled conquests and more to do with nurturing and protection, are much better suited to lead us into the future…if there is to be hope for mankind, we must accept that it may be better for us all if the principal agent of change in the twenty-first century is a woman.
In other words: we boys have had our fun, now it’s time for Mom to clean up our mess--because, God knows, she can’t trust us to clean up after ourselves. Given our recent elevation of the Rampaging Male Id to the presidency itself, however, this place may not survive long enough for Mom to have a chance.