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The Twentieth Century
Article by Jazz from March 99 about the Past, Present and Future
en francais

The twentieth century was undeniably synonymous with progress and evolution. New technologies and ideologies are brought to life every day, with one goal in mind, to bring mankind closer to a terrestrial paradise. Looking back at the century, one can notice the changes the human race has been the through, the wars that divided us, the reconciliation that brought us closer and the pacts and accords that allowed us, in combination with the latest technologies to refer to the world as the global village. It would be impossible to talk about every event and every change the twentieth century has brought, so please forgive me if I omitted something you felt was relevant.

In the past hundred years, we have seen Men and Women reach for the stars in every discipline breaking barriers one could only dream of: Men on the moon, and in space. The skies are covered with satellites and communication devices used to bring men and women from the word closer, in spite of their original warfare purposes. The latter was, despite its terrible nature and the toll it had on mankind, one of the origins of peace, and technological progress: Both World Wars, as well as any other conflict this century has endured, have been tragic, in that they unveiled the horrors of mankind. But who said the path to freedom, heaven and peace was unproblematic?

Both wars drove men and women to surpass their themselves and develop new technologies for war, but which turned out to be used for non-warfare purposes, like radar, satellites, and even nuclear weapons, which in the long-run were used to prevent war rather than destroy human lives. The A-bomb was only used on two occasions, in Nagasaki and in Hiroshima, and it has never been used since 1945. Moreover the wars drove mankind to unite and create global organisations like the UN, NATO, and other commercial unions (EU, NAFTA, ASEAN...) which have one same goal, the pursuit of peace and unity amongst all Men and Women.

In the field of medicine and hygiene, a tremendous number of discoveries have been made to prevent, and annihilate illnesses, diseases and a number of diagnosis have also been made possible. The war against AIDS will hopefully subside and enable a victory of Man over one of its killers. A myriad of illnesses can now be dubbed as benign, and research and awareness are some of the priorities. The media, in spite of all the criticism it has received has played an enormous role in the fight against poverty and diseases in the less developed regions of the world.

One cannot forget the plagues mankind faced in the twentieth century, but the computer revolution and the technological and ideological evolutions, with the fall of the Berlin wall and of the iron curtain and the progress of democracies throughout the world, are a definite sign of progress and positive change, one can only imagine what the Future holds for the Lycee students who will graduate this year and will hope to make their marks on society and improve on it.


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