The Thinker As Prophet

A philosopher, particularly shrewd at noticing patterns in history, makes a somewhat accurate prophecy about the economic, cultural and political state of the future. It may be that his intellectual reach is so far and broad that he sees each event as the final fruit of another series of events, and every final fruit as a seed for future events. Every pattern he perceives is composed of such duplicitous pieces.

He is at the top of a pyramid. After him, as time advances, other thinkers, witnessing these seeds bud, think they are the first to discover them. The same discovery is made dozens of times until the predicted events loom closer. When the event buds completely, they look back to that first thinker, amazed at his gift of foresight. They are themselves no longer able to determine from which direction that prediction came and how far it reached into the past before that first thinker.

The first thinker may be a rogue. He feels the weight of history on his shoulders; not the future, as violent as it might be in his visions. He becomes a priest as the underlying motif of his prediction finds its affinity with the numerous others who feel some kinship with him and his prediction. Soon, there is no particularity in his message, no nuance. He is merely the father of a message which has been made accessible when registered at the most diminished, unilateral level. As time moves forward and as more people feel some affinity with him, it becomes easier to mistake one's statement on a matter for his and his for theirs. An idealism forms in the manner of a theological school. They see his prediction as an inevitability.

How one reacts to these sets of predictions fall into partisan categories. There are those thinkers who endorse the events predicted and those thinkers who disparage them as something of which one should remain ever weary. It is by this that the future turns into something that has the appearance of being already written; an inevitable fate.