I wouldn't call it a mere transition, it's a major world shaking transition that's going to fundamentally alter life on Earth forever. Even if there was a major collapse the world would build itself back up very rapidly. It's hard to imagine anything short of an extinction level event derailing this crazy train, or even slowing it down for any significant stretch of time.
It might be hard to imagine anything short of a mass die off derailing the ''crazy train'' as you put it, but over time i've been imagining exactly that. So far, it's certainly done a number on first my reactionary politics (because Socialism appeared to be what the Civilization and thus the State called for, in the face of such imagined events), and then my socialism at last also.
Goes back to my bedrock personalism I guess, and that actually holds the key to the ''collapse'' or ''transition'' or however you want to call it. ''Man is not a piano key'', to paraphrase Dostyoevsky, and he'd as soon smash the whole thing and let it go to the Devil than allow his freedom to be restrained, even if it's as much the freedom to do evil as the freedom to do good. Flip side of that is personal responsibility.
I'll tell you what had a major impact on me as far as transitions go, considerations on the political. (There was a time here on PoFo when @RightWingSage and @Potemkin and @ReiMurasame and numerous others here were debating the impact of ISIS on the World Order, myself included contributing.) and I recall the moment when I had to deal, on a less intellectualized distance, with ''Barbarism''.
There was a Jordanian pilot, shot down, captured and caged by ISIS. His execution was videotaped graphically, as he was sentenced to be burned alive.... I understood in a horrible flash why they had done what they did. In a cruel way, they had violently ripped all the cant and artificial nonsense from the basic cowardice and dishonor of what passes for modern warfare, as something devoid of all honor or shame, mere butchery which renders men involved as neither cowards nor heroes, but simply survivors.
I knew right then, deep down, that there is no way that Modernity will ever win against such people, ever.
And this is what I wrote back then, right here on PoFo;
"Assad's Regime will fall, ISIS will eventually take Damascus and get Islamic street cred for seizing the capital of a former Caliphate. They're pretty serious, their enemies are not, and the Islamic State operates under an eschatological paradigm that renders their strategic and tactical logic inpenetrable to modern political and military minds.
In other words, what many of us here on PoFo were saying far earlier and much more emphatically."
The enemies of the Islamists are not serious. We use them in our political games, we fight each other more than we fight them, and when the least amount of pressure is released, they start coming back. Everything tells me that nobody in the modern world, not Trump or his foes in the Western World, not the Israelis, not even Assad or Putin, gets the real dynamic here.
This is the End of the Modern Age. This is the End of the Nation State as we have known it for about 300 years now. ISIS is the future of the Middle East. When they first rose up a few years ago, they destroyed Iraq and Syria for good, permanently shattered the borders drawn by Sykes-Picot. What they unleashed has rocked the foundations of what we moderns considered normal. Slavery had come back, executions by beheading, all the surface ephemera of a much deeper crisis.
And I stand by everything which I said there... Which I was reminded of indirectly by Victoribus Spolia (a note for @Victoribus Spolia) in the context of my conversations with him, but unknown to him.
Now even slavery and executions by beheading do not seem so improbable to come back, even more as of today than even months ago.
The collapse or transition, you see, is the rebirth of Culture on the ruins of Civilization, ''Barbarism'' being the rule of the Personal, the Real. Look at all the more recent leaders of countries today, their coarse talk, their honest if vulgar feelings expressed, and every meeting conducted on a personalized and privatized level like Kim and Trump, Durterte, Putin and Xi and Bolsonaro.... This is the future, if not more so.
I mostly regard all of human history as one interminably long dark age. So I don't really disagree with you on that. I would point out that it's always the best of times and the worst of times. Life these days is much better for some than it ever has been and is much worse for others than ever before. There's also always a trade off with technological advancement, technology has improved everyone's life in some ways and made it worse in others. What I can say for certain is that there is both more danger and more hope than ever before in the history of the world. We definitely live in interesting times.
It certainly is interesting, to be sure. Don't get me wrong, i'm not pessimistic in my vision. There will be more lawlessness, but also more truth.
But man is a fickle and disreputable creature and perhaps, like a chess-player, is interested in the process of attaining his goal rather than the goal itself.