Major disasters do not necessarily generate novel social fissures. They tend rather to sharpen existing contradictions and create a sense of urgency for their resolution. In trying to manage a disaster’s repercussions, three broad categories of journeys often play out. The first direction is one of social upheaval that either results in new social systems or a complete collapse, with the mutual destruction of contending forces. The second possibility is the emergence of dictatorship either as an insidious creeping in of populism and social acquiescence or as an abrupt seizure of the political reins. While the third broad direction is one of reformation and renaissance.

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