the changing of large social phenomena

Mary Eberstadt, author of “Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution”, interviewed in The City:

“whenever you start saying something is inevitable, some series of facts are going to come along and clobber you. If you think about all the predictions of inevitability: Marxism, communism, claiming that they have inevitable victory on its side. That didn’t work. Think of things in your own lifetime that seemed inevitable.

When I was a kid it seemed inevitable that almost all adults would smoke and smoke a lot. That changed. That changed drastically. What I’m saying is that, when you have large social phenomena you can’t ever take for granted the idea that they are there to stay, for better or for worse. And my point about the sexual revolution is that it hasn’t been looked at that way yet, but the empirical record is such that it is high time that it get looked at that way – that is, get looked at as something that does not necessarily govern the world of 100 years from now the way it governs our world.”