Commerce and politics have always been sources of dramatic change - why is this always surprising?
Draft - Work in progress
People seem to be pre-programmed to accept the current status quo as eternal. Change is not something that is intuitively easy to grasp. It seems incompressible that the current nation states can crumble despite millennia of history to the contrary. No state structure lasts forever, no matter how big or how powerful it becomes. On an even shorter timeframe, the rise and fall of political parties can catch people fully unawares. After a few decades of one or other party or viewpoint completely dominating a political landscape, a few short years later this can all be swept away. This is sometimes for good - but with many notable examples where this was catastrophic.
It is also equally hard to imagine that some of the world's largest companies with enormous power and capital can disappear in a generation (and sometimes much more quickly). Why is this so hard to imagine despite all evidence to the contrary? Companies typically survive less than 25 years in the SP500.
Could the German automotive industry disappear in a decade? What consequences would this have both economically and politically in Europe? Consider the recent case of the all dominating Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia that had complete dominance over this market, massive quantities of funding for R&D and every advantage to maintain their dominance. However in the space of half a decade - they have been swept aside. A similar fate for Blackberry.