Like twentieth-century Iran, the remnant of the Persian Empire, Ethiopia under Haile Selassie attempted to preserve the absolutist state throught an accommodation with modernizing forces in his own terms without completely subduing traditionalists. This was not a strategy of Haile Selassie's own choosing. Instead, he was overtaken by events and forced to deal with contradictions that were from the very beginning too formidable to be managed in the long term.
Hitler's large-scale demands for the Mediterranean meant that...the plans for...an 'Eastern Wall' were overtaken by the increasingly rapid advance of the Red Army.walter warlimont
For long ages, too, no notice whatever was taken of the criminal’s “sin”; he was regarded as harmful, not guilty, and looked upon as a piece of destiny; and the criminal on his side took his punishment as a piece of destiny which had overtaken him, and bore it with the same fatalism ... In general we may say that punishment tames the man, but does not make him “better.”georg brandes
The competition between human beings destroys with cold and diabolic brutality.... Under the pressure of this competitive fury we have not only forgotten what is useful to humanity as a whole, but even that which is good and advantageous to the individual.... One asks, which is more damaging to modern humanity: the thirst for money or consuming haste... in either case, fear plays a very important role: the fear of being overtaken by one's competitors, the fear of becoming poor, the fear of making wrong decisions or the fear of not being up to snuff.Konrad Lorenz
Collisions between fast and slow trains, moving in the same direction, are prevented by the application of the following rule: The conductor of a slow train will report himself to the Superintendent of Division immediately on arrival at a station where, by the time-table, he should be overtaken by a faster train; and he shall not leave that station until the fast train passes, without special orders from the Superintendent of Division.
Does one of you like to have a garden of palms and vines with streams flowing in it -- he has therein all kinds of fruits -- and old age has overtaken him and he has weak offspring; when (lo!) a whirlwind with fire in it smites it so it becomes blasted. Thus God makes the messages clear to you that you may reflect.