We’re in a fin de siècle moment, scary in its unknown outcomes as all our certainties vanish; but for what?
First, to really put the frighteners on everyone, in a history repeating itself sense, think back to the 1920’s.
That was a decade of booming prosperity when everything seemed possible, of a new liberality manifesting itself in excess compared with the past. Flappers, fads in every field, new scientific breakthroughs and irrationally over-priced share-markets. Ring a bell? Yes; the decade we’ve just completed.
Then abruptly came the great crash leading to mass unemployment and despair. Liberal democracies were replaced in all but a handful of countries as the masses opted for, or passively accepted, the certainties promised by authoritarian governments.
Ring a bell? Look at Brazil, Hungary, the Philippines, Poland, Egypt etc. etc. Add Trump.
And it all culminated with the greatest disaster in human history, namely the Second World War. So in an age of zillions being wasted on armaments, as in the thirties, well the future looks…. you guess. So that’s something to look forward to.
The future looks just fine to me.
The smart ones amongst us have learned from the past and protected ourselves for the future.
We’re the ones who step out first, who wipe gym equipment before we use it.
We’ll be there when those who didn’t or couldn’t need help.
An excellent “the bigger picture” article Bob and unfortunately a likely outcome. Some of us are watching this unfold. https://www.theorganicprepper.com/ww3-brewing/
Sarcasm aside it does seem like we are moving into a new epoch.
Such unknowns bring both huge risk and huge opportunity.
The fragile centralised entities are all breaking apart.
The challenge is to ensure we decentralise enough to curb militarism.
Reverting to universalist Nationalism is clearly not answer.
Keeping scales of conflict small is important to reduce severity, especially when the alternative extreme case is the grand destruction of warring nation states. We know how that will go.
‘Stable’ systems eventually explode/collapse spectacularly. Slightly volatile systems are actually more robust. We may well be waking up from the big nap of the past ~70 years and the kicking of cans down the road.
If we are, I am of the age that will have to deal with it.
Even so, large scale violence should be concern for anyone.
I am often slightly torn on the defence question because being able to defend oneself is a form of reducing violence. ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’. On the one hand military expenditure is a gross extravagance better used elsewhere, but martial capacity is a deterrence. At least at an individual level think about how martial artists are often more peaceful than the average person outside the gym because they both understand the realities of violence and have less to prove.
Where this all clearly breaks down is in the asymmetry of bureaucrats being able to remotely start wars without needing their own skin in the game. I’ve found some women have this same relationship with proxy violence but that’s something of a tangent. This is is part of why bottom-up scales of autonomy are better than top-down control. The further away something is, the less authority it should have, instead of the reverse. This ethically aligns incentives and removes interventionist temptation. War has long been the past time of those at the tip of hierarchies.
A type of minarchist federalism or multi-scale localism should solve these governance and conflict problems. Local over regional over national etc.
It’s true Authoritarianism and Nationalism do well in times of disease and crisis but we must learn our lessons and not go down those roads again if we can at all prevent it. One trouble of course is that to a contemporary/globalist mindset all these alternatives – good and bad – share a certain shallow resemblance about sovereignty.
I hope I have started to explain things clearly.
The other major place all this breaks down of course is with the apocalyptic calibre of weapons certain nation states have at their disposal. This a topic on which much ink has been spilled so I won’t get into it right now.
The next wave of entrepreneurs deserve our highest commendation as risk takers trying to build the future.
I’ve been expecting a war in Europe, although I don’t think it will happen for a while – give it 20 yrs or so. I suspect it will be along the lines of the Bosnian war, although not in that area. Maybe the collapse of the EU might prevent or slow it down. There’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing in Europe and the sheep have been feeding it.
I thought one of the underlying reasons for the EU was that Germany didn’t revert to type and decide that she new best. They control Europe financially, it’s only a matter of time before they step up to the plate again I fear.
I didn’t mean the Germans were the wolf, although they have been a major instigator in sowing the seeds of future destruction. The problem will come from within each European nation and will spread to a lager conflict. I truly hope I’m wrong, but what the EU have forced on Europe can’t be reversed & will have long term consequences on the ideological, religious & ethnic makeup of the continent that will be impossible to reconcile with its historical foundation. Consider this – the Middle East used to be almost entirely Christian, where are they now.
As long as there is Nato and as long as the British and American keep their occupation forces in Germany, Europe will sleep well.
Our Prime Minister has bullied mercilessly various so-called enemies of the State (employers, landlords, small and big businesses et al). Although she babbles a lot about “kindness”, her message has been clear:
Chase them with pitchforks.
Burn them at the stake.
It’s quite shocking what an intolerant, ugly, nasty society she has created.
This is not going to end well.
The govt is not going to give out $1500,00 per person but $2000.00 and been told it’s the money from treaty settlements that’s going to be used well that’ll make everyone happy only problem being the mail trucks may not get through the roadblocks 🤣😂😁🤩😜just saying from a friend
Tongue in cheek now wait see responses 😘
“Nobody mention the war!” 😂
Today I was contemplating this Boschian purgatory that is this lockdown.
Comrade Cake Face is the demiurge, the creator, of this dystopia.
I looked into the mad staring googly eyes of the Prime Minister, and for the first time, I saw something very disturbing and sinister.
You see, my premise has always been that the Prime Minister is something of a wacky village idiot – a buffoon, for sure, but not nasty or dangerous.
The psycho babbling about “kindness”, before she put her clown boot into a new scapegoat was slightly irritating, but so what? Politicians do this all the time.
However, something has changed in this country, and it’s not pleasant at all.
Try reading the comments section for any article about inbound tourists. The xenophobia is actually breath-taking. The intolerance is bordering on psychopathic. The nastiness is extreme and unrelenting.
I saw an article about Airbnb owners. The comments were so mean spirited, ugly and distasteful, they took my breath away.
Comments on employers? The same. And so on…
New Zealand is an island, so was always a little bit insular. However, the people used to be more open, worldly and tolerant.
Since the Prime Minister weaponized “kindness” to smash scapegoats, her intolerant views have become reflected and magnified by the mob.
It is shocking.
Mate , have a drink.
I’m a Kiwi property business owner currently living in America with my American wife. The comments from New Zealanders including repeated versions of “aren’t all Americans stupid” are shocking. I’ve put up with it for 30 years now, but this is a new level of racism and hate toward the groups you mentioned. It is having a profound affect on how I will look at a country I think I love. It will result in my reducing our business investment, and most assuredly I will visit less as a paying tourist. I’m frankly disgusted!
So far, a billion NZ dollars per life lost.