More Thoughts for Monday May 6.
The turmoil of world geopolitics and economics today is the gift that keeps on giving – so one more reflection and a depressing conclusion.
Europe is in a dangerously precarious state – leaderless and under threat. “Have not” and indebted member states are desperately looking to despots for quick fixes where there are none. Populist sloganising is replacing careful thought and deliberate action. The US, in so far as it has any clear foreign policy, is trending towards an agressive America First isolationism. Russia as always is meddling at the edge – a vast force for evil.
The West is rotting. Beneath the social floorboards lies an increasingly threatening challenge. The wealth of the top 1% is now greater than that of the bottom 90% combined – more and more people are facing abject poverty, are being left behind and have no way out. Youth unemployment is increasing. And this is taking place whilst national debt is remorslessly moving to unsustainable levels. Within 3 years the US will not be able to service its interest obligations.
Here’s the thing. to an historian the west today looks uncannily like it was in the late 1920’s except that the key differences make the situation even worse. We are failing to deal with the exitential threat of Climate Change – so the sick cycle will continue of desertification in South America and North Africa leading to more irresistaable immigration and the growing squeeze of racism and religious hatred. China is emerging as the new world power. Never before have there been two hyper powers coexisiting on our planet. In so far as there has been a reaction it has been one of mind bending volatility. Desperate nations have reached for deals as for an economic life raft. The US has stumbled and twittered to a self destructive putative trade war.
So what’s to do?
The obvious next steps apart from setting loose aarmageddon, are to move to a social compact and a command and control government – redistribute wealth, introduce common levels of education for all, collaborate with China over technology and climate change and, forcefully if necessary, impose law, order and discipline on South America, Northern Africa and Europe…..but we know that will not happen. We are at an impasse, contemplating a furious turmoil almost a century to the day after the last collapse began.
Have a good day, James.