Five years ago it was apparent the post war settlement was unravelling and the time that has elapsed since has exposed each layer of inertia in our political economy. We have five years of data, qualitative and quantitative to demonstrate how western democracies are locked into this endless cycle, and the hermetic seal around our democracy has demonstrated why the crisis we now face could never be avoided.
Sometimes I try to guage how far into this we are, and how many years it will be before stability returns. I have always had a knack for seeing things how they are and not how I want them to be, and to learn from my own blindness. Today I wish I didn’t have that knack.
The greatest minds of the 20th century achieved greatness because they were faced with the worst humanity could do. The last incarnation of this multifaceted global crisis, took decades to get through before stability was achieved.
Sometimes when things are good, that is thrilling. Knowing that the ideas formed now will define a century. That the smallest change achieved now, could carry through till our great grandchildren clean up the mess created by the flaws in our thinking, after our children and their children enjoy what we achieve, At other times it is terrifying knowing the scale of what has to happen for that process to complete before we find equilibrium again.
This blog has been as near to an honest account of my changing perspective as the world changes around me, that I can manage. Sometimes that has been uncomfortable to record, and looking back at what I did not understand before gives a sense of how far we can come in a short space of time.
The fact is before we have a political economy that can accommodate instability we have to see what that instability looks like. How crisis borne of flawed thinking gradually evolve through financial, social, and political crises. There has never been a time in history where that process has passed without bloody flowing in quantities that bring us face to face with the worst that human nature can offer. I sometimes hope that a miracle will happen and this time will be differnet but I have that awkward knack of knowing that it won’t be.
The world is so dangerous and so unstable right now, and we are nearly at the point where it is just a question of power. Inequality faultlines, geo political faultlines, financial faultlines, and a deeply unstable world.
I was pregnant in 2006, and the world didn’t look like this even though the ground for it had been long laid and my blindness was why I couldn’t see it. The child I bore will be an adult before the world is stable again and while occasionally the prospect of what is possible right now is thrilling, the price that will come with is terrifying.
Our first forays into democracy as we evolved past a system of monarchies shaped the 20th century. The early decades of the 21st as we move beyond that system, are shaping up to be no more stable than those early decades of the 20th.