Whilst being pretty calm about my own life, if not optimistic, I’m now plunged into a kind of passive dread about the future. There’s nothing I can do to change events that may or may not occur and because of that my levels of anxiety are pretty low, but nonetheless I don’t hold out much hope of the human race surviving for very much longer. And that makes me feel sad for The Dude and his opportunities and life. He has great dreams. But I fear they may be dashed by the hatred, fear and weakness of others.
By 2020 if we, as a race, globally haven’t set in motion environmental policies limiting or stopping carbon emissions, global warming won’t just be a theory as some claim but an every day horror. We will have passed the point of no return. Rising sea levels caused by climate change and erratic weather patterns caused by raising sea levels will seriously deplete arable land stocks and reduce our ability to produce enough natural food stuffs for an ever-growing population, which in itself will put pressure on this valuable, shrinking commodity. A reduction in food supply will mean higher prices, high prices will mean greater poverty. And greater poverty will result in more and more migration to perceived prosperous areas.
In the UK we’ve just witnessed this country’s Minocracy in action over Brexit. Fuelled by hysteria over floods of immigrants from Eastern Europe and elsewhere, all sanctioned by Brussels of course, millions turned to Right-wing political ideas. Politicians have played on fears generated and exacerbated by a failing economic system. For decades the white working class have felt ignored and neglected. They’ve felt marginalised in their own homes. And true, they have seen real-term and de facto stagnation and decrease of their income. Opportunity, choice and hope seem to have vanished. In their stead has grown hatred born of fear, and a fear born of weakness. And the outlet of this hatred has been encouraged towards non-whites and non-British.
Excluding the Elite, there isn’t a social class or “ethnic” group, in the UK or globally, that hasn’t felt the hammer blow of our failing economic system, particularly since 2008 and the Great Crash heralded by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. But instead of pointing an accusing finger at the Elite, and the greed of financial institutions, the media have rallied behind the old order and all but apologised for it, and done so by giving a voice to those who have attacked the powerless and blamed them for something that is out of their control. There has been a rise in Islamophobia, racism and a total antipathy towards “foreigners” in many countries, particularly in North America and Europe.
Eight years after Lehman Brothers vanished, Donald Trump achieved his ambition and now waits for the front door key to the White House in Washington DC. He is now, arguably, the most powerful man on Earth. He is a climate change sceptic. He has played xenophobic and Islamophobic cards feeding off fear of the apparently unknown. He has claimed he can cure the US’s ills through aggression and a big wall. But this will only bring one response.
If ever you get into an argument, remain calm and negate the aggression of the other. It’s difficult to have a fight in a phonebox/booth/kiosk. Yes, one has the backing of the Rule of Law as an individual. This is something nation states can ignore or set their internal propaganda against. But this is where weakness plays its part. If a population passively watches its government and politicians, and allows its media, to dictate without questioning its methods and motives, it is seriously weak. In times of prosperity, the rhetoric of Trump and Farage would appear ridiculous. Others have tried it, and appeared as clowns in suits. Take away opportunity, choice and hope, and replace it with fear and hatred and Right-wing rhetoric begins to mean something in the minds of too many people. Look at the rise of the European fascists and Nazi organisations in the 1920s and ‘30s if you don’t believe me. These far-right parties came to power in desperate times for desperate people.
The UK and the US are experiencing nothing near the economic problems of the 1930s but the arguments have been the same: a vile enemy lurks either at home or abroad; a foreign “agent” is working to undermine your nation; a need has arisen to build a stronger national bond and fight for survival.
Instead of creating a sustainable world for all in a post capitalist environment, we appear, as a race, to be heading for a post-industrial nightmare. That would be the worse case, I’m sure, but with the current set of world leaders Mr Trump is joining, we’ll need a pretty big phone booth for their possible, maybe inevitable spat.
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