It’s time for hope
It has been said before, this year sucks. To be honest it has been bad for some time now, but 2020 really takes the biscuit.
Over the past 12 years or so we’ve had economic crises, increasing migration fuelled by failed revolutions in the Arab world, which combined led to a strengthening of right-wing movements in Europe, reducing compassion and polarizing political discourse. Then, all together, one feeding on another, Trump, Brexit, Xi-Jinping, Putin, Bolsonaro, Duterte, Orban… ugly personalities in strong positions.
I used to say that I was glad that the right-wing movement was gathering strength when it did, for I thought that it was inevitable any way, and it would be better that it came at that time, when there weren’t still too many forces feeding it. I had the impression that it came too early and it would follow its natural cycle and die out, to be replaced by a new, stronger era of hope. I am starting to get the impression that I was right, and that we are almost out of it.
Cycles are natural, and it’s important to recognize them and learn to ride the wave. Usually shocks serve to accelerate the process, and this pandemic seems to be exactly what we needed. It was not unexpected (we’ve been talking about it for many years, made films about it even), but still it caught those in power by surprise, unsurprisingly given the fact that most right wing governments are notoriously short-sighted.
We now have the upper hand. There’s energy gathering, with the BLM movement, the backlash against propaganda, the return to trust in experts, and more and more people learning about the benefits of a universal basic income. And about time too, as the climate emergency cannot really wait for us to continue being lost in the desert of ignorance and denial for much longer, lest we find ourselves in a much less metaphorical one.
Unfortunately we will still have to take a couple more years of Bolsonaro, and 4 more years of Tory government in the UK (unless they continue their unabashed incompetence and corruption to the point of stirring the people to throw them out early), and it might take even longer for the UK to repent and ask to get back into the European Union. But at least in the US there’s a possibility they might be able to recover faster, if they put the current orange guy to run. Let’s hope so.
It’s time to be hopeful. Technology is enabling fantastic advances in cognition, there’s a new economy about to be created, there’s real hope for renewable energy and improved waste management. We need to kill off fossil fuels completely if we are to have a chance to push this new era further. This will reduce the influence of the current government of Russia, but potentially cause further instability in middle eastern countries, so it needs to be handled with care. We need to work together to diversify our economies from the extraction of fossil fuels. We need to bring the generation of capital away from the few, and into the hands of the many. We need to continue educating people of all ages to be open, compassionate, optimistic.
That’s it, that’s all I have to say for now.