December 19, 2011 9 Comments
The Chinese curse “You should be forced to live in interesting times” was very true for 2011, shaping up as one of the more disruptive and uncertain 12 month periods since the last World War, and I felt that I would be remiss if I did not finish my blog posts for 2011 without a fond look at some of the major “fault lines” that we are going to have to live with and solve.
The Arab Spring which was welcomed by the Western powers as a cry for democracy and the removal of dictatorships is quickly turning into more of a winter woe as their version of democracy takes power away from the dictators and hands it all over to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is violently opposed to the west in every way.
The euro continues flirting with disaster as it becomes increasingly obvious to the rest of the world that every solution that is mooted is akin to putting a bandaid on a severed limb. At the same time some European countries have been giving up democracy and handing over control to the bankers who helped to create the problems in the first place.
The US Dollar and English Pound are not faring much better and to be able to just keep the lights on, governments will need to print more money just to pay basic commitments like pensions and public sector salaries, leading to out of control inflation rates in major currencies.
Iran moves steadily towards achieving nuclear weaponry making the Israelis increasingly nervous, with some justification, and Turkey and Iran are rattling scimitars as to who should lead the Arab world, which is interesting as neither nation is truly Arab.
The US continues to polarize as does China, both countries growing the divide between the haves and have-nots, and at the same time still rewarding those that work out how to get rich at the expense of everyone else.
We continued to pollute and spent our energies arguing about whether man was at fault for global warming or whether it was just part of some natural cycle, instead of joining forces to work out what could be done about it.
All in all we created an interesting year for ourselves.
Christmas is a good time for all of us, irrespective of our religious beliefs, to think about the fact that we have created this parlous state of affairs through our own stupidity and greed.
The dictators that we helped to overthrow in 2011 are the same ones we supported, traded with, courted and sold weapons to earlier on.
The death of the major western currencies we allowed by letting the bankers decide on how we should lead our lives, despite the fact that most of us knew that it was rarely the most intelligent of our generation that went to work for the banks.
We let nations rush towards the “we got the bomb” club till we reached that point in the Tom Lehrer 1965 song “Who’s next?”, when he wrote “I’ll try and stay serene and calm when Alabama gets the bomb”. At the same time we continued to vote into power people who should not have been allowed to run a “fish and chip” shop let alone run a country.
We allowed all this to happen and we are the only ones who can fix it all.
It’s time we all got off our well-padded, designer-jeaned, liposucked backsides and took responsibility and control back from the politicians and bankers and hate-mongers.
I don’t know yet how we can do this, but I do know that do it we must, and I am going to try and work out what part I have to play in this for the sake of my children and grand-children.
In the words of Dr. Seuss
“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own and you know what you know.
And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
I wish you all a wonderful time over the holiday season with those you love, and best wishes for a 2012 full of personal success and the true wonders of life.
I plan to spend most of the next month deep in skiable snow with friends from Australia and with our kids and grandkids, just to remind myself about what really matters and why we need to protect it.