As the world descends into a miasma of hate and bigotry, what with the Russian Ukrainian war “revealing” the bestiality of human nature each passing day and India staring at the abyss of a morass of religious and ethnic strife, one wonders whether there is anything to look forward to when one gets up in the morning. At a time when we must be addressing pressing issues such as climate change, income inequality, and the ever-present threat of the pandemic, we are instead gorging ourselves on an orgy of hate and destruction. Indeed, one starts to wonder whether there is any point in this prevailing mindlessness. On the other hand, there are whole nations that are on the verge of bankruptcy and default imposing harsh conditions on their citizenry, while at the same time, their elites are busy partying as if there is no tomorrow. Is this what we have been reduced to, with our overwhelming technological breakthroughs serving to satiate our baser instincts, instead of uplifting us?? Is this what we want, with our much-vaunted “progress” becoming the means to the end of the genocide, rather than any grand nation-building endeavour.
How can one stay positive without giving in to propaganda and brainwashing techniques, perfected over the years, by all sides to the present conflicts!! Indeed, the overwhelming “whataboutery” where each side points fingers at the other and blames each other for the disorder means that we are stuck between Coke and Pepsi like choices, where the famous quote of the pioneer of Industry, Henry Ford, proclaims, You can have any colour as long as it is black!! means that there is not much to choose from the prevailing menu of our political parties and the many hues of their variants. So, are we to resign ourselves to the inevitability of the demise of our present technocratic led systems, with the “solutions” nowhere in sight and perhaps, entail more disorder and dystopia. Is it that we are so bereft of creativity and innovation outside our tech bubbles that we simply cannot refrain from tearing down the world? Or, is it that well placed and well-heeled among us have decided that there is no more need for “useless eaters” who can be disposed off, much like they do with the overflowing trash that accumulates in their palatial mansions, a product of the endless consumerist binge that they indulge in.
Futurists had several optimistic scenarios about how we would be able to conquer disease, overcome scarcity, fight plagues, make peace, and engage with each other in a globalized and interconnected world with all of us living in One Gigantic Global Village. However, The Great Recession of 2008 was the first blow to globalization and it is my belief that we haven’t really recovered from it. Trump and the other far-right strongmen brought axes and pickles to tear down the edifices of globalization and build their “walls” to keep the “others” out. After that, the pandemic made us all hyperlocal and ever more dependent on the “here and now” thereby striking another blow to globalism. Now. Putin threatened to undo the last vestiges of integration with all of us now exhorted to be Atmanirbhar rather than part of one planetary Vasudaiva Kutumbham. Maybe this is the much-vaunted New Normal that we keep hearing out. Maybe, we shall never return to “normal”, that is assuming things were normal earlier. Indeed, historians would aver that our collective evolution was a long saga of guts and gore and hence, perhaps we should not complain too much about the periodic eruptions that we see around us.
Am I rationalizing violence? On the other hand, Am I overplaying the doom and gloom instead of looking for positivity?? Well, I started this post to find the answer to these questions and mind you, I am nowhere close to any meaningful explanation for either question. Perhaps better minds than mine can put it more succinctly and cogently as to the present contortions and distortions around us, and contextualize whatever is happening in the long sweep of human history. Whatever the answers, I can say for sure that demonizing entire communities is certainly not development and progress and more so, when the reason d’etre of such progress depends on persecuting them. So, here’s me awaiting a more hopeful day ahead, with no False Dawns and instead, sunshine breaking through and making us see reason.
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