Optimism

It seems like modern (western?) society is at some kind of inflection point.

The worldwide pandemic which has hit the UK and US particularly hard has had a massive knock-on effect to economies around the world. Here in the US we also have a huge grassroots movement started in response to police brutality and quickly expanding to address all aspects of racism and inequality.

In the UK, there’s the ongoing Brexit debacle and the real possibility that Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be part of the UK in the next few years.

Many other countries are also having their own political, economic, and ethical crises as well – so it feels like we are living through an important part of history.

It’s easy to think that this may be the end of “normal operations” and that’s a scary thought – so I’m choosing to believe that this is a time for optimism and that the systemic change that results from this reset will be positive. What I’m hoping will happen is that we, as advanced industrial societies, take the chance to move the economy to a more sustainable one. Whether this is the “green new deal” or something else I don’t know. But we need to get away from resource extraction, eternal growth mindset, and an unsustainable climate impact. That’s a big change in itself.

But there are social and societal things that need to change – the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand need to address their colonial past and ongoing social and ethnic inequalities (I’m sure other countries have work to do as well, but I can only speak for the countries I’ve lived in) – younger generations seem keen to do this while the powers-that-be rests this (as they always do). The healthcare debacle in the US needs to change and people getting $1,000,000 USD bills for COVID-19 treatment (as has happened already) may be the straw that breaks that particular camel’s back. Again, younger folks who tend to have more international exposure see and hear that other countries don’t have the challenges that the US does and seem keen to change this. Cries of “socialism” and “communism” no longer seem to hold weight.

I’m actually keen to see how the next 20 years works out – a move to solar and other renewable energy sources, more equitable societies, better work/life balance, finally addressing legacies of colonialism and racism, and other change is long overdue.

Or the existing power structure could stay in place, carry on down the same destructive path and nothing will change until the next global crisis (seems like they are every 8-10 years).

I prefer to hope for positive change and better futures.

Raoul

About Raoul

With a fairly unusual first name, this is where I have to stress VERY STRONGLY that these posts are my personal opinions and in no way reflect anything at all to do with my employer. For employer-approved content, take a look at my work blog.
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