The 50’s were a time of new hope. The 2nd World War was over and it appeared as though societies were moving in the right direction. The age of industrialization was old news and modern technology was on the rise. The world was our oyster and if people worked hard they had something to show for it at old age.
But then there came a major shift – modern technology took over. Members of the working and middle classes began to suffer from stagnant or declining wages and lost jobs — a backlash as a result of cultural changes and with automation stealing jobs. No longer can coal miners rely on jobs that once took generations through to old age. People are now discontent and scared. Sadly this shift has allowed the worst possible kind of populism. Economic have-nots and globalization losers are convinced that their money-drenched messiah has arrived, a Pied Piper, giving rise to the concept of Othering – those who do not fit the image of thy Self.
Populism has rekindled prejudice, divisive language that energizes crimes against minorities, disrespect to women, greed and terror and hatred of the worst kind – Xenophobia – a reflection of what happened in Italy and Germany almost 100 years ago. I believe that when there is no room in our hearts to love our neighbour, then there is no hope for mankind.
The 1% has strengthened its grip on power in a world of too little food and clean water and too much suffering and unrest. There are 353,000 babies born every day and the world is bursting at its seams. Nothing good can come from this. Mankind has taken its eye from the ball and lost all sense of where it is going. Are we doomed to crawl back into the cave, gnaw on food cooked over an open fire and struggle for the basic needs to survive, as they had done 20,000 years ago? Given a second chance would we get it right?
I believe we have certainly failed this time round. We have failed the world and we have failed ourselves. I wonder if mankind’s genetic make-up leaves no alternative but to self-destruct!