They say that with time, things become clearer and more becoming to objective, considered analysis but I don’t know if this is true. Throughout the 20th century, things only seem to have gotten bigger, more complex and more chaotic. When one sets out to make an earnest attempt to understand the world and its deepest workings, universal truths become empty dogmas and informed future predictions become wishful thinking, as if our society is built more on quicksand than any real stable foundation. Our economic system is one of a bus that will explode if it drops below a certain speed limit, only that speed limit is always getting higher and the next brick wall is always just around the corner. They say that the best and most rational way to live our lives is to fulfill our individual wants and to leave our own mark, yet our individual marks are ever more rapidly destroyed, replaced and remade as an ever more globalised social order ranges on and spreads its influence to all four corners of the globe.
Perhaps the supreme parodax of our time is of how individual choice and identity and the atomisation of society are seen as the ultimate ideal yet we continue to perpetuate a political and economic order that makes us totally, utterly dependent on one another: a housing market crash in the U.S. can destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people thousands of miles away. We’re like flotsam being thrown about in a Pacific hurricane, always fighting to keep our heads above the water, and the weather is getting more extreme. As we stare into the deafening darkness that is what the 21st century will bring to our species we can be nothing less but brave beyond belief, resilient beyond reckoning and compassionate enough to hold on to one other.