What I wrote a year ago about the decline of the West and most people’s denial of it, sadly, turned out to be true. It took a new hit only five days later at Capitol Hill in Washington. And according to a recent Harvard Youth Poll, over 50% of the young people in the US believe that US democracy is “in trouble” or has “already failed.”
Our democracy is in deep crisis because it cannot bring about the change the world needs fast enough – think about the environment, equality, eradication of poverty, global health, abolition of militarism, nukes and war. It hasn’t been able to use Covid as an opportunity for our world to come together and cooperate. And while the militaries and the corporations think globally, democracy is national and lagging hopelessly behind them. In this situation, President Biden’s recent Democracy Summit was flawed from every angle.
No matter such writings on the wall, our politicians keep telling us that things are under control while the media play the tunes – narratives – like the orchestra did at Titanic. As a result, the interest in the real reality – in contrast to the virtual – out there has declined. Realpolitik is make-believe – e.g. that problems will be solved when we throw billions of money into a malfunctioning system or that whoever is today’s beloved enemy will soon attack us – and, so, let’s waste even more on” defence.”
I see the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago – the Eastern West – as a precursor to the fall of the Western West now.
Knowledge and facts are now forced to give way to narratives, fake and omission, to news and politics as items to be put on a market, deception and worse. Opinions in the shape of Twitter-like soundbites, navel-gazing identity politics, and entertainment have marched in. Lately, the Epstein-Maxwell sex scandal, Britney Spears, the latest Netflix fix, and the omnipresent Covid obsession are top news in the West. I’m afraid there are more important things we ought to discuss, but they are omitted, cancelled, censored.
Outside the West, there is the Rest. We hear and learn far too little about it. Society logged down intellectually long ago. Little curiosity or vision, merely subdued fears. There will be a wake-up call. And that’s, of course, why we also hear only negatives about China.
So, am I a pessimist? Not at all! My thinking is simple: Do what you feel you must do and say. Political correctness is incompatible with democracy. As a wise man said at the last World War: “He who sleeps in a democracy risks waking up in a dictatorship.”
I’ll wait that crisis out. Unfortunately, I believe it all has to worsen before we reach the necessary turning point – hopefully, a peaceful one. Soon.
Then emerges a multi-polar world – unity in diversity, not in uniformity – where everybody has their basic needs and basic income satisfied, where intelligent conflict-resolution has replaced unintelligent weapons-addicted’ security’, where there is much more equality – because we are born equal, aren’t we? A world in which money will not rule but be a tool. And where facts, knowledge and trust once again provide a basis for development and cultural richness. The West will have become a partner with humility and a will to listen and learn.
Our tiny Transnational Foundation enters its 36th year with more attention than ever, particularly outside the West. My attempts at art also aim at a less violent future – the UN norm that peace shall be established by peaceful means…
Peace is simply a better idea!
Finally, at the turn of the year, I’ve come across two videos that – very different as they are – I find significant and want to share with my readers here.
The first tells in less than two minutes what is at stake for us all. It is historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto pointing out that diversity is the most significant characteristic of the human species:
The second is Chinese president Xi Jinping’s New Year speech. In 2022, I shall continue to learn about China and hopefully be able to go there. I’d like to suggest to you to see videos about China on YouTube, read some quality books, now and then read China Daily or watch CGTN just to get a sense, be open-minded and judge for yourself instead of relying on Western Cold War perspectives. And if you are in command of the Danish language – follow the magazine of the DenmarKina of the friendship association.
I wish you a better 2022!
PS I am going to develop this personal blog further – following up upon the new design I gave it at the end of 2021. More viewpoints and personal stuff, more diversity, is what I aim at during 2022. If you like what you see, please tell a friend. Thanks.