“When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle”
Looking at the political paralysis of the American political system, the wasted lives and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ceaseless unrest in the Arab world, the increasing possibility of a war with Iran and the sense of financial stagnation if not imminent collapse, I sometimes get the feeling I am only hearing the other shoe drop.
With a little historical perspective you might see that the mysterious process of transformation that began only 24 years ago (a blink of the eye history-wise) with the fall of the Berlin Wall was a continuum and whatever mysterious force it was that caused the sudden, totally unforeseen, collapse of the Soviet empire is also attacking the remaining economic, military and political structures of world power… which, come to think of it, is mostly us.
In other words, in time, we won’t see these as separate, unconnected events, but as one continuous, unfolding, process, such as the period of similar length between World War One and World War Two; a tragedy rooted in the culture, economic and political developments of the 19th century, just as what we live today is rooted in the culture, economic and political developments of the 20th.
Nowadays as was the case in Eastern Europe as the USSR fell apart and its grip loosened, our “satellites” and our client regimes are in revolt and/or collapsing too. Perhaps the financial system is just a “leading indicator” of this ongoing metamorphosis.
I am coming to believe that we are living through some sort of process of deep systemic change and end of an era that might have begun with the industrial revolution: a period which we don’t have enough distance or perspective to properly understand and that the fall of USSR was simply a warning, something similar to the water receding before a tsunami hits.
Foolishly, instead of taking precautions, we wandered out in the tidal flats collecting seashells… now the tide is rolling in and maybe it is too late to run for cover.