This is quite a sobering read, apologies in advance.
Throughout various points of our world history, doomsday proclamations have been made about the end of the world. We had the Mayans predicting that earth will cease to exist on December 21st 2012, Nostradamus prophesying that the end of the 20th century would be a period of chaos, trauma and transformation, and American psychic and astrologer Jeane Dixon (who predicted President John F. Kennedy’s death and President Richard Nixon was said to have followed her predictions), foretold that an apocalyptic ‘war of armageddon’ would happen in 2020. Mere coincidence? Or just another saying from the long list of conspiracy theories? (Don’t want to give QAnon any ideas).
This year is like one giant Pandora’s box. Each day, week and month brings out a new element of surprise. By now you’d think you’ve seen it all. That nothing can shock you anymore and that one day in the foreseeable future (fingers crossed), things will go back to normal. Racism will end, everyday people would make good money, world poverty will be no more, global warming won’t be a threat, everyone recycles properly and that evil doers will be punished. A nice thought right?
But what if I told you that the signs of disaster have been with us for a long time hidden behind our very busy lives? Since many of us are home now due to Covid-19 with not much to do, things that were previously in the dark and adamantly ignored are making themselves known.
I read an article a while ago about the collapse of empires and how often, it isn’t some dramatic and apocalyptic event like we are led to believe, but one where most people went on with their lives while the gradual shift of a new civilisation occurred behind the scenes. Could this be what’s happening in the West or is this something else entirely? Something more sinister? As we all know, empires don’t last forever no matter how hard people cling on to that belief. Gone are the days when the West colonised and dictated the way the world should run.
What we’re seeing is a desperate attempt to appear organised and unified. No concrete solutions have been implemented to change the archaic and divisive structures we’re living through in order to provide a better future for us and the next generation.
In the UK (where I live), day after day, disturbing stories are centre stage on the news and on social media. From the Windrush scandals and spending more than one million pounds during a pandemic deporting people, to Boris Johnson and the conservative party’s growing pile of failings, unsettling events keep happening that won’t go away anytime soon.
Other countries in the Western world are facing uncertain times and various crises too. Political movements are being created out of prejudice, discrimination and fear. Numerous growing neo-nazi and far-right movement groups becoming a big threat (when haven’t they been), and committing a large number of domestic terrorism. Continued violence against black people and ethnic minorities, lack of jobs, a struggling economy, increase of poverty and more, one could see that things are not looking too good.
For so long, the West has advertised itself as this place of abundance and endless opportunities where you can rebrand yourself and enjoy goodies. As long as you work hard and keep your head down of course. To outsiders/ ‘foreigners’, Europe and America is seen as Babylon. Many risk their lives trying to get to the land of dreams. But, there was always a catch. It wasn’t as obvious when our grandparents/ parents first migrated but it is now.
They were led to believe that they could make something good of their lives if they studied and worked here, swallowing the torments and abuse, yet remaining optimistic for their children’s sake. Working to exhaustion in the hopes that one day, the things they went through would not happen to them…
Unfair distribution of opportunity and wealth, the imbalance of power and bad governance have resulted in the issues we’re seeing today.
Politicians and the ruling elite did all this propagandist advertising to save their struggling economy. They looked for solutions to fill the gap in unwanted jobs because the ‘natives’ of the country did not want to do them. Enter immigrants to save the day. Now, when things are getting out of control for their liking, they look towards someone or something to blame.
The old political, social and economical establishment of the West hasn’t changed to reflect the times hence why things are in disarray. Leaders are too confused on how to run things. Instead, push capitalism down our throats as a blanket to hide behind their incompetence. Unfair distribution of opportunity and wealth, the imbalance of power and bad governance have resulted in the issues we’re seeing today.
Things are crumbling right in front of our eyes. Draconian ideologies are enforced in an attempt to keep things and people under control. But like a boiling pot of liquid, its contents are spilling out uncontrollably. The cracks are too obvious to fix. They can’t lie to people and get away with it like they’ve done so the past. Trust has been broken.
We’re constantly bombarded with bad news to the point that we’ve become sort of immune to the looming problems. If it’s got nothing to do with me, why should I care? This wilful ignorance and refusal to admit privilege is preventing many from seeing how things actually are and that they need to change.
Yes, we talk about the dangers of our consumerist society, but occasionally indulging in them isn’t all that terrible. Escapist entertainment provides a lighthearted activity to distract our mind in these complex and exhausting times. But it becomes a problem when you completely disregard the issues at hand or post performative content in an act of ‘solidarity’.
It often feels like we are living in a parallel universe walking into a pit of nothingness.
Unless problems hit home, most people don’t care and can’t see past their individualism when it’s harming people. They trudge along their seemingly normal day-to-day life while bad things are going on around them. Cocooning themselves in a safe bubble. Like this meme which perfectly sums things up:
If this pandemic period has taught us anything is that secrets will be exposed no matter how hard you try to stop it. Our politicians have known about the predicaments for some time but chose not to do anything. They pretend that it’s not happening. Many hide behind the image of capitalism to provide some sense of relevancy but really they’re alienating the rest of us to the extreme with this philosophy of grinding non-stop in the quest to make lots of money and save the economy. Meanwhile, the walls of our home are collapsing on top of us. That suffocating feeling which never seems to go away.
The world was never a place full of milk and honey but one where the imbalance of power made it possible for the dog-eat-dog mentality. Those at the top of the food chain sure did a good job of keeping the majority of us down, spreading misinformation, instigating competition and various civil unrest. Everyone else– too busy to notice, fought for scraps and tried to stay above the poverty cycle.
Our oppressors constantly look for scapegoats to pin the numerous misfortunes and their inadequacies on either a group of people i.e. immigrants, ethnic minorities, poor people, or even other countries like China or Russia, rather than admitting to the truth.
We’re at a point in history where total reform is necessary.
Is it time to look for fresher waters? Or is there an inkling of hope that the West will one day redeem itself?