De omnibus dubitandum
9 Nov 2016
It’s been over two years since I last wrote here. Today, I feel I have no other choice but to write again. Call it therapy.
Many on social media proclaim 2016 to be the worst year ever. With the deaths of popular celebrities, a slim majority in the UK opting for economic suicide with Brexit, and now the election of Fuckface Von Clownstick as president of the USA, it seems hard to argue with that.
But I’m telling you, this is just the beginning. It will get worse.
Let’s look at the underlying current causing the Brexit vote in the UK and the Trump vote in the US. It’s an undercurrent that is active in many so-called civilised countries, and it has not reached its peak by far.
This undercurrent of fear and hatred will only prosper, as its legitimacy is seen to grow with these recent democratic outcomes in the UK and USA. Inevitably, we will see the election of more far-right parties to power.
Geert Wilders and his PVV will seize power in the Netherlands. Marine Le Pen’s Front National will win in France. Other European countries will see similar political shifts to the far right.
Aside from their obvious bigotry and regressive policies with regards to many personal freedoms we now take for granted, these parties have something else in common: they are fiercely anti-EU.
In France and the Netherlands and perhaps other EU countries, there will be battles about whether or not these countries should leave the EU. If even one of those countries succeeds and, despite the horrors Brexit is unleashing in the UK, chooses to leave the European Union, the entire European project will collapse.
In the wake of the catastrophic impact this will have on European economies, the far-right parties will continue to blame ‘the other’ for the problems they themselves have now aggravated, and the white working & middle classes will believe them thanks to the aid of vocal partisan media online and offline.
Hatred of minorities will fester and grow. Hate crimes will increase. There will be violence.
This will all be aggravated by the growing impact of climate change. The new right-wing powers in charge across the west are, on the whole, climate change sceptics. Rather than enforce the policies that might prevent the worst, there will be no significant action to fight climate change.
Extreme weather will become the norm. Food crops will be scarcer. Economies will suffer more. Societal pressures will increase further as people want to migrate to those increasingly scarce countries where the climate remains temperate.
As a result, more countries will close their borders. Isolationist policies will prevail as countries act in self-defence, hoard their food supplies, and refuse entry to outsiders.
As the economies of western countries implode, politicians will find any scapegoat they can. More fuel for the fires of hatred and bigotry. There’s a strong likelihood of countries turning towards tangible enemies in the form of other sovereign states, which will increase the chances of armed conflict.
Then, with the EU weakened beyond repair and NATO in no position to act (as the USA under Trump will likely withdraw from NATO and other members fight among themselves), Russia is likely to seize the opportunity and invade the Ukraine properly. They might even reclaim Belarus and some other countries like Georgia.
War in Europe is almost inevitable.
If anything, 2016 has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the era of Western hegemony is over. In fact, it deserves to die. We deserve to relinquish our place as leaders of the world. It’s time for someone else to become the next Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, Britain, USA… All previous empires have fallen, and so will the West.
We’ve had our time at the front. It’s someone else’s turn.
Who? Probably China. They’ve been quietly getting on with it for the past decades, and are now – ironically – a beacon of political and economic stability. If they’re smart, they will ally themselves with growing powers like India and Brazil to form a new global order to replace the collapsing West.
So it will get worse for us. Much worse.
What can you do? There’s little hope of restraining the forces that are now unleashed. At best, we can hope to weather the storm. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever be as prosperous and safe again in our lifetimes as we were in the mid to late 1990s. We can only endure.
It will eventually get better. It will take decades, but the west will emerge from this darkness that is consuming us. We won’t be around for that, but our children will, and our children’s children.
So don’t give up hope. Keep fighting for what you believe, even if you know it’s a losing battle. Do what you can and what you feel comfortable with, knowing that to speak out against the tide of hate means risking your safety and that of your family and friends.
Most of all, stay civil. Show people their due respect, even if you cannot respect what they believe. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Be kind. Be generous.
It will get worse. But, eventually, it will get better.