Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A time to worry

I don't know about you, but reading the NYT these days is making me very, very nervous. The global economy is cratering and the situation is completely out of control, with economic stress already bleeding into social unrest in eastern Europe and very shortly, I fear, in many other places.

The situation is quite unpredictable and I'm certainly not going to tell you where I think we'll be six months from now, let alone in five years. But we all know where the last Great Depression ended up. Fortunately, here in the U.S., just as in the 1930s, we aren't seeing the far right get any traction from this and right now, it seems to be setting the stage for a somewhat more just social order in our country. Whether that political momentum will be sustained if people are hungry and cold two years from now, despite Mr. Obama's best efforts, remains to be seen, however.

For me the greater worry is in what had been viewed as the emerging democracies of Europe and even, potentially, in central Europe where we thought "never again" was a slogan we could believe in. I'm also greatly concerned about political stability in the Middle East, not because I think there is some Islamofascistocommunistoterroristo threat to the United States, but because that balck goo under the sand will pull us all into the maelstrom, and of course the people of the region could suffer even more than they have already.

Interesting times, for sure.


Cervantes said...

Technical ascertainment.

NeoLotus said...

Hi Cervantes,

I have been feeling a generalized but heightened anxiety since last weekend. This feeling has now changed to one of disintegration as all the structures that made our particular world be what it is are now crumbling.

I look out of the window and see the world still existing but somehow the things that prop it up and make a world in my mind just aren't there.

Is this like an existential crisis where one examines what gives both one's life and one's world form and substance only to find that in the current situation it's all in transition and what we thought was real isn't?

I guess I'm beyond worry insofar as there is no question we are at the end of empire--that whole parasitic way of life is crumbling. The problem is in the time differential between demise and renewal. I suppose in a sense what I am experiencing is that pure state of potentiality where what was is all gone but what's next has not yet emerged.

Sorry, I'm rambling.

Cervantes said...

No, I understand how you feel. There are going to be big changes but we don't know quite what they will be - maybe very hard times, but maybe we purge some bad stuff in the process and come out of it okay. I don't know any more than you do.

Anonymous said...

Black goo, makes it seem a lot less important now than they make it out to be.

I too worry that the earth will soon crumble for the weight of the expectant economic devastation, but then I put that in the back of my mind and watch a comedy sketch.

Cool blog!