I find to my surprise that it is already more than three weeks since I last wrote something in this log. That could be explained perhaps by my longish spell under the weather, in the way of health, with, first almost two months dominated by a detached retina and the long process of its being corrected and returning to more or less normal, followed by some sort of throat ailment, and also by, more recently, my having visited my son in Austin, Texas, for eight or nine days.
It could also have had to do with the increasingly parlous state of the world, which seems to have become alarming in almost every sense. Economically, the world seems to be recovering, if at all, extremely slowly from the destruction yielded by the handful of wealthy oligarchs in the United States, none of whom seem to have suffered in any way for their crimes. Instead they were promoted by Obama to positions of maximum influence over the US economy, something that, surely, none of those millions who supported Obama so enthusiastically in the last presidential election could have imagined as likely.
In other words, this new world under the hegemonic control of the ethos of capitalism has turned out to be almost as disastrous as those of us who have always had hope for a better world might have prophesied. With even the Chinese having joined this capitalistic conspiracy, what hope is there left for a decent world? Even in Europe, which in recent years has been a slight beacon of hope for at least the decencies of the welfare state, a ruthless triumvirate of the United States, the European Community, and the International Monetary Fund is imposing austerity measures that seem to be designed to reduce Europe’s smaller and weaker nations to abject poverty. For reasons that are beyond normal human understanding, they seem to have it in especially for Greece, the cradle of our civilization: to my mind, the Greeks should tell them all to stuff it, resign from the Eurozone, and rebuild from the bottom up, just as Argentina did with relatively spectacular results.
And talking of Presidential elections, the Republican party primaries, now underway, have become so bizarre as to sicken any one with even a modicum of hope that the world might, gradually, be growing more just, more equal, more tolerant. As some commentator or other remarked recently, only a brain-dead political party could contemplate even the remote possibility that a man like Rick Santorum could be put forward as its presidential candidate. The more one reads about this race, the more one hears these people speak their appalling inanities, the more distressed one is bound to become. Where did those hopeful, eager days of our youth, when we hoped for a world free of international hatreds and so on, where have they gone? The sort of thing that is going on in Afghanistan right now, with people demonstrating and even killing people because someone has burned copies of the Koran seems like a template for the modern world --- religious fanatics everywhere, it seems, sowing and harvesting their dreadful crops of hatred, intolerance, obscurantism, superstition, and the other proud achievements of religion.
Okay, I think it is time for me to spring out of this mood of despair, and bounce back into the progressive mainstream. At least the All Blacks won the World Rugby Cup some months ago, and this weekend Wales have beaten England, always a welcome event. Maybe I can build from there, and come back next week with something more positive to say about our accursed world.