A prophecy to die for
About two months. Yes, that’s right. It could be the title of (yet another) end-of-the-world movie. Because according to the Maya predictions the end of the world is nigh, on 21 December 2012. Looking at the world in its current situation, it is likely. Not in a physical-disaster-all-around-buildings-crashing-down-things-on-fire kind of sense. But in the more “normal” social sense. Like a sort of end of society. A turn of leaf on the current state of the world. In the 1990s Francis Fukuyama wrote about The End of History,arguing that the advent of Western Liberal democracy may signal the end point of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government. Obviously, he was wrong. In 2012, democracy and Western government have retreated far back with a socio-economic impact as unprecedented as ever before in the 21st century. When Mediterranean countries are on the brink of bankruptcy, central Europeans are opposing aid to the rest, and eastern Europeans have gained a bad name as imposing migrants and imposter asylum seekers, then it is clearly the case that something has gone really wrong. When in 2012, instead of prosperity and the hovering cars depicted in the 1980s movies, all we have is countries striving to avoid default, the Arab Spring turning into a ruthless Middle East bloodshed, and even the strongest economies facing disarray and uncertainty. The Middle-Ages seem to have returned. But this time they have brought along the worst traits of human nature. Selfishness, greediness, insensitivity, immorality, irresponsibility, disrespect and audaciousness. That is what society seems to breed. The law of the jungle reapplies and people are putting their own interests above anyone else’s. In an impoverished society, where the rule of law is ignored, there is nothing to stop people from stealing from each other, from killing and injuring in order to do so, from eradicating anything and everything that forms the very foundations of a sane society in order to get their own way. When extremism resurfaces and people can actually understand why and justify it, then all there is to say is that those Mayas really knew what they were saying…
So many of those movies depicting a post-apocalyptic world have one thing in common: the fact that the end of the world does not happen due to an external cause, but because of the people themselves. It is the very people themselves, us, who are causing this self-destruction. They are the ones abolishing law and order and justice. They are the ones allowing society to become what it has – ruthless, self-rewarding, corrupt and with no values whatsoever. When even supranational institutions, set up for the very purpose of avoiding national self-interests, prove that they too are not immune from corruption, it seems that people are right to be cynical and pessimistic. Very little does change in the end. And it seems that those who can change things, or at least who have the power to, are simply perpetuating a system that is degraded at its core. And the few that maintain hope and sum up the courage to fight the system and try to make a change are soon drowned and defeated. One swallow alone, does not a summer make.
It is important not to lose hope. That is certain. But how can you maintain optimism when this is the situation that prevails in the world today? Things need to change. Radically for that matter. And the old, out-dated ruling elite needs to step aside for younger – not necessarily in age terms – more open-minded brains to take over. In order to create a world like the one we hoped for when we were growing up. That allowed you to dream and to hope and to know that if you worked hard enough you could accomplish all that you want.