Gawd!!! Am I that old? Already? Retirement? That’s for older people! And I can no longer shout down that evil thought. Time passes, for all of us – including me. Damn it!
To suggest I suffer from something of a Peter Pan syndrome is somewhat of an understatement. I want to live ’til one hundred and fifty! I want to see some of the answers in the back of the book! I want to be around to see the outcomes of the idiotic social, economic, political experiments that are being imposed on us now.
No, not really. What I think is that sooner or later the powers that be will transform their nations into Plato’s Republics. That is, plutocracies, where those with money will rule, there is no middle class, there is only a military caste and the poor. There will be no upward social mobility, and little downward, some maybe, but not a lot. Cynical? Yes but then…
The military class will have officers from the upper class, NCOs and other ranks from the bottom tiers. Some will be intergenerational military, most will be escaping their poverty. Sooner or later, the lower castes will rebel. Initially these will be put down, brutally. Sooner or later, change occurs to prevent such uprisings or an uprising will be successful. The former upper classes are decimated, the wealth spreads, a middle class will arise, then the cycle begins again.
It won’t be exactly like that, but in the broadest terms, I suspect this is the real pattern of change in our society. We have seen it before, in small settings. Rome, France, Britain, Russia, Egypt, the entire Soviet/Eastern bloc but never on a world scale. The general rule seems to be that where imbalance occurs, there is an eventual swing against the imbalance, society seems to have a self correcting mechanism. We call it revolution, and like any birth, it is bloody.
We have so many special interests now demanding change that seems aimed at putting those most able to lead in charge. Those most able to lead are those who win big in our society, those with the most money. At least, this is what they say, ask the Koch brothers.
The only joy I see is that sooner or later, such leadership becomes so enarmoured of their power they abuse it. Look at Putin, Netanyahu, Trump. Sooner or later they will lose their appeal and get tossed out, maybe. Certainly their successors will, eventually. The problem is time then. When will this joyous moment occur?
Soon I hope.
What does this have to do with my impending retirement? I want to be around when it happens. I want to see if I am right and the tumbrills are rolling again. The problem of course is that such movements can take decades to grow and more decades to be successful. Decades I am not likely to have. So perhaps my grandchildren will see it, even though I want better outcomes for them.
Enough doom and gloom, pick up any Murdoch paper and you will see a lot more than is here.
Let’s talk about hope, instead.
I hope I am wrong. I hope we are smart enough to avoid the excesses of the Right, just as we managed to navigate the excesses of the Left.
I believe we are smart enough to make good decisions, time will tell.