Today doom-saying dominates. Remember when Science Fiction combined possibility and danger, with more on the upside? Contemporary pessimism about the future is part of a larger and deeper malaise in societies, and one that differs across the globe. It’s the West (US and Europe) driven by Fear, while in the East Hope is more abundant, and the Middle East is acting out its sense of historical humiliation.
From Geopolitical analyst Dominique Moïsi:
Moïsi contends that both the United States and Europe have been dominated by fears of the “other” and of their loss of a national identity and purpose. Instead of being united by their fears, the twin pillars of the West are more often divided by them—or, rather, by bitter debates over how best to confront or transcend them. For Muslims and Arabs, the combination of historical grievances, exclusion from the economic boon of globalization, and civil and religious conflicts extending from their homelands to the Muslim diaspora have created a culture of humiliation that is quickly devolving into a culture of hatred. Meanwhile, Asia has been able to concentrate on building a better future and seizing the economic initiative from the American-dominated West and so creating a new culture of hope.
The European culture of fear is dominated by the interrogation “Who are we?” Unlike Europeans, Americans are not preoccupied by the ghost of their past. America has always seen itself as a future, a project more than a history. Three key questions contribute to the current American identity crisis. Have we lost our soul – that is, our ethical superiority? Have we lost our purpose – that is, our sense of a unique national mission? Finally, have we lost our place in the world – that is, are we in decline? In other words, if Europeans are asking, “Who are we?” Americans are wondering, “What have we done to ourselves?”
The purveyors of climate doom are part of a larger culture in the West, and their prophecies fall on people already primed to believe the worst. Their only power comes from the weakness of listening and failing to add lots of salt to the pronouncements.
Just say No!
And remember this:
If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.
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