We are living through a time of insecurity as we face persistent and overlapping crises. Things bad and could get worse. The way out is through collective action and community.
The Covid crisis hit everyone, so we got relief. The housing crisis hits the poor, no relief.
We need governance with a constituency of more than the donor class.
Something is off and it always has been.
We live in a marketing society in which advertisers can make any exaggerated claim in order to sell a product. They are good at creating "need" for their product. What IS different, what has changed, is marketers have taken over the political process advising politicians to make nonsensical statements that appeal to a consumer group. It doesn't matter what side the party/candidate/spokesperson comes from, their task is to exaggerate or create idiotic statements that appeal.
And in the political market, there is no consumer protection as we, mistakenly, assume a periodic election is enough.
The lingering unforeseen result when such ideas are applied to the political, is the fractured society we have today as many are convinced that what I need is what an opponent withholds from me.
Collective action is certainly needed to hold inept politicians accountable. Another observation is that democracies have been electing poor leaders for some time now at all levels of government. Corporate greed and not paying their fair share of taxes is a huge problem as well.
Things are certainly off and they've been trending in this direction for decades. The ongoing pandemic simply sped up the selfishness and mobilization of far right political leaning people.
My hope is that there are many, many more intelligent people that favour socialist, inclusive, and common good ideals than the selfish bunch.
A nice summation of our current lives, David.
Sure, things feel off; they always feel off, if you go down that street. Once there, you'll find plenty to support or reinforce your feelings. If you go to a gripping horror movie, you'll feel anxious, too.
In short, what are you imbibing? The 24/7 news cycles, taking them as all the world, and ruminating on them when briefly away from your screens, and you feel off? Huhn, who'dathunkit!
But once unhappily ensconced there, you'll find yourself ready to play "Ain't It Awful!" nonstop.
As an old guy (56), I will say that the period of security that does feel like is ending was, in itself, a bit of a welcome outlier. Growing up in the 70s/80s, we had stagflation, unemployment, rapid economic change away from unionized factory work, and the constant threat of nuclear war. This feels more or a return to mean and I will say: we worked out way through those crises (in some cases, taking action that led to today's crises, which is an important lesson) and we can work our way through these ones, too.
Blame the internet. Too much emptiness filling up every waking hour, and then some.
I disagree about government. Surely a major cause of anxiety is the endless throwing of impossibly massive amounts of money around at every conceivable victim/cause/crisis. As if money ever solved anything. Yet, there's no end in sight.
But you're a journalist. Can you help us understand? Where is the money coming from? Who is it owed to? Is it even possible that it will ever be paid back?
Answers might let me sleep better at night.
The Bush torture years, when that stuff was openly debated as being OK, were dark times. And the combination of the Trump and Brexit elections really made me feel the voters themselves were just hopeless. It's lack of hope for improvement that creates insecurity; merely "bad times" can be borne if there's hope.
Now, I'm feeling the worm turn, everywhere. We're finally getting climate-related Serious Money spent on industrial change. Green Technology is coming along well. Unionism is on the rise again, the first time in about 50 years. The pandemic supports ended, but at least they proved "it can be done". Recall that Obamacare was going to "bankrupt America" and prove utterly financially ruinous. Forgetting that, already? Because they haven't uttered that rhetoric since 2015, a year after it started and that didn't happen.
Have you read the new Naomi Klein book yet?
The 'C' word is the elephant in the room
I think some of the things we've seen with SAG/AFTRA have been encouraging as to the labour question and as an answer to the proliferation of AI in 2023. More important even still than that set of issues is the idea that, yes, only through community building and solidarity can these issues be truly addressed. It's a catch-22 sometimes. To pull all that together, one needs the energy to do it, and the feeling that efforts like that will result in some wins. It feels like there is often an absence of that. These are strange times, and it feels like we've always been headed here.
Amplifying the "Woe is me" message that is being foisted on Canadians by Poilievre's team and Russian trolls is not very helpful. Perhaps a deeper dive into that messaging is in order.
Geez, does it ever!
Currently reading The Age of Insecurity, by Astra Taylor. Highly recommend.