On fire, the flames get higher

There have been a lot of fiery protests recently. From Hong Kong and Prague to Santiago, from Baghdad and Beruit to La Paz, the masses are revolting! So far most of the autocrats, oligarchs and other failed politicians – inspired by the unholy triumvirate in Ankara, Moscow and Washington – haven’t been easy to shift, much less persuade to introduce any serious reforms (or to stop the killing of Syrians…). Then suddenly Saad Hariri quit and Evo Morales fled to Mexico when the fury of the crowds became too much. The next question is of course what alternatives will emerge… Anyway, despite the chaos of street protests it is good to note that people reach their limits when confronted with excesses of corruption and injustice…

Elsewhere enormous fires underline the need to re-think eco-economics as fast as possible. From California to Siberia, from the Amazon to Australia, vegetation is drying out and flames are engulfing communities adjacent to forests and woodlands. The North American activist writer Naomi Klein has published a collection of essays in the light (or darkness) of the recent destruction. Observing the school strikes for climate change action she concludes:

“A great many young people are ready for change… They are growing up in the rubble of market euphoria, in which the dreams of endlessly rising living standards have given way to rampant austerity and economic insecurity. And techno-utopianism, which imagined a future of limitless connection and community has morphed into addiction to the algorithms of envy, relentless corporate surveillance and spiraling online misogyny and white supremacy” (p. 52-53, On Fire, Allen Lane, 2019).

Tough times ahead…

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