Year’s end, year’s beginning
Happy New Year, dear readers!
I am writing this from my Vector Linux box, that old Dell Inspiron 2200 from 2002 — it’s still working.
Just now, my regular laptop is burning system restore DVDs, after which it will be all re-done afresh — a new beginning for the new-ish laptop in the new year.
But I’ve been thinking some about the state of things, and renewal, and all that.
The Mail has quite a depressing article about the potential for trouble in 2012 — it could be the worst year since 1932, they say.
I tend to agree with them — the world is in a tough time, and it’s possible or even likely that there’ll be the temptation to engage in political experiments over the next decade. Possibly even political experiments as disastrous as those that came in the 1930s.
But although ideas have terrific and terrible consequences, political culture does tell. The ideas of socialism in Russia brought the Soviet Union and the Great Terror; those same ideas in Britain, Canada, and America brought the Welfare State and the social safety net, and battles to erect them and remove bad elements of them have been — and will be — fought at the ballot box and on the floors of our respective legislative chambers.
So I do not expect terrible things to develop in the English-speaking liberal democratic world — times will be tough, sure, but we’ll get by. I’m more interested in (and fearful of) how things will develop in the rest of the world.
We’re living in interesting times — 2012 may be a significant year.