A new generation emerges every 30 years, according to the accepted calculations, so by that math, not even one generation has passed between the end of the Cold War and the dashing of hopes for a safer and more stable world. Instead, the world has become more volatile, international security is not at all guaranteed, the chasm between rich and poor keeps widening and deepening, more problems keep emerging and becoming more complex, leaps in technology and globalization have marginalized social groups and entire populations, our planet is at risk from climate change, governments are struggling with solutions, democracy is under threat and the concept of a social state is collapsing.
It doesn’t take any special knowledge or insight to understand that states and people are now living in an age of insecurity escalation. Just a quick glance at situation around us – both at home and further afield – offers more than sufficient evidence. Changes are cataclysmic and dominated by tension, without anyone being able to predict what additional horrors await. Even the long life expectancy of people in Western societies may not be enough to see where all this turbulence will end – turbulence that is sweeping societies and people across the globe.
What we do know for the time being is that Francis Fukuyama’s predictions in his 1992 book “The End of History and the Last Man” – that everything would go smoothly with the demise of communist regimes and the dominance of liberalism – are not coming to pass. It is also obvious that societies and governments around the world are struggling to understand and adapt in tune with rapid developments that set uncontrollable events in motion, that have such a spiral effect. Even more so, they cannot adapt to the changes being so rapidly thrust upon us by the frightening and constant development of technology.
If all this sounds rather theoretical, look at the visible world: tension and the threat of war from Ukraine to North Korea, unending fighting in Afghanistan and the turmoil in the Middle East growing into another possible war, an American president who destroys everything in his wake, Islamic militants waging holy war and resorting to terrorism, new alliances being forged and old ones being broken in the Middle East, China’s role as a major player, Europe’s struggle to stand on its feet as a single entity while being undermined from the inside by rising nationalism and racism, and so much more.
There is an abundance of evidence to illicit a cry of “Oh, what a world is this!”