Monday, January 21, 2013

Globality as an unfinished revolution

After ten days of winter in Seoul confined to our one-room apartment, we decided to relocate to South-East Asia for a couple of weeks so that Anna could work a bit more undisturbed on her ISA-paper while I would be able to stay outdoors with Eddie for longer. Flying down here on Air China in an Airbus full of small emperors (children who are the only young ones in two generations and who receive practically unlimited attention), I was again reminded of how painful some future socialisation processes will be as these children grow up and have to realise the political, financial and emotional limitations of the world. With boys outnumbering girls due to the One-Child-Policy, there is clearly a risk for a lot of frustration and nationalist bravado in a country as steeped in revanchism as China.

I do not know why but on that plane I suddenly experienced an unusual streak of pessimism about the future. As much as everything is indeed within our reach, there may be too much group egoism, sectarianism and, not to forget, simple stupidity in this world for us to successfully meet our planetary challenges. With very limited room left for trial-and-error and armed with omnicidal weapons, pessimism does unfortunately seem very reasonable. Yet, important as it may be to take in that feeling to realize the gravity of our situation, the only way forward has to be one that believes in people and their ability to grow.

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