I’m probably not alone in thinking this, but all the news at the moment seems to represent a kind of unravelling.
The Middle East and North Africa are in the throes of violent conflict that seem to have been wholly avoidable and yet all owe their origins from meddling by a United States government which encouraged the early versions of the jihadist movements in its conflict with the Soviet Union and then made many times worse by its ill-considered trampling into Iraq and Afghanistan. As they say: Fools step in where Angels fear to tread. And the fools in this case are George W Bush’s administration. and its earlier manifestations.
But Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their puppet president (if reputedly alpha-male) aren’t the only villains in this piece. What series of presidents allowed Israel to evolve into the monster it has become: second only to ISIS in its disregard of humanity in pursuit of unobtainable ends. What combination of British and American administrations with the support of the news media and a complacent electorate has allowed such a disgraceful transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the stockholder (and the consequent bleeding of public services). What has allowed the thoroughly predictable (and predicted) pressures of commerce and private interest to ravish the environment and bring about devastating climate change (still denied by well-funded climate sceptics).
All this is enough to make anyone despair.
But from a longer perspective, it seems more or less inevitable. Once the forces of vested interests and substantial wealth found a way to not merely challenge but to triumph over those who argued that perhaps the interests of the majority of humanity, the planet’s future and basic common fairness are more important than to further line the pockets of a decreasingly small number of increasingly rich people, well, the game was up. The allure of the neo-liberal fantasy has clearly won. The world is now on a path dictated by short-term self-interest and phenomenal levels of remuneration and everything less can go get fucked.
As, of course, it has.