There’s a lot of doom and gloom and bad news in the world these days, giving us ordinary folk little reason to be optimistic. Examples include:
- we are almost certainly too late to prevent climate change at all and social collapse is now an actual possibility
- Trump has begun taking steps to walk back a nuclear arms control treaty
- increasing trends of nationalism and populism threatening to walk back the gains of globalisation (i.e. Brexit) and diversity
Elon Musk warns us of the existential threat of artificial intelligence
locally, some friends of mine are largely pessimistic about the future of Philippine society as it seems that we are falling further into the trap of autocratic leanings and dynasty-driven patronage
I wonder if things are looking so bad because we are coming from a period of relative peace and expansion of liberal democracy the past few decades (not saying things are perfect, but at least we haven’t gotten into any world wars recently). Maybe some of the societal and cultural problems highlighted above may be nothing more than society trying to find a new equilibrium in an age of political correctness and social justice. Climate change is of course, a game changing problem that we as a society seem to be unable to face or control.
I like to think of myself as an optimist, but even I am increasingly wary of where our world and my country are heading. I am slightly comforted by the words of an American novelist, which I heard from the recent season of Daredevil:
"Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat."– Ralph Ellison
We have to hold out hope that humanity and society can adapt and survive these crises, that we have not come all this way simply to lose to our own hubris.