Sometimes, it feels like 1910 all over again.
Then, a confident Germany was the up-and-coming industrial power house, fearing an even more up-and-coming Russia, with the UK and France desperately holding on to their colonial empires.
Now, a confident China is the up-and-coming industrial powerhouse, fearing an even more up-and-coming India, with the US and its European allies desperately holding on to its global empire.
Then, an international in-bred elite was holding on to far more wealth than it deserved in term of productivity, leading them to support extremism, nationalism, and populism as a means of holding off the tide of socialism and mass discontent.
Now, an international in-bred elite is holding on to far more wealth than it produces, supporting Clinton and Trump, Boris and Macron.
Then, science was threatening to re-structure the world of work radically, with automobiles and telephones making the world a far smaller place than it was before, and with new technology leading to widespread loss of jobs in agriculture and basic trades.
Now, science is re-structuring the world of work radically, with long-distance trade in services and IA driving out the procedural cognitive jobs that keep the peasants and tradesmen of this age busy: administrators, middle-management and I-follow-orders professionals.
Then, belief in magic was still rife, with new migrants in the US and Australia burying shoes in the foundations of the new houses to appease the spirits, and with romantic nationalism blossoming on the Balkans to kick-start a jolly-good-scrap.
Now, belief in magic is even more rife, with witch hunts, fake news, and fairytales in the US (#MeToo, ‘great again’, and DSM V), where the masses reject the notions of innocent till proven guilty and the idea of rationality, and with romantic nationalism blossoming in Scotland, Catalonia, Padania, and god-knows-where.
Then, dooms-sayers were having a field day, ranging from Halley’s Comet that was prophesised to swallow up earth in its 1910 visit, to regular Armageddon following the sinfulness of the times.
Now, there are even more doom-scenarios with widespread support, ranging from the threats to our climate to Islamic fundamentalism to the take-over by robots.
Then, the corrupt were in power, with monarchies, landed aristocrats, oligarchs, and self-congratulating scientists dominating the West, glorifying wars and preaching purity.
Now, well, need I really say it?
So, shall we have another jolly good scrap then to blow away the cobwebs?