And so 2016 ends, with more loss of life and more fear. Some hard images to process in our minds, there are the faces of the children who have seen too much in Aleppo, the sinister black lorry where there was a happy Christmas market. And the disturbing feeling that we are losing the ability to mourn. For Aleppo because we do not seem to have any solutions. For those who have lost their lives in Berlin, because we are so full of fear. And that the fear is not just of further attacks, which we are now almost used to expecting, but also of the horrible and cruel political opportunism that follows and of how it replicates too closely the antecedents for the horrors from which we should have learned last century.
Very simplistically, it seems that 2016 has brought to the surface, in all its ugliness, what looks like a sociology textbook illustration of the reaction to the astonishing worldwide growth in inequality. Social unrest, wars, mass migrations… And the scapegoating of ethnic minorities. Perversely, this is skillfully used by those have benefited most from inequality to further their power.
It is nearly Christmas, the time of celebrating a very humble birth that brought a message of love and peace to the world, and also a call for social justice. So here is a wild hope for 2017: that it will be the year when we really start to understand that a more equal world is not just a nice ideal, but a real necessity, at least for 98% of the world’s population.
an unreformed idealist.