TUMBY BAY - Historians tell us we should not make comparisons with the geopolitical situation in the world today with what prevailed just prior to World War II.
This is despite the similarities creating a great sense of déjà vu among many people.
Chief among these is the emergence of a leader with imperialistic ambitions and scant regard for the human cost; a man who is prepared to risk everything to right what he perceives as historical wrongs.
Comparisons between Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler are yet to gain traction among the cowed leaders of the so-called free world, but it is not unimaginable that that is what they are thinking as they try to work out how to appease the despot Putin as he sits atop his pile of nuclear weapons.
It is incredible to think that so much damage and suffering could be brought about by the delusional whims of a single human being.
World leaders are failing to address either catastrophe with anything close to adequacy.
If you add to this the rampant excesses of neoliberalism that has led to unprecedented and obscene levels of wealth at one end of human society and appalling poverty and inequity at the other, it is fair to say that the human species is in dire straits.
So, even if the facts are not quite the same between Hitler’s war and Putin’s war, it is not drawing too long a bow to compare the mood among many people today with the mood that prevailed in the 1930s when they were emerging from a devastating economic depression and, as the decade moved on, looking at the possibility of another world war.
The overriding sense contributing to our current mood seems to be one of ineffectuality and impotence. Even when one screams the wrongs of the world often and long, it seems there is no one of influence listening.
This is especially apparent in the weak and futile responses from the planet’s collective leadership of second-raters and sociopaths whose sole interest extends no further than clinging on to power at all costs and extending it where they can.
And so a sense of dread and depression has come at a terrible time for many of the world’s people, and especially for its older people.
These are the folks who experienced and inherited the difficult task of picking up the pieces at the end of World War II and painfully rebuilding their societies and so create what they hoped would be a better world.
Despite many setbacks, they achieved in large part of what they set out to do, and until relatively recently the world was at relative peace and, for many of its people, prosperity was an aspiration they felt could be achieved.
In their old age these people thought they could sit back and rest with a sense of satisfaction that what they were handing to their grandchildren, although far from perfect, was a worthy legacy.
Now we can see more clearly the flaws in that vision. During the 22 years of this century so far, human society has changed profoundly from where we believed it had reached and where we assumed it was heading.
But, if my observations are correct, something strange seems to be happening amongst those who’ve seen the Biblical five score years and ten come and go.
What was a sad, even depressed, mood has shifted to a state of indifference – alienation, apathy, detachment and disregard are other descriptors that come to mind.
We tried. We failed. We no longer care. The world can go to hell in a handbasket. We’re too old to fix it. It’s easier not to care.