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We were better when it was worse

Chaos and optimism in our times

Not a single phone.
Only people living the moment.
Those were good times!

Perhaps, that’d already be a paradox thinking that we could be better in worse conditions. Perhaps, throughout the ages, there’s always been someone saying the mythical sentence “We were better when it was worse”, referring to an unspecified historical period. And the real paradox is that even in that historical period there must have probably been someone who mentioned the same words.

According to French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, that’s just an expression that has the gift for irritating the optimists, and we’d be a monster of ingratitude not to recognize the benefits of our present time, since “we Europeans have ceased to wage war against us, we cure diseases that were previously incurable, the average duration of life is constantly increasing, the biblical curse has been lifted: women no longer feel pain, we are less constrained, less constricted, manners are more free, start-ups offer us services that we would not have thought of, we move easily…” But:

“Cafes, restaurants, clubs, were better before the mood music boom. Streets were better before the invasion of mobile phones. Culture was better before it was all-cultural. The past was better before it was systematically updated. Kitsch was better than its consecration made by contemporary art. Living together was better when the expression did not exist. Debates were better before the black lists drawn up, at regular intervals, by supervisory bodies. Humor was better before the constant laughs of the entertainers. Anti-racism was better before witch trials. Privacy was better before Facebook and Instagram. Equality was better before inclusive writing. Eyes saw better when there were poets. Silence was better before it was cast out everywhere. Nostalgia was better before it was eradicated at all costs from the hearts of men.”

Les cavaliers de l’apocalypse Photo Mathias Zwick / Hans Lucas

Oxford Street is the most polluted place in the world, say scientists

Smoke rises from Tuffah neighborhood after Israeli air strikes in the east of Gaza City. (Mohammed Saber / EPA)

About the tragic world general situation — The Middle East in flames, parts of Mexico and Central America ruled by criminal gangs and drug cartels, the mess in Central Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan, just to name a few — Los Angeles Times raises the interesting question of whether global chaos is the new normal. “This is historically unprecedented,” former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski told. “Huge swaths of global territory are dominated by populist unrest, anger and effective loss of state control.”

The result is what one scholar, Randall Schweller of Ohio State, has called “an age of entropy” — a leaderless world with no superpowers to enforce order. And this is now constantly taking place in every field of our existence: music, sport, everyday life, etc. Business interests pulling the strings. A loss of mankind’s karma that certainly doesn’t help to take down this kind of regret at a worse time when “we were better”.

1 Commento su We were better when it was worse

  1. We could be better

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