The Politics of Collapse: When The Center Will Not Hold, Things Fall Apart
By Danny Schechte
Sometimes, we have to turn to our poets for real insight into our current global condition.
It was back in 1919 in the aftermath of World War l, that Irish wordsmith William Butler Yeats put pen to paper and came up with "The Second Coming," verses that have stood the test of time. Yeats was born the year the American Civil War ended in 1865 and died in 1939, the year World War 2 began.
His most famous lines:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst -
Are full of passionate intensity
I am not so categorical about putting down "passionate intensity," but it is certainly true, as every reader of every newspaper knows, the political center (or Centre in its Anglicized spelling) cannot hold and is not holding.
As a result, we see more volatility leading to instability, along with new stirrings on both the right and the left as the global economy weakens and many nations find themselves saddled with acrimony, debt, disillusion and decline. There is virtually no consensus on solutions.
Perhaps because of the entanglements and interdependency fostered by globalization, governments, right, left and center, don't seem able to solve their economic crises or governance responsibilities. You see it everywhere as political schisms, irrespective of ideology, degenerate into canyons of disbelief and invective. Both socialist and capitalist governments are broken by endless dickering with patching efforts underway that seem to only lead to more crises, not the end of crisis.