The year 2023 is shaping up to be the start of long period of destruction and renewal. The old global world is collapsing under the impact of the war in Ukraine, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, high energy prices, supply chain disruption, and a declining public confidence in authority. The coming year will see the demolition continue until perhaps the point is reached when it is simply easier to start over again.
In the aftermath of WW2 the old colonial empires, which had lasted hundreds of years up to 1945, simply collapsed and were replaced by a bipolar world divided between the U.S. and USSR. But there was an upside; one of the attractions of the resulting period was that even the losers’ won as dysfunction perished along with the good and left people free to progress. Germany and Japan reached all-time heights of prosperity. The resulting post-war economic boom from 1950 to 1973 is now remembered as the “Golden Age of Capitalism”; that plus the extended post-war political stability historians call the Long Peace led to the widespread hope that a perpetual enlightenment had been attained.
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