I have a new hero! I love this line, maybe it was just a matter of right words at the right time on the right topic but it is perfect. Bob Krum was discussing the euro debt crisis among other things (like stupid questions on ‘presidential debates’) in Stop Waiting for Superman.
There are no grownups; there are just folks (blokes in Brit speak) like us, imperfect humans who are lucky to make a right decision (on issues more complex than whether to turn into the path of that oncoming Mack truck or not) much more than 50% of the time (and we don’t always make the right one regarding the Mack truck.)
What does that mean? Many things but one of them is that overly complex political, financial, social, technical…etc constructs are asking for problems. Stable systems are ones that are essentially self organizing, a pile of sand will settle into the same conical shape every time because its stable in its environment. Small c capitalist, old meaning liberal economies, are self organizing and stable. The euro zone is a complex web of overly constrained systems that like some cartoon Rube Goldberg steam plant is constantly threatening to blow a gasket and it requires a genius just to know where to apply the next tourniquet.
In the last few decades we have made vast strides in understanding ourselves and our world (in a thousand different dimensions.) Then we have often reacted to this increased understanding by thinking we can control more things and implementing more and more rules. The effects of those rules are often individually complex and unintended but the interactions between them is (IMHO) utterly outside of our ability to cope with. Among other things I rather suspect that every one of us (barring a newborn baby maybe) is technically a criminal, having violated at one time or another various laws, rules or regulations most of which we had no idea existed or had no way to follow.
Somehow we have become inured to the regulated world, see it as natural, but it’s probably reached its practical limits and is now in the process of imploding. We have the tools to creat a more self organized – de-bureaucratized world but have not yet quite figured out what it really looks like and how to transition from where we are to where we need to be.
Maybe that’s just wishful thinking….fueld by a frustration at the idiocy that seems to have become institutionalized in so many places. But change ‘is in the air,’ though it may still be some years away. I just hope that the transition can be made relatively peacefully, there are far too many people on this orbiting rock (7Billion!?) for a major disruption to be anything other than catastrophic for far too many.
There is no utopia waiting over the brow of the next hill, and there was never a golden age that we have somehow lost (one man’s golden age was someone elses hell.) We can’t go back to a past that never existed, and refusing to live and work today because the day after tomorrow will be better is foolish and self-destructive. Tomorrow never gets here, let alone the day after, and your vision of the world will never occupy a future today unless you work for it in the today you find yourself in. Live in the now with a vision of where you want to end up.