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To feel extremely pessimistic about humanity's future

(23 Posts)
yogz1976 Wed 03-Jun-20 09:22:56

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, reading, and generally catastrophizing (!) and honestly, I feel like I am quietly going insane...
You see, on the surface it looks like the world is going through a pandemic, most of us have been in lockdown, gradually these lockdowns are lifting and we are returning to "normal", albeit at great cost to our economies and standard of living, the full impact of which we are yet to see. But what I am also observing is a shift or balancing of power from a uni-polar world to a bi-polar, tri-polar or multi-polar world, what economists refer to as a "new world order" (not to be confused with common conspiracy theories). Basically, since the cold-war ended, the USA has been the dominant power in the world, economically, militarily and culturally. Because of this dominance, and because of the formation of the EU trading bloc which made war between states economically undesirable, those of us growing up in the West have been very fortunate in that we have not encountered war on home soil. What we are seeing now is the weakening of the USA both internally (race riots, economic depression) and internationally....The break-up of the EU partly triggered by Brexit...
Whilst all this is happening, Communist China has been emerging as an economic superpower which has quietly been doing deals with many countries to establish its presence in the world, under the guise of the "One Belt, One Road" initiative which is being marketed as a global infrastructure investment initiative that seeks to connect China to the rest of the world by land and sea by building cross continental rail lines and shipping ports, but is nothing more than China buying itself influence and territory in those countries, possibly with a view to prepare for war and expansion of their ethnostate. The only countries which seem to be pushing against this sinister land grab are the US, UK, Australia and India, but sadly Europe has already started doing deals with China. Eg, Greece selling of a majority share of Port of Piraeus to the Chinese. If you understand anything about the Chinese Communists, you will know that they care very little for human rights and are brutal in crushing dissent. They control their population by means of CCTV cameras and advanced surveillance software, as well as a social points system. They control the internet and citizens are fed state-produced "news". People are not allowed to criticise their government. It is an Orwellian dystopia. Maybe in the West, we have something not too similar? We just like to kid ourselves we have freedom....
In my pessimistic view of the world, I am seeing battle lines being drawn domestically along lines of race, religion, political leanings. Eg, am I the only one to notice the anger and tribalism around issues like Brexit, Right-wing vs Left-wing, rich vs poor, etc?? Are we going to see civil wars and more social unrest erupt once the full effects of the recession are felt? How are people going to treat one another in times of mass unemployment or food shortages? The clear leadership and sense of community that got people through WW2 is absent in modern day Britain.
With the US losing its position as "world's policeman", and the UN being toothless dog, does this mean we can expect more wars? More invasions? More loss of freedom?

Sorry for the long post. For several years, I have been interested in geopolitics and the more I learn, the more fearful and depressed I become.

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username108 Wed 03-Jun-20 09:27:13

I agree- things are changing and not for the better. I think we have reached the peak of humanity and are on our way down.

BirdieFriendReturns Wed 03-Jun-20 09:28:55

The world has always been a mess.

Regarding the sense of community in WWII - there was plenty of looting, an increase in rapes, murders etc.

“When the Café de Paris restaurant and nightclub in Piccadilly suffered a direct hit by the Luftwaffe in 1941, rescuers had to battle their way through looters that were fighting to tear rings and other jewellery from the dead revellers. There were many cases in which looters weren’t just criminals and members of the public: firemen, wardens and other members of the defence forces often joined in too.”

It always surprises me when people talk about the “Blitz spirit.”

felineflutter Wed 03-Jun-20 09:31:53

Thank you for your post. YANBU.

onalongsabbatical Wed 03-Jun-20 09:33:07

I'm 65 and I've never been optimistic about humanity's long term future. Many of the things troubling us now have their roots in history, and politicians especially have operated on short-termism so nothing is approached intelligently.
We are seeing the results of that. Ironically there's much more understanding now of how things could be intelligently changed, but it may well be too late and the tribalism you mention means real cooperation is still almost impossible.
Live as well as you can and support others to do the same.
I'm not sure what else is possible.

yogz1976 Wed 03-Jun-20 09:47:01


I guess the "blitz spirit" was a marketing campaign intended to boost morale during what must have been a very frightening and uncertain period in British history. I was aware that there was crime, especially in big cities, but think it would pale in comparison to what we could experience in today's mentally un-hinged society.

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Mucklowe Wed 03-Jun-20 09:55:06

I lived in China for 10 years, and if the future is Chinese, I welcome it. Low unemployment, strong socialist system. It's a myth that their human rights are any worse than America's. Decades of post-Cold War propaganda have convinced the West that China is a demonic force. It really isn't. Anything China has done, America has done worse. Compare Tian'anmen Square to the current martial law in America, for example.

HellloBambinos Wed 03-Jun-20 09:55:25

I do too. Individual humans can be kind but humanity in general is greedy, ruthless and selfish. The world would be a better place without us in it.

Ginandbearit1 Wed 03-Jun-20 09:58:09

Great post OP.

I think the threat of China is being ignored by so many. Maybe because the US isnt very popular atm. But the US is positively idyllic compared to China, their oppression and human rights record defies belief.

Look at what China is doing in Hong Kong, China has 1.3 billion people, the world should be afraid of their government.

yogz1976 Wed 03-Jun-20 10:10:23

@Mucklowe when did you leave?

I feel the current leader Xi Jinping is extremely ambitious and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. All these absurd investments he is making must be to expand the Communist empire. Yeah, they raised a large section of the population out of abject poverty, but who put them there in the first place? Who created possibly the worst famine in living history?
Could you please explain what you mean about the "strong socialist system"? Eg, How does the state take of people who are unemployed or unable to work thru illness? How are elderly people looked after in their old age? And is health care good and available to all?
Also, please don't compare the mass extermination of peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square to the clampdown of violent rioters and looters in the USA.

OP’s posts: |
yogz1976 Wed 03-Jun-20 10:26:37


I agree that on the surface, life is idylic in the West, but it has come at a cost to any nation that has been unlucky enough to find itself in the crossfires of our imperialism. When you scratch the surface you find that the freedoms and high standards of living we enjoy have all been paid for by the suffering and lives lost elsewhere. For example, the oil we put in our nice cars at one point or another has most likely come from some war-torn country that we invaded.
It just feels like the world is being run by psychopaths right now and the only way to survive is by becoming as crazy as them...

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gingganggooleywotsit Wed 03-Jun-20 10:44:03

Brilliant post op, I agree with every word, I am really worried for my children's future. The world does indeed feel anchorless.

tempnamechange98765 Wed 03-Jun-20 10:47:21

What about the Holocaust though? 6 million people exterminated, civilians going along with it, genocide. That was less than 100 years ago. I don't see something like that happening now. I know there are wars, I know thousands of people are dying in the east. But 6 million hand picked, transported to death camps, exterminates purely because of their religion.

Sloth66 Wed 03-Jun-20 11:04:50

I get pessimistic thinking about climate change and population growth. The damage to the environment depresses me as any bit of space near where I live seems to end up beIng built on. More pollution, and noise.
I want my dcs to have a quality of life and I can see it getting worse.

malificent7 Wed 03-Jun-20 11:14:24

The world is bizarre when you think about it...i used to fret about it a lot but now i see it as a big joke. A complete mess but the best you can do is survive, thrive and try to see the beauty in the madness!

ScotchBonnits Wed 03-Jun-20 11:18:29

@malificent7 You took the words right outta my head!

DoraemonDingDong Wed 03-Jun-20 11:32:40

Change in any system is often difficult, and the West are not going to give up their power easily or willingly.

OP, you think Trump inciting violence against protestors is not on the path to a Tiananmen Square style massacre?! He is calling for the military to step in, to "dominate" and regain control - not just against looters but also peaceful protestors.

Anyway, your anti China rhetoric is well worn and indicative of the fear the West has, when the status quo of power is changing.

I wouldn't uphold Western democracy as the epitome of rule, there are failings and deaths in this system as there are in the communist system as performed by the Russians and Chinese. Power corrupts, the world over.

TomPinch Wed 03-Jun-20 12:31:54


Anything China has done, America has done worse. Compare Tian'anmen Square to the current martial law in America, for example.

There is no martial law in the US at present.

The protests aren't close to the bloodshed of Tiananmen Square, as a moment's research will tell you.

Will you be saying that Gitmo is as bad as the repression in Xingjiang next?

TomPinch Wed 03-Jun-20 12:33:22

Fwiw I think we're screwed not because of politics but ignoring climate change. The recent discussion on SUVs for example: people are simply in denial.

yogz1976 Wed 03-Jun-20 17:09:52


What about the Holocaust though? 6 million people exterminated, civilians going along with it, genocide. That was less than 100 years ago. I don't see something like that happening now. I know there are wars, I know thousands of people are dying in the east. But 6 million hand picked, transported to death camps, exterminates purely because of their religion.

It is thought that 1 million Uighurs (muslim ethnic minority) in the province of Xinjiang have been detained in concentration camps, referred to by the CCP as "Re-education camps". There have been reports of torture and murder within these camps,so yes, things like this do happen in this day and age. Same is probably happening in North Korea. Given the strict censorship, it is highly unlikely that the civilian population are even aware of anything like this existing within their borders. I doubt they know what is going on right now in Hong Kong with the protests (someone correct me if I'm mistaken).

Another poster replied to me accusing me of anti-Chinese rhetoric. Believe me, I have nothing against the Chinese people. I am anti-CCP (Chinese Communist Party). It is precisely because I care about the Chinese people that I want to see the toppling of the regime. The regime likes to come across as modern and progressive, it congratulates itself for lifting people out of poverty (which it was responsible for in the first place) and is now trying to charm the world into believing it has only benevolent reasons for wanting to expand into other countries. For a while it worked. But since Covid-19, the cracks have begun to show as we see them clamping down on protesters in Hong Kong and big light is being shone on their crimes. I really hope that countries that signed up to Chinese partnerships are now starting to question their decision.

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colouringindoors Wed 03-Jun-20 17:17:01

YADNBU. Climate change. Covid. Racism. Brexit. Misogyny. Johnson. Trump. Bolsanaro. China's Muslim concentration camps. Fires. Floods. Locusts. Ebola. Domestic violence. It's endless and growing.

7ofNine Wed 03-Jun-20 17:23:00

YANBU, but humans do not deserve to survive as a species.

Leafyhouse Thu 04-Jun-20 12:24:29

YABU. I think you under-estimate the resourcefulness of the human spirit. The climate change movement is about to take a massive step forward as a result of this Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in major societal shake-up. The sheer horror of what happened in the 2nd World War has prompted the establishment of institutions to try and prevent this happening again (with varying results I'll admit, but we've not had a World War since). We'll adapt - pain will always be there, the struggle will never leave, but I think it's about the journey rather than the destination; the desire to change is as important as how much has changed.

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