In these days of messy transitional period I should not complain. There is work enough. Everyone who trades goods wants to go online. This means photo productions for catalogues. But that alone is anything but sustainable. And sustainability is all that is needed.
Eventually, we will become a new regime which will arise on the ruins our free market economy, which has been successfully dismantled since the 1980s. And then, also this is an old story. The Romans responded to the death of their Republic with resignation.
Because we tend see only the potential gains from social engineering, but not the risks, my guess is that we will not change, and will evolve from citizens into subjects. We will console ourselves by awarding ourselves the status of victims. So we will have moral superiority over our billionaire-rulers. And, they will find that hilarious.
Giving up on America is the easy way out. Of course financially US$ as a reserve currency is coming of age and its financial back will continue to invest in ideologies. The first sign of rebellions are written on the wall and the “security” apparatus is realising the beginning of many young people finding many grievances to vent their anger in this world. These Millennials are not disengaged and annoying anymore. They want change. Wait until a genuinely rebellious Generation “Z” can’t find stable employment, earn a decent wage, buy a home or start a family…
In Europe all this is more divided because Europe has become a nation of people governed by tribal truths. That means increased social conflict, because tribal truths are irreconcilable by logic or fact. A rebellion in Europe is far less likely. The little troubles in Britain about discrimination are not a rebellion, Also, in Europe most of the critics are made in “social” media. This is the reason why social media has become more an exchange of insults than useful dialog. The social media rather suffocate any form of serious rebellion already in the sprout.
The two systems that were built from the second World War – the consensus of social democracy that morphed into neoliberal Capitalism – facilitated by globalisation is falling apart. Russia’s collapsing oil-dependent economy becomes reliant on China which is bringing Chinas sphere of influence to the borders of Europe.
Europe will see serious splits between the wealthy north and poorer south. A weaker south will have a softer approach towards instabilities to become more and more financial support from Brussels. At the same time the instability in West Africa and the Middle East will most likely rapidly rise because of demographic reasons. This could ignite an avalanche of currently 80 million people, displaced by war, violence and persecution, resulting in an increase in much higher migrant movements directed to Europe.
Our failing systems of economic and political governance has proven to be fragile and unsustainable and has fragmented in front of us in a matter of weeks. Nothing less than a reboot is approaching. For those who see the status quo returning – a brutal awakening is coming.
Corona crisis, financial crisis, climate crisis, migration crisis, bankruptcies, heat waves, refugee flows, you name it. And, you don't have to be a redemption-hungry euphoric to realise that we live in a permanent crisis mode, but that we have reached the end of neo-liberalism is of course nonsense.
Saturated commodity markets and a surplus of idle capital first triggered waves of speculation and then the world financial crisis of 2008. Politicians shouted: “Everything has to change, we need a new concept of growth, the market cannot regulate everything.” Well, you know what happen: Politics did not come out of it.
Shortly afterwards, the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, issued an alarm call, saying that everything must change, and this very quickly. So the gangs met in Paris and all countries of the world agreed to protect the climate in 2015. This was indeed a historical surprise, but the commitment was lagging behind, and the expansion of the markets, the politics of sanctions and last but not least the new inhabitant in the White House destroyed all the efficiency gains partly through obstruction partly through incompetence and most of all due to greed.
And when in 2015 the German chancellor offered Germany as a refuge for millions of war and climate refugees, demographers began to calculate that in 2050, eventually even earlier, 37% of all the world's under-18s will be at home in Africa, - in absolute figures around one billion. It is unimaginable that they will stay there, unimaginable that they can live there as we do now. India’s north will become desert, 50% of Iran’s agricultural regions will vanish…
With all these corona crisis, financial crisis, climate crisis, migration crisis, bankruptcies, heat waves, refugee flows, there was a growing realisation that global agreements are difficult to make and few comply with them - not to mention solutions. On top of it a TV reality star became president, elected by a “base” that knew him well from his TV appearances and he wanted to make their view on America great again after all the illegal conquests out of an ill guided understanding of “humanitarian interventions” ended up in becoming wars of occupation that had damaged the image of a strange US democracy. Well we all see the work in progress: it is at least diplomatically paralysed if not just a laughing spot.
Look at Corona as an experiment: it can be used as a symptom of our global way of life. Not even the White Houses and Fox News in all our all countries are willing to blame individual states, cultures or politicians. The corona crisis problem is experienced as systemic, as a symptom of our global way of life. In this experiment, it was quickly recognised that governments can find with surprising speed to the brutal primacy of politics over the economy. The individualised consumer became citizen and was suddenly capable of solidarity and radical renunciations.
This now can lead to a dream of a true step for humanity: If a global tax reform were to take place now, in which all billionaires on this planet would immediately and without delay hand over 50% of their possessions to the public, so under the control of honestly elected governments and these governments would be constitutionally committed to 100% transparency, even mankind could take a step towards its own survival.
the photos here are from a saltworks, a saline, in the Camargue that had been completely closed during the Corona crisis because nobody was allowed to work.
Just in case our dear little troublemaker realizes his idea and transforms Haiga Sophia into a mosque again, here are a few photos from a series I made for UNESCO.
I have to mention that Mehmet, this old Ottoman, had rebuilt Haiga Sophia in 1453, after it had been abused and defaced by the "Fourth Crusaders" from 1204 to 1261, into a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
And a further step, that of Atatuerk, who had the Haiga Sophia converted into a museum, is evidence of an otherwise very open world view of the Turkish people. All of Erdolf's action serves only his political games, and to blame the Turkish people would be completely dull.
Some kind of Mediterranean season is a clear indicator that life is going back to some sort of normality. Sure it’s not perfect, but in the context of a global pandemic it’s an encouraging development. Lefts see how people are behaving. At least the boat is fit again and most of the year I will use it as my "office" as it is so much more save cruising to the ports and shipyards then getting stacked on congested motorways or full trains.
In truth we’re all waiting to see how the next couple of months will unfold. For me it has been reassuring to hear that at this stage both Cannes Yachting Festival and eventually Monaco Yacht Show (*)are set to go ahead as planned.
Also the shipyards in Italy have begun to come back and continued with their constructions and continue which their projects for new yachts.
The expectations for both shows is so great across the industry, it gives all in the industry something to look forward to.
(*) till 26th May MYS said the show would go ahead as a not-for-profit event. It seems they have since changed their decision and will not host the show until September 2021.
As a reporter I reported on collapsing societies, including the former Yugoslavia. Now every day here in my so called "civilised world" I can see the same symptoms: a increasingly polarised, insecure population. For citizens living in a socially unstable society it is becoming some how impossible to understand how fragile a crumbling financial, social and political system is before an implosion (or explosion) is bringing it all to a halt.
Since 2011, this legendary "Euro-Crisis", I see many harbingers of a slow but accelerating collapse:
The press has become one of the main pillars of the despotism of e.g. appointed, not by its citizen elected, political responsible of the EU bureaucracy. Journos and their "experts" babble endlessly like the courtiers of the 18th century at the court of Versailles about the weaknesses of the monarch, while the farmers lack bread.
I'm sure that much happens unintentionally and is not planned. But think twice, is it not designed to distract us from the depressing sight of what has become a "social market economy" which has made Germany the strongest economy in Europe? To me it looks like an attempt to keep us trapped in illusions.
These were all the warning signs from the countries I reported: they're violence, they're wars and they're intrigues. I would be glad if I was wrong. But I have seen a lot of things before the virus was hiding the fan... Much of it is now happen here in our previously much stronger countries, whether Europe or America. The circumstances which are now topical with this pandemic and its consequences with sudden outbreaks of violent BLM and LGDP action are only the drop that will bring the barrel to overflow, - or we will all become quite like people of China.
As soon as the economy collapses and the rage explodes in a firestorm across the country, the political freaks will appear, making Trump look shrewd and benign.
Isn't it amazing about this whole situation that the economy suffers so terribly
when people only buy what they really need for 8 weeks?
Isn't that bad? Isn't it?
8 weeks of buying only food and what is really needed and the economy goes down the drain.
That means that we only buy crap that we don't really need.
The truffle is appreciated by some people as a particular culinary speciality. For a rather "smelly" mushroom they are very expensive and actually over many centuries they were mainly part of the rural cuisine, probably because of their strong aroma.
As it is the case with specialities, they suddenly become valuable only because nobody wants to eat them anymore. The truffle seekers lost their business and invented lots of fairy tales about why the truffle is allegedly so fabulous.
And because people like to believe, this same trick works the price begun rising astronomically beyond any reasonable, rational argument. This is exactly the principle by which a consumer society functions: A product is described as sensational without any real evidence, but the fact that so much attention is paid to it gives the fairy tale credibility.
So, the "speciality" suddenly becomes a profitable product and is then used by the "haute cousine", like all fashionable dishes do if their ingredients, like, intestines brain; lung, stomach etc, are having a completely unrealistically market-price.
There are still many truffle pigs around, but most truffle these days found by dogs. It took my little Rottweiler a day to understand what to detect near oak-trees for and then to exchange it for a piece of dried turkey breast. Unfortunately his strength proved to be unsuitable, - he dug the stinky mushroom out of the ground in a few minutes, but the mushroom was also destroyed by his claws.