Hoping to Create – By @luxetmare
Hoping to Create
Bruce Robinson, the director of the cult classic “Withnail & I” remarks that during the 60’s and 70’s for British youth, regardless of the terrible haircuts and flares and such, there was “an incredible sense hope”, British rock ruled the world and the Concorde was going supersonic above the sky.
When I compare that to our generation, I can’t help but feel that our feeling is a sense of constant anxiety, nihilism mixed with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour (read: memes) to let us sleep easier at night. What we have is a step above hopelessness, a step where we have let go of our earthly attachments, entered the void and have reached new heightened levels of hopelessness, an überhopelessness so to say.
We are in the holocene extinction, the permafrost is melting and releasing all the methane trapped under it, the ocean acidification has killed half of the phytoplankton, our source of oxygen and a critical part of the ocean food chain. Everything is overfished, over extracted, overproduced and over consumed. Yes, COVID-19 has compounded this überhopelessness and there is a collective “I’m so done with 2020” mood but 2021 won’t be any different for the level of destruction that’s taking place sans the virus.
And therefore “doomism” has taken hold of us. As more and more academic papers are released that are so depressing that they’re sending people to therapy, we think to ourselves “Greta, maybe the fight was lost way before we got here”.
William Rees-Mogg, father of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the noted Etonian, Brexiteer and frontbench chillaxer, wrote the book “ The Sovereign Individual: The Coming Economic Revolution and How to Survive and Prosper in It”, which billionaire Peter Thiel described as the book he was most influenced by. The book argues for disaster capitalism, as a matter of fact, COVID-19 was just such an opportunity, in the 12 weeks between 18 March and 11 June, the combined wealth of all US billionaires increased by more than $637bn to a total of $3.581tn, according to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
The thinking really seems to be, disasters are unavoidable, things are going to get bad, worse, and finally very, very bad indeed, you might as well take advantage of it and be one of the few that survive it. In such an atmosphere, one doesn’t ponder much why this generation is a tad depressed.
But the question now remains, what will give us hope? That’s what I’ve been thinking about. How and where can you find hope when you’re losing so much? What can give you the drive to push forward and onwards when the very ground you’re pushing against is crumbling?
I think this is going to be one of the biggest challenges of this decade. Pessimism begets pessimism. It’s very difficult to create when collectively as a generation you suffer from a trauma that you don’t even know how to begin to process. If we can find hope, then perhaps we might find our ways out of this situation, so I think more than ever; we need hope for creativity and creativity for hope…