A Progressive World?
“This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
I had never been one to believe in the saying: “history repeats itself”, I preferred to take the more optimistic route. I use to believe that we as humans tend to learn from our past mistakes. Unlike the common housefly, I assumed that when obstructed by a glass window, us humans would not continue flying into the object obstructing our progress but rather find an alternative route to reach the light outside the darkened house.
Unfortunately, it seems my optimism was wasted, and just like the latest fashion trends, history is simply recycled instead of created. Of course my previous statement can be argued with notions such as:
“There is no more slavery”
“Women and Children are now more protected under the law”
“We are more globalised and accepting of different cultures, ethnicities and religions”
Granted, I do believe that a lot has changed but not to the extent that all the wrongs of the past have been completely eradicated. Women are still persecuted for speaking out against their rapists, according to Rainn.org, in a demographic of 1000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free. Slavery is still very much active, according to the International Labour Organisation, 21 million men, women and children are in some form of modern day slavery e.g. human trafficking, forced marriage, bonded labour, forced labour etc. And when it comes to being a more globalised and accepting world of different cultures, ethnicities and religions, well 2016 shone a light on a dark truth we’ve all been trying to avoid.
As much as the world is criticising America and it’s people for electing Donald Trump as president of one of the most power nations in the world, it is important to remember that a Trump presidency is nothing new. Some say that a Trump presidency will resemble one similar to ex-president, Ronald Reagan. And Yes, Trump used fear, racism and anger to one up his opponents, but so did the Brexit campaign and a lot of other political campaigns around the world. In South Africa, racism and fear dominates campaigns with the current president, Jacob Zuma, even going as far as saying: “if you’re a black person… you join that party (referring to the Democratic Alliance, which he refers to as the white party)… really? It’s even worse when you lead it”. This is an example him using the fear of apartheid to sway the vote of the black majority. In the 21st century, we are still dealing with dictatorships with over 20 countries still enduring the inability of having a say in how their country is governed! We are not a progressive world, perhaps in technology but not in mind-set, even though the election of Barack Obama in 2008 had us thinking otherwise.
I suppose the main point is that the inducing of fear is one of the most powerful forces a politician or business can posses, as well as prompting nostalgia for a generation that feel the past was better than the present, which is probably the reason history keeps repeating itself.