10 January 2005
This is the time of year when you are meant to engage in retrospection, look back on the events of the past year and pass ‘learned’ judgements, the lessons we hav(en’t) learned and so on and so forth. However, it strikes me that the events of the past year have more in common with those of the 1930s than with the 21st century and the ‘end of history’. And there’s another reason why I’d rather cast my mind further back, well in fact there are several reasons why, not the least of which are my parents who cut their political teeth in that turbulent and decisive decade. These were the people and those of their generation who were instrumental in shaping my own life and values. The world that shaped them was tumultuous and perhaps even more unsure than ours is today. It was most definitely a hard life for the vast majority even in the so-called developed world, and a time that determined the lives of my dad and his brothers and sisters as well as my mum and her brothers and sisters, sixteen in all. The Spanish Civil War, the rise of Fascism, the Unemployed marches, and what was commonly perceived as the dying gasps of Capitalism were the major elements that shaped the thinking of that decade. On the surface, a far cry from the current situation one would think but how true is this perception?