Thursday, March 05, 2009

The crumbling facade

Do you remember the time travel cop show, Life On Mars - and particularly how it ended?

It turned out that Sam was indeed in a coma, eventually recovered from that and returned to the present - only to find that the present wasn't all it was cracked up to be. He pretty soon realised that for all its materialism, 24 hour facilities and shiny glass and concrete superficiality there was little holding the present together.

Instead he preferred the simpler times of the seventies where, as there was fewer distractions for your attention, communities actually tended to bond and were more tight knit. You might only have had a few mates, but they were real mates rather than a thousand far-off acquaintances on some social networking web site who you really didn't know from Adam.

Consequently, Sam made the decision to abandon the shallow modern world and return to the seventies by taking his own life. We're all about to undergo something similar, but we're not going to have to kill ourselves to do it and I don't think it's going to be as much fun as it was for Sam.

The thing is, I believe that multiculturalism and progressive liberalism have severely damaged the fabric of society. The only thing holding the whole mess together for the past 15 years or so has been the consumer boom which has managed to just about patch over the cracks by providing cheap and plentiful distractions from our crumbling social system.

However, this is all about to end and the signs are already showing that the shiny facade of the modern world is starting to crumble. The place where this is most evident is on the high street as more and more shops close and are boarded up. You may also have noticed the dreadful state the roads are in. For years they have been bad as various companies have dug them up, laid their particular cables then filled them in - only for some other company to come along a month later, dig them up, lay their cables then fill them in again - but now they are even worse as the winter has taken its toll.

There will, of course, be a drive to repair them soon - but there won't be enough money to do them all or to do them properly. Similarly this will be repeated in our schools, hospitals and public buildings. In the private sector, repairs and maintenance will get lower priorities as demands to cut costs means money is diverted to priority areas. Gradually, at first, and then in an increasing torrent our infrastructure will crumble and then the whole shiny edifice of progressive liberalism will tumble too.

At the same time, living standards will be on the decline and we will have less money to spend on luxury items. This age of materialism and consumerism is ending and, as it does, we're going to find ourselves looking for other means to satisfy our social urges and leisure pursuits - and we'll look for that in our communities. Unfortunately, those communities are often so fractured that, rather than providing comfort, they will provide confrontation as various disparate groups compete for limited social and leisure facilities.

There are tough times ahead for all of us. Get used to it, because this is going to last years not months - but if we keep our heads and make the right choices we will come out of it a better, more secure and far less superficial society than we are now.

4 comments:

JuliaM said...

"You may also have noticed the dreadful state the roads are in."

Oh, boy, have I! The recent snow has opened up the potholes our local council repairs (temporarily) by filling with tar every now and then when the complaints get too much, and scoured them even deeper. Some are 4-5 inches deep!

Yet in the last few days, a lot of the hitherto open green corners of streets have sprouted shiny new iron railings. Why?

End of the financial year, of course - got to spend all the money and can't switch it to a budget that needs it, like roads!

Last two years its beed extra trees - I guess they've finally run out of space for them...

staybryte said...

Must agree on the roads. I thought it was a local problem but they are in an astonishingly bad state here in the Midlands. Same down south?

JuliaM said...

Certainly in my suburb!

bernard said...

Funny, I don't recall the Romans complaining about the roads back in the 6th century....
The truth is ALL civilisations rise and then fall, and they suffer the same symptoms too! This Western one is no different.
Read Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall'.
Towards the end, the percentage of ethnic Romans in Rome itself was around 8%. Sound familiar?