Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Midnight in the Century

The above phrase is associated with the Russian revolutionary and writer Victor Serge. A dedicated anti stalinist he coined the term in the mid 1930s, a time when the left opposition had been extinguished in the Soviet Union the purges and the show trials had begun in earnest and the rest of Europe quivered in the shadow of fascism and the rise of Hitler. So all in all it was a very grim time and one which Serge's phrase brilliantly captured.

In 2016 we've recently seen a vote for Brexit in the UK - a vote almost entirely based on lies on xenophobia and a nascent and ugly British chauvinism. And now we're seeing a President elected in America on a platform based almost entirely on lies on xenophobia and statements from the candidate which on times have bordered on fascism. So all in all this a very grim time for those of us with a world view based on tolerance, compassion and a commitment to social and economic justice. 

There's no way of ameliorating what has taken place or softening the blow - make no mistake this is our Midnight in the Century. We know what horrors were unleashed on the world in the decade after Victor Serge penned those famous words in 1935 - i dread to think what horrors await us in the next few years!


PS. the French National Front leader Marine le Pen was quick to congratulate Trump - ominously tweeting "their world is collapsing - ours is being built". You shudder to think what kind of world she wants to build.

2 comments:

  1. Just watched his victory speech to his supporters. Yes, it was all written down, and no he didn't read it very well, but it sure sounded good. And it does give great hope for the future.

    The status-quo is no more ... because the majority don't want it no more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well i was more than surprised by his speech anon - it certainly didn't sound like the donald trump we've come to know. But as someone famously once advised us 'we can only judge a person by what they do, not what they say'. We will just have to see if he lives up to what was a magnanimous and completely untrumplike speech.

      Not sure what the 'majority' in America wants to be honest anon, as while trump comfortably won in the electoral college he appears to have lost in the popular vote. But its under the electoral college US presidents are elected so we have to accept the legitimacy of his victory.

      Delete