There is a great fear spreading around Europe and western countries – also USA. Fear of everything and everyone.
Fear of others. Fear of our culture. Fear of migrants. Fear of the future. Fear of innovations. In short, fear of ALL.
But is this fear justified? Yes, it is. But for other reasons.
The first reason is demography: at the end of this century, white people – that is, people living in the so-called western world, will be few. One billion against more than 4 billion African people, 4 billion Asian people and one billion people living in south America. In Europe, USA, Australia and Russia populations will be small: people don’t have children, the number of old people increases, and the median curve becomes higher and higher (more in the USA, less in Europe).
We are going to be richer, owning almost 70% of world wealth, but we are going to be surrounded.
And this is not a prediction, it is a certainty.
It is the first great weakness which no one thinks about. Do we have other weaknesses? The answer is “yes, we have a lot”. Democracy is our second weakness.
We live in democratic countries. We have invented democracy and we have conquered it, but it risks being a burden, not a privilege: emerging countries do not respect democracy and can take quick decisions. I’m referring to China, to most African, Asian and south American countries. That is, almost 8 in 11 billion people.
Rights are our third weakness: as with democracy, we have conquered them. They are our flagship, but they cannot find their place in countries where they are denied. An example: homosexual people can marry in our countries. In Uganda, they are condemned to death. We should be very powerful to protect these rights; but we are not.
Forth weakness: technology. It seems like it is our strength – at least, lots of white countries’ strength – but we have “donated” it to everyone. Or better, we have greedily sold it. As a result, we are richer – we just have to look at the tech’s seven sisters – but with no exclusive.
The fifth and most important weakness is inequality: our greed has make the world grow through globalization and, as a result, today Chinese people have a pro-capita GDP that is 13 times bigger than that of 20 years ago – $ 8.600 against $ 600 – while our middle class is poorer. One or two billion Asian people live better now, while 500 million western people are living worse. And this led to Trump, Brexit, Orban and Salvini. And inequality is the mother of all weaknesses.
If we were united, if we had redistributed our incomes, if we understood that we should be scared by other things, then we would not be scared. We are wealthy, we are leaders in culture and democracy, we live longer and in comfortable houses. We have the best of all.
But we are divided and bear grudge, we are envious and mean. And the so-called populists can easily worsen our fears.
When we should have adapted our wealth curve, taking from people who had much and giving to those owning less, we just forgot about it, greedily and stupidly. Moreover, when populists rule, they don’t change things; they exasperate them, because there must be angry people for them to keep on winning. And because the enemies are black people, privileges, industries, banks.
Vicious circle is everlasting.
Some examples: Mr. Trump wanting to break NATO down and to divide us on the sole strong power, that is the military one; Mr. Trump again aiming to isolation – after that they invented and managed globalization – and considering the relationships with the EU as negative. And then United Kingdom fleeing from Europe, and flat taxes in USA and Italy – replacing a solid progressive strategy to damage the richest ones – and so on.
However, the greatest vice of all is represented by walls. Those built by carpenters and those built by culture, for us to retreat back into our shells and to say: “We are closing our doors and we are hiding under our beds”, as we were not interesting anymore in what is happening in the world. And this is happening in the western world, which in the past won by opening itself and opening the world, by exporting culture, rights, dreams and good examples.
Today, this world is hiding under the bed, shaking with fear.
In this way, it is losing opportunities, because we can develop and grow only by opening ourselves. The image of Mr. Orban, hiding behind his Hungarian wall, is the symbol of this time’s fears; the symbol of enclosure turning into poverty. It is useless to say that fear creates other fears. Always.
What should we do? It’s simple: we should not be scared.
Or better, we should fear real threats. And then, we should try and have more children, redistribute our wealth, build a real Europe – in order to develop together –, keep on improving the quality of our lives, of our health, of our rights and of our culture.
We should be aware that all these actions and all these futures are a strength for us, if only we exploit it all together. And if we are able not to make us divide by some.. pied pipers.