Social Dynamics and Hope, for 2017 and beyond

Dr. Hanno Scholtz (Photo: Vera Markus)
Dr. Hanno Scholtz

The celebrations of December circle around the topic of hope. But it is not easy to hope this year. So many things are dark and make us worry.

Over the last years, I have compared the present to the early 20th century up to the 1930s. There are abundant similiarities: Terror, migration, economic crises, populism, and many more. These similiarities are neither random nor are they things that simple return cyclically. Instead, it makes sense to look forward in the past from the 1930s to the 1950s. At that time, stability, peace, and even legitimation and justice were regained, at least in the West.

And they were regained for good reasons. The industrial world worked, because it had created  and accepted “modern” responsibilities for political decisions and for skill-related decisions which lacked in the 1930s.

But from current view, they were incompletely modern. They were bases on groups with an internally traditional structure, with domination, hierarchies, strict rules and role assignments. But these traditional groups do not longer structure Western societies as they did.

Now a second step is necessary: To create responsibilities for political decisions and for skill-related decisions that work in the current world of individualized networks. This step is currently missing, and this is the reason for the problems we face today.

This second step is not a petty. It will change things. But it is possible, and it will come. And it will bring stability, peace, and even legitimation and justice, this time not only in the West but globally. I am convinced of this outlook, and I will work for it.

There is still a lot to do to go that way. And the bad news is: As long as this step is not addressed, the current problems will continue to escalate. But there is a positive perspective. And this fits well into the framework of December celebrations: Times are dark. But finally we see a light.

All the best for Christmas, Chanukka, and for 2017!

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