Friday, July 02, 2010

Everyday Chaos

This is from a post by Immanuel Wallerstein. I'm not able to link to the complete essay, but you can get to it by Goggling Immanuel Wallerstein. It's his February 15 commentary on everyday chaos.
You know you're living in a chaotic situation when (1) the mainstream media are constantly surprised by what is happening; (2) short-term predictions by various pundits go in radically different directions and are stated with many reserves; (3) the Establishment dares to say things or use words that were previously taboo; (4) ordinary people are frightened and angry but very unsure what to do. This is a good description of the past two years throughout the world, or at least in most parts of the world...

As a result, governments are faced with impossible choices, and individuals even more impossible choices. They cannot predict what is likely to happen. They become ever more frantic. They lash out by being protectionist or xenophobic or demagogic. But of course, this solves little...

So, this is what everyday chaos is like - a situation that is not predictable in the short run, even less in the middle run. It is therefore a situation in which the economic, political, and cultural fluctuations are large and rapid. And that is frightening for most people.


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