During this strange time we’re all living in, I try to remind myself that much of what is happening is a repeat of what has happened before. Look at these lines from poet W. B. Yeats, written in 1919, at the end of World War 1, with civil war in Ireland about to begin:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
That’s from his poem The Second Coming. Do you see the connection? Too many of the best people now seem to stand back in dismay as they watch the intensifying war in the Ukraine, the corruption of politics, and the takeover of much of our culture by financial greed.
In the mid-term elections in the USA, only 2 weeks away, possibly the most important election anywhere in the world so far in the 21st century, there are good people running who defy Yeats’s vision. For example, Val Deming in Florida running to remove the shameful Marco Rubio from the senate, who, after disparaging Trump in the 2020 primaries, became one of his most cowardly followers. I watched a debate between Deming and Rubio, in which her powerful down-to-earth eloquence destroyed him with the facts. But almost half the American electorate seems not to care about the truth at all – though in any other time she would win that election on Nov 8th in a landslide, instead she’s still struggling to overcome his lead.
And that is happening throughout the USA, and the world. Things do fall apart, unless we insist on holding them together.