A peculiar character that was born in 1946 governs the nation that, until recently, was the richest country in the world. He comes from a time when Joseph Stalin had control of an empire called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a time when Mao Zedong was fighting against Japan in order to restore the imperial splendor of China. Europe was in ruins and Africa remained subject to the colonial system of previous centuries.
The world population in that year was three times lower than the current one. Penicillin was a novelty and contraceptives, just a laboratory project. Most of the TV sets worked on bulbs and transmitted in black and white. After their labor advance during wartime, women were pushed to resume their “natural role” as housewives dedicated to the care of their children and husbands. In the United States, racial discrimination was part of daily life in a large part of the country. Computers were practically non-existent and the same industrial model of mass production of the Second World War was the engine than for over two decades produced economic growth in some regions of the world.
In this 2018, several generations after the imaginary of that “Great America”, we inhabit in a planet of 7,600 million people. The average life expectancy in the world is 71 years. The so-called globalization is a reality in the economy of most countries, although inequality is greater than ever. Also, communications are digital, instantaneous and global.
And yet, this 2018 Donald Trump will celebrate his 72nd birthday in the White House. Millionaire by birth, he grew up in the 40’s and 50’s as a temperamental and explosive child. Since he was a young man, he got into the great media wave that, for decades, has molded popular culture on a global level. Genius of the self-promotion and show business, he replaced Barak Hussein Obama, the first black president of the history of his country, defeating Hillary Clinton, who was supposed to become the first female president of this nation.
In its attempt to reverse history course, the United States will take time to recognize that the largest economy in the world and the engine of global economic growth, is not theirs, but in China’s new markets.
With the same capacity to generate chaos and death that it showed against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the first days of August 1945, the U.S. military is enormous. However, the great wars of the 21st century point, rather than nuclear annihilation, towards new calamities like cyber-attacks – the Russian and North Korean hackers stealing from the world and defining elections, global illnesses, or man-made “natural disasters”.
And in the field of direct violence, the ability to generate terror – which for decades was a kind of monopoly of the central governments – is now in the hands of any single extremist. Christian or Muslim, their bombs kill the same.
Nothing seems to indicate that 2018 will be a year of major progress. The tax reform will detonate an explosion of economic inequality, and beside a huge political gain for Trump’s romance with the mega rich, will likely bring more violence and social turbulence.
Therefore, we should recognize this as the times as resistance and blind optimism. Therefore, “Happy New Year” for you all.