… not even ten days into the 2020s.
A century ago the “roaring ’20s” dawned with the realization that the Treaty Of Versailles (28 June 1919) was so deeply flawed that Henry Cabot Lodge, a great and astute American statesman, who had advocated for American participation, on the allied side, in the First World War led a US Senate ‘revolt’ that ensured that America would not sign the treaty nor would it join the League of Nations. Although Lodge died in 1924 his view prevailed in America and, in 1945, the US delegation that helped form the United Nations insisted upon a veto over military interventions and other security issues.
The roaring ’20s ended, of course, with the Great Depression ( 1929 to 1939) which only the economic stimulus created by another great war could bring to an end.
I’m not suggesting that we are in the same situation … in some respects, it’s worse in 2020 that it was in 1920. The year 2020 looks a lot like 1910 to me … it was the very dawn of the information age; electricity, radio, aviation and the internal combustion engine were about to change everything for a billion people. The world, including Eastern Europe and the Near and Middle East, was in turmoil. The world in 1910 was sliding towards a great, global conflagration … I fear the 2020s are similar. There is no Senator Lodge in America to hold up a hand and say, “No! Stop.”
The crisis in Iran/Iraq dominates today’s headlines. But the global economy may also be on the long-term skids, and, as in the “roaring twenties” no one seems to care. We continue to live on credit, seemingly neither knowing nor caring that it is our children and grandchildren who will pay the price in higher taxes … or in blood, on some foreign battlefield.
The leadership is the US-led West seems to me to be at least as weak as it has ever been since the 1930s …
… but the autocrats seem to grow in number and strength …
… and in public prestige.
Welcome to the ’20s.