2024 is Not the End of the World
As my friend Jairus Grove once reminded me, the end of the world is never the end of everything.
I find that observation oddly soothing. During the moments when I most worried about the world’s future—at first Trump’s 2016 election, then the North Korean nuclear crisis in 2017-2018, and later the radical uncertainty of 2020-21—those words offered a source of forward movement while keeping existential despair at bay.
It captured a lot of the doomer-zeitgeist about 2024, which promises to be a shit show for many reasons. From the piece:
The year 2023 saw the greatest global resurgence of armed conflict since 1945: 2024 will be worse. We are living, if not through a World War, then a world at war, the great post-globalisation jostling to divide up the spoils of what was once America’s unipolar imperium.
I think a lot of people are making sense of the world in precisely this way. But I share neither the author’s dark conclusions nor much of its underlying reasoning.
In fact, the ways in which I see unbelievable violence on the horizon of our world barely intersects with the author’s analysis. More importantly, the prospect of more death does not at all justify simply giving in to our darkest selves, as people or as governments.