The end of the European age

“John Michael Greer is a widely read author, blogger, and astrologer whose work focuses on the overlaps between ecology, spirituality, and the future of industrial society.” – From the ‘ecosophia’ blog

I have been reading the weekly blog posts of John Michael Greer (JMG) for many years now. His long posts have seeded many new ideas and connected many dots for me. His latest post about the end of the European age is very relevant for us in India. Some excerpts from the post are given below and the full post is available here.

Excerpt 1:
“Britain in 1913 was the world’s richest and most powerful country. Britain in 1918 was a half-shattered economic basket case, so close to bankruptcy that it was never able to pay off its First World War debts to the United States, and so strapped for ready cash that when Ireland rose in revolt against British rule, the British government crumpled and let go of its oldest and most thoroughly looted colony. It took only four decades after 1914 for the rest of the British empire to come crashing down, reducing Britain from its previous status of global hyperpower to the ignominious role of US client state propped up mostly by money laundering operations in the City of London. That’s what happens to nations that get too dependent on economic globalism.”

Excerpt 2:
“In 1500 the idea of a British Empire would have seemed absurd, had anyone imagined it at all. In 1500 those people elsewhere who paid any attention to Europe at all thought of it as a bleak, damp, mountainous subcontinent stuck onto the western end of Asia, inhabited by a clutch of little nations mostly notable for their odd religious beliefs and their propensity for murderous internecine warfare. As it had been since ancient times, Europe was on the fringes of the civilized world: a belt of great imperial nations slicing across the southern end of Asia, through the Middle East, to West Africa.”

Excerpt 3:
“Sclerotic, fussy, entitled, clinging to the shabby dignity of an age of empire that’s fading in history’s rearview mirror, and weighed down by demographic contraction that’s been accelerating for a century, Europe is the past, not the future.”

Excerpt 4:
“The United States these days is a Third World country catapulted by a chapter of historical accidents into a temporary position as global hegemon. Its Europeanized elites, in the usual Third World fashion, are a small minority maintaining a tenuous temporary mastery over restless masses that don’t share its ideals and its interests, and are beginning to sense their potential power. . . . If history follows its usual track, by the time the future high culture of eastern North America begins to emerge, the age of European global dominion will be a distant memory, and Europe itself will have spent many centuries in its pre-imperial condition: a fragmented, impoverished, bellicose region on the faraway fringe of the civilized world. Its peoples and cultures, for that matter, may not have much in common with those residing there now.”