The Double OO's
Every 40 or 50 years in modern western culture there comes a decade that brings more change to world civilization than the several decades that precede it.
There were the "Roaring Twenties" and the "Psychadelic Sixties" both of which brought about great changes economically, politically and socially. I name the current decade the "Double 00's" after the Cold War novels about James Bond by the British author Ian Fleming. I grant that my readers would agree that there have been more changes in the world during this current decade, for good and bad, than in any other decade prior to the 1960's and maybe even as far back as the 1940's. During each of these respective eras, attitudes about politics, fashion, art, music, and literature changed drastically. The world distanced itself from the horrors of WWI by drinking champagne and dancing the night away in the booming economic times of the 1920's. An extraordinary era that replaced nationalism with extreme materialism. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about it while the "flappers" danced to it. In the 1960's ‘youth culture’ exerted its opinionated voice and power, and in the process brought about drastic cultural and technological advances in America and indeed much of the Western World. The Cold War was at its height and mankind skirted from the edge of nuclear destruction in 1962 all the way to landing on the moon in 1969. It was a time of great scientific advances as well as bringing about a cultural revolution that was fueled by free love and the hippie movement culminating in Woodstock also in 1969. I believe that both the 1920's and the 1960's, though very influential to our present decade, will ale in historic comparison to the current precedents being set for the 21st century in the timeframe from 2000 to 2010.
The Double OO's have already seen drastic change to geopolitics, the environment, and also a great widening of the religious divide. And although the Cold War has officially ended, there is far more espionage, politically unknown and extremely dangerous variables adrift in the world, than there ever was during the historic rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States that pitted the East against the West. The long years of the communist threat to capitalistic society have been replaced by the global threat of terrorism which endangers the very fabric of civilization itself. Once again, as in the 1960's, art, fashion, music are taking on a whole new form. Also, in 2007 ("double 007") we are beginning to see that all the environmental degradation of the Industrial Age is beginning to catch up with us. "Where did winter go?" seems to be the new catch phrase of the times. Even political activism is seeing people once again taking to the streets in protest over the war in Iraq and questioning the far reaching decisions politicians are making in their name. The choices we all make in this decade will have far reaching effects and will set the precedent for future generations. No longer can the world's population simply sit back and say nothing when the future seems so threatening towards the stagnation of ambivalence. This era will be seen by those as yet unborn citizens of the world as the time that mankind realized that humans are all part of one big family, regardless of their origins or religious orientation, and set about making the earth a better place to live for all, or let it slide into such a chaotic state that it will slowly and surely lead to our mutual destruction.
The Double OO's are upon us and unlike what most governments would have us believe; the individual can make a difference. We are the "people" and history has taught us that the individual in mass unison holds the true key to power. Politicians and the media would like us to believe that we are the puppets, but in actual fact we are the puppeteers. We hold our hands on the strings and if we find them unresponsive then they should be cut and new ones installed (i.e. politicians). My hope is that the upcoming political change in America will help bring the world together in such a way that we, as a species, begin to tackle the problems that await us all in a common, but uncertain future.