A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Sydney City Council voting to change official wording in order to acknowledge that Europeans didn’t “settle” in Australia – they invaded an occupied land. It bothers me that so much of the Western world is still richer than the rest because of similar acts that took place (and in some cases are still taking place – eg the steep interest on third world debt) around the world.
Which begs two questions: Are we eventually going to pay for what our ancestors did? And – is there any way we can avoid paying that price?
I think that history tends to even itself out, and no-one stays on top forever. As someone who is definitely living at the sharp end of the wealth pyramid (not me personally but certainly my lifestyle, city and country), this is a worry.
I think it’s often justice that arises to topple the unfairly rich – so I have a theory that if the rich turn around and start actively seeking real justice themselves then maybe they won’t get brought down after all.
It starts with honesty – which can cost a great deal. When I heard (several years ago now) that the Timor Timur government was offering amnesty for the crimes committed during twenty-five years of violence, I was so impressed I wrote a story about it, which is available on a podcast here. It is M-rated, and thus goes under the name Felicity Bloomfield. (I visited Timor Timur briefly when it was under transitional UN administration.)
I also admire Germany for hating Nazism more than any other place on Earth. And I admire Japan for not hating the West for dropping two nuclear bombs.
After honesty comes active compassion and the restoration of justice. But that’s the point where my imagination shorts out.
Do you think the West is doomed to fall? If so, do you think it can be saved?