Monday, 12 December 2016

great leap forward

The Atlantic presents a rather sweeping, comprehensive list of political, foreign policy milestones and anniversaries that will occur in the upcoming year, illustrating how fraught diplomacy with compounded legacies not easily shaken and those foundations probably ought not to be tempted.
February marks a quarter of a century since the European Economic Community embarked into a new system of greater legal and political integration—beyond trade deals, with the Maastricht Treaty, which led to the creation of the contemporary EU, though it now stands at a crossroads. It is the centenary of the Russian revolutions of 1917 that created the Soviet Union as well as the fiftieth anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Of course cultural movements and revolution don’t exclusively cause contemporaries to confront (and tackling “on this day” is only contending with a shadow of the original event and certainly not its precedents—and perhaps in the moment of memorial, not its antecedents either) the past only on round birthdays (there are many more events covered in the article) and the nostalgia for chronicle and a surfeit of past to the fill the present has become a sort of a touchstone lately—and hopefully the trivia can tease out some curiosity into the deeper history and influences as well—and perhaps shows that the whole jabberwocky of bookends needs respect and continual servicing. What do you think? Perhaps there’s also a strong desire to step away from a present in hopes that we can bound it—and whatever slurry of 2016 won’t wash into the new year.