I’ve just completed one of my main Summer projects: a video charting the rise and fall of ideologies across Europe over the last few centuries. For those interested, you can watch it here.
The wide variety of ideas on how we should structure society and govern ourselves which have sprung up from Europe have always fascinated me. From hereditary monarchies to liberal republics, Communist Utopian dreams to Fascist order and discipline – and even the idea of no structure, no state, in occasional anarchist societies; we’ve attempted the lot. Most have failed, or been brought down, but there’s no reason to suggest what we’re experiencing now isn’t simply a brief period of calm which, as I discovered while researching the video, are extremely common, before another tumultuous divergence. My favourite aspect of the video is watching the consensuses change: seeing the ideals of authoritarianism and ‘tradition’ dissolve while new accepted forms of governance emerge. Is our current system of capitalist democracy here to stay, or will something currently unimaginable one day usurp it?
See, this is a prime example of how studying history is always relevant. From the past, we can extrapolate the future.