Brian McNair writes in The Conversation (29.12.16) arguing that, in the wake of all that transpired in domestic and international politics in 2016, ‘we are in an historical moment never experienced by anyone born after 1945’.
The account continues: ‘At the peak of post-Soviet triumphalism in the west, amid all the hype about a New World Order and the end of history, historian Eric Hobsbawm rained on the parade somewhat by suggesting that we were in a pre-war, rather than post-(Cold) war period.
‘Hobsbawm was a Marxist, deeply concerned by what he saw even then, more than two decades ago, as the rise of nationalism and religious extremism.
‘The ideological vacuum left by the demise of the USSR and the broader decline of socialism was in danger of being filled by tribalism, sectarianism and ethnic conflict. Long dormant hatreds of “the Other” founded on reactionary creeds of racial and religious supremacy would now have room to breathe, he believed.
‘He didn’t live to see that prediction fulfilled, but as we leave 2016 behind and the world prepares for a Trump presidency built on white rage, it is clear that we are there.
‘The Long Peace which has lasted since 1945 – no wars between major powers, no world wars after the two that defined the 20th century, and despite the horrors of civil war such as we see in Syria today, no human casualties on the scale of 1939-45 or 1914-18 – is coming to an end.’