The world in a hundred years – pessimist for safety’s sake

By Stefan Fröhling

A statement – The world in a hundred years?

At first this sounds to me – in mathematical naivety – like 3018

But it is “only” the year 2118 that is meant. Could I have imagined the world a hundred years ago, a hundred years later? That would have been 1918, still in the middle of the carnage of World War I. The world would probably have seemed like one brutal chaos and I would have longed for the end of it. Influenced by imperial ideas and facts, the hopes for more peaceful and just conditions would have been like true utopias, especially since general staffs of all stripes continued to cherish wet dreams of murderous victories.

Patriotism was high on the agenda – and is doing so again now

Yet patriotism is often only a euphemism for those who do not (yet) dare to say nationalism. If it were at least “love of motherland” instead of “love of fatherland”; for I wonder whether the aspect of the “maternal” would not politically reduce the power of the “paternal” to absurdity. And the question arises whether this “love” for the fatherland is not used as a justification for practised hatred. As if the terms “love” and “hate” were synonyms for each other.

I fear that in a hundred years’ time future people will be able to talk about happiness if their world has remained postmodern, i.e. in a kind of political standstill, and if nothing even more terrible has happened, even compared to 1918.

How many well-intentioned initiatives and departures towards a more just existence and more humanity in the best sense of the word will in the meantime be stifled by an immorality of the factual and long forgotten, so that once again only utopias remain?

According to Thomas Hobbes, man is a wolf (homo homini lupus) to man – which is not to say anything against the wolf as an animal. Pure pessimism? As an optimist, you are constantly disappointed, but as a pessimist, you are surprised by positive surprises every now and then.


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