So a new year begins and we dodged the Mayan Apocalypse. Or did we? The Mayans did not perdict an apocalypse, they were saying that December 21st marked the end of one cycle and the beginning of another cycle. I find this a rather hopeful thought.
There are other signs beside Mayan calendars that a new cycle is beginning. The modern nation state which has help sway in Europe since 1648 and has come to dominate the world is disintegrating. This started in the late 70's with the rise of the transnational corporations and has accelerated with the emergence of NGO's like Doctors Without Borders and Al Quieda. While these trends certainly have their bad side, just ask workers making iPhones in China, there are tremendous opportunities to compleatly remake the world order. These trends herald a change as profound as the collapse of feudalism and the begging of the industrial revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries.
While things could descend into a bleak corporate dominated tyranny there is just as much chance for the emergence of a new and more just post capitalist world. This may seem like a long shot but we live in a time when a few dedicated people can change the course of history. We have seen movements started by a handful of people have grown to sweep away entrenched governments. While these movements have not always resulted in great improvements they have shown the vulnerability of existing power structures.
So I see a chance for profound changes for the better if we are willing to really fight for them. We need to stop working within the old systems and instead work to smash them and create better systems in their place. I think this is a profoundly hopeful and exciting time when we may set a whole new cycle of world history in motion.