The megatrends that are edging America to the edge of collapse
GO mBEANNAÍ DIA daoibh, hello to the angry and the calm, it’s another Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.
The Bluffer was reading an article by Umair Haque in medium.com about the collapse of the USA.
Tá Meiriceá ag titim as a chéile - America is falling apart and you would use that term about anything, from Manchester United to Fianna Fáil.
In the article, Haque mentioned some olltreochtaí - megatrends that he has noticed in na Stáit Aontaithe - the United States and they resonated with the Bluffer because the situation is similar here, thuaidh agus theas - north and south but more obviously sa Bhreatain - in Britain and to be more precise i Sasana - in England.
Haque writes that tá an daonlathas briste - democracy is broken in the land of the free. However, the Bluffer has although that the exaltation of democracy was a little OTT given the córas toghchanaíochta - the electoral system they use, the widespread use of “voter suppression”, the supremacy of money in American politics and so on.
In the UK, a party with just 40% of the popular vote can gain 60% of the seats but 100% of the power.
So true democracy is on shaky ground at the minute.
Another trend that Haque noticed was that American wages have been flat since the 1970s while prices have started to skyrocket.
Tá pá mar a gcéanna le fada - pay has been the same for a long time while tá praghasanna ag ardú lá i ndiaidh lae - prices have been rising day after day.
Although wages have been rising recently, this rings true here too and it has meant that tá caighdeán na beatha ag titim- the quality of life for millions of people has been falling.
What this gives way to, Haque suggests is a growth of buile - rage, éadochas - despair, and imní - anxiety as a way of life.
“Americans will go on taking the bitter anger and grim despair of living in a collapsing society out on each other,” he writes and anyone who saw the BBC documentary, Four Hours at the Capitol, will have witnessed.
This isn’t confined to the USA of course. Witness the fury of anti-vaxxers over here or the rise of right-wing agitation in the south. Everybody seems to be angry about something and is doiligh teacht ar réiteach - it is difficult to find a solution when everyone is angry.
Haque’s fifth megatrend is údarásaíochas - authoritarianism and it’s disconcerting to see it arise in European countries which really should know better and it should be a great cause of concern for everyone that the British government want to ‘correct’ court judgments, putting at risk the long-established separation of powers between the executive, a legislature and a judiciary.
The final trend that Haque has identified is aineolas - ignorance.
Whether you are a unionist or a nationalist, you can see the sheer, bare-faced ignorance of political commentators from across the water is a thing to behold.
How can these megatrends be reversed? Only time will tell.
Tá Meiriceá ag titim as a chéile (taa mericaa eg chitchim as a cayla) - America is falling apart
olltreochtaí (ullchrawkhtee) - megatrends
na Stáit Aontaithe (na staatch aynteeha) - the United States
thuaidh agus theas (hooey agis hass) - north and south
sa Bhreatain (sa vratin) - in Britain
i Sasana (i sasana) - in England
tá an daonlathas briste (taa un daynlahiss brishta) - democracy is broken
an córas toghchanaíochta (un core-iss taykhaneeakhta) - the electoral system
tá pá mar a gcéanna le fada (taa pie mar a geerna le fada) - pay has been the same for a long time
tá praghasanna ag ardú lá i ndiaidh lae (taa priceana et ardoo laa i nyay lay) - prices are rising day after day
tá caighdeán na beatha ag titim (taa kyjaan na baha eg chitchim) - the quality of life is falling.
buile (bwilye) - rage
éadochas (aydohiss) - despair
imní (imnee) - anxiety
is doiligh teacht ar réiteach (iss dilee chakht ar raytchakh) - it is difficult to find a solution
údarásaíochas - (ooderaaseeahiss) authoritarianism
aineolas (anyoliss) - ignorance.