After the end of the Second World War, politicians were involved in creating a new world in which conflicts and hostilities would be solved peacefully and through negotiations. The idea of welfare state emerged and spread all over the West, reaching its apogee in the Nordic countries, where equality and high living standard became a priority. Now nobody was dying of hunger, diseases or wars. Everybody had a roof over his head. If you lost your job, you would be assured that the state would take care of you and your family. Children were guaranteed a place in a day care centre and the old a bed in a nursing home. While in the past children had to take care of their ailing parents, now they could simply put them in a nursing home and forget about them. Instead of wasting their precious time feeding, washing and entertaining their old parents, they could devote more time to their jobs and themselves. The extended family, which was so important in the past, became almost an anachronism.
A new illness called loneliness spread like a virus across the West, infecting millions of people. Their only company at home becametheir pets, TV and radio. Whereas in the past people knew their neighbours well and even would invite each other to a cup of tea or coffee, in the welfare state they became strangers to each other. Sometimes the old people became victims of professional conmen, who under the pretence of being their distant relatives, took their money and ran away. TV talk shows replaced the family gatherings when grandchildren used to listen to their grandparents narrating
thestories from their past. Now the grandparents sat in a nursing home watching the same shows as their grandchildren did and regretted the old days when people were more willing to interact with each other and were not under stress.
People naively believed that by creating a welfare state they had created a new Utopia where material wealth would bring happiness and satisfaction to human beings. Politicians saw citizens merely as objects, numbers, statistics, which would appear in their papers and speeches as a proof of their political prowess and humanity. They boasted about how many new homes they had built, how many jobs created, how many families brought out of poverty. They never mentioned the brain (human mind?). In their narrow world, the brain was irrelevant. It should be used during the production and later on at shopping (?). A creative, innovative, original and free brain was not their favourite. The result of such short-term and distorted thinking was soon to be seen in a form of millions of ugly and cheap flats that had been built all over Europe. Suburb after suburb of grey apartment blocks that could make you
depressivedepressed by just looking at them. The awful areas, which soon became run-down ghettos, were without any cultural institutions and activities. Their inhabitants often created their own parallel world with its own laws and values. These places became breeding grounds for crime and addiction. And the government, instead of trying to improve the lot of these poor people, only made things worse by placing thousands of refugees and immigrants in such communities. The inhabitants became imprisoned in modern prisons without visible walls or guards, but they understood where the lines stood that divided them from the rest of society.
not a teacher
Student or Learner