Sometimes a picture seems to represent the spirit of the age, or since Goethe coined the word in his “Faust”, the Zeitgeist. We are living in an anxious age of global warming, forest fires, seemingly endless religious conflict, mass migration, sophisticated propaganda and mass manipulation, populism, racism and white supremacy, rising sea levels and deluge. I lived most of my early and middle life through the Cold War, now things seem to be hotting up.
This picture was inspired by Winifred Knight’s 1920 painting “The Deluge” painted after her traumatic experience during World War I when she witnessed the explosion of a munitions factory.
Are we seeing the end of Capitalism as we have known it till now? We have a weakening middle class, underpaid workers – if they are working at all, a looming pensions crisis, mega wealth and power increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer unaccountable hands. Marx himself quoted Louis XV’s famous expression born of the disasters of the Seven Years’ War, “Après moi, le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society.” This recklessness seems to have extended to the health of the whole planet. An Ark will not save us now.
For more about this picture and some backstage details visit my blog here