There will be a before and after of The First Global Economic Crisis. Like in the wake of most upheavals ( First World War, Wall Street Crash, Second World War, Fall of Communism), the world is never the same again.
Some have leapt to the far right, with parties such as Ukip and the French National Front leading the way. It is a road already travelled, and the destination is not worth revisiting.
Others have swung to the left, hoping that a revived version of socialism might be able to make some sense of the actual mess. Optimism as a last resort.
But where the change really lies is in the organisation of society as a whole. The digital world has opened up a new form of collaboration. The old hierarchical system is no longer pertinent because the militant bases can now operate on a far more democratic platform.
Decisions can be taken according to what every person involved in the process democratically chooses. The ‘leader’ is reduced to a mere spokesperson, the mouthpiece of the common will. The political agenda is designed by and for the voters, and put into effect by accredited party members.
In fact the term ‘political party’ will no doubt fall into disuse. The old way of having to choose between two or three job lots of policies, the take it or leave it option, has no place in the ‘new’ society. Without much fuss we can now decide on individual issues such as Education or International Cooperation, without having to swallow all the collateral nonsense that used to go with such packages.
It is a more open, more democratic way to participate in the running of a nation, an organisation, a global concept.
Many will not enjoy seeing the gradual erosion of their age old privileges, and the more radical will no doubt put up a fight.
But progress is relentless and inevitable. We are on the way to a new era of citizen participation, and the breaking up of monopolies and oligarchies. And that, as I hope you will agree, is good news.