In the movie ‘Good bye Lenin!’ a son sees how his mother goes into a coma in communist Berlin just before the fall of the wall and wakes up when both the wall and, it seems, her ideology are already rubble. The lady, a fervent communist, especially after her husband abandoned her to cross to the other side, continues to live in the parallel reality that her son strives to recreate for her. A world, a Berlin, a life, hers, in which the wall is still standing and everything as always, as her mother needs to survive the past and resist the present, dedicated and clinging to a cause, as she feels or sees it. she has told, older than her missing husband.
The wall fell in 1989, the first piece of the stone domino that continued to collapse in the following years. But for the last three decades the world has continued to spin with the revolutions of inertia left by the Cold War, on autopilot with almost identical scenarios and rhetoric. Experts in international relations and defense policies say that it is always believed that the world will be in the future as in the past and that is how it is projected. Wars and security policies are made in relation to the last war and always, always, too, you want to win the previous war.
When the pandemic began two years ago, it caught the planet off guard. As if it had been something fortuitous, unpredictable, a catastrophe that could not be foreseen, contained or controlled. But it wasn’t true. For years, dozens of reports warned not only that it was possible, but very likely. However, a possible pandemic was practically out of the equation, out of the logic with which governments looked at the world and out of security and defense policies. In the United States national strategy approved by Trump in 2017, the last one prior to covid, the word pandemic was only mentioned twice. Missile, on the other hand, 11. ISIS and Russia, 13 each. China, absolute winner, 16. When the planet was already confined and Trump seeing how his america great again crumbled, the president talked about the Chinese virus, invoking the pandemic as a modern version of the old Cold War. This time the enemy was not the USSR, but China, but the enemy was still the USSR, communism, or its ghost. He really had only changed a name and the map had been enlarged.
The world seemed to have changed, but it hadn’t. Like each one of us. He lived, and lives, anchored in a past, with rhetoric and story of the past, facing the dangers of the past. Like each one of us. The worst thing about pasts is that they never are. That we live, distrustful, threatening and fearful in equal parts, hoping that the mistakes, disappointments or problems we had will be repeated, prepared to face them again because we are sure that they will come. Alert to the signals to anticipate and act, so as not to lose or suffer again, or to win, this time, even if it is running away. The result is self-fulfilling prophecies. When we interpret the signs, or the world, in that key, without it being so, unable to see that the bad thing would not have to be repeated if we do not invoke it and want to find it and if we do not try to avoid it. Even more so knowing that there is a tyrant in front. More than 30 years are enough for the good guys in the film, those who are now solemnly, energetically and gravely ordering Putin to lay down his arms, would have done something better, something better can always be done, than rehearsing those phrases from the script that today , already present, the future will be past again, they reveal themselves so useless, so absurd and so sad. But for what, in the past and against the past one survives better. As in ‘Goodbye Lenin!’. Like everyone.