Welcome to 2012! A year full of high hopes and expectations after a rather admittedly miserable 2011. We at Carnet Atlantique are pleased to celebrate our one year anniversary with our latest issue, featuring insight and analysis of the top political, economic and cultural issues in France, America and the world beyond.
This issue’s cover story is courtesy of Mary Wilds, who writes that perhaps instead of looking so hard into the future, we should look to the past–2011 may have been a downer for many, but it could be worse. We could be living in the year 1011 (or 12, now.)
“Had you bothered to ask, I’d have advised you, had you the choice, to live in 2011 rather than 1011. And, yet, you’d be surprised, as I am, then as now, things were definitely tilting in favor of the Middle East, Central Asia and China. While Europe was battling, then as now, with internecine conflict, corruption and hunger …
The world of 1011 obviously had no 24-hour news cycle (and not even a written history, in some areas), so much of its doings are likely lost to the mists of time. It was also of a time much, much different than our own, at least when it comes those of us in the lucky minority, those of us who live in the First World. The average denizen of 1011 lived in a period that in Europe was defined as the High Middle Ages. While a time of great achievement in philosophy, art, science, poetry and even military might, the life of the average person centered on the growing, or gathering, of food. The purpose of one’s daily life (which is described by some historians as extremely routine in that era) centered around getting enough food to make it through that year. Village and town-wide celebrations, too, revolved around the slaughtering of animals and the planting or harvesting of crops; most had pagan origins, and in Europe had been adopted by the Christian church.”