We live in interesting times. A few years ago, with little warning and for reasons obscure to all but a few, an economic system trumpeted as infallible broke down. Since then, while we acquainted ourselves with such apocalyptically dull concepts as collateralised debt and sovereign credit ratings, it has become increasingly clear that our future has, almost literally, been mortgaged away. The result, for the vast majority, is a feeling of individual and collective embattlement exacerbated by an overwhelming sense of disempowerment.
Such gloomy circumstances inevitably engender anxiety. We worry for our jobs, we worry for our families and we worry in the most general terms about what is to come. We have been reminded that the future is contingent, as commodities traders have learned to our cost. But we have learned again that change is possible and inevitable, that the status quo is more fragile than we were led to understand and that received wisdom is best ignored.
As we allowed ourselves for too long to believe those who reassured us that all shall be well and all shall be well, so we must take issue with those who are now all too eager to extrapolate endless and inevitable decline. We must not allow ourselves the indulgence of timidity, we must shake off any listlessness, and we must refuse to be austere. Instead we must make, write, argue, dream, paint and act in the faith that creativity is commensurate with progress, and that we are responsible for our own futures. The future is there to be forged.
The White Review believes that it is more important now than ever to provide a forum for expression and debate. We are indebted to the support of the many people who are similarly committed to the idea that a healthy and varied culture is integral to a society’s well-being. We hope that you find something in this issue to provoke or inspire you to pick up a pen, a paintbrush, or a placard.