Neil Gaiman already wrote the novel American Gods in 2001 and described the current global economic system in an almost clairvoyant way. In fact, today there is a trade war between the USA, Europe and China. The rest of the world does not play a special role. The novel takes place in North America and deals with the cultural upheavals triggered by digitalization. The old economic system, especially heavy industry, agriculture, meat production, etc. are represented by the old gods. The digital corporations by the new gods. North America has taken a special path in its cultural development. The immigrants due to the colonization came mainly from Europe, but brought different cultures with them: the Norwegians (Odin), the Irish (Mad Sweeny), the Slavs (Gernobog), the Italians (Vulcano), the Teutons (Ostaria). All of them represent a culture and its fusion, from which the present economic and social system of the USA emerged. Of course, the representatives of this system do not simply want to leave their field and leave it to the new gods such as Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.. The Netflix series shows exactly this cultural struggle.
In the meantime, the cultural struggle has spread all over the world. The conflict between old and new can be felt everywhere. Whether the automotive industry will still be occupied by the world’s big players such as Daimler, BMW, Ford, Toyota, etc. in the future is very questionable. Some futurists speak of the new car as a smartphone with wheels. The new gods probably play a much greater role in this. Apparently, the German car industry has almost overlooked the fact of jumping on this bandwagon. Now, attempts are being made to put a stop to Asian cars by regulating artificial intelligence.
One of Donald Trump’s major election promises was the construction of a wall to Mexico. He wants to prevent immigrants from flooding the USA. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1992, the opinion spread that walls (whether it be the Limes, the Chinese Wall, etc.) are a thing of the past. Such a wall brings with it a sense of security, although in the age of the global network a wall, unless it is an electronic firewall, no longer offers protection. The American trump represents the leader of the ancient gods. He is called Mr. Wednesday in the series and is the synonym for the old god Votan. Similar to Trump also the heads of state Putin, Orban, Erdogan, etc. act. They also lead a desperate fight against the new.
This fight is even more evident in the conflict between the British elementarians. The English parliament is dominated by “old white men”. Although a colonial power for centuries, they can hardly deal with the global economy. The Brexit is also something like a wall building, it is simply called customs here.
Right now, it looks like the new gods are winning on all fronts. No matter if it’s entertainment, health, mobility, and much more. Solutions based on Deep Learning are offered everywhere. It is quite remarkable how well the language assistants work in the meantime. The representatives Techno Boy, Mr. World, Mrs. Media and the Invisible have already done a great job. Their success is mainly based on exponential growth. Unfortunately, this model has also led to the brutal exploitation of raw materials. But it’s true to say that the old gods were at least as greedy and therefore responsible.
Some old gods like Bilquis and Osteria have cheated and already connected with the new gods. Techboy was able to win the goddess of love by a clever chess move. The porn industry is now in the firm hands of digitizers. The goddess of joie de vivre “Osteria” has also long since moved into the modern world. She represents the pleasant, the pleasant and above all the good feelings.
The emotional life of Europeans has changed massively as a result of the French Revolution (equality, freedom, brotherhood). Since that time, individuals have been able and allowed to express feelings. That is what liberalism is all about. This social system is primarily oriented towards the well-being of the individual. If each individual is doing well, then the state is also doing well. The protection of privacy is the ultimate. From this centuries-old tradition, Europeans’ need for data protection is an absolute must.
The oppositional system, communism, sees this completely differently to the extent that if the state is doing well, the individual is (should be) doing well. This, of course, restricts many freedoms. After experiences in Soviet communism, neither the state nor the individual was doing well. The new edition of Chinese capital communism looks different at first glance. The Chinese are on their way to an affluent society. Individuals also have various freedoms as long as they do not deal with religion, politics and the system.
The conflict between Old Eco (Votan) and New Eco (Musk) could only be a temporary one. The real problems in our world lie in exponential growth, which is seen as essential by both the old and the new gods. This will actually make the world uninhabitable unless we put a stop to overexploitation and global warming. It is also absolutely incomprehensible that 3 percent of humanity owns half the money. It is to be hoped that real new gods will appear to solve these problems.
Approaches for it are already to be felt. In the USA the Alexandria is Ocasio Cortez, which already inspires masses with its lastingness thoughts. Nor does it shy away from smashing the big digital corporations and equipping the entire economic system for sustainability. This also includes a social system that enables health care, nursing and peaceful living. Marc Zuckerberg’s wife (Mrs. Priscillia Chan) also recently announced that she intends to use all of her billions in assets for global, sustainable projects. These women, or women in general, would then be the real new gods. Globally, this development would be extremely beneficial. Humanity could then break away from mass consumption and return to spiritual values.