2011: A Year to Remember or to Forget?

31/12/2011 18:58 GMT | Updated 01/03/2012 10:12 GMT

No foresight could have predicted such a consequential and momentous year. At the time of writing this, it is review galore for journalists and the public alike with a myriad of comparisons being made between 2011 and other significant years in history. What has made this year utterly bewildering is not only the sheer number of significant events that have occurred but, the sheer awe at changes which have occurred due to a build-up in tensions over time.

It is safe to say that democracy found its voice as millions of people around the world utilised the power of social networking and technology to create an unwavering force of unity. Five dictators were overthrown and one hopes that the successes of ordinary people will stimulate action and that suppression will be successfully undermined. This juxtaposition of power and altruism has weakened profoundly in the light of this year and sanguinely, this contrast will soon be diminished.

If social networking aided the revolution, it also aided riot. The riots in London, unprecedented and uncontrollable, set a platform for debate in this country. Was it the economy that forced people into looting or was it an indirect form of segregation of those on low incomes? Call it a 'broken society' or optimism, the rhetoric should be made productive and reforms of society as a whole should be conducted.

Then comes the world economy: Debt, unemployment, more debt, no growth and a bit more debt. Politicians, economists, academics and the world as whole fumbled over a way forward to cut the sovereign debt of countries while maintaining political popularity, growth and confidence. The foundations of the EU appeared to be cracking and crumbling amidst the realisation and hysteria that perhaps the idea of a common currency wasn't so great after all.

However, politicians reassured themselves that a solution could be found. Relations between countries seem sour (although this is probably due to the hyperbolic nature of the media) and every minor remark or snubbed handshake is made to seem revolutionary. Euro-scepticism is on the rise, the detachment between politicians and the ordinary folk is at an all-time high and politicians seem to have lost all credibility.

What a pessimistic review...

The tragic Japanese tsunami ruined the livelihoods of many however as 2011 has progressed, the country has made remarkable progress in the redevelopment and rejuvenation of the areas affected.

Finally, the discontent within people around the world with the actions taken by governments and extreme levels of social inequality saw the birth of the Occupy movement which swept across dozens of countries. The idea of capitalism which seemed to be so well accepted and embraced by the human people is being questioned. The question now is: what alternative system can be implemented which is more effective than capitalism?

Ultimately, the year been highly momentous and pivotal, especially in terms of how the human race goes forward. Many key issues have been discovered in our current, well-embedded structures however it hasn't been all doom and gloom with jubilant events such as the Royal Wedding. 2012 looks to be another significant and eventful year with the Olympics and other events to look forward to. Hopefully, people will begin to see more prosperity instead of austerity; politicians will pull their act together; populations can unite in tackling key issues and most importantly, it will hopefully be a prosperous and happy New Year.