When the USSR fell apart, there were so many opportunities. You could go anywhere, do anything, learn, make money. Everything was brand-new and there for the taking. My father was so into it, he glowed like an incandescent lightbulb. I loved it, too.
Most people didn’t glow, however. They pouted. Everything was too open, too confusing. Nobody was taking care of them, treating them special. It’s been 30+ years and many of them are still pouting. Or their children are pouting.
The same thing is happening right now on many levels. The world order we’ve been used to fell apart. Opportunities are coming out of every crack. But there are people, political parties, countries, and even entire regions that aren’t bending to pick up the riches lying at their feet. Somebody will pick up the riches, and those who couldn’t have been bothered will start on their usual whine-fest about colonialism, unfair marginalization, cultural appropriation, and all that sad-sack silliness.
I feel duped because I spent 20 years hearing about how Spain is always unfairly marginalized and now I see how doggedly Spain is marginalizing itself. Truly, it takes hard work to be a dedicated loser.