Why is it that in contemplating the future our thoughts usually turn to disaster and calamity? Why are we seemingly incapable of imagining things going well for a change?
Happy New Year! In case you hadn't noticed, it's that time of year again. You know, that time when people gather with friends and family, celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year with parties, feasts, and a glass or two of seasonal cheer. It's also the time that those of us who spend most of the rest of the year with the newswires twittering in our ears unplug ourselves from the 24/7 news cycle and make merry for a few days...
...Or try to, anyway. There's always a new Malaysian airliner crash to follow or a breaking report on a “terror scare” in Madrid to read or a video of Putin's New Year address to watch. But unless World War III actually begins and we have to dodge the falling bombs on the way to our New Year party, there's always the sense that the daily news grind can wait one or two more days.
In the meantime we're inundated with a seeming non-stop flow of “Year in Review” and “New Year Prediction” type stories. Usually this is fairly forgettable fodder, good for jogging the memory about the year past but little else. But this past month one of these posts in particular stood out: Bloomberg's “A Pessimist's Guide To The World in 2015.” The conceit for this one is that Bloomberg asked a number of economists, investors, military commentators and foreign policy analysts to identify those potential flash points of conflict, unrest or instability that worry them the most for the coming year.
The result? A fear porn article of epic proportions. The South China Sea? Naval skirmishes erupt into full scale conflict, drawing in the world's major powers! The Middle East? The third Palestinian uprising embroils Israel's occupied territories; meanwhile, Israel bombs Iran setting off a regional war. Eastern Europe? That dastardly Putin pushes into Western Ukraine with an all out assault to create a land bridge to Crimea, putting pressure on NATO to act! South Asia? A large scale terror attack in India sets the India/Pakistan pot boiling again and brings the region to the brink of nuclear war! Happy 2015, everyone!
The article is not meant to be taken as a serious prediction for the New Year, of course. There is a certain element of tongue-in-cheekiness to the whole idea, and no one really believes that all of these potential flash points will be set off next year. But it does reveal something interesting about the mentality of the so called “experts” and “analysts” that Bloomberg recruited for this article, and the editors who greenlighted it in the first place: namely, their fixation on threats, dangers, and the potential for apocalypse.
Why is it that in contemplating the future our thoughts usually (and news editors' thoughts always) turn to disaster and calamity? Why are we seemingly incapable of imagining things going well for a change? And does our inability to imagine peace, happiness and cooperation in the New Year trap us in a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom?
All of those questions are too big to answer in a New Year article like this. So instead I offer an antidote to the Bloomberg fearmongers; a healthy dose of seasonal optimism! What would it look like if things went unexpectedly well in the New Year? (And maybe with a thought exercise like this once in a while we can actually find a way to make it happen!)
The people of the Ukraine wake up to the fact that they have been played like a fiddle by the EU and NATO, getting into the political bed with the likes of John McCain and George Soros and Pierre Omidyar, with their fascistic neo-Nazi fringe element gaining steam under the guise of “protecting the nation.” Rather than turning to Putin to act as their “savior” Ukrainians decide to act themselves, kicking out the entire coup-installed government and exiling the billionaire oligarchs who have been plundering their economy since the fall of the Soviet Union. They agree to trade with the EU but renounce all attempts at political courtship, shun NATO and cease their military cooperation with the organization, cancel their debt enslavement to the IMF and repudiate the odious debt that was racked up in the people's name under corrupt self-serving politicians both “pro Western” and “pro Russian.” This newfound backbone amongst the people awakens a spirit of industriousness across the nation and Ukraine positions itself as a key regional player trading freely with its European and Russian neighbors. Other countries in the region, following the Ukraine example, withdraw from the EU and NATO on one side and the Eurasian Union and the CSTO on the other. Globalism as an ideology is declared dead toward the end of the year.
The American public, realizing that SWAT raids on raw milk sellers is the most patently ridiculous thing to ever occur in the “land of the free and home of the brave” begins a “let's drink raw milk” protest movement which quickly grows into a “let's avoid GMOs” and “let's support local businesses” and “let's stop shopping at the big chain stores” movement. It isn't long before people realize the benefits of trading in a local alternative currency rather than Federal Reserve Notes. The movement is so widespread that no crackdown is even attempted, and instead Wal-Mart and other big chains start trying to stock raw milk and organic, non-GMO products, and start accepting local community currencies. Everyone ignores this and the big chain stores go out of business anyway, freeing up hundreds of thousands of workers across the country to go work for local mom and pops or start selling their own products online.
The Middle East
Saudi Arabia's takedown of the oil market backfires as countries start boycotting Saudi oil in protest of the market manipulation. Soon the Saudi “royal family” is exposed as an artificial British creation with no legitimacy whatsoever and the oiligarchy crumbles. Meanwhile, Iran realizes nuclear power is a hell of a way to boil water and scraps their nuclear program, causing the Israeli public to realize that everything they'd been told about Iranians being irrational monsters was just political propaganda. As a result, the Israeli public sweeps Netanyahu and the entire existing Israeli political class from power and instead takes Iran up on its decades-old proposal for a nuclear-free middle east, admitting to and then disposing of its “secret” nuclear arsenal. Future historians will note 2015 as the beginning of the end of the era of nuclear weapons.
North Korea concludes a formal peace treaty with South Korea, thus marking an official end to the Korean war, the beginning of Korean unification, and the end of decades of despotic rule over an isolated, propagandized and deliberately de-industrialized nation. At the same time a skirmish in the East China Sea erupts into a full-scale naval war between all the major regional powers. At the end, the Chinese PLA Navy and the US Pacific Fleet, as well as the naval forces of Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and the rest of the ASEAN nations are completely wiped out. Everyone involved in the conflict decides that this is a fair end to the battle and agree to not rebuild their military forces, thus creating a demilitarized zone throughout the entire Pacific Ocean that lasts for the rest of recorded history.
In the early part of 2015, after 17 years without any statistically significant warming, those scientific hold-outs who have been clinging to their climate models finally give in to reality and admit that their “anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis has been disproven. Rather than being upset, all of those people who have been most passionately promoting climate activism will realize that the news that the world is not teetering on the brink of disaster is actually good news and will join in the worldwide celebrations. Simultaneously, overpopulation doomsayers will admit that global fertility rates actually show that the world population will begin leveling off later this century and actually declining toward the end of the century, and that the real danger is underpopulation. Those Rockefeller and foundation-funded institutes that have been set up to promote eugenics and depopulation agendas in the name of “saving the planet” will be taken over and repurposed toward promoting couples to begin having babies. This will make “Make Love, Not War!” into the international slogan of 2015, marking the beginning of an era of love for family and a renaissance in human civilization.
Well, we can always dream, can't we? And maybe, just maybe, if we focus on some of these zany cock-eyed optimistic dreams instead of the fearporn of the Bloombergs of the world we might have a chance of improving things this year after all.
Happy New Year everybody!