TheDougem on a Bus Muses About 2012

Reposted from a OneNote note with no editing for your reading pleasure. Take it all with a little grain of salt, and for what it is – a bit of fun and some light predictions for the coming year. It should be a fun one, folks! More on the US vs. Canada later. We have Christmas to celebrate, darnit.

More after the jump.

We’ll see where this goes. I have less than an hour, no recharge sockets, and no editing time.


2012 is going to be a challenging year. Not because of the END OF THE WORLD, but because this is one of those happy fun-fun moments in history where many long term cycles are coming to a close or are nearing major shifts. We have the economy, a growing pressure cooker in the greater middle east, the economy, a election cycle that already feels far too long, the economy – and did I mention the economy?


On the train heading back to San Diego the first headline I saw was “Merry Christmas: $15 trillion in national debt!” Oh boy! Hooray! I feel so happy! A predictable problem. An avoidable one. Something I and those of my ilk have been fussing about for a longlong time. Something that started back with the Great Society, the New Deal, et al.


We as a society possibly will face some very hard choices this coming while. There are a multitude of things that could fire this year that could blow up massively – or not. These aren’t guaranteed at all. It’s the tricky angle of politics and history – as always and as often happens, the truth ultimately surprises us and a 90% certainty means that the 10% failure can still happen.


I will say 2012 is going to be a major year. I believe the world entered a phase change back when that frustrated college student in Tunisia set himself on fire. It marked the beginning of people fed up with the system striking back. The Arab Spring in general – and the Greek unrest are all signs of what can happen when societies get truly hungry and angry at their governments.


The Major Players of 2012


  • China


China is teetering. As strong as they are, many ignore or are unaware of just how much civil unrest the country is going through. It can be safely classified as a police state struggling to control a growing middle class, and has a people whom are starting to resent how they are seen as tools. Moreso then in the past China has to clamp down, which is costly in terms of manpower and dollars, and while possessing a formidable ground military lacks the means to truly project power beyond it’s sphere without the threat of nuclear weapons. China has been saber rattling extensively in the South China sea, and could find itself standing increasingly alone in the international sphere.


  • North Korea


Catapulted to sudden relevance by the death of Kim Jong Il, North Korea has been a long accepted time bomb. The textbook definition of a failed state, it’s people have been starving for a very long time. North Korea is armed with a few nuclear weapons, and possesses the most militarized populace on planet earth. Currently the appointed successor is going to share power with the siblings of Kim Jong Il, but the likelihood of old party men in the NK power structure bucking authority and seizing power is a strong possibility. Personality cults vaunting their leaders as invincible are incredibly fragile once it becomes apparent that leader is a human being. North Korea by itself could be crushed militarily by its southern foe – but represents a larger problem in the alliances a new Korean War would pull in. China holds the keys to a potential world war in a second Korean Conflict. We know in the background that all regional parties, as well as the US have been involved in talks to reintegrate the two Koreas. One would hope the world will either physically or vocally support (considering the dire economy) such an action.


  • Afghanistan


Could largely end as a conflict if peace talks with the Taliban succeed. This would put an exclamation mark on the US military’s growing mastery of the art of counter insurgency warfare, something I argue is a severely underestimated strength of the military. Owing to political battles with Pakistan ( and occasional skirmishes on the border) it would be in the US’ interest to press the advantage and end the conflict in some way, and leave.


  • The Greater Middle East


Another key in the World War ring. The Arab Springs are far from dead and will take time to play out – and in many countries will be maturing through this year. The general theme is zealous religious theocracies pumped up by the Muslim Brotherhood seizing power and taking advantage of governmental collapse, chaos, and public anger. This group has been planning for this moment for a very long time – the crucial element at play is whether or not they can effectively channel public anger away from themselves and towards whatever boogeymen the brotherhood conjures up ((HINT: ISRAEL)). Theocracies are hard to pull off in the modern era, and if they stand the test of time the west especially will have a considerable problem on their hands – a segment of the world bent on worldwide infatada.


  • Israel


Has a very hard year ahead. Increasingly surrounded by enemies, and for the first time in a long long while unable to count on the US for guaranteed support. Yet another key on the World War ring.


  • The Euro


If the Euro hasn’t crashed in some capacity by summer it will be a near miracle. Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as the other more industrial European nations stand to be at the top of the scrap heap when the dust settles. A  reintroduction of legacy currencies is highly likely, and Europe will have Greek-like conditions spreading like wildfire across the continent. It will be ugly, and it’s more or less inevitable at this point, it’s just a matter of timing. Why is it inevitable? It’s complex, and a topic for another day, but I like to blame overenthusiastic entitlement states and the continued existence of rigid class structures in some European nations.


  • NATO


Notable for the fact that it’s likely to be a significant non actor. The Libyan conflict shamed NATO and presented another argument for those who point out that overwhelming airpower cannot bring decisive ends to wars against an entrenched enemy. NATO entered after the initial thrust of the rebels and the war was allowed to slog on for far too long, resulting in tremendous suffering. NATO ALSO RAN OUT OF AMMO. It will take significant money to rearm and modernize, NATO has been shown to be toothless without the help of the US, and dictators have seen that they might have a fighting chance if they simply hold out long enough as Gadaffi almost did. Russia could possibly have her ears pricked as she eyes Europe.


  • The Eurozone


Could very well dissolve, and the UK almost left over the negotiations regarding the Euro. A euro collapse and eurozone rupture would almost certainly go hand-in-hand.


  • The Economy


Bad everywhere, and the curse of globalism means that a collapse in one place could likely bring the others crashing down. Not world ending, but certainly society changing. Good and bad possibilities here, too complicated to sum up further.


  • Occupy Movement


Has fizzled, but if the US economy (and the dollar especially) gets wracked there could be a larger outpowering of anger and energy – where it will be directed and under what banners remains to be seen.


  • State’s Rights (United States)


I am willing to bet money at this point that the moment that austerity measures start getting implemented by the Feds, the states will begin to aggressively question and buck national authority. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CIVIL WAR AND SLAVERY PEOPLE! Look for an article soon regarding this subject, as I refuse to stop using the term. State’s Rights simply should not be a charged phrase and it is one of the central tenants of the constitutional republic model – when it’s not bastardized by corruption.


  • The Dollar


Could also collapse, especially if the Euro does, especially in the face of any major world ‘sparks’. Another subject too complicated to sum briefly.


  • The Internets


More notably the possible crashing or killing of. Definitely a card world governments will attempt to play in the face of any significant unrest. If done in a modern westernized country for any substantial length of time the impacts will be catastrophic.


  • The 2012 Election


Has replaced the 2016 election as what I see as the most important coming election of modern times. The economy has muscled the issue of just who controls the US government to the forefront, and reformists will have to go balls to the wall to get their people in. I have bumped this up strictly because I see multiple ‘game changers’ in play – ie any ‘card’ that would result in a state of emergency or possible martial law, as that would essentially hand the current president the dictator hat for as long as he (or congress!) allow. I will say it out in the open – I do not want Obama with that hat.


2016 was the former MICEMT because it had become clear the tea party would both need time and for America to become more hungry for reform to achieve true effectiveness.


  • The People of the Tea Party


Because there is really no centralized tea party with true muscle, and those who claim it’s there grossly misunderstand what the movement is. Remember the initial burst of the tea party was fueled by people who liked the Taxed Enough Already message, and the general theme of strong fiscal conservatism. Those people have not gone away, and while I would argue against a name change (because those are just meaningless) it could happen – and there very well could be a third party introduced that would split primarily the GOP ticket. While I know such a thing would be political suicide, this is the time for such statements to be made and stuck to.


  • The Status Quo


Is increasingly untenable, and is the primary theme of most of this article. If not this year, the pied piper will be collecting his due very very soon.


  • The Mayans


Nah, not really. You must remember that the sane scientists and folklorists point out that the mayans simply said that the world situation would go through a change – or if you talk to the guy down the hall, that humanity will have gone through an evolution. One could argue the internet has already done this, and this just simply means that as Chinese Fortune Cookies will oft say – “You live in interesting times”.


There are more actors, there are more ‘cards’, there are things I’ve left out – but this is all you get for now folks! The battery is sapped and I want to squirrel away and read for awhile. Merry Christmas, and enjoy the holidays! The world will keep spinning at least a little longer.





About TheDougem

A budding writer and amateur podcaster, TheDougem has been an active presence on the internet for roughly four years in various mediums including livestreaming, youtube, blogtalkradio, and others. An avid fan of strategy games, discussing current events and conservative philosophy, as well as a bit of storytelling on the side.

11 Responses to “TheDougem on a Bus Muses About 2012”

  1. Name changes are not meaningless, especially with the increasing stigma on the name of the Tea Party. Many people now think they are a bunch of right wing crazies with no value in today`s society, and as long as you keep the name, it won`t change.

    I think the Mayans were right. If the world survives next year, it will be much different. Then again, who knows?

    • Oh yes they are. This is a subject that warrants a full article from me, but the short version is that the mainstream media has been extremely unfair to the tea party. By and large, groups continue to work on their own -as they should-. Groups that arm flail and worry all day about pandering and fluffing things up at the end of the day aren’t going to get anything done – OR! They lose effectiveness because they over worry about image. I would much rather spend my tea party meetings focusing on things like what local candidates we think we could support or searching for opportunities to do community service as opposed to PR. OR! Let me turn that on its head – I’d rather do smart PR – say, position papers, analysis, and debates, rather then trying to make the media happy. You need a balance- but:

      On a national scope, no matter what happens, whatever group the tea party morphs into, main stream media AND the people who WANT to see the tea party as the stereotype you just threw out there aren’t going to be fooled by a suddenly new group, and they aren’t going to change their minds. Those folks aren’t going to be convinced. Why should the group spend it’s time trying to convince them? Rebranding and name changing is just slapping a coat of paint on a car. For a movement, it’s a shallow, meaningless step. There’s no reason to do it.

      “Many people now think they are a bunch of right wing crazies”

      Cite me credible polls that support this. If you use the broad brush on my site I’m gonna make you back yourself up 🙂 I think this is a meme and that the average person either doesn’t much know what to think, or doesn’t really care.

      Let me put it another way – who gave the tea party the stereotype that I will continue to call false? I contend it was sharply biased media coverage and a bunch of angry, bitter partisans on the internet, not the group itself. If it’s someone else ‘ruining’ your name, what’s to say it wont keep happening over and over if your answer is to just change the name?

      BONUS QUESTION – comparing the occupy movement and the tea party movement side by side, who do you think looks more palatable to an average joe?

  2. Your dollar better not fail if it does ours will sky rocket and that is extremely bad for our economy. No wonder people are pressing for Canada’s economy being less dependent on the international economy.

    • All signs point towards it happening eventually if current budgetary trends are not reversed sharply and quickly. Politicians here (and arguably largely in Europe) just plain don’t want to face the budget issue on honest footing, and will waffle until they are forced by national economic disaster to finally do something. To touch this issue is seen as political suicide, and that’s ridiculous.

  3. What I really want to hear from you folks on is about some of the other issues not discussed yet – for example, my call on state’s rights and the few issues I labeled as potential world war cards. Am I being a bit unreasonable, or maybe you have other thoughts – or new cards to introduce? 😀

  4. What about what happens to Iraq?

    • Good question!

      Iraq is a wild card, and it’s harder to really get a fix on what exactly will happen.

      A lot things depend on Iran, the influence it tries to exert, and to what degree Iraq is able to stabilize. The messy thing about insurgencies is that it’s easier for the home team to sit down and wait – something that I amongst others think is going to cause things to flare up. Big power players in Iraq are liable to fall back onto old tried and true tactics (autocracy and brutal put downs) without the US to look over their shoulder and frown.

      It’s an ugly situation on all sides. The US only had 8 months during the surge where the military had access to slightly ideal military forces to conduct proper counter insurgency – almost all the other times during the war doctrine was not flexible enough, and we especially did not have the sheer number of troops required for true counterinsurgency. The military absolutely knows good counter insurgency doctrine (see Philippines, general Petreaus) but politicians and ‘faster leaner’ military advocates high up in the pentagon command *coughcough RUMSFELD* are oversensitive to deploying large numbers of troops at once – so instead they abused the hell out of the small forces that were there and we have had guys with 5-7 deployments in a row.

      There’s also the small issue of the National Guard being treated like the army reserve, which it isn’t supposed to be. That continues in Afghanistan.

      At least we’re “gone”, but a token force remains. If we see arab spring / islamist forces making a grab for power in Iraq (something I see as likely) it will only lead to a more unstable middle east and a possible united middle east caliphate that will want to eliminate Israel, and then try to project its power and influence. beyond their sphere of influence.

      We shall see!


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