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 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.
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.
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.
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.