This has been a very intense year for all I know, one of both aberrations, disruptions, and complete paradigm transformations. I have experienced some traumatic deaths in the family, health incidents in the family, and observed friends who have had abrupt deaths in their families as well. The Syria Civil War and its victims, political machinations, disputes and deaths between police and citizens, and environmental issues are weighing heavily on our minds. Above all, we want to ultimately curtail and eliminate corruption but at the same time not dismantle every good quality a person or institution has in the event they just have mismanaged optics.
Something to remember is that the long view of history is always positive and demonstrates improvements, however we are set for another period of adjustments and structural insecurity with technological change implementation and an unsustainable financial system. This is a rather US-centric view but the emphasis on financial services and interlinking movements of capital and legal systems worldwide while large corporations find loopholes make the themes we will experience rather universal everywhere. What does this involve?:
- sudden disruption of access to commodities, most likely waking up one day and there is not affordable fuel for a few weeks or longer
- raided pension or national retirement schemes. In the US, I think Social Security is safe for now but 401Ks, annuities and insurance related investments, and other funds are going to be strained or wiped out in many cases
- physical social space like clubs and bars shutting down – community watering holes are having a hard time making payroll and the rent
- slaughter of retail economy
- several industries having reached all their potential audiences and customers and now only able to fight rivals for greater market share – mainly telecom/mobile
- free trade deals as a last ditch effort to expand marketplaces and deregulate further while at the same time bringing US-style litigiousness to all corners of the globe
- major mergers and acquisitions that will bring short-term gains and buyout opportunities for some middle-aged workers
- an escalation of scapegoating of countries like Russia, China (although the enemy will constantly change, and oftentimes the conflicts will not amount to anything – everyone will forget in a matter of weeks) and sometimes ethnic or special interest groups. More bribery to stage conflicts in various locations to keep attention off of other things – particularly the money system
- a huge and sudden shift towards automation, robotics
- both staged and real cyberattacks. Again disruption of services and access to money – all people must keep some cash on hand
- the emergence of more blackmarket activity in the US (this is more like later in the 2020s)
While it looks like Hillary Clinton will become president, there is a small chance that the US will have a Brexit type of revolt. I think that Donald Trump is not popular by merits but a combination of millennial dissent, the failure and devastation of health care costs (both in the Affordable Care Act context and through trends that were well-established long before this element was introduced), and a distrust of the Establishment may be sufficient to make a real upset occur in unanticipated ways. I have been an avid supporter of bringing awareness of Jill Stein forward and also supported Bernie Sanders, but it’s my understanding that conflict will result from this election no matter what happens. Paul Ryan is quietly gunning for power and he is the real force to be reckoned with.
The bigger picture here is unfortunately urban versus rural. If we can restore a harmonious relationship between these two broadly defined types of lifestyles and trade resources, the US will be more functional. When the next recession hits and a regular recovery seems much more difficult to attain, this is when virtual reality and pharmaceuticals will work in tandem as industries to regulate human emotion and perception at an unprecedented level.
Europe is the hardest hit target of neoliberalism right now. The powers that be have released millions of migrants and refugees on the continent to bring the social states there to the brink and frighten English-speaking and East Asian countries from wanting more socialist forms of governance. For a time, Europe will react in the desired way, to have US-style ethnic tension on one hand and overt political correctness on the other, but long-term Europe will reject an overly technologically obsessed culture and a new humanist philosophy will be borne within the next 50 years.