Category: Futurology
Our dystopian future

robot

A nightmarish future created by combining the surveillance state, big data, intelligent algorithms and automated drones is being created. It will combine aspects of Huxley and Orwell’s dystopian visions.

The archiving of every site you have been to and call you have made, together with geo-location information and spending habits will enable the identification of information accessing behavior likely to give rise to “thought” crimes. They could be subject to re-education or given “psychiatric” treatment.

The ability to analyze the past activity of those who come to authorities’ attention will enable the rolling up of ideological sympathizers. It will also enable the identification of thought crime “nodes” which link to other networks of potential opposition.

Intelligent algorithms and artificial intelligence means that it will be possible to continually monitor for those engaging in inappropriate information accessing behavior. It will enable the identification of those having or likely to have “deviant” thoughts. Do bear in mind suggestions to criminalize climate skepticism, Islamophobia, hate speech etc.

Retrospective law changes seem to have lost much of their stigma. I.e. You may be prosecuted tomorrow for what you write now, even though it is legal. What you write online is kept forever.

Automated drones mean that once such a surveillance state is in operation, it will not need the support of many people to remain in power. A despot will be able to survive due to technological rather than human thugs.

Much of the necessary technological and legislative framework required for such a dystopian future is already in place. It was put there to protect us from Islamic terrorism, originating from our fellow citizens. Often new migrants to the West or their children.

We risk throwing away the freedom out forebears fought for and we were lucky enough to inherit. The very freedoms that underpin our wealth and health.

Our politicians and governing class are such numbskulls. They do not have a clue about what they are putting at risk. They all went through the same educational sausage factory and then into very similar jobs. Little wonder they all suffer from group think. Thank god for the proles, as Orwell was insightful enough to realise. They can still think.

 
History cycles

generations-and-the-fourth-turning

Our 2010 claim that “Strauss & Howe’s The Fourth Turning is looking more prescient by the day” is holding up well. As is the view that “we are currently witnessing the latest populist revolt against elitist authority” extracted from Lee Harris’s “The Next American Civil War”. It appears we may not be the only ones thinking along these lines:

President Trump’s chief strategist (Steve Bannon) is an avid reader and that the book that most inspires his worldview is “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy.”

The fourth turning takes a view that history is cyclical. It is made up of 4 cycles, which correspond to four human generations. The cycles are driven by human experience and have common themes, resulting in similar manifestations:

The cycle begins with the First Turning, a “High” which comes after a crisis era. In a High, institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, even if many feel stifled by the prevailing conformity. Many Americans alive today can recall the post-World War II American High (historian William O’Neill’s term), coinciding with the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies. Earlier examples are the post-Civil War Victorian High of industrial growth and stable families, and the post-Constitution High of Democratic Republicanism and Era of Good Feelings.

The Second Turning is an “Awakening,” when institutions are attacked in the name of higher principles and deeper values. Just when society is hitting its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of all the social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity. Salvation by faith, not works, is the youth rallying cry. One such era was the Consciousness Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s. Some historians call this America’s Fourth or Fifth Great Awakening, depending on whether they start the count in the 17th century with John Winthrop or the 18th century with Jonathan Edwards.

The Third Turning is an “Unraveling,” in many ways the opposite of the High. Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. Third Turning decades such as the 1990s, the 1920s and the 1850s are notorious for their cynicism, bad manners and weak civic authority. Government typically shrinks, and speculative manias, when they occur, are delirious.

Finally, the Fourth Turning is a “Crisis” period. This is when our institutional life is reconstructed from the ground up, always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. If history does not produce such an urgent threat, Fourth Turning leaders will invariably find one — and may even fabricate one — to mobilize collective action. Civic authority revives, and people and groups begin to pitch in as participants in a larger community. As these Promethean bursts of civic effort reach their resolution, Fourth Turnings refresh and redefine our national identity. The years 1945, 1865 and 1794 all capped eras constituting new “founding moments” in American history.

 

In their 1997 book, “The Fourth Turning”, they predicted that “starting around 2005, America would probably experience a “Great Devaluation” in financial markets, a catalyst that would mark America’s entry into an era whose first decade would likely parallel the 1930s”. Their book incorporates the promise of renewal, before the cycle repeats.  One of the authors, Neil Howe, adds:

Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one. America’s objectives in such a war are likely to be defined very broadly.”

Thus far, at the grand strategic level, everything is proceeding exactly as I expected. There are blips on the trend, but the trend train is remorselessly rolling down the tracks. This also appears to accord with The Fourth Turning and The Next American Civil War.

 
Despotism or Tyranny?

Much of the developed world will descend into despotism. The failure of mainstream policies will fatally weaken mainstream politicians, parties and institutions. People will turn to the extreme left or the extreme right to restore their declining living standards. Vested interests benefiting from the status quo and those opposed to these extremes will fight to retain what they have, democracy be damned. Advocates of the left, right and status quo will all believe they are acting “for the good of the people” as they destroy our democracy and trash our way of life.

It matters little to the millions of dead whether they died in a NAZI concentration camp, Soviet Gulag or Cambodian killing field. They are just as dead. Treated as dispensable slabs of meat, to be used and abused so someone could create their version of a better tomorrow. Falling for the left to stop the right or for the right to stop the left is simply succumbing to the rhetoric of potential despotic tyrants. Psychopathic ideologues will deprive you of your life, liberty and property as readily as they always have. We denizens of the West have not escaped histories bloody embrace.

But the descent into tyranny is not inevitable. It is just the most likely outcome given how much the worldview of the spineless curs in positions of power diverges from reality. Churchill could have accepted the inevitability of a German victory in World War II. He did not do so. Instead he rallied the people, not by telling them to go shopping, not by claiming things were going well when they were not. But by telling the people what a hard time they had before them:

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.

We too have dark days ahead. At this stage it is economic rather than military Armageddon we face. The latter may well come, but in the near term it is a lower probability outcome than one of debts being defaulted on and expectations not being met. For many the economic adjustment will be a disaster. People led their lives and made their plans according to a false set of societal operating assumptions. Our leaders need to explain this fact to prepare us for the hard times ahead. The money diverted to financial vested interests is money needed to feed, clothe and provide warmth to the poor. Our experiment in crony capitalism must end.

Churchill in telling people of the hard times ahead, knew just how bad they would be:

For the first time, the people had hope but Churchill commented to General Ismay: “Poor people, poor people. They trust me, and I can give them nothing but disaster for quite a long time.”

The march of the extremes into the mainstream is  but the first step in the unraveling of  our politically correct Joseph Goebbels like big lie:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”.

Politically correct Western states are losing the ability to shield their people from the effects of the big lie. The shock of the adjustment will be large. We need to prepare people for it. Otherwise the shock may shatter our societies, enabling extremists or existing vested interests to seize control. But the mainstream media’s reiteration of politically correct perspectives amplifies the big lie. It befuddles much of our richer, better educated and empowered population segments. This has created a leadership class unaware of the need to prepare for the tough times ahead. Their ignorance and denial is effectively paving the way for the extremes and existing vested interests to seize the State.

Denizens of the developed world may think they have stepped out of history. Wars, famines, pestilence and mass poverty do not happen to us. They exist in history books or happen to other peoples. It’s natural for those in poor countries to slave away making trinkets and material items for our amusement. It’s natural for the majority of our “children” to spend the first quarter of their life studying and the last quarter in retirement. The half of our lives spent  working is punctuated by frequent holidays. The working day is not too long or onerous.

Well history has started again. States can not make good on their promises to their people. Governments are trying not to admit this. In so doing they are putting off the inevitable, at the cost of making it worse. Their policies can not work:

My Speech Delivered at the New York Federal Reserve Bank:  The noose is tightening on your organization, vast amounts of money printing are now required to keep your manipulated economy afloat. It will ultimately result in huge price inflation, or, if you stop printing, another massive economic crash will occur. There is no other way out.

Again, thank you for inviting me. You have prepared food, so I will not be rude, I will stay and eat.

Let’s have one good meal here. Let’s make it a feast. Then I ask you, I plead with you, I beg you all, walk out of here with me, never to come back. It’s the moral and ethical thing to do. Nothing good goes on in this place. Let’s lock the doors and leave the building to the spiders, moths and four-legged rats. – Read the whole speech.

The failure of mainstream policies will undermine the standing of all institutions associated with them. The appearance of corruption and rampant fraud will destroy the trust on which our society is built. Once gone it will be sorely missed. Without trust we will soon be poor. It is more than the value of the dollar in our pocket that is dependent on it. It is the foundation of civil society. Without it there will not be much innovation or affluence. Recreating widespread trust once lost could be a task of decades or generations. Its loss is worth resisting.

It may not be too late to avoid a period of persecution, anarchy and mass impoverishment.  But the only hope of doing so it to restore integrity. Integrity to our institutions, our budgets, our leaders and our laws. Without this, all roads lead to misery and tyranny.

Graphic courtesy of Zerohedge – read the post.