Whither We Go?

Welcome to 2017. As we roll into our new year, the entire world is beginning a new bounce. Politics is part of the bounce but looks more like blowing trash; economy is part of the bounce but looks more like a vacuum cleaner; environment is part of the bounce but looks more like a starving dog; technology is part of the bounce but looks more like an algae bloom sucking all the oxygen out of a pond; human management is part of the bounce but looks more like Times Square on New Year’s Eve and the attendees have no home to which to return.

American party politics looks like it did in 1890: What are democrats? What is democracy? Aristocracy, oligarchy and authoritarianism are America’s choices as we ride the current bounce to its end. Donald has emulated Ronald by appointing a Cabinet with harsh ideologues who are philosophically opposed to the existence of their own Departments. Do not look for egalitarianism any time soon – like maybe a generation or more if ever again.

International politics are more frightening. The European Union was wobbling under a unification intended to be a transition to a more solid cultural and economic relationship. But the EU was shot down like a flight over Lockerbie by massive immigration from Northern Africa and everywhere in the Middle East. A slowly growing effort by EU to strengthen the economies of Moldovia, Romania and Albania among others were trampled to nothing by the immigration.

China’s solution to inadequate food and a seacoast of threatening internationalism is to take over and own the whole geographic area – not very different from the relationship between the US and the Caribbean and Gulf islands if the US decided to make them part of the United States of America. It’s bad enough pirate-minded billionaires are stealing these wonderful islands and their economies – and kicking unique cultures into the sea. The mariner has sailed most of these islands; it is a tearful thing to watch.

To his fellow citizens, mariner apologizes to say that the top ten socialist democracies are in better shape to ride the world bounce than the top ten capitalist or authoritarian nations. Unlike capitalist and authoritarian nations, socialist nations pay for health, education, and enforce financial and social equality. As the world bounce continues, work for greater profit and the indifference of socially controlling corporatism will run out of playing field. Mariner never wanted his sports arena named after a corporation anyway. (Apologies for the flood of metaphors)

Regarding the global economy, this is how it works: If you own something, I’ll give you a faster depreciating something if you let me be a partner with you in your longer lasting personal worth; if you have wealth, partner with me to maximize our joint wealth; if you are in a position to help me increase my wealth faster than yours, I will give you money. This economy underwrites aristocracy, plutocracy and oligarchy and undermines democracy and favorable treatments of the environment and human management.

There has been a recent spate of technologies, shifts in economic opportunity and, importantly, even some political decency toward environmentally friendly intentions. The appropriate response to these intentions is “show me the money; show me the real change.” Still, the oil industry’s next frontier is destruction of Canada’s Great Northern Wilderness where oil drilling will expand 300 percent in the next few years; the pure, clean rivers are becoming toxic just like the salmon breeding grounds in Northern Alaska and Canada near the Arctic Circle. And Donald is opposed to wind power because windmills are unattractive – mariner suspects he never visited a coal burning power plant or sailed down the Mississippi River past endless fuel fabricating factories.

As the world writes off 600 mammalian species because of habitat abuse and the oceans increase acidity in ocean water to the point that uncounted hundreds of species disappear every year and climate change will likely swamp major edifices of humanity like London, Manhattan, Hong Cong, Miami, and Rio de Janeiro, a starving dog is about the norm as an icon for the planet to survive the bounce.

Human management is the issue that no one wants to manage. Talk about overhead! We’re talking about our own species – talk about troublesome! It’s a lot easier to manage money, brutalize nature and fight wars.

What does mariner mean by a bounce? He mentioned “part of the bounce.” A world bounce is 120 years long, give or take a few years. For example, it is clear that momentous things are about to happen; 120 years ago was around 1900. That’s when a lot of stuff was invented that launched the bounce that’s ending now; a belated part of the current bounce was the invention of the transistor in 1948 by German scientists – the beginning of the Technical Age. 120 years before 1900 was 1780. The start of the industrial age is pegged to 1790; the USA popped up on the world scene about then (1776-78) which clearly contributed to a new bounce and 120 years before that was 1660 – a significant event reflecting on Christianity in America: Jun 1 1660 Mary Dyer is hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Christian commandment to love everyone clearly has survived until today’s bounce; Jamestown Virginia was established; England returned to being a monarchy with the return of Charles II; Thirty Years War began between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Galileo made science news observing the moons of Jupiter. And so on.

So what changes can we anticipate in the next bounce? It appears to be starting in good form for a bounce: lots of commotion, misunderstood decisions, growing populism, growing wealth of the few, failing international associations, inadequate statesmanship all over, new and old religious beliefs filling cultural voids, etc.

In other words, the world’s peoples will know why change is not wanted. It’s the same as changing a baby’s diapers – a real mess. So this is our mission in 2017: Get rid of junk in your life, streamline your circumstances similar to preparing for a tornado, have your financial future secured as much as possible, get a valium prescription, and then don’t forget to have a good time!


Some Notable Quotes.

“The ballot box in itself is not enough to render a system a ‘democracy.’ A true democracy needs separation of powers, rule of law, freedom of speech, women’s rights, LGBT rights, free and diverse media and independent academia. Without all these institutions and values you can only have ‘majoritarianism.’ And majoritarianism is not the same thing as democracy.”

–       Turkish novelist Elif Shafak

“Companies like Google profit enormously from data mining of your personal searches, behavior and habits,” he said. “There is more money in selling that data than in selling a product. It’s surveillance capitalism. It really is a new kind of totalitarianism.”

–       Writer and director Oliver Stone

In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era.

The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature….The determination to “take back control” across the Western democracies among those dispossessed by change was explosively expressed in 2016 in a widespread revolt against the elite custodians of the status quo through Brexit, the Trump victory and the ongoing anti-establishment insurgency in Europe.

–       Editor-in-chief, WorldPost, Nathan Gardels

Ancient Mariner

1 thought on “Whither We Go?

  1. At the end of this very bleak litany of abuses, which are very real, Mariner has some good suggestions. They are probably meant to be ironic, but getting rid of junk, preparing for the tornado, securing finances and having a good time seem like practical ideas to embrace. I would exchange the Valium for a long walk, as it has more benefits with fewer side effects.

    I wish a very happy New Year to Ancient Mariner and all of his readers–and to our nation and our world.

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