Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

I have some predictions as to what will happen here in the US, government-wise, in the next 10 years or so.  I base these on my understanding of history — stuff like a viable 3rd party and fascism just seem obvious to me, based on the way things have gone in the past.

But maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I will end up looking very, very foolish — and I’d be thrilled to end up looking foolish.  So let’s test it.  Here are a few other things that I think will happen in the next few years, all else being equal:

Iran gets The Bomb.  I don’t think anyone, His Choom-ness included, seriously disputes that this will happen, so it hardly counts as Muad’dib-leve prescience.  But based on that….

Oil prices are going to skyrocket on the assumption that there will be a Mideast war sometime within the next decade.  Oil companies will start hedging, of course, but as Presidents Obama and Clinton will surely veto any expansion of the domestic energy industry, we’re going to be hit particularly hard.

China will also start hedging and, as they give zero shits about Global Weather or anything else, they will develop an aggressive energy security policy.  Which may mean war in the South China Sea (what else are those artificial islands for?).  The annexation of Taiwan is, I think, nearly certain, and if I were them I’d do it now, so that it’s a fait accompli by the 2016 presidential debates (on the off chance that Hillary might let a comment slip on her total unconcern for foreign policy).

I’d also bet on China engaging in some neo-colonial adventuring in Africa — a state petrochem company “advising,” say, Nigeria on the “development” of their petroleum industry… with a private security force, of course, and an attache, and a whole lot of oil rig workers who look surprisingly like People’s Liberaton Army Special Forces.

Knowing this, Japan and India — no fools they — will step up their rearmament programs (which are already well underway).  The Indians have nukes; the Japanese may acquire them.  And if Vlad Putin running lots of “exercises” eastward for no good reason, things are about to hit the fan in a major way.

Speaking of Vlad Putin, a protracted Mideast war is great for his bottom line, so expect stepped up arms sales to Iran (aside from the big SAM sales they’ve already made, that is).

Chinese neo-colonial “aid” to their fraternal socialist brothers in Venezuela certainly isn’t out of the question, either.

Finally, I wouldn’t rule out a full-on conventional military invasion of Iran by Israel as their bomb gets nearer to completion, probably with the tacit acceptance, and maybe even open aid, of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States.  What choice do they have?  Of course, Israel’s a democracy, so they may well vote to keep their heads in the sands, America-style.  But with rising anti-Semitism all across Europe (and America), I’m betting they take Ahmedinajad’s Hitler-with-nukes rhetoric seriously.  And it’s not like the Mossad couldn’t cook up a casus belli in no time….

Time will tell, of course.  I hope I’m embarrassingly wrong on all counts.

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7 thoughts on “Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

  1. Nate Winchester

    What’s interesting is that all of this is predicated on Iran being bat**** insane.

    The question is: is it?

    Both cracked.com and Vox Day have made points that they are just normal people like anybody else (maybe the insane act is just an act) and them having the bomb won’t doom the world.

    Who’s right? Sometimes when I have an unanswerable conundrum (i.e. both choices are bad) I ask myself: “Which has the worst outcome if I pick wrong?” The problem is, when dealing with someone who’s sanity is questionable, both choices end up with the same worst outcome if you’re wrong.

    If it’s a coin flip either way, the only other option is to determine who’s right.

    But then how do you determine whether someone is crazy or not? Especially when a sane person is in a situation where acting crazy has the best incentive.

    It’s almost enough to drive a man mad.

    1. Severian

      What’s interesting is that all of this is predicated on Iran being bat**** insane.

      The question is: is it?

      Oh good God yes.

      There’s a nice parallel in history for that, too: Hitler. He was absolutely clear on what he intended to do. By the time he actually did it, he’d been banging that drum for 15 years. But everybody said “surely Germany isn’t that batshit insane!”

      If a man threatens to kill you at the first available opportunity, then does everything in his power to bring the opportunity about, you can safely conclude that he’s serious.

      The reason nobody takes the Hitler types seriously is because the consequences are obvious. But here’s the thing: Hitler knew that. His speeches, from the late 1920s on, all entailed a new world war. That war was inevitable — meaning, that Germany would start a war — within a decade was common knowledge among the Reich leadership. You can read up on Himmler, Goering, and the rest talking this up in the early 1930s. It was no secret to anyone, but nobody believed Germany really wanted another war.

      That’s Vox Day’s delusion, I think — as much as he crows about thinking historically, he doesn’t (or pretends not to) know that “because I think it will bring more power to me, the leader, personally” has been the cause of 99.8% of all wars in human history. I’m not going to bet the farm on Ahmed fucking Ahmadinajad being the exception.

      And as for Cracked.com, well… what’s the first rule of SJWs?

      1. Nate Winchester

        lol true, but what makes this really confusing is that the article was right on the line of when cracked was good vs full on SJW (and their point was that Ahmadinajad was more of an empty suit figurehead and it was some council – I forgot the term – that really ran Iran).

        What concerns me is that a lot of the unprecedented peace of the modern time is ultimately because of capitalism & prosperity. Yes it has had the unfortunate effect of encouraging sloth among millions but slothful people don’t tend to break out into wars.

        When America falls, that’s going to take out a lot of prosperity and comfort for a lot of people. THAT will start more wars than even Iran getting the bomb is my bet. After all, you tend not to want to bomb someone who is buying/making your stuff. Well what happens when they stop buying or making…

        1. Severian

          That’s the thing, though — lots of people talk about “when America falls” as some kind of Beyond Thunderdome scenario. I don’t think so. Things will get tight, yes, but as I keep trying to point out, that’s the point of American fascism — to keep things from going Beyond Thunderdome.

          When the EBT cards stop working, race riots happen. The guy who promises “permanent emergency rule” until the inner cities are quiet again gets elected. Then it’s a question of keeping services running through the credit defaults. The guy who promises to apply Obamacare fairly — aspirin for all, death panels for those who have been courting their own demise with their lifestyles all these years — gets the vote.

          And there’s your fuhrer. It won’t be nice, and it won’t be America, but for most people out in the burbs it won’t be all that bad. And when the fuhrer pulls the army back and lets Europe and Asia sort their own shit out, most people aren’t going to say “gee, I wonder what the army’s going to be up to now that it’s home;” they’re going to say “good riddance, children — you wanted a world without the American Colossus bailing your asses out, and now you’re gonna get it, good and long and hard. Enjoy!”

          1. Nate Winchester

            But the worst part: if our fuhrer doesn’t start any wars… what’s going to be so bad about him/her? (let’s be honest, I could totally see Hillary pulling off that scenario)

            Heck your scenario almost sounds better than what we have now. Like I tell Vox whenever he posts one of his “fight for civilization” blogs: People nowadays need a reason to fight and few are seeing any point to it. In your scenario, the job of conservatives and libertarians will be to convince people of the reasons why the fuhrer needs to be fought. And right now we don’t have a lot of those.

            Though I’m still betting (especially when I read something like this and like this) that two groups will end up pushing each other out so much, the country will just split and nobody will bother with a civil war to bring it back together. Now a world with two fuhrers…. that will be interesting.

  2. severian Post author

    Thats the thing… for most people, the fuhrer won’t be so bad at all.

    Except for at the extreme tail ends — extreme leftists, extreme libertarians — most people in the vast squishy middle want security uber alles. They don’t have to follow politics, so they don’t — they’re your Low Info Voters. Those people would happily trade away their franchise for the low low price of not having to worry about this stuff, however briefly, once every four years. Those of us who follow politics tend to scoff at “bread and circuses,” but for most of our fellow countrymen — and I’m talking 75% here — “bread and circuses” describes a pretty ideal state of being. The bread is going to be a little stale in 2020, and there won’t be quite enough for everyone to get stuffed, but we’ll have it. The circuses will be bloody, and the pro-party propaganda will be pretty crude, but they’ll still be entertaining. So what if there are a few more things you can’t say, a few more pieties you’re required to mouth, a few more forms to fill out, a few more arbitrary police powers? It’s not like we don’t have that stuff now. As long as they don’t kick in too many doors in the night — or, if they do, they’re entertainingly televised — most people are going to be fairly content under the fuhrer. I wouldn’t want to be black, or too overtly religious, or too attached to classic literature, or gay…. but that’s, what, 20% of the population, tops?

    As for wars… so far, every fascist movement has led to them, but I don’t think it’s inevitable. Japanese fascism worked great in Manchuria; it was their very peculiar military structure which allowed “rogue elements” in the Kwantung Army to get them pulled into China. (Read Japan’s Total Empire if you want to get a sense of what fully-fledged, non-racist fascism looks like. Not a bad deal at all for the average Japanese… but for that whole Kwantung Army thing).

    People are just monkeys. Monkeys like their troop hierarchies. Democracy is, at best, a temporary state of affairs, one that takes total, society-wide effort to maintain. We haven’t made the effort since at least the 1950s.

    1. Nate Winchester

      Hmmm… i’ll have to remember that book because I’ve wanted to read sometime about how different the Japanese fascism was (it is the only one talked less about than Italian).

      They don’t have to follow politics, so they don’t — they’re your Low Info Voters.

      I’ll only minorly quibble with you here and echo Jonah Goldberg’s point about how complexity is used as a subsidy nowadays.

      Like I say: the simple fact is we’re ALL low-info-voters (LIV) nowadays simply because the system has gotten so big and unwieldy that rational ignorance is the only rational choice against it.

      It’s also why the founders wanted so much power to be pushed down locally. People are a lot less LIV about the local elections for many varied and obvious reasons.

      So anyway, I don’t begrudge LIV at all, because that’s everyone now. And that’s the root of the problem.

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