Welcome to 1913 Intel. This is a blog about emerging risks. Primarily the focus has been about collapses. Black Swans, if you will, but we can actually see these coming. It could be a large financial collapse, revolution, war or some kind of shock. And you should be ready for shocks says the Global Trends 2025 report:
The Global Trends 2025 report suggests that the international system as we know it today – created out of the ashes of World War II – “will be almost unrecognizable by 2025?. The last international system broke-down during World War I – 1914 to 1918. Trends in place today suggest major discontinuities, shocks, and surprises. In other words, we should not be surprised by great upheaval to everything we know.
That does not sound good. That’s why I cover news that will give you insight into what is going on. Unfortunately, the news is not good. The unravelling of the world is already starting:
Indeed it is. The international order is unravelling. Russia is of course smashing the post-Cold War order by seizing Ukraine, and blowing up the global architecture of nuclear non-proliferation. Let us not forget that Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons – the world’s third biggest arsenal at the time – in exchange for a guarantee by the great powers in 1994 that its territorial integrity would be upheld. Russia was one of the signatories.
China is laying claim to large parts of the East China and South China Seas, and has established an air identification control zone over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands.
China and Japan are one blow – or misjudgement – away from outright military conflict. …
As part of the unravelling, could we be looking at a war between NATO and Russia?
With the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I this year, who could have imagined “that war could become a genuine possibility in a country which shares a border with the European Union?” Schulz told the opening of the summit of the 28 EU leaders.
One thing is clear: Putin is not going to stop with just taking the Crimea.
Q: Does the West have to fear Putin?
A: Angela Merkel says that Putin has lost touch with reality. This is what it looks like from the viewpoint of a typical European politician, but it’s wrong. Putin does not behave like a normal statesman. The West should see the world with Putin’s eyes and understand his logic.
Q: What is Putin’s logic?
A: He is driven by personal and political power and has unleashed hysteria in Russia about becoming a new empire. This puts global security at risk. He will carry on until he is stopped.
The driving force behind Putin’s actions is revolution, or more correctly the worry about a revolution in Russia.
Russia Must Stop U.S. Expansion in Ukraine | The Moscow Times
“Nobody in Moscow has any doubt that what happened in Ukraine will be repeated in Moscow in two or three years.”
It seems that the West simply does not like Putin. He is a huge obstacle who prevents them from achieving global hegemony. For this reason alone he must be broken. Nobody in Moscow has any doubt that what happened in Ukraine will be repeated in Moscow in two or three years. Without Putin, there will be few world leaders left who have the power or courage to stand up to Washington. When this happens, the entire world will have to quickly accept the new reality.
The Third Russian Revolution | Atlantic Council
Make no mistake: On the current trajectory, Russia won’t be immune to many of the forces that provoked the so-called colored revolutions in adjacent states and even the misnomered Arab Awakening.
A third Russian revolution is unfolding. The only questions are when will that revolution reach a critical mass and, most importantly, will the forces of autocracy or pluralism carry the day?
In the two decades since, Vladimir Putin has emerged as the Ironman of Russia. In the process, Russia has been described and viewed by many as a kleptocracy ruled by the few who have pillaged national wealth for their own benefits.
Under what Republicans and Democrats alike in the United States see as a government of and by thugs, human rights have been violated; dissidents and members of the media arrested; and opponents of the Kremlin subjected to purges and show trials leading to long prison sentences.
The possibility of war with Russia is not the only thing you need to worry about. There is also the possibility of war with China.
Though the islands in dispute in the East and South China seas are in many cases barren and below water during high tide, as Aristotle wrote, conflicts arise “not over small things but from small things.” The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand that sparked World War I was one such small thing. Claims in the Pacific, however petty, if they are tied to vital interests, can lead to war. Indeed, the primordial quest for status still tragically determines the international system — just as it did prior to World War I. And these islets have become, because of their very barren abstraction, logos of nationhood in a global media age.
Many analysts say that both sides need to be careful or there is the real risk of escalation, and even nuclear war. But there is a problem. Currently, only one side is being careful (the US and NATO). The other side (Russia and China) does as it pleases.
All you have known your entire life is relative stability. How is it even possible to think about a nuclear war? Come and let me turn your world upside-down. Please answer this question for me: If the longer you have stability means the longer it will endure, then how did the Arab Spring happen? And all throughout history empires have risen and fallen. Why is that? Could it be that long periods of stability bring big problems?
Let’s look at how the world has moved into the new abnormal.
The New Abnormal
One by one different countries are stacking up on the edge of a cliff. First there was Japan who has been stuck economically at the cliff for 20 years. More recently the US and the EU have moved up to the edge. Now China is moving up to the edge.
Forget the new normal. Five full years after the financial crisis, we’ve entered a period of increasing global uncertainty and instability that’s almost certain to trigger a new crisis.
[Published on June 17, 2013.]
Watch a video on this topic here: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000176315
At Davos, they are calling it the “new normal:” At Davos, Crisis Is the New Normal – NYTimes.com
There is dangerous positive feedback and moral hazard present in modern democracy, under which far too many people “demand” ever bigger government but contribute only sloth and indolence.
What is happening is that country after country is doing everything possible to suppress the big collapse and maintain stability. All the problems that caused the big crisis in the first place are left in place continuing to grow. By suppressing the big collapse countries are stuck in the middle of a phase transition where things don’t act normally due to the build up of bad ideas, bad decisions and corruption. This is the new abnormal. Only a big crash can fix the problems, but leaders won’t let that happen.
The global economic system has slipped into the new abnormal. There is talk of war. But what does this mean? Please check out a little history:
1. Financial crisis in 1907, and World War I in 1914.
2. Financial crisis in 1929, and World War II in 1939.
3. Financial crisis in 2008, and World War III in 2015-2018?
In A System Collapse Framework for Societies I explain why after a long period of stability a shock in one area implies big problems in other areas as well. Even if they are unrelated. It has to do with the rate of growth of bad ideas, bad decisions and corruption. A big financial shock after a long period of stability suggests that that society is just loaded with hidden problems that have spread everywhere. For example, nobody in the West has had the slightest worry about a nuclear war for a long time. It’s just about impossible, they say. US leaders got the bright idea to gut their nuclear arsenal to such an extent that they can now only retaliate one time. But that’s not enough because the enemy leaders can survival along with their military and about 10% of the population. Now the US nuclear deterrence is questionable.
Historically, what happens when a superpower is approached or passed by another country, like the US vs China? The probability of war is at least 75% and could go as high as 100%. Right now conflict in the East China Sea between China and Japan is threatening to escalate:
We are looking at the serious possibility of a a major military conflict between China and Japan within a few years or less. The US will almost surely get drawn into this conflict.
War in the Middle East is also threatening to escalate into something much bigger:
When a forest is old and ready for a massive fire, sooner or later it’s going to happen. The same concept applies to societies. Sooner or later something big is going to happen after a long period of relative stability. That is where we find ourselves today.
For more information about why the US is in trouble, please read this PDF file here. I put my old About page into that PDF file.
There appears to be some kind of democracy super-cycle lasting in the neighborhood of around 250 years. Corruption gradually takes hold over this period of time until the democracy is strangled.
Behind dysfunctional government, is democracy itself in decay?
It took only 250 years for democracy to disintegrate in ancient Athens. A wholly new form of government was invented there in which the people ruled themselves. That constitution proved marvelously effective. Athens grew in wealth and capacity, fought off the Persian challenge, established itself as the leading power in the known world and produced treasures of architecture, philosophy and art that bedazzle to this day. But when privilege, corruption and mismanagement took hold, the lights went out.
…In Athens, democracy disintegrated when the rich grew super-rich, refused to play by the rules and undermined the established system of government. That is the point that the United States and Britain have reached.
Turning the World Upside-Down: The rise of modern-liberalism
“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” – Will Rogers
Let me show you how modern liberalism turns the world upside-down. The reason I am showing this is so you will understand why liberals are not worried about a nuclear war, and why they are disarming the US. Here are my rules for how the modern liberal thinks:
1. All outcome for an individual, group or nation can be no better or worse than any other.
2. If an outcome is found to be better, then they must have cheated.
3. If an outcome is found to be worse, then they must have been victimized (by #2).
4. The amount a victim lashes out is directly proportional to the victimization.
Please note that all liberals deny that they think this way. Think about how you speak English. You don’t need to apply the rules of grammar because you know them so well. However, people learning English must apply the rules of grammar until they get the hang of it. So too with the rules of modern liberalism. You will end up at the correct result in the eyes of liberals if you apply the above rules.
The rules show how the modern liberal ends up punishing success and rewarding failure. If you do the right thing and actually get ahead, it won’t be long before liberal polices will start punishing you.
If Russia and China are behaving badly, then it is only because the West treated them badly in the past. They are true victims and will lash out proportionally to their victimization. It is impossible for Russia and China to attack the US with nuclear weapons because that would violate rule #4 – proportionality. This explains why Obama isn’t worried at all about a nuclear attack. The US, Europe and Israel are the bad guys. If they would just disarm and play nice then things will get much better. Or they will get obliterated, but whatever.
If you are not worried about a nuclear war, then perhaps having so many nukes is an accident waiting to happen. Never mind that there has never been an accidental nuclear war. The way to peace and happiness is through disarming. And disarm they have. The once mighty nuclear arsenal of the US is mostly gone. What remains is old and disintegrating, and much fewer in number. US nuclear launch crews suffer from incompetence and rot. They give the US the ability to retaliate only one time.
Of course, the modern conservative (like me) sees modern liberal thinking as utter insanity. So the build up of really bad ideas since the end of World War II is putting the West in great danger.
Here are some more ideas about modern liberalism:
THE LAWS OF MODERN LIBERALISM
- Indiscriminateness – the total rejection of the intellectual process – is an absolute moral imperative.
- Indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminateness of policies. It leads to siding only and always with the lesser over the better, the wrong over the right, and the evil over the good.
- Modern Liberal policies occur in tandem. Each effort on behalf of the lesser is met with an equal and opposite campaign against the better.
- The Modern Liberal will ascribe to the better the negative qualities associated with the lesser while concurrently ascribing to the lesser the positive qualities found in the better.
- The Modern Liberal may have personal standards but he must deny them and militate against their use and those who use them in the public arena.
- Modern Liberals do not and cannot seek to better themselves or society. Instead they must lower others and society to their level.
- Modern Liberals have secondary policies that are meant only to somewhat mitigate the greater suffering that their primary policies created or exacerbated.
My name is Matt. I am an actuary. My primary role is risk management.
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