Friday, December 31, 2010

The Coming Year

I expect a rough year.

The economy will continue to stagnate with high unemployment and diminishing prospects for the unemployed.
The financial industry will continue to dominate our economy (and most of the Western economies). Expect to hear the word "plutonomy" floated about.
Meanwhile, the productive part of our economy that actually makes and sells things and services (as opposed to just moving money around) will continue to be exported to countries with no floor under wages and no ceiling over hours (and to countries with no qualms about slave labor like China).
Ever growing income disparity with a shrinking and ever less secure middle class will make the USA look more and more like Brazil of 60 years ago (and even less like Brazil today which has a booming economy that is larger than that of Russia and most of Eastern Europe, and with shrinking income disparity).
Banks will continue to commit theft and even burglary with impunity (see foreclosure scandals), crimes for which the rest of us would be jailed.
The Recording Secretaries of the Ruling Class (the corporate media) will continue to repeat uncritically what their employers tell them to say.
After the significant gains over the last 2 years, expect an ugly and even sometimes violent backlash against gays and lesbians. Remember that the intensity of the vitriol comes from the fact that the phobes are losing the struggle, and they know it. Time is not on their side.
I expect that the Episcopal Church will continue to find itself alienated from the official Anglican Communion as well-funded right wing campaigns intimidate the Communion leadership. However, I expect unofficial ties between the Episcopal Church and other parts of the Communion will strengthen.
I expect Christianity to continue to decline in the West (including the USA) as it becomes more and more identified with bigotry, reaction, and scandal. As Christianity shrinks, its churches will become increasingly dominated by fanatics who will only accelerate the alienation of the general public.
As Christianity declines in the West and becomes increasingly identified with right wing causes, expect the nihilism inherent in the consumer capitalism that rules our world to flourish virtually unchallenged.
I expect the fundamentalist movements that wreak such havoc in the rest of the world will eventually begin to alienate more people than they attract. I think that is already starting to happen in much of the Muslim world (especially in Iran). The nihilism of capitalism that drives those fundamentalist movements will still be there, but their paranoid, and frequently violent, authoritarianism will seem less and less of a desirable alternative to populations whose expectations are rising with changes in technology and increasing enfranchisement of formerly subordinate and marginal groups (such as women).

It will be a very rough year.

But as Churchill always said in the midst of the Blitz, and especially in that dark year of 1942 when it looked like Germany and Japan would win the war,


Churchill inspecting the ruins of the House of Commons, 1941


Wormwood's Doxy said...

I was ready to kill myself until I got to your last line....

Is there anywhere we can move where it would be better? Other than Brazil--I think I'm just too damned old to learn Portuguese. (Although maybe Jasper knows it instinctively? ;-)

Seems like it would be silly to wish you a "Happy New Year!" Maybe I should just say "Hope we all survive it together"?

susan s. said...

And yet, Doxy, in Doug's very next posting breath, he says Happy New Year to us all. I'm glad I saw that one first! :-)

Counterlight said...


You're not supposed to hang your head with despair.
You're supposed to get fighting mad.

JCF said...

...and yet I'm still hoping capitalism has a job for *me* in '11.

To quote St Malvina Reynolds,

"God bless the grass
That grows through the cracks..."

Happy New Year, to all my fellow/sister leaves-of-grass (how Whitmanesque!), stuck in all the concrete...

jw said...

I think you are exactly right. Yet we tread the way of the cross; it never led to the glory of the world's ways, but only to what the whole world saw as a dead man. From the other side of that same cross, through those same eyes, God, our Father, saw a dead world, through the eyes of his Son who died and rose loving it. To fight to save that world is to be of it; to die to it, daily, is to live. How do we live in a saved and redeemed world that is determined toward to death?

If only Jesus had joined in with some "side" at his time we would have an answer, but alas, all of the sides were of the same square world.