Sunday, May 20, 2012

Peak Globalization: Our Multipolar Local Future

Forget globalization. Globalization has taken its best shot and gone too far. Globalization was a scam by the educated and rich elite after the end of the Cold War to try to ensure security and peace for the big power (United States) and allow current power hierarchies elsewhere to stay in place. The crowning achievement of globalization must be the rise of China. China lifted millions out of poverty, while cutting costs for the developed world for many goods, while keeping Communist gangsters still in power after a squashed rebellion in Tiananmen Square in '89. It's over. It's kaput. We're in the transition phase right now. I'd go so far as to say globalization will be a curse word in the near future, large countries will be broken up or handcuffed, returning power to smaller entities + more local control. This will be because it is too expensive for national governments to offer the services that socialists have promised for decades while at the same time maintaining security for the citizens at acceptable levels. Governments bit off more than they can chew, and now they are sick to their stomachs. The vomit stage is coming. Let's look at this from a broad view to see the currents at work.

In the post WW2 era, the world saw regions move simultaneously towards larger unification and splintering. The EU/EMU is a wonderful example of this, which happened at the same time that the Baltics left the USSR, the USSR broke up, the Czech Republic and Slovakia broke up, Yugoslavia disintegrate into ethnic pieces, and even small half-states in southeastern Europe declare independence. Nations ceded control of economic affairs to the WTO, meetings like the G8, or entered treaties like NAFTA. Large governments gave up authority and control for the sake of globalization and supposed efficiency. This was just efficiency for capital owners to move their investments to the nations with the weakest environmental and worker protection laws. People distrust big business, but they distrust big government for being the enabler of big business.

Governments have shot themselves in the foot. I won't touch on items like terrible public schooling causing the rise of home schooling or the rise in gun ownership as people don't trust the police + district attorneys to lock up criminals (anarcho-tyranny). National governments seem to be at odds with their citizens with regards to immigration. There is no frontier in Europe or America, yet immigration was allowed unimpeded. Sure, the idea of bringing nations and peoples into the 'core' was swell with safety incentives, but policy makers forgot that at the base of everything are people. Importing millions of Muslims into Europe will not make them European in behavior. It did not create ties between those nations except for an excuse for certain individuals to go home for terrorist training. Moving the drug wars of Latin + South America into the US Southwest was a dark side effect of unrestricted economic immigration from Latin America for the US. Creating a manufacturing base in China hollowed out the middle class of America, along with the technological advancements of computers when applied to our blue collar industies.

It's not like Big Pharma is a friend of the small guy. Hospitals and Doctors can keep you alive for an extra 5-10 years, but they are awful years of living with Alzheimers or Parkinsons. It's not like Hollywood is pushing out great projects every year. Hollywood is out of touch with the common man, and has to produce glittery schlock just to pack them in (Avatar). Music was diluted when Clear Channel bought up hundreds of stations and destroyed radio. Music never reacted to Napster in a positive way, which stifled the industry and made people hate buying music. I'm willing to best that more people download music illegaly each day than speed on the highway. Education has become a racket, where even piss ant private schools cost 45k+ a year that cost half that 15 years earlier.

Technology was a pied piper for the developed world. There are many fantastic things we have today due to technology in the fields of medicine, education, manufacturing and even white collar work, but there is a human cost. What once took 4 blue collar guys now takes 1. We still have millions of blue collar guys graduating high school every year. Now there are fewer jobs for them. Not everyone is a potential surgeon. Technology has even increased crop yields, but now we have an obesity problem. We dont need to touch corporate farming, which is repulsive and not what food production was even 30 years ago. I would not want to be called a neo-Luddite, because think technology offers us a way out.

There is high distrust of government, but it softens as government gets more local. There is distrust of big business. There is disgust with governments out of touch with their people. There is disgust with mass media. People keep talking about sustainable communities or lifestyles. While on the fringe right now, localtarians are even popping up publicly. There is technology. technology can be what we want it to be. There is also tons of technology that is now user friendly, and millions who have the basics of computer usage as a skill. There is a technology called 3d printing or micromanufacturing that could make part reproduction or fabrication local again. Solar power, while not perfect, is constantly coming down in cost and technically possible anywhere. Energy conservation continues to make improvement. Teleconferencing, oil prices, cheap long distance calling, oil prices and Skype have made long distance travel a luxury again.

I forsee a future where we go from one hyper power (the USA) to a multipolar world. The middle east will still be a flashpoint as the ME nations will collide, and much depends on whether the US or China can switch their transportation fuel system away from gasoline. Russia will have influence in central Asia and eastern Europe. Germany will have influence over central and western Europe. China over trading partners in East Asia and raw material producers in Africa. There is no fixing Africa, but China will keep sending money over there for raw materials. India will be a problem, but I see India, if it stays in its current form, staying within it's bounds on the subcontinent. Australia will be a go between for the US + Europe with the Chinese trading bloc. South America will be a toss up, as I can see America + Brazil having soft power collisions down there. North America will be America's domain. America though will be different.

Large government entities are stripped of much of their power and power is given back to states or broken up former states within old national lines. Ther EU might be around for large framework regulations, but nations will once again regain much of their sovereignty. Nationalism will rise again in Europe. American demographics will create either a Balkanization that will lead to a physical conflict or a worked out political solutions with smaller regions. It is easy to envision sctions of the Southwestern US states becoming a sort of North Mexico. Not part of Mexico, because there is a reason they left Mexico, but it's own area. I don't see it doing well, but the new border will be ferociously patrolled. I can see Northern CA, Oregon and Washington forming a country (potentially with Western Canada) called "Cascadia". I can see a large region that would be from Idaho-Montana all the way to the Midwest down to the South becoming a 'red state America' (yes, they'd be the oens to retain the name america in their name). I can aslo envision the Northeast from say Washington DC up to Maine over to Western NY/PA becoming the "North Atlantic Union".

The odd puzzle piece is the Upper Midwest. The Minnesota through Ohio cluster is rather purple. Indiana could be the northern red tongue of the 'red state America', but if you look at county by county results to elections, you will find that Illinois is actually pretty red except for Cook County (Chicago) and East St. Louis. I can easily see Illinois exacting a 'dead voter' revenge on Chicago by auditing all votes and moving to 'red state America'. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio could become part of the North Atlantic Union. One thing to keep in mind is if part of the fraud of large national governments' socialist tinged economic ideas also disgraces the soft on crime and social issues that they defended for decades. Let's call it fair: send Indiana and Illinois to 'red state America' and the rest to the NAU. I would also point out that you'd probably see a migration of sorts as there is no way that blacks would stay down south if white southerners had 'red state america' backing for law enforcement. No way. That refugee issue could become an NAU problem. I also don't see what remains of religious people in the northeast staying in the NAU.

America in pieces would turn isolationist again. I could see the NAU having interaction with the German dominated Western Europe, but focusing on its problems of not producing much oil and food. I can see "Cascadia" looking towards Asia, and both Cascadia and 'red state america' being Mexico and Latin America focused to prevent new immigration. People would tend to their regions though far moreso than America cares for itself now. How do you get Senators and Congressmen from Vermont, NH or Maine to care about Mexican immigration when they have virtually none? How do you get Southwestern congressmen to see environmental concerns when their area is a frickin' desert? With this idea of smaller regions, I forsee culture moving away from the mass entertainment that is thinly smeared like too little butter on too big of a pancake to locally derived culture that better fits that 'region'. If big enough, it can cross over, but a local sound and style would develop. This would also be helped by the growth of podcasts as well as the cheapening costs of buying old radio stations as they are discarded and shut down by the big corporations. The Village in NYC grew to be an artists' area as it was abandoned by everyone else and became cheap. Local musicians or movie makers shut out of the 'connections' game in Hollywood and the music industry could find local audiences and low distribution costs due to technology + unused infrastructure.

People will want control over their lives and immediate surroundings. They always have. Technology will give them the power to make it happen, and the money will be long gone from the sovereign governments for them to remain legitimate years after they lost legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens. Keep this in mind. The US House of Representatives was fixed at 435 members in 1911... when the US had 92 million people. We had far more direct representation thent han we do now. I can see it happening again. Not because I want it, but because these large transnational or national entities controlling hundreds of millions of people with laws written thousands of miles away feels like a crime against human nature. Rome was not built in a day, but it took just as long to be destroyed.

Hint: If America ever were to go to pieces, I would just want to be in the area that has a food surplus and/or an oil surplus.

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