Feb 25, 2011
It is a matter of record! The spate of seething, youth-inspired Middle East uprisings that are toppling governments, reshaping the geopolitical landscape and roiling world markets blindsided the world’s intelligence community.
Not the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff or National Security Council saw it coming. Mossad and MI5 missed it! None of the mainstream media’s star-studded stable of scholars, experts and think-tank policy wonks were thinking ahead.
But what was breaking news to them was yesterday’s news for Trends Journal readers. In the summer 2010 issue, we wrote:
What’s happening in Greece will spread worldwide as economies decline. There are no organizations behind this response, it’s a public response. This is a 21st century rendition of ‘Workers of the World unite’ … Initially the strikes, riots and protests by unions, student groups, the unemployed, pensioners, and the outraged were sloughed off as predictable (but short-lived and ineffectual) responses that would either peter out on their own or be stomped down by the police … The unofficial reality was that, as Gerald Celente has repeatedly warned: “When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”
By the Autumn of 2010, our Globanomic methodology pointed to socioeconomic conditions rapidly deteriorating to such an extent that we warned readers of an imminent explosion: “Off With Their Heads 2.0” read our headline, capturing the revolutionary impulse of people who could no longer ignore the toll financial hardship was taking on their lives.
We subsequently identified the role the social media (a megatrend-in-waiting) would play in tipping the balance of political power and breaking the grip of government control. In December 2011, just days before the world tuned into Tunisia, we released our “Top Trends of 2011.” Among them was “Journalism 2.0” which, we predicted, would put an arsenal of digital/Internet weapons into the hands of virtually every citizen via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Deployed by youthful revolutionaries around the world, they would bypass corporate/government media, outwit intelligence agencies, outflank the military and police and rally the populace into the streets and onto the barricades. (See, “Journalism 2.0.” Trends Journal, Winter 2011).
As we wrote before Tunisia and Egypt erupted, the outbreaks would go global and the reasons behind the unrest would be more about bread and butter issues than politics. As economies decline, unemployment rises, taxes are raised and services cut – while those at the top get richer and most everyone else gets poorer – revolutions will continue to spread.
But that’s not the way it’s being represented by the same people who didn’t see it coming. The media, pundits and politicians have misrepresented the historic geopolitical events that have occupied the news since the onset of the New Year. Virtually overnight, the revolutions have been glorified as courageous fights for freedom and liberty by democracy-hungry-masses.
But it is not hunger for democracy that drives them. Democracy, autocracy, theocracy, monarchy – right, center, left – it is mostly a gut issue…an empty gut issue. When the money stops flowing down to the man in the street, the blood starts flowing in the streets. It’s a simple equation. A few at the top have too much, and too many others have too little.
What’s Next In response to the current Middle East uprisings, gold has broken above $1400 an ounce and Brent Crude climbed to $111 a barrel. There is no end in sight to market volatility. As the violence escalates and expands, the fallout will be felt around the world.
From the onset of the financial crisis that began in August 2007, and through the ensuing Panic of ’08, Washington, the Federal Reserve and central banks have managed to forestall a Great Depression-grade meltdown by way of a variety of multi-trillion dollar rescue packages, bailouts and stimulus programs. For three years the programs were able to induce an illusory and superficial recovery that, barring a major external geopolitical jolt, might have continued to run its course until the inevitable denouement.
But now the jolt felt around the world is in the process of shattering the recovery illusion. Whether deliberately (as calculated policy) or as fallout from fear-based denial, the pieces are not being put together. The current unrest is not confined to the Middle East and North Africa, and as we had forecast, it will spread to Europe and other parts of the world. The more volatile and widespread the insurrections, the greater the probability that some combination of events (e.g., oil shock, terror attack, cyber wars and regional wars) will crash already fragile economies, and roil sound ones.