A WORLD WHERE RADICAL IDEOLOGIES WILL EMERGE INTO POWER
What will the borders of empire look like in the 21st century? How will civilizations and nations define themselves? Is it geographical boundaries that define a nation or is it something else? Is it the spirit of the people within?
The words of my Near Eastern religion’s professor echo in my thoughts. “Contrary to the idea that religion will disappear in a modern society – the 21st century will be one in which people define themselves by extreme ideologies more than ever.”
THE OLD SYSTEM DEFINED BY COLONIAL BOUNDARIES
IS BEGINNING TO ERODE
In my last post I discussed how much of the current national boundaries in the world are a product of European – and predominantly British imperialism. Deals brokered in the beginning of the 20th century divided the former Ottoman Empire and other parts of the world into countries within an artificial national boundaries.
THE POST WWII, POST COLD WAR ERA IS BEGINNING TO SHIFT
In addition to this, after World War II, the world was shifted to favor the Allied victors of the conflict. We see an example of this on the U.N. Security Council with seats occupied by America, France, the U.K, Russia and China. So we have an organization where 4 white guys and 1 Chinese guy supposedly represent the interests of all the world’s people? Yet is this truly representative and fair? Or is this a sick joke?
Before World War II, there was much more of a debate about different political and cultural systems. Even in America people spoke publicly about the various benefits of Democracy, Fascism and Communism. After World War II, the two great super powers emerging from the conflict were Democratic Capitalist America and the Communist Soviet Union.
Then in the 1990’s, after the fall of Communism and subsequent victory of Democracy and Capitalism, we were fed the narrative that American style Democracy was surely the one system – the best system for the entire planet. America has since then launched several wars around the globe to make sure that this Democracy was put into place – even among people who did not want it.
OUR LEADERS SAY AMERICAN STYLED CAPITALISTIC DEMOCRACY
IS THE BEST SYSTEM FOR ALL.
YET CAN THIS BE TRUE WHEN IT IS DESTROYING THE PLANET?
Yet now the world is facing an even more threatening crisis than ever before. While our smiley faced leaders assure us with sugary rhetoric that this Neo-Liberal Capitalist Economy and Democratic political system is surely the best in history, the truth is that it is presiding over the biggest crisis that the world has seen in its entire history.
We’re talking about the environmental crisis. Never before have the biological foundations of life been as threatened as they are now. The climate crisis is not a debate, it’s a scientific fact. Yet our politicians are still treating such a dire matter as if it were a mere political debate. While trillions have been spent on failed attempts to expedite Democracy around the globe, the future of human civilization as we know it is hanging in the breach.
This current world system has presided over the greatest extinction of biological life forms since the Permian Extinction took place 250 million years ago. Nature will surely recover from such a crisis, she has survived 5 major mass extinctions and she will survive this one as well. Nature is a system that is billions of years old. It is a system of life and death, a balance of chaos and order that functions on eternal values that cannot be altered, changed or destroyed.Yet the future of humanity is less certain.
The CIA is already predicting wars over water in our near future. As the human population booms, prices for necessities such as food and water continue to surge. With the current extinction of the bees, a third of our world food supply is threatened.
A majority of the world’s cities are also a sitting duck for disaster, considering that 50% of the world’s population sits on the coast line. With increasing super storms and rising ocean levels, many of these cities are at risk. Hurricane sandy in New York City is just the tip of the iceberg of the possible devastation ahead.
What is even more terrifying is the plumes of methane in the arctic. Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tons of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost. Methane is a greenhouse gas much more powerful than carbon dioxide – 23 times more powerful. One of the greatest fears that many scientists have is that when the Arctic sea ice disappears (due to global warming), the trapped methane will be released into the atmosphere leading to severe and rapid climate change.
Along with drastic climate change we’ll see a rise in floods, super storms, disease, drought, a decline in the food supply and a surge of climate refugees. Many of these things are unfolding as we speak.
I could really write a book about all the potential climate disasters ahead, but I really don’t need to when you can see the changes all around you.
The point I’m trying to make here is that even though the climate crisis is the greatest threat to humanity at this time, our world leaders are throwing mere peanuts – if that – at such a threat. At the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Crisis, which ended up being a complete failure, the United States suggested a mere 10 billion to deal with the crisis.
In response, Lumumba Di-Aping, Leader of the U.N. coalition of the 133 Poorest Nations, succinctly stated that $10 billion would not even be enough to buy coffins for the dead.
If the current world order fails to solve the dire environmental and financial problems of our time, other systems will emerge to deal with the crisis.
THE INTERNET AS A TOOL FOR CREATING STATES BASED ON
RADICAL AND BRUTAL IDEOLOGIES
Here is where the conversation comes full circle to what was mentioned at the beginning – radical ideology.
The internet is quickly shaping the 21st century into the century of ideology. Whereas people once defined themselves by their geological borders – and the beliefs shared within those borders – the world is shaping up into a very different place.
While it is highly controversial, I would like to examine the Islamic State for a moment as an example of the failed intentions of Democracy. First off, I will say that I highly condemn the actions of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Their killings of innocent civilians, women, children, Christians, religious minorities and even other Muslims make them despicable – human scum at the very least. Their brutal methods of dealing with opposition, including viral videos of beheadings, mass executions, crucifixions, torture and even decapitation of the innocent with a dull knife are sick, twisted, sadistic and downright evil.
However, what should be noted about this phenomenon is that people from all over the globe are creating a state based on ideology. This is not just a state for the Iraqis and Syrians who live within, this is a state where people from Britain, Canada and other places are migrating towards in order to create a nation based on ideology alone – even if it is a disturbing one.
Why has this happened? There are many political realities involved here that I do not have the time to explain – because that could take hours. However, the main point is this group is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster that evolved out of a failed effort to force American styled Democracy in the regions of Syria and Iraq. When a puppet state of one ideology failed to keep the chaos under control, a more brutal ideology evolved to take its place. Via the internet, this ideology gained traction and brought followers.
As we push forward into the 21st century, considering a world where weak Democratic leaders fail to solve key problems, we must consider what sort of brutal ideologies will be brought forth and exported around the globe via the power of the internet.
I highly doubt that Islamic States will be created in non-Islamic countries. However, ideologies just as brutal and violent may emerge to deal with the environmental crisis. Extreme times will create extreme measures.
In the Islamic state we see that the leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi commands a godlike respect among his subjects. The people of the Islamic State truly believe that he is a descendant of the prophet and a representative of God’s will on Earth.
Around the globe similar cults of spiritual authority will emerge, bringing their followers via the power of the internet. Charismatic leaders will command a Godlike authority that will grant them the power to commit acts of barbaric violence without mercy. With the current information technology at their disposal, their power will be greater than ever before.
DIRE TIMES WILL CREATE DIRE MEASURES
After 9/11 happened in America, our citizens began to allow a level of government surveillance that would have been unthinkable in a previous era. The deaths of 3,000 people in some of our key buildings has allowed the state to evolve into one that taps into phones, emails and our most intimate levels of secrecy and communication.
Can you imagine what the excess of authority that will be allowed when 100,000’s die, millions or billions? The death of 2 billion people world wide sounds extreme, but remember that a higher percentage of the population died in Germany’s 30 years war and the Black Plague. With the planet thrown into a state of perpetual war, famine and disease a similar reality is very probable.
People will demand order. People will demand safety. Since the crisis will be tied to the environment, Green Cults tied to a reverence for the Earth may emerge – a sort of Gaia Cult or Gaia State if you will. When food, clean air and pure water are rare commodities, those who pollute will be flogged or publicly executed. The healthy will be made a priority and the sick will be left out to die, much like the children of ancient Sparta. Such a practice sounds barbaric to our modern day sensibilities, but we have to remember that such practices were actually the norm in historical time periods where resources were scarce.
What do you do when you have a few survivors on a life raft and a drowning mob grabbing your oars? The drowning mob will pull you into the water if you let them. The only solution is to hack at their arms with an axe and save the surviving few. This will be the thinking of the future dictators in a world of scarcity and violence.
SYNTHETIC VALUES WILL CREATE DISASTER
EXTREME MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN TO INSTILL ORDER
The world has been thrown into such a mess because we embrace false values, synthetic values, values that are not tied to the truths of nature. We are currently living in a world culture that is the remnant of a widespread brand of Christianity that values human life and human souls more than nature and the spirits of nature – a system much more important. On top of this is the more modern idea of human rights – yet what are human rights without human responsibilities?
It would be great if our current system could reform itself in a Democratic and peaceful way. But if not, brutal ideologies will emerge to take their toll.
Nature is an eternal system, it is truth itself. It is a system of dividing the healthy and the sick, the weak and the strong. In our current system, we keep billions alive – even human vegetables and the elderly who wish to die – all at the cost of destroying other forms of life. Yet this has thrown the world out of balance. Eventually the spring of time will snap back in another direction, and the realities of nature will take their toll.