Global Populist Uprising
Anti-government sentiment is growing globally as more people are frustrated with the current world order. This sentiment has manifested in a variety of way including mass peaceful protests, violent riots, and the success of populist political parties. The regions experiencing the most pressure for populist uprising are Africa, South America, North America, Western Europe and parts of the Middle East.
Criticism of entrenched elites and political dynasties is growing which will result in conflict including violence, revolution, coup attempts, political takeovers, riots, crackdowns, and vigilante direct action. Many of these governments are unstable, under substantial economic stress, and will struggle to crackdown on the growing populist opposition movements. Expect to see major governance and global political changes as world leadership is reshuffled over the next decade.
The Great Migration
In the United States, citizens continue to flee large cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and New York; in search of safer and more affordable living conditions. Businesses large and small continue to close locations in high crimes areas within these cities as the costs of security, theft (shrink) and the danger to employees, exceeds any potential profit.
Expect this migration pattern to continue although it may slow in 2023 and 2024 due to recessionary pressures. A significant political action however, could re-accelerate this migration in the short term. Either way, this is an ongoing trend that should continue over the next several years. Top destinations of migrators include Florida, Texas and Arizona.
This trend benefits receiving states through increased tax revenue and political power, however the danger with a mass influx of people from left-wing cities is that they tend to change the local politics in the areas they move to.
There is also a small counter-movement of people migrating back to left-wing strongholds, like those cities listed above, primarily to escape right-wing legislation like bans on child genital mutilation and hormone therapy. This trend is small and so far has little impact on the overall trend of migration from left-wing cities to right-wing states.
State nullification of federal laws is a process that is already underway. It started with the declaration of sanctuary cities for immigrants in left-wing areas. The right-wing followed this trend by creating sanctuary gun areas. The sanctuary gun movement was relatively short-lived but inspired the push for Constitutional carry or permission-less concealed carry which has been passed in half of the states in the US.
Another example of nullification is with marijuana laws. Many states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana possession and use for either recreational or medical purposes, although the drug is still illegal at the federal level.
The latest action is in states passing bills to ban local police from helping federal law enforcement with unlawful and unconstitutional actions. This is a new trend and results, so far, have been mixed.
Expect state nullification of federal laws to continue as the federal government continues its prosecution of political opponents and rampant disregard for the Constitution. Worth noting is nullification of federal laws is the first step in balkanization.
One indicator to keep a close eye on is whether states or local areas begin to nullify courts. That would be a significant advancement in nullification actions.
Balkanization is the break-up of the US into semi-autonomous or even autonomous regions. Balkanization could result in a smaller, less powerful federal government, a civil war as the federal government and allied states attempt to maintain power, or the complete collapse of the federal government.
Balkanization is an emerging trend that we expect continue over the next couple of decades. The ultimate result of balkanization is still difficult to determine as there many variables including global war, hot civil war, and economic failure that could complicate balkanization movements.
Under balkanization states will begin to exert more power over their borders and increasingly oppose federal government interference in their business. This may ultimately result in policies like the expulsion of federal agents from a state or even the enforcement of a state’s borders by local law enforcement.
Another trend that may develop is intentional efforts to make states less hospitable to political opponents, especially as right-wing states seek to push out left-wing residents to decrease opposition and consolidate power.
The fallout of pandemic policies is an ongoing trend. More people are realizing lockdowns, vaccines, masking and other policies were not just useless, but in many cases, were extremely damaging. Credibility of many institutions like the CDC, NHS and the corporate press has been further eroded due to their promotion of blatant pseudoscience to justify authoritarian control measures.
Individual lawsuits continue to make their way through the courts and results are mixed. Some lawsuits have resulted in reversal of mandates and lockdown policies, others have resulted in large cash settlements to workers who were illegally coerced to get Covid vaccines, and some have failed.
The long-term effects of Covid vaccinations are becoming better understood, and more people are speaking out about vaccine-induced disease, which was heavily censored until the last year or so. The public narrative is changing and the alarmists are losing.
Despite that, a settlement is the likely outcome over the next decade. Continued legal pressure on businesses, along with pressure on health systems and politicians over vaccine induced injury will likely result in new legislation. This legislation will provide a fund to compensate victims of Covid vaccinations, but it will also indemnify business-owners, governments, and pharma companies against more lawsuits. There may be some minor fines and penalties, but this will largely be a performative act to give the appearance that the government will hold people accountable. Instead, this will be bail-out for the government, pharma and big business, while attempting to placate the masses.
Technocratic Surveillance Failure
Many nations and transnational groups continue to push new technologies for more control. These technologies include digital ID, centrally-controlled digital currencies (CBDCs for example), service-based economies, carbon tracking and credit schemes, facial recognition, robot law enforcement and more. Collectively we call this suite of technologies technocratic surveillance state.
While there is a tremendous push to develop and implement these technologies, multiple roadblocks remain. One is adoption. Some of these systems, like digital currency, have been rolled it (see Nigeria), but suffered from extremely low adoption.
Another obstacle is implementation. Governments often struggle to implement large-scale technology programs, and these programs are plagued with issues. A great example from the US is Healthcare.gov. It is likely that, should these systems be implemented, technological failures and incompetence will hinder the correct function of these systems.
Lastly, there are issues with the technologies themselves. Many of the planned surveillance systems aren’t very effective. Facial recognition, for example, has a high error rate when analyzing images in low-resolution, poor lighting, in profile (side-view), or with face coverings that partially obscure the face. These technologies work great in controlled conditions, but start to fail frequently in the real-world. This may not prevent the implementation of mass surveillance technologies and control systems, but it will severely limit the effectiveness of such tools.
Western Elite Infighting
The western elite class (North America, Western Europe and Australia) face increasing pressure and isolation both domestically and internationally. There have been several major politicial losses in recent years and attempts to crackdown on growing opposition movements and consolidate power, have largely backfired.
We expect the power of western elites to continue to erode over the next decade. As this happens the elite class will fracture: Some will attempt to retain power through escalating tactics. Others will side with populist resistance movements, and still others will likely flee and make deals with geopolitical enemies like China. As this fracturing unfolds, infighting will break out between competing groups of elites, especially the entrenched elites who attempt to maintain power and those who leverage populist movements to remove the entrenched elites.
China Domestic Challenges
While China is engaging the United States on a variety of fronts in an effort to rebalance the global world order, the nation is vulnerable domestically. Economic challenges, pollution, over-population, and crackdowns have fostered popular unrest. This has manifested in several, sometimes violent, protests across the country, despite the harsh tactics the regime employs to crack down on protests.
The Chinese economy is heavily reliant on Western nations both for food imports and the purchase of manufactured exports. A war would result in serious food shortfalls and the destruction of a good portion of Chinese manufacturing.
China agressively built out key infrastructure over the past few decades. This strategy resulted int he rapid expansion of many cities, but the fast-pace involved cutting corners and defects will result in infrastructure failures.
Finally, China’s one-child policy (now reversed) has resulted in younger generations with far more males than females which will lead to social stress as a signifcant number of Chinese males will not be able to mind mates.