Over your lifespan you will experience what we call the "Naked In The Wind" effect. And you will feel so probably several times until you die.
But what is this effect?
In vernacular terms, it would seem that everything is going to shit.
We are all, collectively, traversing through one such period in human history. Think about it.
The Chinese are advancing their plans to dominate the world (as we specified in The Great Chinese End Game) and they continue to improve their nuclear, chemical, cyber (and possibly biological) weapons.
Russia is expanding its territory (and reach) as we described in The USSR Strikes Again. Putin is beefing up his military and upgrading his nuclear, chemical, cyber (and maybe biological) weapons.
The USA, now lead by he-who-shall-not-be-trumped, will also, very, very soon began its own military re-renaissance. At the same time, he is weakening his allies (NATO) and cozying up to his arch-enemy, Putin.
North Korea is at it again, and getting increasingly desperate for the elusive fruits of its blackmail tactics (see North Korea The Blackmail Machine).
Afghanistan, Algeria, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the Ukraine, the United States and Yemen are at war in one way or another (i.e. declared, undeclared, civil, external or terrorism). This would be about 15% of all countries in the world.
And what about the economy?
Glad you asked.
For once, we won't give you the answer but will let the United Nations do it for us in its "World Economic Situation and Prospects - 2017":
"In 2016, the world economy expanded by just 2.2 per cent, the slowest rate of growth since the Great Recession of 2009. Underpinning the sluggish global economy are the feeble pace of global investment, dwindling world trade growth, flagging productivity growth and high levels of debt. Low commodity prices have exacerbated these factors in many commodity-exporting countries since mid-2014, while conflict and geopolitical tensions continue to weigh on economic prospects in several regions.
World gross product is forecast to expand by 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2018, with this modest recovery more an indication of economic stabilization than a signal of a robust and sustained revival of global demand. The slight increase in gross domestic product (GDP) growth projected for developed economies in 2017 is largely driven by the end of the destocking cycle in the United States of America and additional policy support in Japan."
Aha. Uhu. So. Everything is crap but don't you worry because eeeeeeverything is going to be just right. Believe us because we have such a fantastic track record of forecasting the economy. For example, the "World Economic Situation and Prospects - 2016" stated that: "The world economy is projected to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2016 and 3.2 per cent in 2017, supported by generally less restrictive fiscal and still accommodative monetary stances worldwide."
Aha. Uhu. So. Projected for 2016, 2.9% growth. Actual for 2016, 2.2%. Not only that but the "generally less restrictive fiscal and still accommodative monetary" stance did not materialize. In other words, they have no clue whatsoever what is going to happen. And this is the United Nations, the bedrock of bureaucratic drones who need to justify their existence by crunching numbers and creating reports. Also, let's not forget that their key purpose is to be the cheerleaders and hooligans of politicians. Don't believe us? When was the last time that the UN outright criticised (as an organization) a given economic measure? Don't bother…
Basically, we are still screwed, as we described in Operation Scorched Earth - The New Economic Policy and Operation Scorched Earth Is Right On Track.
So. Let's recap.
- The world is at war or those-who-count are preparing for war.
- The economy is in the dumps.
- And you are probably going through a cold or some other regional/seasonal malaise.
See what we mean?
You feel like you are naked in the chilling wind and the windchill factor is only getting worse. And don't get us started with global warming...
Well, we are here to tell you that eeeeeeverything is going to be OK. Perhaps. Maybe. Probably not in your lifetime.
Allows us to explain.
Back then when we started this little boondoggle of a site, we posted an article titled The Law of Political Systems Direction (typos and everything). In it we described how and why Freedom, Security and Prosperity have been steadily improving since we discovered different forms of governance. There is nothing in our current human environment that invalidates this process. This is the good news.
However, we also mentioned several times, that once a computer reaches the capacity to operate as an entrepreneur (i.e. Kurzweil's "singularity") all bets are off. We are not yet at this point, but we are getting closer. Probably by 2030.
Also in our article Political Systems Lifecycle we explained that political system changes are not straightforward, unidirectional and absolute. They are convoluted, multidirectional with different timings for different countries, transitional and, more importantly for our current discussion, riddled with opposing trends.
What this means is that even though the main trend still points towards a constant improvement of our lives, the intermediate trend points towards a worsening of conditions. It is this trend that we are experiencing now and as this trend is medium-term (i.e. not short-term) we cannot see the end of it. We are talking decades versus millennia (long-term) and years (short term).
This analysis is why F&P was created in the first place. This is why our motto reads "Keeping you sane in confusing times".
Thus, the simple message for you, dear reader, from us is… well… simple. Don't despair. We are still on track towards a better future. For now. Hunker down. Protect yourself and your family as best you can and hope for the best. So far, in the long term, we, humans, have done OK. Your hope is justified in history, and we believe in you.
The crew at F&P.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.