I've been reading Ian Welsh's posts for nearly five years now, and I can tell you that his predictions and trends analysis are uncannily correct. This is all the more remarkable, because he does not shy from bridging the edgy predictions that more "serious" people avoid. Oh, there are silly and sensationalist writers out there that may seem to strike the same tenor (*cough* Alex Jones *cough*,) but Ian is more specific and, more importantly, he backs it up with facts that are impossible to ignore.
Which makes his latest post all the more chilling ("Socially how the next 20 odd years will play out".) Once again, he ventures to the ledge of what most of us would feel comfortable with saying, and what he is saying will touch more of us than you think.
I admonish you to pay attention. As he notes in the comments thread, "when I’m wrong it tends be because I’ve been a bit over-optimistic (despite my reputation as a pessimist.)." Take it away, Ian:
Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks. The riots in Britain are an important event, and combined with the decision to double down on austerity they tell us a lot. This is my baseline, loose model for the next generation.What I have left out are Ian's comments regarding the folly of these actions, and how some of the revolutionary pushback against the State will likely appear. This is the "fun" part of the post, so I leave it to you to go and read the whole thing!
The decision has been made by Cameron and society in general that the way to respond to the riots is to crack down, hard. They are sentencing people to long sentences for minor crimes (a year for stealing a bottle of water) and they are extending the punishment to families, kicking people out of housing if a member of their family was arrested. They are discussing cutting people off from social networks, and in California today the powers that be cut off cell phone service during an entirely non-violent protest.
The decision has been made to double down on repression....
...Access to the modern credit economy will continue to be used as a weapon. There will also be continued removal of the right to travel, with no-fly lists moving to trains, and later to bus stations and eventually there will be a ramp up of stops of automobiles.
...You will carry ID, your biometric data will be centrally located as well as stored on ID, and this data will be used to control what privileges you have access to (you have no rights.)...
Meanwhile the ranks of the permanently unemployed will swell... If you don’t find a new job in 3 months, you are probably never going to have a good job again. The data is clear on this, what is also clear is that the developed world has made a hard turn for austerity, one which will do damage for years to come. A decade is modestly optimistic.
This will increase social disorder, of course, and our lords and masters and the remnants of the middle and working class who scream “they’re criminals, pure and simple”, will double down on repression, again and again....
As with most of my predictions, folks will scoff at this one, think I’m hysterical, and doom-monger, and so on. But this is just social mechanics played out over time. This is the glide path, it can be stopped, but it is unlikely to be.