TOP TREND: MID-YEAR UPDATE
2016 FORECAST: As 2016 dawns, the factors are clear: The rise of the Black Lives Matter protest movement, spontaneous campus protests over race issues, the sharp increase in far-right movements in Europe in the wake of the refugee crisis, the growing likelihood that more and more voters worldwide vote against a candidate rather than for other candidates, and many other indicators suggest a chaotic landscape of issue-targeted uprisings and protests that will be fleeting but robust. What’s missing is any issue that unifies a large body of angry citizens to rise in unison. Instead, these uprisings only trigger backlash movements, such as combating Black Lives Matter with Blue Lives Matter.
Immediately following the Brexit “Leave” campaign victory in the United Kingdom, reports of overt, in-the-light-of-day racism and related violent acts were cited across Britain.
Unleashed by the empowering vote, which boldly reinforced “Leave” supporters’ claim to economic and territorial sovereignty, the practice of political correctness further eroded.
On the American home front, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is breaking down political protocols while also popularizing the notion that political correctness is among the leading ills of the nation. As we forecast: “In the modern history of America, this election season will not only prove to be the most contentious, but also the most violent… From barroom brawls to offices, neighborhoods, friends and families, the more the campaign heats up, the harder the battle lines will be drawn and the greater the prospects for personal and even physical conflicts among a polarized populace.” (Trends Journal, Spring 2016.)
The number of high-profile violent examples is growing. In the United States, there was the sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers and wounded nine others during a protest following fatal police shootings captured on video in Minnesota and Louisiana, prompting nationwide anger. Meanwhile, overseas the number of mostly lone-wolf terrorist attacks has also increased.
IT’S READY TO EXPLODE
As we forecast: “From standing in line at the grocery store checkout, to attending just about any public event to dinner with friends, and even to driving to work, it is clear the slightest provocation can trigger angry, sometimes violent, overreactions.” (Trends Journal, Spring 2016.)
As we have repeatedly analyzed and forecast, the economic, cultural, physical and moral health of much of the civilized world is in rapid decline. And there are no pillars of moral strength in leadership ranks.
As polls and numerous other metrics show in country after country, vast majorities of populations have lost respect for their leaders, and clearly have a grim view of their future.
In “Empire America is fading fast” (Trends Journal, Fall 2013), we wrote: “When a critical mass of human spirit rises to higher levels, the state rises with it.”
The Brexit vote and even Donald Trump’s populist appeal share commonalities: The tremendous divide that separates the majorities from the elites, as proven by the data (62 people have more wealth than half the world’s population), has reached a compression point. The decline in quality of life most people endure — at the hands of neo-feudal rulers and the political and financial elites who live and play by a different set of rules — is a growing rallying cry for much of the civilized world, though often cloaked by sociopolitical or other issues.
Nonetheless, the roots of the powder-keg world we live in is the great divide. People are not only ready to explode, they are doing just that. TJ