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Dali - Premonition de la Guerre Civile
Economy/Politics

Should a gentleman's house truly become his castle?

By Joffre Agnes
31/03/2009

There is no question that we are going through a major economic crisis. But when we come to defining this crisis, there are some strong disagreements: Is it simply a structural crisis like many before or is it much more than that, a crisis that would signal the end of capitalism as we know it?

LEAP/ Europe 2020

A European think-tank called LEAP/ Europe 2020, recently published a report claiming that, if political leaders and international institutions do not realise the seriousness of this crisis and start acting, then the worse is still to come with civil unrest exploding all over the world starting in October 2009 or perhaps even earlier.

Franck Biancheri - LEAP Europe 2020
Franck Biancheri - LEAP Europe 2020

Their theory is based on the fact that the current crisis is not just about economy but it is “a global systemic crisis”. Besides international regulation organisations are clearly failing at finding a solution and, if this continues, countries will start closing their doors in order to survive. If protectionism becomes prevalent, then matters can only get worse both economically and socially. Eventually, this would create a major loss of confidence in existing institutions and a rise in confrontations. In other words, we are potentially looking at: civil wars, chaos, apocalypse…

In the last few weeks, this has become more and more a discussion point and today with the G20 about to start, it is more on the cards than ever.


No, this is not a catastrophic scenario for the next film starring Will Smith but the forecast of a group which, a few years ago, also forecasted accurately this present crisis. This was well before the first worrying symptoms came to light. In addition,  LEAP/ Europe 2020 predictions are very precise: first and foremost  it is scheduled to begin in October 2009. Second, this is going to be more violent in the regions where social protection is less developed and where weapons are easily accessible… For some reason, American citizens will, it seems, be worse off! LEAP seriously advises them, to run away from these areas! The think-tank also has also suggested that making food, water and energy reserves is to be strongly considered especially in zones which are highly dependent on foreign countries. Should we also think about our houses becoming fortresses?

 

SOS
SOS

 

Other predictions

Civil wars, weakened states, international wars notably for energy resources, international institutional chaos, the thought made me tremble and as if this was not enough, I found much worse.  I was intrigued so I surfed the internet to find what other predictions were out there. Panic and chaos theories are definitely in fashion. Amongst others, I found a blog which predicts that the US will attack Iran in order to reflate their economy and stay world leaders. This war would even become nuclear, gathering together all the western countries against the Muslim world and thus ending as a global nuclear war, no less. This is supposed to be already on its way…

Drowning?
Drowning?

Another website presented a humoristic though cynical time line. Here are some extracts:

- January 2010: “In France, 100 000 people lose suddenly their jobs. Riots erupt all over the country and bank agencies get vandalized in southern and northern France” (only yesterday a Branch of RBS got vandalized in the City of London).
“Homeless invade Paris. In one night, 20 people die from cold and hunger (Nearly 100 in France alone). Metro stations stay open all nights long and massive soup kitchens are organised”.
- May 2011, “a violent manifestation takes place in Paris. Over one million people take part and the Champs Elysées get ran-sacked. Unemployment rises to twenty per cent”.
- July 2011, the Talibans get back in power in Afghanistan and form an alliance with China, Iraq and Russia against the US.
- Finally in February 2012, Cern’s Large Hadron Collider is started again and create a black hole… which will suck the earth in on itself within a few seconds. End of story!

 

So really, how worried should we be?

The two last chaos theories are not that serious but the first one is alarming. Is LEAP/ Europe 2020 a new Cassandra or just some vain oracles reading our future in a crystal ball? Should we all pack our stuff and move to the moon? Admittedly they were right concerning the financial crisis but, we must say that forecasting the worst is always a safe bet. If it happens, they were right and if it doesn’t, it’s thanks to the prediction… Besides, such pessimism is never a good option. People’s will is not taken into account and that will could change their behaviour . For instance, by behaving differently, we could change the turn of events. We can still find within ourselves a sense of fraternity and it should not be underestimated. Even a simple rise in confidence is a key element in resolving crisis. But when can we expect the feel good factor to return? Not for sometime.


As far as the US is concerned, it is true that they are in a dire situation. Only a few weeks ago, when Obama was elected, nationalism had never been so strong. The question is now: ‘Will Obama be able to keep us spirits up?’ Well, it is predicted already unemployment in the US will reach 10.3% by October 09. 

Percent Unemployed Seasonally Adjusted in the US.

Month

Date

Forecast
Value

50%
Correct /-

80%
Correct /-

0

Feb 2009

8.10

0.0

0.0

1

Mar 2009

8.5

0.3

0.5

2

Apr 2009

8.8

0.4

0.6

3

May 2009

9.1

0.4

0.7

4

Jun 2009

9.4

0.4

0.7

5

Jul 2009

9.7

0.5

0.8

6

Aug 2009

10.0

0.5

0.8

7

Sep 2009

10.2

0.5

0.9

8

Oct 2009

10.3

0.6

0.9

Updated Monday, March 09, 2009

Would you now say that the US is not in trouble? Of course crisis is also the best time to react and make things change for the best. Melodrama only leads to fear and put civil liberties into danger. Keep an eye on the upcoming G20 summit. It is a crucial meeting, maybe the latest chance for the richest countries in the world to find a common solution.


Right now your house is still your castle!

COMMENTS:

06/02/2011 - d_tennant said :

Don't understand!!

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