Author Topic: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak  (Read 336 times)

Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« on: April 21, 2021, 04:10:30 PM »
As part of GenX, I feel like life for younger generations of Americans will continue to be more difficult than what we experienced. There are the problems associated with climate change, an aging population, the rise of China, college expense, plus social media has resulted in constant psychological stress, propaganda, polarization, and an undermining of democracy.

Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak

Every four years, at the start of a new administration, American intelligence agencies put out “Global Trends,” a weighty assessment of where the world seems headed over the next two decades. In 2008, for example, the report warned about the potential emergence of a pandemic originating in East Asia and spreading rapidly around the world.

The latest report, Global Trends 2040, released last week by the National Intelligence Council, finds that the pandemic has proved to be “the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II,” with medical, political and security implications that will reverberate for years. That’s not sturm und drang. It’s the prologue to a far darker picture of what lies ahead.

The world envisioned in the 144-page report, ominously subtitled “A More Contested World,” is rent by a changing climate, aging populations, disease, financial crises and technologies that divide more than they unite, all straining societies and generating “shocks that could be catastrophic.” The gap between the challenges and the institutions meant to deal with them continues to grow, so that “politics within states are likely to grow more volatile and contentious, and no region, ideology, or governance system seems immune or to have the answers.” At the international level, it will be a world increasingly “shaped by China’s challenge to the United States and Western-led international system,” with a greater risk of conflict.

Here’s how agencies charged with watching the world see things:

“Large segments of the global population are becoming wary of institutions and governments that they see as unwilling or unable to address their needs. People are gravitating to familiar and like-minded groups for community and security, including ethnic, religious, and cultural identities as well as groupings around interests and causes, such as environmentalism.”

“At the same time that populations are increasingly empowered and demanding more, governments are coming under greater pressure from new challenges and more limited resources. This widening gap portends more political volatility, erosion of democracy, and expanding roles for alternative providers of governance.”

“Accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions, and technology, as well as hardening divisions over governance models, are likely to further ratchet up competition between China and a Western coalition led by the United States.”

“At the state level, the relationships between societies and their governments in every region are likely to face persistent strains and tensions because of a growing mismatch between what publics need and expect and what governments can and will deliver.” ...
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2021, 04:36:27 PM »
They'd lose funding if they said everything was going to be peachy.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Hydra009

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 10:42:25 PM »
“Accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions, and technology, as well as hardening divisions over governance models, are likely to further ratchet up competition between China and a Western coalition led by the United States.”
Hmmm... I wonder what that could refer to?

*notes the steady decline of democracy worldwide: an erosion of democratic norms in some countries - in others, the imposition of some brand of authoritarianism*

Offline SGOS

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 05:08:07 PM »
*notes the steady decline of democracy worldwide: an erosion of democratic norms in some countries - in others, the imposition of some brand of authoritarianism*
Most anyone who hasn't been in a coma has noticed this, but it still perplexing.  I can understand it happening in the US.  We've been shifting away from unity and cooperation for 40 years.  Maybe it's been longer, but I started to notice it in the late 70s, I think.  I thought it was just what they call the "swinging of the pendulum," and was not seriously alarmed until about 20 years ago, and then terrified under Trump.  But you don't just blame these things on presidents.  Politicians, as a friend of mine observed, are just assholes waiting for something to happen that they can utilize to further their own needs.  Trump was a symptom, not a cause.

OK, but that only accounts for the US.  Why should it be happening world wide?  Maybe in three other countries here and there.  These things are bound to happen, but worldwide?  Is it because as a world leader, other countries look at the US and say,  "Hey, look what they're doing!  Why don't we act like assholes too?"  Tight resources?  Some countries have got to be winners in that case, all fat an happy.  Or maybe fat people aren't all that happy.

I've thought about this before, and I've yet to make sense out of it.  I read the article.  But I'm not satisfied with my understanding of the societal dynamics.

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 05:15:19 PM »
I've thought about this before, and I've yet to make sense out of it.  I read the article.  But I'm not satisfied with my understanding of the societal dynamics.

I think one factor is some people take democracy for granted. When democracy is all you have ever known, it can be easy to think what is happening over there couldn't happen here.
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline SGOS

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 05:33:56 PM »
But democracy installed Trump.  Then democracy uninstalled him, but both times on slim margins.  I don't think this is people taking democracy for granted.  It's more like a lot of people not understanding the purpose of democracy, at least here.  I don't know about other countries.  Here patriots talk about loving democracy, but act like they hate it.

Offline SGOS

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 05:37:50 PM »
I'm dreaming about a new three party system:
The Republican Party
The Democratic Party
The Democracy Party

Online Hydra009

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 06:24:34 PM »
Why should it be happening world wide?  Maybe in three other countries here and there.  These things are bound to happen, but worldwide?  Is it because as a world leader, other countries look at the US and say,  "Hey, look what they're doing!  Why don't we act like assholes too?"  Tight resources?  Some countries have got to be winners in that case, all fat an happy.  Or maybe fat people aren't all that happy.

I've thought about this before, and I've yet to make sense out of it.  I read the article.  But I'm not satisfied with my understanding of the societal dynamics.
I have absolutely no idea and would love to know as well.  My understanding is that the end of WWII saw a growth of democracies around the world, albeit weak ones and Cold War politics certainly didn't help if you know what I'm getting it.  Apparently, many of these weak democracies struggled and experienced reversals.  I have yet to encounter a good explanation of exactly what propelled them in that direction or even why they would want to change from a democracy to a non-democracy (presumably, non-democracies don't weather crises any better).

Since WWII, but also in much more recent history, sectionalism has been a huge thing as well as armed conflicts within a state.  No idea as to why that is suddenly ramping up.  Maybe it's related to the whole idea of states being unable to effectively deal with crises and discontent swelling to the point of direct action.

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 06:29:14 PM »
  Trump was a symptom, not a cause.
Amen, amen, amen!!  Like you, I was disgusted, then frightened by trump being voted in.  And then trump began showing us, as a country, what we were really about.  As a country we are not out of the woods yet.  There is no guarantee we will pull out of this dive into a dictatorship.  I am deeply puzzled by it still.  I doubt I will ever figure it out.   
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 07:20:33 PM »
Amen, amen, amen!!  Like you, I was disgusted, then frightened by trump being voted in.  And then trump began showing us, as a country, what we were really about.  As a country we are not out of the woods yet.  There is no guarantee we will pull out of this dive into a dictatorship.  I am deeply puzzled by it still.  I doubt I will ever figure it out.   
I could probably invent many theories, and I just began another one right in this post, but deleted it half way through, as it just felt intuitively wrong.  This happens to me over and over.  Basically, what I'm saying is that everything I come up with turns out to not make much sense, even when I came up with it.

I have a pretty good understanding of why America hates itself, and I even see what seem like clear causes over the last 40 years, but the idea of using violence to accomplish goals in a "democracy" is beyond my understanding.  It amounts to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It's also possible that the baby is really an ugly baby, and not the baby I think it is.  People seem to want something else.

Offline aitm

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2021, 09:25:12 PM »
We have become, have always been, but now more openly aggressive about it. “I worked for it, it’s mine, get your own, fuck you.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2021, 10:23:45 PM »
I could probably invent many theories, and I just began another one right in this post, but deleted it half way through, as it just felt intuitively wrong.  This happens to me over and over.  Basically, what I'm saying is that everything I come up with turns out to not make much sense, even when I came up with it.

I have a pretty good understanding of why America hates itself, and I even see what seem like clear causes over the last 40 years, but the idea of using violence to accomplish goals in a "democracy" is beyond my understanding.  It amounts to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It's also possible that the baby is really an ugly baby, and not the baby I think it is.  People seem to want something else.
Like you, I am puzzled and bemused and just don't see to be able to work my way to any sensible answers.  Maybe between politics and religion, sensible answers are not sought by anybody.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2021, 08:55:44 PM »
The future is bleak, but at least the masks are coming off.
White privilege is being a lifelong racist, then being sent to the White House twice because your running mate is a minority.

No Biden, no KKK, no Fascist USA!

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2021, 09:07:19 PM »
Thank God the masks are coming off!  We all know it was just an Antifa scam!!
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Online Shiranu

Re: Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 09:24:40 PM »
Recently saw Sir Swag talk about it on his monthly news show. Around 4 minutes in to 15 minutes he gives a good summary. It's... not good. There are optimistic outcomes, good outcomes... but I wouldn't hold my breath on them happening.

2040 is when they project it really just being complete suck, so at least I've got another good 10 years or so to enjoy life.