Predictions for 2013

2012 was a terrible year for America, and I fear 2013 is going to be worse. American politics and American culture celebrate how absurdly self-destructive they are. With that kind of attitude, it’s not a matter of if something bad is going to happen, it’s a matter of how much worse it’s going to be than last time.

In 2012 there were shooting sprees in a holy site, a movie theater and an elementary school. In 2012 red necks were talking about seceding and overthrowing the government. In 2012 every major protest in the country was terrorized into standing down by the police. 2013 is going to be worse, and I’m so sure of that because those events are symptoms of a stressed out, pissed off culture. The whole country isn’t going to completely change the way it looks at life in 2013. The only thing that’s going to change is everyone is going to be more stressed out and more pissed off. To make matters worse, the more stupid shit people do the less afraid other stupid people will be of acting stupid. So don’t be surprised if you see more copycat crimes and attempts to one-up the last crime.

If that’s not cause enough to panic, America has been flooded with guns. Even good, nice people are buying guns for protection. As good and nice as average Americans are, they’re also proud and skittish, and more than a few of them are stupid. So I predict there’s going to be an increase of accidental shootings in America in 2013, and that will cause ripples of stress through an already stressed society. Even if there are less shootings in 2013 than there were in 2012 the news media will find a way to make 2013 appear worse than 2012. So even if America is a better place in 2013 the media won’t let America believe it. Thus, people will keep acting like the sky is falling.

I see panic in the streets, and I see the American police responding with extreme brutality, which will cause more panic and more brutality and losses of freedom, and then that’s going to cause more ripples off panic and stress through the American conscience. Prison companies are certainly going to want to increase their profits. So they’re going to want more people in jail, and the American police force has been more than willing to supply them with as many bodies as possible. You can expect that to happen again in 2013 since the only thing that has changed between 2011 and 2012 is the police have gotten meaner and more invasive.

I see America’s problems snowballing, but I don’t see an apocalyptic collapse, and I don’t see anyone overthrowing the government. I just see fear, uncertainty, unemployment, hunger, depression, drug abuse and violence becoming more and more common place until Americans are more dejected than the Scottish.

We could avoid going down this path if America’s law enforcement agencies would recognize that they’re poking a bear with a stick by terrorizing protesters. American law enforcement agencies also need to realize that the public’s grievances are real, and the public will express them one way or another. If they can’t protest they’re going to do something more stupid. So the police should be helping the people organize and run protests. The police should be ensuring that the protests can successfully influence the government. But I don’t expect America’s police to try to help the American people in 2013.

The American people could change that. The American people could start an educational campaign focused directly at law enforcement agencies. The American people could shame their police force into acting like human beings, but I don’t see the American people getting that organized….especially since America’s law enforcement agencies tend to infiltrate activism organizations and disrupt them.

It’s going to take someone really, really smart to figure out how to change America’s trajectory, and it’s going to take someone really, really rich to roll that plan out. If it becomes trendy for Americans to pester really smart and really rich people to accept their social responsibility to save the world then maybe they’ll focus their talents and resources towards building a more sustainable world where poverty doesn’t exist. If a lot of smart, rich people got together and held a well organized conference about identifying/changing the fundamental flaws in American economy/government then they’ll have an even better chance of changing America’s trajectory.

But I don’t see anyone with clout coming to America’s rescue. So I predict that in 2013 the rich will get richer and the poor get poorer.

There are things each of us can do to change the world though. The first thing each of us can do is educate ourselves and help promote free online education. It couldn’t hurt to sign a petition to have the government give massive subsidies to free online education.

You can solve problems on your own. You can start your own problem solving club among your friends and family. Or you can join an existing meetup group. Just blogging about the world’s problems and nonviolent solutions to them will help. The more common productive ideas are the more people will think about them, copy them and one-up them.

The world can only change one person at a time. That starts with you and the next person you influence. You may look small in the grand scheme of things, but you have a supercomputer in your head. You can solve problems, take action and set precedents. If you spend 2013 singing pop music and talking about sitcoms then you can predict that 2014 will be worse than 2013. If you spend the next year talking about economic inequality and looking for ways to build more sustainable cities then there will be hope that America will pull out of its nose dive.

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