Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | February 20, 2009

Futures Tutorial Part 7


The last step before looking at the findings for what the future might be is to look really hard at where we are now.  This slide captures in the broadest shorthand (pun intended) what is going on in the U.S.  The Germans call it Zeitgeist.  The spirit of the times is important.  It shapes what you can expect Americans to do.  It creates limits, or parameters, that make that circle – called the cone of plausibility for the future.

From 1991 to September 11th 2001 the U.S. was deciding what to do in the world in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.  It was the same Strategic situation that Rome had after the defeat of Carthage.  Believe it or not, I actually wrote that in the early 90s.   Meanwhile, the world was racing into the Information Era with no idea about the primary, secondary or tertiary effects.  Just discovery along the way.  And, of course, the long Great U.S. Culture War, our ACW II, wore on into its 3rd decade.

Since 9-11 the U.S. has wrestled with the World War Against the Islamists, WW IV, which divided the country along the same lines, roughly, as the ACW II.  Meanwhile, in the absence of political courage the Nation is heading for bankruptcy, before today’s financial travesties, with Social Security, Medicare, and Prescription Drugs leading the list of unaffordable entitlements. 

See below how I added some details to the sitrep.  We could discuss this for pages.  The point of the exercise, if you are doing futures work, is to make sure you do this current assessment of your organization or whatever you are long-range planning.




  1. Interesting. My SITREP on ACW II is that the recent Gallup poll on the importance of religion in one’s life ( produces a COP that roughly parallels the voting map from the recent elections. Although this isn’t a Christian question, the poll results indicate that this may be the most fundamental question that determines positions on a host of issues, to include war and peace.
    Dr. James Dobson ( a psychologist not a minister as the MSM always refers to him) once said that the completion of the statement “God is. . .” determines where we stand on every issue. Whether one completes it that God is Jesus, Buddha, dead, Jehovah, Allah, non-existent, Geia, The Cosmos, Pan or whatever, this statement drives everything else.
    If one wonders why we seem to be following Europe toward socialism, merely consider their empty churches and ours that are emptying in those parts of the country.
    God Bless Dixie.

  2. Hooah. Indeed, you can look at data from and boil it all back to this – worldview sets perspective. Specifically, you can look at what populations read the Bible and predict opinions for most issues (exception being Black Christians voting against their convictions by voting Dem) – and create an ideological common operating picture.

    I use shorthand – Culture Commands. Demographics are destiny. Except individuals can articulate ideas that motivate humans – which changes minds, which changes culture, which changes demographics.

    So, until the North and Coasts become more Evangelical Christian and believing Catholic/Orthodox, then they will stay Liberal.

    Thanks again.

  3. Very true.
    It is frightening that so few understand worldview and its basis.
    Eternal questions such as the nature of man, that Judeo-Christian and western culture had answered with a Biblical worldview, found new answers with Rousseau and the Enlightenment. This change in perspective as to the nature of man logically led to Nietsche and Marx. The idea that man is basically good and corrupted by society, institutions, poverty, rascism, religion et al. has become the dominant philosophy in our country. With that worldview, one doesn’t need a savior from sin, but a savior from traditional institutions. Hence: Obama.
    If one looks at Barna’s research the proof of our more widespread decline is seen in a plurality of even evangelical Christians disbelief in the fundamentals of Christian doctrine. This does not bode well even for the “conservative” regions in our country. And we are following the rest at an ever accelerating pace.

    We need to engage the society vigorously on the intellectual and political to get them to delve below the superficialities of popular culture and Obamaism and learn the depths and richness of traditional western culture. This in turn my also lead many to Christ.

    As we do our IPB (intel prep of the battlespace) we need to identify where our opponents are coming from philosophically as understanding their worldview will offer us the openings where we can inject truth and persuasion.
    In this I think Chuck Colson has it pegged.

  4. Very interesting post. The past always dictates the future.

  5. Duey: Thanks. The past shapes the future for sure.
    Dry Viking: Read Gertrude Himmelfarb’s book on the Enlightenment (forgot the exact title). She shows how different the American, British and French Enlightenments were. Our Conservative ideas flow directly from the American Enlightenment. The Liberals come from the French Enlightenment and their screwed up Revolution.

    I think you can do an IPB of where the Libs and their running buddies (for now, until the Libs get their throats slit) the Islamists will go in ideas, rhetoric and options for action. Use the methodology I’ve laid out here.

    Like any COA there are branches and sequels, but they need to be scoped out – laid out – and prepared against.

    The Holy Ghost transforms one human heart at a time. Likewise, one human mind gets educated at a time. I hope I’m part of that here in Virginia.

  6. The Roads to Modernity. Thanks.

    The main reason the libs have decided to support their current “running buddies” who you so rightly point out would gladly slit their throats is because they perceive them as anti-American. The libs are anti-American at their core because we represent the legacy of the Judeo Christian western heritage. It all goes back to worldview and the nature of man. If one operates from the materialistic worldview, one logically should be anti-American (at least what we refer to as traditional American thought and institutions like the family, church, industry and the Constitution). That is why many libs consider themselves “citizens of the world” more than Americans. They would be happy to see us replaced by a global regime. COMINTERN clothed in new clothes.

    You are also spot on that Europe moved away from this heritage by adopting a philosophy based on a different worldview and the difference between our revolution and the one in France are demonstrative of the foundational differences. The fact that they have largely won the battle of ideas there and here in this hemisphere and as their philosophy is taught in all our schools and dominates popular culture (considered cool) explains our drift toward Eurosocialism and worse. They are playing with fire though by yielding to their domestic Islamists. They will be ruthless and the libs will be swept away by them.

    I remember being a young ROTC midshipman during the Viet Nam War and seeing the difference between pre-1968 and post 1968 anti-war demonstrations. Earlier on they were dominated by American flags and peace signs. Later they were dominated by Enemy flags, Che Guevara posters, Little Red Books and Red Stars.
    The movement changed from anti-war to anti-American. That is why anti-war activist Jane Fonda would show up on a communist AA battery pretending to shoot down American planes and still be refered to as “anti-war”. She never has been an anti-war activist. She is anti-American. They also are not anti-military, they are anti-our military.
    The communists did (and still do, Raoul Castro, Chavez et al.) use them as “useful idiots”. Now the islamists are doing the same.

    By the way, as a fellow Tidewater resident, I appreciate what you do her on this blog and it local politics. I largely share your understanding of American history including our two wars of independence and also Norman Podhoretz coining of WW IV for our current conflict. WW III was a world war, from its campaigns in Berlin, Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba et al. It had a victor and a vanquished. True it was different than WWII but that war was also different than WWI. WW IV is proving to be different than WW III, although some think we can fight it the same way and some think it isn’t a war and the bad guys have legitimate complaints against us, just as many of them thought (and some still do) that the communists were right.
    Anyway, sorry to wander so far and wide on what is supposed to be a futures tutorial, thanks for what you do.
    Semper Fi- Dick Roten

  7. Dry Viking: Our dialogue is an example of how Rush Limbaugh became a rich man. We came to the same ideas – and conclusions – independently. Rush expresses the views of millions who share the same thoughts but don’t have a microphone.

    Interesting how we came to so many of the same positions.

    We have to stay engaged in ACW II (III) and WW IV as long as we are healthy for our kids, their kids, their kids.


  8. Dittos

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