Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | February 25, 2009

Futures Tutorial Part 9


This is the bottom line finding of a 1990-92 study for the world of 2005-2015.   Allow me to explain what it meant.  It meant that from 1992 to 2015 the key to understanding what was happening across the world – was to comprehend the political perception of economic changes. 

The changes were independent variables.  Demography is destiny – and demographic  projections for the U.S. and the world were remarkably accurate.  The technology changes driven by the movement from the Industrial Era to the Information Era permeated every aspect of every society – over time.  The rapid transformations of demographics and technology were behind the real changes in economics. 

Economics is the root cause of the failure of the socialist, called communist, Soviet Union and the fall of the Soviet Empire. 

Economics explain the movement of money to oil-producing states which foster the Islamist mosques and imans that breed Islamist terrorists.   The price of airfare and the convenience of travel couple to economic hardships provide for the massive immigration of Muslims to Europe and other inter-European migrations. 

Economic opportunity explains the movement of legal and illegal immigrants to the U.S.

Economics explains ‘globalization’ and every attendant aspect – like wage pressures, vulnerability of whole industries, opportunities and more wealth for more people, transformation in India and China – as how the political affected economic opportunity, etc.

Yet, it’s the political perception of economic changes that matters.  The narrative of what is happening encourages, calms, enflames, discourages, and motivates humans to actions.  It’s true domestically and abroad.

The ‘heads up’ message to the senior leadership of the U.S. Army was to be aware of the political perception of the economic changes.  Those perceptions would shape the Army’s resources – personnel and budget and influence where, who and why it may have to fight.

This key applies to Virginia’s elected leaders also.  They should understand the economic changes across the Commonwealth.  Then, they could shape the narrative that leads to real solutions that work – rather than reacting to the issue de jour.

Unfortunately, I’ve found little appetite or even appreciation among Virginia’s elected officials.  I shared this whole presentation with two state-wide candidates.  Either I didn’t communicate – transmit clearly – or they didn’t receive 0r both. 

I had an idea for a Virginia-level think tank to produce studies that mattered for Virginia’s future.  A Heritage Foundation for Virginia in the late 90s.  A couple of other folks had the same idea.  No one has found the funding to make it a quality go.

In the early 00’s I presented the idea of a grassroots development of issues in an annual cycle in the RPV.  It passed the 1st CD and was approved, sort of, by RPV, but failed without top-down energy. 

The point of all this is this:  Very, very few things can be known about the future – beyond the next ten years.  But those things that can be discerned and key decision points are very, very important.  Leaders who don’t know them can not have a vision of the future that will work.  Such leaders can’t make changes that count, because they don’t see how their outputs become very different outcomes.

Furthermore, half of the leaders in Virginia and the Nation are worse than useless, they are dangerous in power,  because they ascribe to false teachings about the nature of our society, economics, science, history, etc.  They are wrong with almost every word that comes out of their mouths. 

Finally, the best we can do – I think – is teach in lovingkindness.  Look for leaders who will listen and learn.  Promote them, if we can find them.  Keep learning ourselves and sharing the wisdom we find along the way – especially from the Human Owner’s Manual – the Holy Bible.


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