Thursday, December 8, 2016

US Power Will Decline Under Trump, Says Futurist Who Predicted Soviet Collapse :: Written by NAFEEZ AHMED for Motherboard

Motherboard



US Power Will Decline Under Trump, Says Futurist Who Predicted Soviet Collapse

Written by
NAFEEZ AHMED
COLUMNIST
December 6, 2016 // 09:30 AM EST
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Johan Galtung, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated sociologist who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, warned that US global power will collapse under the Donald Trump administration.

The Norwegian professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace and conflict studies as a scientific discipline. He has made numerous accurate predictions of major world events, most notably the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years.
Galtung has also accurately predicted the 1978 Iranian revolution; the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989 in China; the economic crises of 1987, 2008 and 2011; and even the 9/11 attacks—among other events, according to the late Dietrich Fischer, academic director of the European University Center for Peace Studies.

Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years. After the election of President Bush, though, he revised that forecast five years forward because, he argued, Bush’s policies of extreme militarism would be an accelerant.

After the election of Trump, I thought it might be prudent to check in with Galtung to see how he was feeling about the status of his US forecast. Galtung told Motherboard that Trump would probably continue this trajectory of accelerated decline—and may even make it happen quicker. Of course, with typical scientific caution, he said he would prefer to see what Trump’s actual policies are before voicing a clear verdict.

The model

Galtung has doctoral degrees in both sociology and mathematics, and some decades ago developed a theory of “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions”, which he used to make his forecasts. The model was based on comparing the rise and fall of 10 historical empires.

In 1980, Galtung used his theoretical model to map the interaction of various social contradictions inside the Soviet empire, leading him to predict its demise within 10 years.

“Very few believed him at the time”, writes Dietrich Fischer in the main biography and anthology of Galtung’s works, Pioneer for Peace, “but it occurred on November 9, 1989, two months before his time limit, 1990.”

For the USSR, Galtung’s model identified five key structural contradictions in Soviet society which, he said, would inevitably lead to its fragmentation—unless the USSR underwent a complete transformation.

The model works like this: the more those contradictions deepen, the greater the likelihood they will result in a social crisis that could upend the existing order.
In the case of the USSR, the main structural contradictions were as follows: the working class was increasingly repressed and unable to self-organise through trade unions (ironic given the country’s Communist pretensions); the wealthier ‘bourgeoisie’ or elite had money to spend, but nothing to buy from domestic production, leading to economic stagnation; Russian intellectuals wanted more freedom of expression; minorities wanted more autonomy; and peasants wanted more freedom of movement

The model works like this: the more those contradictions deepen, the greater the likelihood they will result in a social crisis that could upend the existing order.

Eventually, as the highly centralised structures of the Soviet empire were unable to accommodate these intensifying pressures, the top-down structures would have to collapse.

Galtung later began to apply his model to the United States. In 1996, he wrote a scientific paper published by George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution warning that “the USA will soon go the same way as [previous] imperial constructions… decline and fall.”

Fascism?

But the main book setting out Galtung’s fascinating forecast for the US is his 2009 book, The Fall of the American Empire—and then What?

The book sets out a whopping 15 “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions” afflicting the US, which he says will lead to US global power ending by 2020—within just four years. Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary “fascism”.

He argued that American fascism would come from a capacity for tremendous global violence; a vision of American exceptionalism as the “fittest nation”; a belief in a coming final war between good and evil; a cult of the strong state leading the fight of good against evil; and a cult of the “strong leader”.

Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary “fascism”.
All of which, Galtung said, surfaced during the Bush era, and which now appear to have come to fruition through Trump. Such fascism, he told Motherboard, is a symptom of the decline—lashing out in disbelief at the loss of power.

Among the 15 structural contradictions his model identifies as driving the decline, are:

economic contradictions such as ‘overproduction relative to demand’, unemployment and the increasing costs of climate change;
military contradictions including rising tensions between the US, NATO, and its military allies, along with the increasing economic unsustainability of war;
political contradictions including the conflicting roles of the US, UN and EU;
cultural contradictions including tensions between US Judeo-Christianity, Islam, and other minorities;
and social contradictions encompassing the increasing gulf between the so-called ‘American Dream’, the belief that everyone can prosper in America through hard work, and the reality of American life (the fact that more and more people can’t).
Galtung’s book explores how the structural inability to resolve such contradictions will lead to the unravelling of US political power, both globally, and potentially even domestically.

Global collapse

Trump has made clear that he thinks US troops are still needed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even proposed sending more troops to Iraq. He also said that we should have ‘grabbed’ the country’s oil. But he has also heavily (and incoherently) criticized US military policies.

Domestically, Trump has promised to deport 11 million illegal migrants, build a wall between the US and Mexico, compel all American Muslims to sign up to a government register, and ban all Muslim immigration to the US.

On the one hand, Trump might well offer an opportunity to avoid potential conflicts with great power rivals like Russia and China—on the other, he may still, stupidly, fight more unilateral wars and worsen domestic contradictions relating to minorities.
For Galtung, Trump’s incoherent policy proposals are evidence of the deeper structural decline of US power: “He [Trump] blunts contradictions with Russia, possibly with China, and seems to do also with North Korea. But he sharpens contradictions inside the USA”, such as in relation to minority rights.

On the one hand, Galtung said, Trump might well offer an opportunity to avoid potential conflicts with great power rivals like Russia and China—on the other, he may still, stupidly, fight more unilateral wars and worsen domestic contradictions relating to minorities.

Motherboard asked Galtung whether he thinks Trump would speed up his forecast of “collapse”, or slow it down.

Even if we give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he said, and assume that he “prefers solving underlying conflicts, particularly with Russia, to war—in other words for the US not be imperial—then yes, that still speeds up the decline from above, and from the center… Of course, what he does as a President remains to be seen.”

But what exactly is collapsing?

“An empire is more than violence around the world,” said Galtung. “It is a cross-border structure with a center, the imperial country, and a periphery, the client countries. The point about imperialism is to make the elites in the periphery do the jobs for the center.”

The center country may be a dictatorship or a democracy. So for Galtung, the collapse of the US empire comes “when the periphery elites no longer want to fight US wars, no longer want to exploit for the center.”

For Galtung, a key sign of collapse would be Trump’s attitude to NATO. The President-elect has said he would be happy to see NATO break-up if US allies aren’t willing to pay their dues. Trump’s ‘go it alone’ approach would, Galtung said, accelerate and undermine US global empire at the same time.

“The collapse has two faces,” said Galtung. “Other countries refuse to be ‘good allies: and the USA has to do the killing themselves, by bombing from high altitudes, drones steered by computer from an office, Special Forces killing all over the place. Both are happening today, except for Northern Europe, which supports these wars, for now. That will probably not continue beyond 2020, so I stand by that deadline.”

US break-up?

But this global collapse, also has potential domestic implications. Galtung warned that the decline of American power on the world stage would probably have a domestic impact that would undermine the internal cohesion of the United States:

“As a trans-border structure the collapse I am thinking of is global, not domestic. But it may have domestic repercussion, like white supremacists or even minorities like Hawaiians, Inuits, indigenous Americans, and black Americans doing the same, maybe arguing for the United States as community, confederation rather than a ‘union’.”

Galtung warned that the decline of American power on the world stage would probably have a domestic impact that would undermine the internal cohesion of the United States.
Galtung is not pessimistic about his forecasts, though. Having always seen the collapse of the “US empire” as inevitable—much like the collapse of the Soviet empire—he argues that there is real opportunity for a revitalization of the “American republic.”

The American republic is characterised by its dynamism, its support for the ideals of freedom and liberty, its productivity and creativity, and its cosmopolitanism toward the ‘other.’

Might Trump help revitalize the American republic?

Galtung’s answer is, perhaps, revealing: “If he manages to apologize deeply to all the groups he has insulted. And turn foreign policy from US interventions—soon 250 after Jefferson in Libya 1801—and not use wars (killing more than 20 million in 37 countries after 1945): A major revitalization! Certainly making ‘America Great Again’. We’ll see.”

That’s a big if.

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TOPICS: Trumped, Johan Galtung, sociology, predictions, futurist, Donald Trump, US Power

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Economics of Good and Evil

Over Nova Scotia...

Human...the documentary...

Flying back home from Paris...over the English Channel now...

Wonderful trip with my daughter...

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Heart of Tango :: Documentary Short




What is argentine tango? What makes it different form other dances? The core factors that define tango as a personal dance are examined in this film by american filmmaker Johnny Robinson...

Milonga Tango Short





Regia di Marco Calvise. Con Phlippe Guastella, Maria Victoria Arenillas, Leonardo Felix Elias, Marco Spaziani e Vincenzo De Luca.

DOP Timoty Aliprandi / Scenografia Valerio Barbet /
Costumi Flavia Figà Talamanca / Trucco Alessandro Scalero /
Parrucco Valentina Carrozzi / Montaggio Serena Dovì /
Post produzione audio Arianna Arcangeli -Daniele Guarnera

This short film has the patronage the Embassy of Argentina in Italy.

Festival di cinema:
*Capalbio Cinema International 2011- "Best Director Award"
*Settimo Senso 2011 - "Premio come miglior Corto"
*III Movieclub Film Festival 2011 - "Premio come miglior regia"
*Fiati Corti 12 - "Premio miglior interprete"
*5° Festival del Cinema dell'Aquila - "Miglior Corto"(cat.Abruzzo)
*6° Festival Cinematografico Cinema & Ciociaria premio "Nino Manfredi"
"2° Classificato miglior corto"
*8° A Los Gurkos Short-Film Festival - Innsbruck(Austria) "3° classificato miglior corto"

Selezione ufficiale:
*TFF - Torino Film Festival 2010
*Bif&st -- Bari International Film & Tv Festival 2011
*Cortinametraggio 2011 -- (fuori concorso)
*A Corto D'Idee 2011
*Figari Film Fest 2011
*Trani Film Festival 2011 (fuori concorso)
*XIII VideoLab Film Festival 2011
*Premio cinematografico Palena 2011
*Cinefilia Tanguera
*10°Salento Finibus Terrae
*11° Festival Internazionale del Cinema D'Arte
*VI Rassegna di cortometraggi SteniK 2012
*12° Cinema corto in Bra Festival 2012 - Bra(CN)

Festival Di Tango:
*I Montalbano Tango Festival 2011
*I Bari International Tango Congress
*IX Tano Tango Festival -- Napoli
*VI Choco Tango Festival - Perugia

Monday, July 11, 2016

Astor Piazzolla Oblivion Art by Ryan Woodward Vimeo

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/97399111" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/97399111">ASTOR PIAZZOLLA Oblivion (Art by Ryan Woodward)</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user11160215">1972thejourney</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dream Your Life Post

Write it

Sent from my iPhone

AlexTangoFuego