Thursday, January 7, 2016

Paradigm Shift in 2016

Something is happening that points emphatically in the direction of paradigm shift.

Oil prices are the lowest they have been in ten years; lower than they were during the period of the Lehman Brothers meltdown. Chinese stocks dropped today, forcing a halt in trading. China is the engine of global economic growth. Saudi Arabia is in the midst of forcefully breaking free of the Pax Americana in the Middle East, meaning there is an even larger war to come. This does not bode well for the future of the European Union, which is already reeling from a refugee crisis. The spate of groping assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve is certain to translate into a nativist upswing at the German polls.

In the United States, with Obama weeping in the White House over gun violence, a right-wing militia continues its armed rebellion at the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and a reality TV star continues to dominate the presidential race (even if he isn't currently polling ahead in Iowa).

Two-thousand-sixteen promises to be the year that the dominant neoliberal paradigm of the last 40 years cracks irreparably. That's my prediction.


  1. "Two-thousand-sixteen promises to be the year that the dominant neoliberal paradigm of the last 40 years cracks irreparably."

    We can only hope.

    1. Though we are not gifted with over-the-horizon perspective, I think it is safe to say that there will be no peace forthcoming in the Middle East. Any move in that direction is always met with the Saudis broadening the frame of conflict. Clearly al-Saud only went along with P5+1 nuclear deal on the condition that Assad would go. Assad is not going to go, at least not as quickly as the Saudis would like, and the Saudis want that to be as quickly as necessary to keep the pressure on Iraq and Iran. So war will continue. The EU will disintegrate. (The Schengen agreement is already in tatters.) In six months hopefully one of the member governments (Italy?) will block renewal of sanctions on Russia. With Brussels silenced as a parrot of U.S. policy maybe the multipolar world can truly can take wing. If Bernie Sanders -- no Eugene Debs, not even a Norman Thomas, more like Hubert Humphrey -- can raise $33 million in small donations in one quarter, then you know people, not to mention those who have already decided to go with Trump, are desperate for change, any kind of change.