Trent Hazard Writes

@TrentHazard

Writer. Futurist. Analyst. Developer of intelligence systems and processes. Lives at the intersection of technology, security, and very bad intentions.

https://trenthazardwrites.com @TrentHazard Guestbook

A First Class Seat on a Runaway Train

The Next Web takes a look at why authoritarianism is winning and is, frankly, likely to keep winning - at least until the price of removing it (in bodies and lives ruined) is astronomically high:

The upper and middle classes in Germany during the 1920s-1940s were almost twice as likely to join the Nazi party than those with lower social status. So it may be that those who have the most to lose and/or are keen to climb the social ladder are particularly likely to conform. And, of course, if other members of your social circle are conforming, you may think it’s the “appropriate” thing to do.
Few will fight Gilead after carefully weighing up the consequences – after all, the most likely outcome is failure and obliteration. What drives forward fights against an oppressive society is a rival vision – a vision of equality, liberty and justice, and a sense that these should be defended, whatever the consequences.

Apologies to the three or four of you who have might have found the holiday optimism of this new blog encouraging. I'll try to keep that going through 2020 but dealing with dark side of the world is what actually pays my now very organized bills.

In 2015 I spent quite a bit of time quietly working on this issue with government officials and a few others. We looked at how the trend toward authoritarianism was likely to evolve over the next 15 years or so. At the time the our findings looked grim. Very grim. In fact, they were so uniform and so grim that we were seriously concerned that our forecasts were flawed. They were not - at least not in the way that we thought they were. 

With a little history under our belts we now know that those forecasts were too optimistic. Social and political shifts we had set to occur at 2025 or later have already occurred. We are on a runaway train. A handful of people are tugging at the broken brakes but nobody knows how to fix them.

We have trends, science, and history to guide us but the future is ultimately unpredictable. The current crop of leaders with authoritarian tendencies, at least some of them, might be defeated before they cement control. We might buy ourselves a little time. However, now is the time to think about what you stand for. Would you rise up when needed? Would you put yourself at risk? How, exactly how, would you fight back? This is not a call to arms but a call to reflection. Don't lie to yourself either. As the article states, and as history shows, most people will put their heads down and choose self-preservation. If we can engage with these issues consciously, instead of reflexively, we stand a much greater chance of making the right decisions.


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