The Ordinary Futurist: 2010 of my own predictions on government and society

Okay – so this is the least interesting of the three “How did I do in my predictions for 2010 posts” unless you find failure interesting.  This what I had to say about society and government, where I went out on a limb into international relations and fell off, landing face-first in the mud:

Prediction: The hard-line Iranian government will fall, and some confusion will follow. This will help in Iran, although it won’t solve all of the problems.

How did I do? Missed the mark.  There was a recent (failed) attempt to get him impeached, and he may not make it through 2011, but the general scenario I predicted must have been wishful thinking. The people did not overthrow him, not one little bit.

Prediction: China will see more protests about a variety of things (not sure, though, what they will do about it – I don’t see an Iran-like situation but more continued flexibility).

How did I do? Missed again.  Yes, there were some protests in the spring, but there has been more news about the government of China protesting our actions (or other government’s actions) than about the Chinese people protesting.

Prediction: The US will have tighter working relationships with Canada, and maybe with Mexico. Changes to NAFTA may be talked about seriously and tied loosely to immigration discussions

How did I do? Three strikes.  We still have a good relationship with Canada, but it hasn’t particularly strengthened this year, and of course Wikileaks has weakened it as it has weakened diplomacy everywhere. Not much though, as far as I can tell.  As to Mexico?  It’s drifting ever closer to a failed-state status, at least across the whole of its border with us.  There appears to plenty of black-market trade in guns and drugs.  This is nothing new, and not at all what I meant.

Prediction: Once health care is passed (or not), attention will be split between changes in energy use and more anti-terrorism measures. These are, of course, tightly linked. People will begin to see the linkage more clearly.

How did I do? I’m not sure what happens after a fourth strike. The real story was the economy and instead of the logical linkage of alternate energy and jobs (there was some linkage and some stimulus money in this direction, but less than there should have been) we ended up with fights over tax breaks and an agreement that’s sure to break the bank further.  If we’re already in debt, how about we add more by extending tax breaks that were supposed to go away and extending unemployment and not paying the piper now for either choice?  Wish I’d been right, sorry I wasn’t, but I wasn’t.

Prediction: Iraq will feel like a memory, but Afghanistan – not so much. The usual war-hungry republicans will try to take Obama down through his position on Afghanistan, but what they’ll really do is save him from immolation by the democrats for his position of Afghanistan. In other words, politics as usual. Whatever the party in power is doing will be slammed by the party that’s out of power, even if it’s their usual MO. We will stay ridiculously divided across senseless lines of red and blue light.

How did I do? Almost right.  Iraq is a memory, Afghanistan is a current focus, and the country is – if anything – more divided.

So not so good on these.  There were wildcards, of course, including wikileaks which may leave a different world in its path.  But that didn’t directly affect most of my failures.  International relationships are more of an interest than an area of expertise, so I think I’ll just leave out this category on 2011 predictions.  I’m capable of learning my strengths and weaknesses.


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