October Surprises

In the scenarios of the future outlined by experts of the United States Intelligence Community in 2008, the “October Surprise” looked foreign. Until the last October 2012.

Then, this scenario implied a radical change of nature in a package with a global decrease in the volume of drinking water and food available. It is noteworthy that the scenario included also such events as the transfer of the New York Stock Exchange to a less vulnerable area, a loss of legitimacy of governments because of failures in combating the effects of environmental disasters. Even more curiously, the scenario provided the following piece of speech of the U.S. President on October 1, 2020 at the United Nations. This is, once again, written in 2008!

“A regular session of the UN General Assembly coincided with unprecedented flood in Manhattan. The problem is that we did not believe that this could happen. We believed that the effect of climate change would be felt only at the end of the century, but it showed its power last night. We were advised to disperse energy sources. Tragically, we have actually ignored these warnings. We thought first of all, about economic growth. But the wave flooded Wall Street, disrupted the New York Stock Exchange operations. All this creates a terrible agenda worse than we expected to see 20 years ago.” Curtain … or Long live futurology!

Although at the current level of development of science, we cannot say with certainty that Hurricane Sandy had the motivation to hit exactly New York. However, this hypothesis cannot also be rejected completely.

Sandy pinpointed at New York and its Wall Street. The whole technosphere of the “Big Apple” shook. Fatalities are relatively few, but a little publicized spectacle of flooded subway stations and stores of derivatives for almost of USD 30 trillion draw quite an impressive picture of the catastrophe. Of course, no one will tell the exact extent of a little damaged securities, but that a lot of “toxins” will be written off to the hurricane is no doubt. People love to parasitize on natural disasters. At least the ones who survive.

The year 2012 demonstrates the invincible force of nature. And living in spite of all typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, the human civilization solves its tasks terming it “a response to the challenges.” There is many a challenge today; their number and scale are growing. For the three major geopolitical areas they have their nuances.

First, in the U.S. presidential election Barack Obama won and the world view expressed by him. The topic of social inequality, the debt overhang on the population, rent income, governmental investments in the space of public discussion in the U.S. continues to build momentum. However, challenges of the natural elements and objectives of keeping the global leadership in technologies and energy self-sufficiency give strategic impetuses to the U.S. development.

Second, the Chinese leaders have succeeded to come to the opening of the 18th Congress without unplanned upheavals. Admittedly, the confidence in the power of the communist theory in the transition to an information society has shaken. In pot shots, they have begun to name, though quite “authorized”, the system of power, the party at fault in environmental pollution, growing social stratification, outdated economic model. It is noticeable the emphasis in the party debates on the threat of civil unrest. Meanwhile, the expansion of China into outer space, the Arctic and in the areas of energy-saving efforts continues.

Third, Europe has become a key testing ground for new “designs” of civilization. It is there new formats of regionalization erasing the influence of nation-states and creating the potential of territorial reformatting are test run, the institutes of supranational governance are underway. Europe, with all the seeming civilizational leadership is undergoing major mutations in the economy, demographics (aging and the growth of the minority status), ethnic face, and value orientations. Admittedly, the barbed wire around the buildings of the European Union in Brussels — it is also quite symptomatic.

Fourth, the World Bank and IMF have generated actively enough new approaches to the development, shaping their “new relevance”. Jim Yong Kim has quite informatively stated his views on the new strategy, explaining the concept of “delivery.” One can find fault with the theoretical novelty of this approach, but the topicality and pragmatism is there for both purely banking operations, as well as for political and ideological innovations. Though not the courage “expropriation of expropriators” for a half of the 20th century but a fairly successful novel connecting ideologemes of social justice and logistical efficiency. Many VIPs of the global establishment have refined the interpretation of democratic ideals. This theme today has many diverse projections practically everywhere. Already half-forgotten, even in the Middle East constructions of the introduction of coalition forces to other countries for solutions of domestic policy issues are discussed at the official level as a quite acceptable prospect.

The said futurist report is a fairly lengthy document. Many of its narratives have already come true. Earlier than the period mentioned. As once Woland, the avatar of the writer’s imagination observed: “Yes, man is mortal, but that would not be so bad. The bad is that sometimes he is suddenly mortal. That’s the trick! In general, he cannot say what he will be doing this evening. “

Admittedly, there are other words, and not by the avatar at all, “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24: 42).