Wake-Up Call: Top Trends of 2011

Posted 12/17/10

Wake-Up Call: Top 11 Trends of 2011

Dear Trends Journal Subscriber,

In mid-January you will receive our “Top Trends 2011” – The Trends Research Institute’s compendium of the dominant trends for the year ahead. The following …

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Wake-Up Call: Top Trends of 2011

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Wake-Up Call: Top 11 Trends of 2011

Dear Trends Journal Subscriber, In mid-January you will receive our “Top Trends 2011” – The Trends Research Institute’s compendium of the dominant trends for the year ahead. The following synopses of these trends provide insights into some of what to expect. After the tumultuous years of the Great Recession, a battered people may wish that 2011 will bring a return to kinder, gentler times.  But that is not what we are predicting.  Instead, the fruits of government and institutional action – and inaction – on many fronts will ripen in unplanned-for fashions.  Trends we have previously identified, and that have been brewing for some time, will reach maturity in 2011, impacting just about everyone in the world. 1.  Wake-Up Call The reputation of Gerald Celente and The Trends Research Institute is based on its willingness to “tell it like it is.”  Neither optimists nor pessimists, no matter whose interests it challenges, no matter whose feathers get ruffled, we are beholden to nothing but the facts … and follow them where they take us.  Though unafraid to call a spade a spade, we do so with as much respect as is appropriate to the matter. Thus, prevailing conditions and future trends require us to call it the way we see it, and with all due respect, this is what we see: the proverbial “s#%t has hit the fan.”  The chickens have come home to roost, the genie is out of the bottle, and yes, the jig is up. In 2011, the people of all nations will fully recognize how grave economic conditions have become, how ineffectual and self-serving the so-called solutions have been, and how dire the consequences will be.  Only little kids, ideologues, the uninformed, and the out-of-their-minds will still believe what they are being told by politicians, pundits and experts who have higher-ups to answer to, agendas to fill, and something to sell. Having become convinced of the inability of leaders and know-it-all arbiters of everything to fulfill their promises, the people will do more than just question authority – they will defy authority.  The seeds of revolution will be sown in the streets of failing nations, on the Internet, and at the polling places. 2.  Crack-Up 2011 Among our Top Trends for last year was the “Crash of 2010.” What happened?  The stock market didn’t crash.  We know.  We made it clear in our Winter Trends Journal that we were not forecasting a stock market crash – the equity markets were no longer a legitimate indicator of recovery or the real state of the economy.  We pointed out that the action in the Dow was “merely a reflection of the cheaply borrowed dollars that were being used to gamble.” What we did regard as reliable indicators included the employment numbers, the real estate market, currency pressures, and sovereign debt problems – all of which have bordered between crisis and disaster.  We informed readers, “The Trends Research Institute cannot predict what undreamed-of-schemes Central Banks will dream up this time….”  And dream and scheme they did.  TARP and the Obama stimulus were only the financial props that the government made public.  Just recently has it been revealed that secret backdoor bailouts amounting to over $20 trillion were funneled from the Federal Reserve, by way of “emergency lending programs,” to banks both foreign and domestic, hedge funds, select financial institutions, and favored corporations. It was no different on the other side of the pond.  The basic treaties agreed upon to establish the European Monetary Union were breached in order to bail out bankrupt banks and float nations sinking in sovereign debt. In 2011, with the arsenal of schemes depleted, we predict that teetering economies will collapse, currency wars will ensue, trade barriers will be erected, economic unions will splinter, and the onset of the “Greatest Depression” will be recognized by everyone … even if they refuse to acknowledge it. 3.  Screw the People As times get even tougher and people get even poorer, the “authorities” will intensify their efforts to extract the funds needed to meet fiscal obligations.  The first round of “austerity measures” imposed by European governments provides the first taste of what to expect from recession-plagued nations.  As the Great Recession extends its global reach, those high-flying emerging markets, which “experts” claim are immune, will also be submerged beneath loads of crushing debt and will also resort to austerity measures of their own. While there will be variations on the theme, the governments’ song will be the same: cut what you give, raise what you take.  Social safety nets will be torn and public services will be cut to the bone.  Getting a lot less will cost taxpayers a lot more.  While corporate tax rates are held sacrosanct and tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy are maintained or widened, the arm of the revenuers and the arm of the law will reach ever deeper into the pockets of prols.  The dulled minds of bureaucrats, whose own jobs depend on a steady stream of public funds, will shine with creativity as they look for any angle to wring the last penny from working men and women. Sales taxes, sin taxes, highway tolls, meter fees, park permits, license fees, water rates, and the fines for every minor violation – from nuisance laws to speeding tickets and jaywalking to litterbugging – will go as high as the traffic can bear … before it goes even higher. 4.  Crime Waves No job + no money + compounding debt = high stress, strained relations, short fuses.  In 2011, with the fuse lit, it will be prime time for Crime Time.  With little hope, few options, closed doors, and deep despair, Americans who had never thought of themselves as criminals will be driven to do what they have to in order to survive. As Gerald Celente says, “When people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”  Besides, from top to bottom, crime has become institutionalized.  In governments worldwide and from Broad Street to Wall Street, throughout corporate culture, and even at the bottom of the pile – among the welfare cheats and disability frauds – taking a stab at crime was already “as American as apple pie.” Aside from the “filthy rich,” hardship-driven crimes will be committed across the socioeconomic spectrum by legions of the on-the-edge desperate who will do whatever they must to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. 5.  Crackdown on Liberty As crime rates rise, so will the voices demanding a crackdown.  Not only will fighting crime be a major plank in campaign platforms, it will provide yet another weapon in the crackdown on liberty.  Under the rubric of Homeland Security and with the avowed purpose of fighting a “War on Terror,” Americans have already been stripped of critical Constitutional Rights.  Now, with a new front opening up, a national crusade to “Get Tough on Crime” will be waged against the citizenry.  And just as in the “War on Terror,” where “suspected terrorists” are killed before proven guilty or jailed without trial, in the “War on Crime” everyone is a suspect until proven innocent. Beyond the warrantless wire taps, computer intrusions, GPS monitoring, stop-and-frisk searches, full-body scanning, TSA groping, and CCTVs or Google Street View watching every move – even the skies will know no limit to surveillance.  Added to the satellite images taken from space, military-style aerial vehicles (UAVs) will soon bring the Afghanistan experience to American neighborhoods, starting with the Miami PD’s purchase of unmanned drones to hover over homes, follow suspects, and track enemies of the state. 6.  Alternative Energy As gasoline prices speed past $3 a gallon and endless arguments about global warming wear on, the world is expecting the “usual suspects” of solar panels, wind and water turbines, geothermal, and biomass to provide tomorrow’s green, renewable power.  But our real energy future lies on the far side of these interim technologies. In laboratories and workshops unnoticed by mainstream analysts, scientific visionaries and entrepreneurs are forging a new physics incorporating principles once thought impossible, working to create devices that liberate more energy than they consume.  Inventions that manipulate the hydrogen atom, spark low-temperature, radiation-free nuclear reactions, and capture useful power from the energy fields that surround us, are poised for commercialization. What are they, and how long will it be before they can be brought to market?  Shrewd investors will ignore the “can’t be done” skepticism, and examine the new trend opportunities to determine the winners and reap the rewards. And rewards there will be.  For those who are ahead of the times and on top of the trends of 2011 – developing, preparing, and planning for what lies ahead – there will be ample opportunities to be seized.  Fortunes, names, and careers will be made by tapping into the newly emerging energy trends that will come of age in 2011. 7.  Journalism 2.0 Though the trend has been in the making since the dawn of the Internet Revolution, 2011 will mark the year that new methods of news and information distribution will render the 20th century model obsolete.  With universal access to publishing and broadcast technology, web news is able to escape the stultifying and elitist agendas of the mainstream media.  With its unparalleled reach across borders and language barriers, “Journalism 2.0” has the potential to influence and educate citizens in a way that governments and corporate media moguls would never permit.  Of the hundreds of trends we have forecast over three decades, few have the possibility of such far-reaching effects. 8.  Cyberwars Just a decade ago, when the digital age was blooming and hackers were looked upon as annoying geeks, we forecast that the intrinsic fragility of the Internet and the vulnerability of the data it carried made it ripe for cyber-crime and cyber-warfare to flourish.  In 2000, even while downplaying the severity of the risk, governments and e-commerce titans boasted that they could provide ample defenses. In 2010, every major government acknowledged that Cyberwar was a clear and present danger and, in fact, had already begun.  Stuxnet, WikiLeaks and a host of “Anonymous” battles have disrupted infrastructures, compromised government secrets, planted malware (secret digital agents) deep in the most crucial government, military and control centers, and closed down e-commerce at will. The demonstrable effects of Cyberwar and its companion, Cybercrime, are already significant.  Equally disruptive will be the harsh measures taken by global governments –  in the name of Internet Security and fighting the “War on Terror” – to control free access to the web, identify its users, and literally shut down computers that it considers a threat to national security … however they define it. 9. Youth of the World Unite University degrees in hand yet out of work, in debt and with no prospects on the horizon, feeling betrayed and angry, forced to live back at home, with time on their hands and testosterone surging through their bodies –  young adults and 20-somethings are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Educated enough to understand that they will ultimately have to shoulder the debt burden acquired by their governments, as well as suffer from austerity measures, they are also savvy enough to know that if they don’t fight “against the machine” now, they will be run over by it for the rest of their lives.  Filled with vigor, rife with passion, but not mature enough to control their impulses, the confrontations they engage in will often escalate disproportionately. Anyone wondering about what happened to the protest spirit of earlier decades, will discover that all it takes to get youth back into the streets is a developed sense of the personal price that is being exacted from them. Government efforts to exert control and return the youth to quiet complacency will be ham-fisted and ineffectual.  Each small success and perceived incidence of government “caving” will lead to intensified protest.  The Revolution will be televised … and blogged, YouTubed and Twittered. 10.  End of The World! Get ready for Armageddon. The closer we get to 2012, the louder the calls will be that the “End is Near!” Of course there have always been sects, at any time in history, that saw signs and portents proving the end of the world was imminent.  But 2012 seems to hold a special meaning across a wide segment of “End-time” believers. Among the Armageddonites, the actual end of the world and annihilation of the planet in 2012 is a matter of certainty.  Some point to scripture, be it Revelations or Luke, as the source for their prophesies. Others say it was written in stone over a thousand years ago, in the detailed and sophisticated Mayan/Hopi calendar.  These believers pinpoint the coming of the “end” to occur on 21 December 2012. Even the rational and informed who carefully follow the news of never-ending global crises, may sometimes feel the world is in a perilous state.  Both streams of thought are leading many to reevaluate their chances for personal survival, be it in heaven or on earth. For the non-religious/non-prophesy prone, who fear economic, social and military chaos, “Survivalism” – and all that it entails – is a trend that will dominate in the year to come. For the others, repenting, converting, doing penance and praying will take up much of the energy that could otherwise be directed toward securing their safety in the here and now. 11. The Mystery Trend ... will be revealed the second week of January. Rest assured if there are any major developments or events that transpire between now and when the Trends Journal comes out, you will be notified via a Trend Alert. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year. Gerald Celente
©MMX The Trends Research Institute®
Cyberwars