Summary: The FM website project begins a new phase. Welcome aboard to those willing to look at terrifying aspects of America’s future. It’s not a journey for everybody’s taste, or even tolerance.
A new phase for the FM website project
Look at the subject menus on the right-side bar. Pretty bland, the subjects of stuffy earnest NYT op-eds. We are losing the WOT, activists on the Left and Right of the climate wars misrepresent the science (even The Guardian now says so), income and wealth inequality are skyrocketing, globalization has severe and painful side-effects (which have been ignored), the American Republic is in peril, the structural flaws in the European Union threaten the entire project, the US has entered a period of structurally slow growth, the news media feed us lots of fake news, a new industrial revolution has begun and might destroy tens of millions of jobs, cybersecurity will be one of the big conflicts of the 21st C (and the news stories about it are mostly bogus), etc.
The common element to these themes is that they were all controversial when I began them. As seen in the incredulous, often hostile, comments. We are winning the WOT, inequality isn’t rising and not a problem, the economy of Spring 2008 is strong, only the ignorant believe that new tech won’t create jobs replacing those lost, Left/Right don’t exaggerate or misrepresent climate science, the US government wouldn’t lie about cyberattacks, we love fake news, etc.
That’s a feature of the FM website project. It looks at evidence from the cutting edge of geopolitical (broadly defined) change — things on the edge of the known. Which explains the long cycles of its popularity. Non-consensus stories become accepted by Left or Right (fit into their good guys/bad guys narratives), and the pageviews grow. Americans like the familiar. At roughly a 1.5 million/year I change the focus to new, unexplored, and scary subjects. Viewers flee. I have come to accept that as a feature, not a bug (eventually understanding what was explained to me in 2007 by the man who set up this website).
Now we begin the cycle again. You will continue to see reporting about the long-term themes, which I have covered since 2003. Most importantly, I will continue to explore ways to begin the reform of American politics, either revitalizing the Second Republic, build on the Constitution — or building a better Third Republic for our children. It may be tilting at windmills, but at least I am trying.
Adding to these familiar themes you will see articles about the exciting and terrifying forces reshaping America, subjects too hot for the major news media to mention. The biggest new theme is the gender revolution. I wrote a few articles about this in 2009, with evidence of women moving on top of men (here, here, here). In 2012 I asked what is the future of the family? In 2013 a different perspective on that: Do we want to bring back traditional marriage? What is traditional marriage? In 2015, I began to see the vast dimensions of this revolution, and at a slow and accelerating pace began to explore it (see all posts on this subject).
As usual, many readers fled. West Coast traffic has dropped by 80%, although overall traffic remains at a million/year. More will flee as I explore both sides of the revolution, looking at it from both men and women’s perspectives (as with the climate change posts, where defending the IPCC was attacked by both side).
Tomorrow’s post will sketch out the front lines in the gender wars. I guarantee everybody will find large elements of it to be unacceptable — coloring outside the chalk lines on America’s sidewalk. That’s the history here, why 90% of the 50,000+ comments either critical or hostile (or threatening). Perhaps these comments are the best compass showing that we are exploring unknown but important matters. Post your opinions. I’ll reply as best I can. Together we’ll travel into the future.
For More Information
Look at the right sidebar to see the range of subjects covered on the FM website. At the top is the “subscribe” box. Especially note the search box, the categories dropdown menu, and the tag cloud. News about the themes followed here are posted on Facebook and on Twitter. If you like anything you see here, please pass it on to friends or in comment threads elsewhere. Also, see the tip jar on the top of the right sidebar!
- Lessons learned from the FM website project after 14 years and 4,000 posts — and 8 million pageviews.
- Join the Fabius Maximus website to see into our strange futures! — See the most popular posts of the past year.
8 thoughts on “We begin a new phase exploring terrifying aspects of America’s future”
Family and sex roles are dangerous territory. If you haven’t read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Across_the_Sea_of_Suns written in 1984, there’s a fascinating vignette toward the end of the book where the hero undergoes therapy to address his negative reaction when one of his partners (in a three way) decision to change her sex to male. The author also talks about a global war between the Asian powers that he describes as having gotten much better at capitalism and technology than the capitalists and the declining western powers. At that point China had just begun its transformation so this was a fairly radical prediction. SciFi is fun and often far more on point than the media.
Thanks for the pointer!
“SciFi is fun and often far more on point than the media.”
Alternative perspective: Sci Fi is a bit like astrology and other forms of fortune-telling. All make countless predictions. Almost all are wrong, but we see the few hits as evidence of success. I am lightly familiar with sci-fi back to the 1930s. Some of it is accurate about specific future tech (as are many others not writing sci fi). None of the sci fi authors I’ve read is good at predicting the future course of society.
I wish you well in this latest chapter, FM, and look forward to seeing the future slightly more clearly.
FM: “It may be tilting at windmills, but at least I am trying.”
On a different topic, I have been exploring (very slowly because time and resources are at a premium) the local Democratic party in an effort to shift their Overton window in a more useful direction and have decided to report my experiences. Other people’s experiences may differ (I hope they do!) based on their location and political connections.
I am an independent by nature but decided to explore the Democrats because I had already explored the new Republican party during the formative days of the Tea Party movement. In hindsight, I really didn’t discover anything that couldn’t have been predicted by a more cynical person but it has been a disheartening experience.
To make a long story short, the local Democratic party, which I would have described at the beginning of this process as a reasonably effective large-scale mature political organization is not really any of the above. The key feature is that the leaders are isolated from the rank and file and ask very little of party supporters other than contributions and votes.
A surprisingly small collection of volunteers that serves the party with all their heart is the source of new leaders. The volunteers mostly don’t have paying jobs and are selected (both by the nature of their duties and by the party leadership) for stamina and belief in the party.
Party leaders make most of their decisions with very little understanding of the forces affecting the voters and their positions reflect what the most persuasive people who have the inside track (this includes expected large donations by wealthy people) want them to say. This isn’t really news but it is vastly different from what I had learned in school many decades ago and explains why the party maintains many of its positions.
The party has come to regard the voters as commodities that can be purchased with $X per voter in advertising and does not realize how out of touch it is with the needs of its voters and spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to raise more money so they can buy more voters. Good policy occurs, in large part, by coincidence, not as a result of carefully reasoned thinking or analysis of how it will improve the lives of its supporters.
As a result, I have come to realize that the peculiarity of the current Republican control of the governorship and legislatures in so many states is not that the Republicans are doing so well but that, facing such clueless opposition, they are doing so poorly.
There must be a more effective and thoughtful organization hidden somewhere in within what I have described, but I am clueless about how to find it.
Thank you for sharing your reporting. It matches the reports posted here from other sources, such as the great Thomas Frank.
Now for the bad news. As a life-long Republican, you are also describing the GOP.
Why should we expect anything different? You describe the natural result of a society in which the bulk of citizens have become apathetic and passive, unwilling to bear the burdens of self-government. Our elites have seen this and adapted their tactics accordingly.
The Democratic “opposition” isn’t clueless–they are getting well paid to do what they do, which is stand firmly in the way of a true labor or worker’s party ever becoming a viable political alternative. That’s why they savaged Sanders so badly–it’s not that Sanders is a radical (he’s an old fashioned New Deal Democrat), it’s that the Democratic Party’s Wall Street and big business paymasters would stop funding them if they even sound like they are moving even incrementally to the left.
Unfortunately for the Dems, a majority of progressive/liberal voters have in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and all of America’s post 9/11 imperial wars, come to hold political positions that are well to the left of the party’s “leadership.” That’s why Hillary lost. That’s why Ossof lost. And that’s why they continued screaming about Russia instead of coming up with a true opposition economic plan or demanding that Trump end the wars.
Thank you for that correction about the Democratic Party’s leadership! That’s always an important thing to remember.
As for the majority of Democratic Party voters, that is great news! Can you point to a report or surveys with more information about that?
Here is a data point that might be worth tracking.
Eric Stetson, writes on the DailyKos or whatever it is called. He is from a DC Civil Service family. Was libertarian in college, did clerical work at the CIA, left that, then slowly drifted toward progressivism.
He is a millennial, or pre-millenial, with the expected values of wanting to participate in making the world more meaningful. Idealistic. He clashed with the DailyKos Admin-gods about their ban on Bernie supporters last year.
He is now head of the Democratic Party in Independence, Virginia. He moved there to work for a new age intentional community. They are making incremental improvements, and having success in local elections.
I know him from an offshoot of the Bahai community, which is a world-peace oriented religion.
My prediction, sadly, is that he will eventually get sucked into the garbage grinder by the evil “corporate Democrats” and be forced to give up most of his deeply held idealism, or get marginalized or kicked out for defying the corporate Ds.
I hope to be proven wrong.