There are two forces in history.

The first is weight. Or mass. Or trajectory. The unstoppable force. The US overtaking Britain as the premier industrial power. The two continental powers, Russia and the US, dividing Europe between them, an ancient pattern. Then the US outlasting the USSR because the US’s alliance had more people and resources and better geography.

The rise of China. The inexorable march of global warming and ecological collapse. The financialization and hollowing of a hegemonic power which always follows the decision to do free trade seriously

The second is human decision making at crisis points. Think the Cuban Missile Crisis. There were powerful men in the US who wanted to strike Cuba or Russian ships. If they had done so, there would almost certainly have been a nuclear exchange.

For the first eight or so years I was a blogger, I covered a lot of the “stories of day.” I still cover some, but mostly I use them to illustrate the mass/force/trajectory category.

This is why I don’t discuss the Ukraine war much. I said, day one, that Russia would win, and it is. It was also obvious that anti-Russia sanctions wouldn’t work, because China wouldn’t let Russia be choked out, and China has almost everything Russia needs. The Chinese aren’t, mostly, stupid about such things.

Sometimes a decision by an idiot makes force stronger: Trump and Biden’s chip sanctions on China just sped up the China’s tech climb, for example. Sheer stupidity.

Right now we have a situation in the Middle East where two idiots are putting us in danger of a major regional, or even world war: Netanyahu and Biden. Netanyahu knows Israel is weak and has lost deterrence. Biden won’t restrain him, though he has the power to do so. If a regional war breaks out, even if Israel and the US “win”, they’ll lose, because the US cannot defeat Iran without catastrophic losses or the use of Israeli nukes.

That’s a “human decision at crisis points” situation. Iran is doing most of what it can to avoid a regional conflagaration, but if they hadn’t responded to the embassy attack, nowhere would be safe for them. But Israel wants to draw America in, and Biden, so far, doesn’t seem to be doing enough to stop them.

“The air is thin at the top” means that people at the pinnacle of powerful organizations actually have a lot of power and leeway to do what they want. For a long time liberals argued against this, stating that the President was powerless. No. The President was powerful, there was just a consensus about what to do and the US was powerful enough to, up to a point, “make its own reality.” Not completely: they couldn’t pacify Iraq, for example, or, heck, Vietnam. But they could make a hell of a noise and kill a ton of people and suffer very few consequences. Bush is just fine, thanks.

The key question in “humans making decision at crisis points” right now is whether there’s a great power war during this transition between lead powers. China is on the way up, and America on the way down. China will be the most powerful nation in the world. In some ways it already is. The European/American/Anglo era is ending. The Africans are kicking America and France out, for example. They don’t have to put up with AmeriEuro bullshit any more, because what they need they can get from China, and what they need militarily, they can get from Russia. The prices are better, and the political interference is a lot less.

Mass/Force/Trajectory. Someone was going to wind up ruling Rome as Emperor. Could have been Sulla. Could have been Pompey. Sort of was Caesar (Antony and Octavian used his legacy and troops in their fight, and Octavian won by a whisker. He should have lost the key naval battle.)

As the Roman Emperor hollowed out, it was clear the West would fall. Just a question of when and the specifics, but that it would happen wasn’t in question. When the Europeans hit the Industrial revolution, they conquered about 80% of the world and had the rest under their thumb. A few brilliant men kept the Eastern Roman Empire going (decisions when mass/force is not sure.)


Climate change is happening, will happen and will suck beyond most people’s conceptions. There will be civilization collapse. There will be real famines. There will be massive lack of water. This isn’t in question, we’re just dealing with the specifics. Some regions will do somewhat better than others, so will some groups, but the macro isn’t in doubt.

The reason I get most things right is that I’ve learned (mostly, I still mess up sometimes) to predict sure things. Ukraine cannot win against Russia if sanctions don’t work, and China won’t let sanctions work. Some people follow the war obsessively, day by day. They do good work, and I read some of it, but mostly I don’t care because it’s just the details of an inevitability.

This blog and my writing is mostly about the mass/force/trajectory side of issues. A secondary piece is trying to advise people so they can make good decisions based on knowing what’s coming. The other theme is trying to create the bones of an ideology which will allow humanity to make better decisions in the future: to become a “conscious civilization” able to make rational choices rather than simply being pawns to social forces that civilization creates but so far has been unable to control.

If you’re a regular reader it’s because your interested in those three questions: what’s going to happen, how to adapt, and how (perhaps) to do better in the future.

I feel I write too much of the first and not enough of the third, though I’ve made huge efforts on the “how to do better” issue: with the biggest flurry of articles around 2012 to 2014. I may re-post some of those, since they still stand.

Thanks for going on this journey with me. It mostly sucks, but I’ve always believed it’s better to face unpleasant truths than walk blindfolded into the future.

And while we’re past the point where we will avoid the worst scenarios (except, hopefully, nuclear war), I do still retain some hope that humanity may find better ways in the future.

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