Mary A Moore
The Year that was… 2011
The year 2011 saw a multitude of changes, some of the larger being the Arab Revolution which toppled dictators that had been entrenched in power for decades; the death of Steve Jobs, one of the revolutionary technology leaders – as the creator of the Apple ‘clan’, and whose technology is still rippling changes through society; and the push back of autocratic societies that are feeling the air of revolution blowing around the globe. With the theme of ‘Revolution’ firmly imprinted upon this year, and as it draws to a close, we had a changeover of the guardians this past weekend, with the death of Vaclav Havel and Kim Jung II. It seems almost preposterous to consider them both with the term revolutionary, but they represent the alpha and the omega of many a revolution.
Vaclav Havel, the leader of the velvet revolution in his native Czechoslovakia, fought for his society to be free. From the day his communist government forbade him the opportunity to pursue a university degree in the Humanities, he set a course for his life into the human experience. Through his plays, his books, and his political leadership, he championed the cause of liberation. From speaking out in 1968 with the Prague Spring
and spending much of his life in jail, under surveillance, under censorship, and under repression of his own humanity, to the President of an independent Czech Republic. Vaclav Havel lived his humanity to its fullest. A revolutionary success story, as it were.
‘Inhumane contrast’, was the theme of the son of a revolutionary – Kim II Sung
. His son – Kim Jong iI
enjoyed the life of privilege he was given. He may have been born in Siberia, not far from the gulags, where he sent the political dissidents who challenged him, and his father may have been a Red Army
member and friendly towards ‘Stalinism’ and all it represented, but Kim Jong-il did not suffer from hunger, fight any great wars, or hold power through any accomplishment other than a developed cult of personality.
Kim Jung II was at the helm at one of the most brutal times in North Korean
history, with hundreds of thousands dying of starvation in the 1990’s. Now that he too has died, his son, Kim Jong-un, is the third generation leadership of the revolution. The succession of power being started in 2011, with the purging of any possible challengers, and succession was planned for 2012. This revolution had left repression, death and extreme poverty in its wake, as its leaders enjoyed its wealth. North Korea is not just a failed state, but a failed revolution.
If 2010 was on the ‘edge of evolution’, 2011 was the ‘year of the revolution’. In America
the books bought reflected an interest in past ‘revolutionary’ heroes. Americans read about George Washington (The American
Revolution), Jack Kennedy ( The 60’s revolution), Lincoln (The American Civil War
), and of course Steve Jobs (The Apple Revolution), and yearned for knowing about the unusual, whether it was about life after death through the eyes of a boy, cells of immortality from a dead woman, or a friendship or encounter beyond the usual. From 2011 we can project into 2012 the trend of change, tumultuous change, that generally follows a period of revolutionary zeal. We can also predict the push back of rigid societies that have not tolerated change and are seeking to hold to a past which is quickly slipping through their fingers. The year will be chaotic and and heavily conflicted, as change pushes its way through, in various shapes and forms, perhaps some that were not intended, or ever expected. Please note that this and the following statements, are opinions.
The middle east will be a hot bed of conflict like never seen before, as the forces of change, a youthful generation longing for change runs headstrong into the wall of an aged powerful elite, as secular social forces push into the bastions of religious control, and as the powerful pull out their big guns to try to stem the tide. Another major trend still running is the financial crisis and trade imbalances. The west will continue to rebalance the past and future amidst political stress, as Europe fractures in and out of the E.U., and America faces an election year. Watch for assassination attempts as power struggles emerge on the edges of fighting in heavily conflicted areas, and in power vacuums.
Perhaps one of the bigger, but not as headlined stories will be the emergence of climate change being understood by the general public. We are closing in on the ‘one hundred monkeys’, a theoretical concept where the moment arrives when enough of the population knows and understand an idea, that it becomes powerfully communicated and understood, within the group. As we begin to experience more climate change, more of us will tune into the concept and its implications. The transmission of this effect will be enhanced by social media.
Technology will continue to have massive transformative effects upon our societies, but will be slowed by our lack of infrastructure to handle this as yet. Industries will continue to change and reinvent themselves. Adaption and prediction will become more of a critical business focus. As the rate and spread of change increase, our comfort in living within the process, and ability to do so, will improve. These trends will emerge out of a 2012 change process, and continue well past the decade. The rate of which we can adapt, will distinguish those societies that will survive this period of transition, and those that will not.
The theme of change in 2012 is hardly a new one. It has been long discussed as a transitional point. From http://www.adishakti.org
“Both the Hopis and Mayans recognize that we are approaching the end of a World Age… In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquility. The same theme can be found reflected in the prophecies of many other Native American visionaries from Black Elk to Sun Bear.”
— Joseph Robert Jochmans
Happy holidays and the best of luck to all in 2012, the year of change.
A reminder of 2011 courtesy of JIBJAB