“Every great future must at one moment in time confront its most dangerous delusions!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
I never would have dreamed I would have Liz Cheney on my list of someone who might actually save democracy, particularly after the role her father played as a demagogue, but here we are.
If you follow me, you will know that I am on the side of the rationally sane, the logically rational, and the mentally well-adjusted. I have little patience for conspiracy theories or the mental gymnastics of those who chase illogical ‘facts’ to support their irrational (if not mentally unbalanced) thoughts.
And you might remember that one day, while in a particularly sour mood, I wrote my post “The Dark Underside of a Usually Optimistic Future: How Bad Could Things Get? Pretty Bad!“. You can find it at the appropriately negative, depressing URL of https://badthings.jimcarroll.com. Yes, you can actually type that in. It even has a depressing video, which I share below.
I’ll share the first few paragraphs below.
And I must say, for the first time, I feel some hope for the future of democracy of our southern neighbor for the first time.
And I’m a huge fan of Liz Cheney! Who would have thought!
That is all.
The Dark Underside of a Usually Optimistic Future: How Bad Could Things Get? Pretty Bad!”
I bill myself as an “Optimistic Futurist.”
My running joke when walking out on stage was – and is – “I can’t tell you that your future sucks, because then I wouldn’t get many repeat bookings.” But all kidding aside, I try to force myself each and every day into a positive frame of mind and think about what comes next in terms of opportunity.
Right now, that’s tough. And throughout Covid, obviously, that has become harder to do, but I’ve done pretty well through the last year. In fact, just yesterday I wrote 7 pages about Optimism for my upcoming book, “Reinvention and the Role of Optimism in our Post-Covid Future”.
But yesterday, I gave in to the dark side and imagined our lousy future. I find myself concentrating more on our potentially darker future – the negative trends that could destroy our optimism, see challenges to our potential, and send us into a setback. Yesterday it caught up to me, and so I “filmed a thing.” It’s pretty dark, LOL. I even found some wonderfully dark music to go with it.
So with that in mind, here are some scenarios for your darker future. Each of these is possible. And in fact, I think it’s pretty likely that at least four of the items on this list will come together in the next ten years. From a future planning process, you need to factor heightened political, business, and societal volatility into your planning.
- End of democracy in the US: (Likelihood: Extremely high). The end-game of the GOP in the US is to build a party that is white, racist, and cheats its way into the solidification of political power. It’s already underway, and there is probably no turning back from this point. The much-vaunted ‘separation of powers’ has become somewhat of a joke with court-stacking and more. I am just so pessimistic about the future of this country, and we are watching it happen in real-time. It’s headed to a cult-based oligarchy.
- Acceleration of mental illness: we are seeing a new form of collaborative mental illness driven by the connectivity of the Internet, and years from now it will be diagnosed as such. This is not any type of routine mental illness – this is full-on whack-a-doodle loopy-doo full-on-gone type of crazy. Like, beyond batshit. You know them when you see them; you feel for their families. This has obviously become a massive part of the political agenda – people subscribe to the craziest of conspiracy theories. Your crazy uncle is now everywhere all at once – you are surrounded by too many crazy uncles. Crazy feeds on crazy, and so the new iterative insanity loop drives more insanity. It won’t end well.