In working their New Year’s resolutions, many ponder what 2014 will look like for their families, state, nation, and world. Prognostications are indicators, imperfect ones at that; but evidence backs reasoned forecasts. Carl Teichrib of Forcing Change fame compiled a tangible list of 2014 religious, geo-political, and socio-economic change events that, in essence, provide a sort of road map to the future.
US of A
Stateside, midterm rounds of the 2016 election will clarify American political sentiment, rendering US politics somewhat predictable. With foreclosures declining, 2014 will mark the first time since the housing market’s collapse for growth to reach the three percent mark (historically, a dividing line). No one predicts herculean growth, but stocks (as usual) are expected to rise by eight- to ten- percent.
The budget deal signals no government shutdowns, but the debt ceiling will need to be raised; and partisan spin over the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, and unemployment benefits will continue. Time will tell if the Tea Party wins the Republican Civil War.
With roll out of the first round of widespread Common Core-aligned testing, Massive Open Online Classes, and huge overhauls for AP and GED exams, the potential remains for high-profile cheating scandals. Significant Supreme Court cases will determine use of sectarian prayers at civic events and free exercise of religion threats posed by the Affordable Care Act.
2-Pronged Global Thrust
Ours is an increasingly united, albeit complex world. Some accept that US engagement with Iran, coupled with the chemical-weapons deal with Syria, will reduce threat of a broader Middle Eastern war. In fact, 2014 is overly optimistically, yet officially earmarked a Year for Middle East Peace. Moreover, 2014 launches a decade of “sustainable energy for all.” Conferences, summits, forums, events, and vigils worldwide will emphasize co-existence, human-nature co-evolution, regional security, and partnerships.
Consistently, our shared future prioritizes the common good, but not without a fight. In April, Australia will host the largest Marxist conference and film festival ever. Complete with a School of Rebellion, featuring radical coursework for kids, Marxism 2014 will showcase the New Revolutionary Left. Similarly, the Chicago district of the International Socialist Organization will sponsor Socialism 2014, a summer conference to bolster activism on behalf of unions, the LGBT community, Native Americans, and Palestinians. In Oxford an annual conference of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) promises to temper hostilities by introducing interfaith spirituality and “wisdom” teachings.
Global Governance and World Parliament
Through major economic-transformation and religious-dialogue change events, leaders from Kazakhstan will work hard to transform its capital (Astana) into a wannabe mecca for internationalism. The end goal is global governance, whether accomplished by consent or conquest.
Through the Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance, new macroeconomic realities will emerge. This June, Dublin and Istanbul will host academic gatherings to sort out security and economic challenges to world federalism – for example, inadequacies of the International Monetary Fund, the G8, and the G20. At the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, heads-of-state and ministerial-level representatives from the top twenty world economies will push global trade agreements and International Monetary Fund reform. Escalating “hacktivism” will justify need for global soft law that effectively trumps national constitutions.
Turkey’s annual meeting of the Academic Council on the UN System, a professional research organization will assess the current health and vitality of global governance. Come spring, thousands will gather in Columbia to explore the role of major urban centers; young professionals in Rio de Janeiro will address Latin American issues; and South Koreans will strengthen international environmental management. Thereafter, a Global Week of Action for a World Parliament will lobby aggressively for world government designed around a democratically elected, international parliamentary system.
A United Nations trusteeship, the Global Commons includes outer space, the atmosphere, non-territorial seas, and environmental systems that support life. Freedom therein is said to bring ruin to all; therefore, radical environmentalists demand stiff enforcement of international law. Among advocates of ocean governance include presidents, princes of Wales and Monaco, and dignitaries from Nature Conservancy, the UN Environment Programme, the World Bank, and International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
This summer, the world’s largest social science research network is scheduled to meet in Norwich, UK to relate human rights, risks, and responsibilities to global food and water, climate and economic systems. In Thailand, the Sustainable Development Conference will consider strategies for global environmental management. While inspiring and preparing leaders to meet unprecedented ethical challenges, Seattle’s Hope for the Commons will advance sustainable relationship between humans and the planet.
Religious Reconciliation (Syncretism) and Transformation
Today’s “inner voice of humanity” purportedly begs for “a pure moment of one” whereby the clear boundary between physics and metaphysics is obliterated; and scientific study of the universe (cosmology) defers to its worship (cosmolatry). In ritualistically re-aligning with natural and cosmic cycles, the global transformation festival movement – with Wiccan, pagan, New Age, and eco-feminist influences – encourages primordial awakening.
In supposedly sacred outdoor spaces, illumined participants will experience transcendence within psychedelic, or visionary-mystical organic communities. Earth-honoring encounters will invite a new reality – namely, rising into one’s own divinity (self-god). Creative, sometimes clothes-optional encounters will feature techno-music, ecstatic (trance) dance, yoga, co-creation exercises, “prayer-formances and share-imonies.”
A standard-bearer of transformation events, the Burning Man inspires similar festivals worldwide. Examples include the Rainbow Serpent (Australia), Tribal Gathering (Panama), Wisdom 2.0 and PantheaCon (North America), and BOOM (Portugal).
Global Internet Governance
This year in Tianjin, China, the World Economic Forum will host the foremost global gathering on science, technology, and innovation. For this Annual Meeting of the New Champions, some 1,500 young, professional “global shapers” will join governmental leaders, key members of academia, economic gurus, and representatives from strategic foundations; and Brazil will host officials to hammer out rules for the international digital age.
International Law and Justice
Promise of a new world order cannot be left to chance. Collective wisdom must be pooled to ensure international law and human rights for all – including (more accurately, favoring) Indigenous peoples, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgendered and intersex folks, queers, the 2-spirited and/or questioning crowd along with their allies. Scheduled conferences in New York, France, and Ontario will draw together high-powered diplomats, politicians, and leaders within faith communities to apply pluralism to a reformed legal framework, globally.
In a world where hugely popular fantasy movies hold captive audiences, the dream of human-machine integration thrives. Cutting-edge futurists would morph the vision of a perfect man into a post-human, human-machine complex. Enabling complete control over mind and emotions, eternally young and healthy demigods experience novel states of consciousness. To study extreme life extension, and even the directed evolutionary revolution of becoming a new species, cultural trendsetters – futurists, transhumanists, and immortalists – will gather throughout 2014 for events in San Francisco, Orlando, and London.
Passage of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, and the Convention on Biological Diversity at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit mobilized shift from man-centric realities to earth-centric values. Inescapably linked to eco-religion, Green consciousness leverages social change. For exploring interplay between science and spirituality, the Hindu Environment Week will serve as a launching pad for a united world response.
In March, Focus on the Future in San Jose, Costa Rica, will empower agents of change to affect values, ethics, and behaviors. Toward this end, UNESCO is sponsoring an invitation-only World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Okayama, Japan to address climate change, biodiversity, and disaster risk reduction. Thereafter, the UN Climate Change Conference will convene in Lima, Peru. This pressure-cooker event will lead to a highly charged global management framework – specifically, a 2015 Kyoto successor treaty.
At the January World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the planet’s most influential leaders from government, business, industry, finance, and banking met with civil society and academia in the effort to reshape our world. In its wake, global management tools are being refined and applied to the value of “social wealth”; and an academically-based, pro-socialist/ Marxist Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences will address global economics in light of sustainable development goals set by the UN. New York’s UN Climate Summit 2014 will be an intense one-day conference to activate the global Green Climate Fund, a holding/lending institute poised to elevate the United Nation’s political clout.
Earth Day Eco-justice
To identify solutions and then tackle global crisis, the International Conference on Sustainable Alternatives for Poverty Reduction and Ecological Justice will meet in Madagascar, and Strategies for Hope will convene in Belgium. Campaigns for global wealth redistribution, climate change, and eco-justice will provide needed groundwork for leading up to Earth Day on Lenin’s birthday, April 22. Toward global transformation, Earth Day will be celebrated as a show of the Marx-Leninist concept of “earning one’s keep on Planet Earth.”
In the words of the first secretary-general of UNESCO, Julian Huxley (1957): “Operationally, God is beginning to resemble … the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.” Indeed, Social and ecological justice necessitates a “new story” of our origins, culture, values, and beliefs.
Change events should come as no surprise. Last-day theology is a major theme throughout the poetic books, major- and minor- prophets, Pauline- and general- epistles, gospels, and the book of Revelation. Signs of the times are as birth pangs – ever increasing in intensity. They are earmarked by political-economic upheavals, armed conflicts engaging nuclear weaponry, racial unrest, drug abuse, breakdown of the earth’s ecosystem (natural calamities), consensus (political correctness), and totalitarian world order enforced in the bogus name of peace, but destined to mass destruction.
Religious deception (Earth worship and self-god delusion) will spring from animosity toward, and undermining of, biblical ethics – thereby resulting in abounding lawlessness, even persecution. Though with access to limitless information, clueless global citizens will eschew Truth; and unwary believers will apostatize. In a race toward World War 3, Israel takes center stage.
Bleak as this picture is, those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” will overcome. Theirs is “a more sure word” to which all have open access. “Whosoever will” may take the road to transformation on God’s terms; and now is as good a time as any.
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