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Second Cold War


(Michael Hrenka) #21

Sure, we can do that until someone has a better idea. It’s certainly stylish enough :smile:


(João Luz) #22

OK.

So, we have decided that Brazil will be the leader of the X Boc, and I think it’s sure to assume that the US will lead the capitalist bloc. Now we have to decide who will be the other members of the blocs.

In my opinion, the X Boc will be composed by:

  • Brazil- the leader
  • The rest of South America- which will quickly follow the lead the most powerfull country in the region.
  • The Nordic Countries- which will immediately adopt X after bipartidarism fall due to the depression.
  • Portugal- which has allways been easily influenceable by Brazil.
  • Spain- which will proably turn republican and adopt radical politics after the depression.
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Ireland- maybe.
  • Cuba- which can’t keep communism for much longer and may see X as an alternative to capitalism.
  • Some progressive african countries- although don’t know which ones.

I chose this countries because they have just the right mixture of progressivism and political instability to make X a successful movement.

Regardless of adopting X or not, I don’t think Switzerland will be part of a power bloc because they will most likely keep their diplomatic isolationism policy.

I’m also skeptical about micronations and Virtual Nations playing an important role in geopolitics.

So, for the capitalist bloc, we will probably have:

  • The USA
  • China- which, despite claiming to be communist, is actually a fully capitalist country at the moment, and it’ll likely continue that way.
  • Russia
  • India
  • The UK
  • Germany
  • France
  • Ukraine
  • Basically the rest of the world

Now, I’m not sure about any of this lists, and there are a lot of factors that we need to consider:

  • Since it seems likely that some european countries adopt X and others don’t, can the European Union Continue?
  • Will the current greek government manage to solve the country’s crisis? This may affect the future of all radical politics.
  • Russia, China and the US will probably continue not getting along very well, can they really be part of the same geopolitical bloc?
  • South American X will probably be very different from Nordic X.
  • Lots of other things

(Michael Hrenka) #23

Your X bloc looks quite plausible and you also raise the right questions related to that. Some of which I wondered about myself before I had read them.

  1. The future of the EU seems to be quite uncertain, but it’s something that’s important, because a united EU is certainly a really big geopolitical player. There certainly will be pressure to keep the EU united, but the question is whether that’s enough to keep the EU together in the face of competing economic ideologies. It’s really hard to say. What I can imagine is that the EU will split up into a conservative “Euro Zone” and a progressive “X Zone”, but both still trying to keep the EU together at least as idealistic political union.
  2. Greece has some seriously revolutionary potential, but I think the most realistic scenario is that of a default of Greece perhaps together with an exclusion from the Euro zone. But that would enable Greece to experiment freely with X-related ideas (see the radical political changes that happened in Iceland).
  3. I think it’s pretty likely that we see the actual policies in the US, Russia, and China converge. So, even if they have had historical differences, their convergent political and economic alignment will make them unite in an uneasy alliance: The capitalist bloc.
  4. Perhaps. What different approaches do you have in mind?

(João Luz) #24

The Nordic countries are all relatively small, politically coherent and highly organized states, while most South American nations are huge, chaotic and highly polarized on a political level.
Decentralized reputation-based X-economics could pretty well in both regions, but I think that, on a political level, they could never function the same way.

Nordic countries would quickly trasition to a mainly direct democracy, while South American nations would probably have to keep a representative system, since it brings more stability. If they also applied direct democracy the measures voted by the population would be largely inconsistent, because of their political polarization.

I also imagina that, even after transitioning to X, Nordic countries would want to keep their welfare state, which has allways served them well, while South Americans would most likely experiment with different strategies.


(Michael Hrenka) #25

Sounds all good so far. I’d like to return to the big picture now: How will this Second Cold War turn out?

–––
Edit: Added some timing information to get an idea for a rough timeline.
–––

Now - 2035: Formation stage of the X bloc
It seems like the X bloc would start small with few countries which are no central geopolitical players. However, after a while, their progressive X system will give them a distinctive edge when it comes to economic efficiency and human well-being. It will be impossible for the other states to ignore the advantages of the X system. This will probably create a schism within the capitalist bloc: Where people still have sufficient democratic power, they will demand a shift to the X system, and these countries will then switch to the X bloc. However, some countries will be repressive enough to suppress the X promoters within their own borders, sort of like in McCarthy era where communists were persecuted with frightening fervour. Parties promoting the X system will be outlawed. X promoters will be imprisoned.

2030-2035: Reactionary centralist bloc formation
The capitalist bloc will shrink down to the USA, China and Russia, all of them being extremely repressive dictatorships and police states (with different flavours, but structurally very similar indeed, all of them being “formally” democratic, but not democratic in reality), while much of the rest of the world turns to the X system. At this stage, the Second Cold War really becomes serious, because the fronts have been pretty much hardened.

2032-2040: The Cyber War
Both blocs will enter into an arms race mostly focusing on cyber warfare and the development of AIs and AGIs. As a result, the internet and all computer systems in general will be both much more decentralized and hardened in order to minimize the potential damage of cyber attacks.

Both sides develop AGI at about the same time and use it for cyber warfare. However, the cyber warfare doesn’t escalate, because the capitalist bloc now starts threatening with nuclear retaliation as response for major cyber attacks! Consequently, the X bloc shifts to a more defensive stance and maximizes the security of its cyber systems so that they become extremely resistant to attacks by developing some kind of global cyber immune system.

2040-2050: The Second Space Race ending in the Centralist Economic Crisis
Conflict now shifts to a different level: Cultural and economic displays of superiority of the respective ideologies. A second space race ensues with plans to set up colonies on Mars and Venus. Both sides are successful at setting up some bases on both planets! However, the economic strain causes a major economic crisis within the capitalist bloc. While their economies deteriorate, the capitalist countries still try to maintain control over the increasingly unruly population which tries to emigrate to the X bloc countries. So, the capitalist countries create walls around their borders and kill all who try to escape – with an army of drones guarding the borders.

2050-2058: First Centralist Modernization Stage
Realizing their economic inferiority, the leadership of the capitalist bloc is forced to implement some modest “modernization” measures in order not to suffer total defeat. The capitalist states timidly implement universal basic incomes, but maintain their authoritarian mode of political control of suppression. This will look very weird to the outside world: About as weird as when China turned capitalist under a socialist party dictatorship. But it will save them from their economic crisis. They also adopt a reputation economy more openly. So, the capitalist bloc will have turned “semi-X”. However, there’s still a strong capitalist elite in control of those states.

2058-2066: Second Centralist Modernization Stage
Inequality will remain high and this makes their economies perform much worse than those of the X bloc countries. Over the next years, the X bloc will rise to clear economic dominance and make the capitalist bloc look poor in comparison. Again realizing their inferiority, the capitalist bloc starts another wave of “modernization” and adopts the full economic X package with a generous universal basic income which reduces economic inequality and a full reputation economy. Now both blocs are equalized in their mode of economic operation. The old capitalist elite will lose its influence in the coming years, because it mostly fails to take advantage of the greatest benefits of the reputation economy. Nevertheless, that elite will still stay in control, due to its extreme police state measures.

2066-2070: Collapse of the Centralist bloc
What happens next is that the remaining capitalist elites will lose their coherence, because it will be infiltrated by emerging competitors who got rich in the new X economy. Eventually, the infiltrators will take over control of the system and end the authoritarian regimes. Finally, the whole world is united under the X system.


(João Luz) #26

That’s a very good description of how this cold war might be. I’ll try to put it into a timeline when I have the time.

Now, we still have to workout a few details. Here’s a list of things we should consider:

  • I think we both agree that Iceland will transition to a direct democracy just before the depression. We need to think about the government system they will adopt. Laws will obviously be voted by the population and so will the most important measures, but will still need an executive body to run things, and their parliament may also retain some powers, in order to ensure stability.
  • If the Pirate Party wins, Iceland will become a true “pirate paradise”, a place where copyright laws are flexible and information is free. This will lead to many piracy websites placing their domains in Iceland. If the government charges a small tax on these domains they could make a very resonable proffit for the country, which may help them go through the depression without having to endure extreme poverty.
  • As I said, Brazil will continue to be a mainly representative democracy, but their government system will surely change under X. What will those changes be? Maybe they will reform their electoral law into a Democracy 2.1-like system and they can also institute limited direct democracy on a local level.
  • After the cyber warfare phase ends many AIs will become unemployed. How would countries handle this issue. I think that X-nations will probably grant them civil rights and integrate them into human societies, while capitalist nations will probably become prejudicial towards them and may even persecute them. This may kickstart the AI Exodus into space.
  • X nations will probably embrace DIY biology when it becomes common, while capitalist nation will impose strict restriction on it, atempting to keep research under the control of governments and corporations.
  • Designer babies will probably be discriminated in capitalist nations but accepted in X nations.

All these things seem to make sense, but I’m afraid we may be making this world too black-and-white, since we are painting the X Bloc as undoubtabily superior to the capitalists. We need to inject some shades-of-gray into this project.


(Michael Hrenka) #27

Yeah, we definitely need to think about how this “direct democracy” can work out best. Some ideas on this topic:

  • Examine how the Swiss version of direct democracy actually works. I don’t have much knowledge about that.
  • The Liquid Democracy system is some form of mix between (or rather generalization of) direct democracy and representative democracy: You can vote on topics directly or you choose a representative for a certain class of topics whom you trust. The choice between direct democracy and representative democracy then becomes a personal and flexible one.
  • Systems like the [Democratic Intelligence][1] system could be a more sophisticated and more engaging mode of politics than simple direct democracy.

And you could also combine all these systems with each other and with elements like parliaments or some kind separately elected head of state. The space of possible democratic systems is quite large.

If that really happens, then the USA will be quite likely to add Iceland to their “Axis of Evil” and try enforcing boycotts of Iceland. Also, the USA might try to destabilize Iceland politically by funding more convenient conservative forces and strategically eliminating key politicians. So, I don’t think even with a Pirate Party government that Iceland will make copyright laws extremely flexible. There will probably be improvements, but if they are radical, they will invite a lot of trouble.

I’ve checked out the Democracy 2.1 system. It’s an interesting reform of representative democracy. Yeah, something like that could actually be adopted. As to direct democracy on a local level: Yeah, why not? We really need to take a look at Switzerland to see how that might work out.

The degree to which AIs get civil rights will probably differ from nation to nation. I see affluent and progressive nations like Iceland or Japan being eager to grant AIs rights, but less prosperous and more religiously dominated countries will probably think twice before graning AIs any rights or even a universal basic income.

When it comes to AIs trying to escape to space some factors need to be considered: They might require expensive hardware that is about as expensive to launch into space as human bodies, or even more expensive. As technology progresses, this factor will change, so that their hardware becomes lighter. Also, in the further future AIs will be able to run on standard hardware, while in the beginning it will require very specialized and expensive hardware. So, even if AIs want to escape to space, they will be mostly out of luck during the early years. Finally, most nations will keep close watch on the AIs and their activities, because they pose a potential security threat. Expect massive oppression of AIs at first even in the more friendly countries.

I think it’s too general to assume something like that. DIY biology is a quite controversial topic and different nations might arrive at vastly different answers which can hardly be predicted from their regular mode of economy or politics.

No, China will definitely embrace designer babies while Christian dominated nations will demonize them. This is a matter of national biopolitics which is relatively independent of economic of otherwise political considerations.

Is the X bloc superior to the capitalists? Mostly. Perhaps it will struggle with big national or capital intensive projects like space travel or production of high quality electronics at first, while the capitalists have obvious starting advantages in those areas. It will be a continuous struggle to reach and surpass the level of economic sophistication of the capitalist nations. But eventually, the advantage of the X bloc is that it is agile and learns quickly and empirically, while the capitalist bloc is more or less stuck in its current mode of operations and burdened by problematic ideological reasoning.

Injecting shades of grey sounds interesting. Do you have anything specific in mind?
[1]: http://transpolitica.org/2015/04/02/democratic-intelligence/


(João Luz) #28

Switzerland has a system which has been described as half-direct democracy or representative direct democracy.

Basically it woks like this: they have a government and a parliament, just like any country, but, if the people is not happy with a certain decision taken by their representatives, any citizin can call for a referendum on that issue, if he manages to collect 50 000 signatures.

It’s also important to note that the country is divided in cantons and that, while the urban cantons have legislative bodies, the rural ones employ a full dricet democracy, taking all decisions in periodic meetings of all adult citizins.

I don’t think the US would take such drastic measures just because of the issue of copyrights. They know that they can’t put an end to informatic piracy and I don’t think they would want to generate much controversy just because of that.

Anyway, Iceland is not very dependent on the US, they trade with lots of countries, mainly european ones, and most of them would never take such policies.

And the Pirate Party has shown no fear of provoking America, they even proposed granting Icelandic citizinship to Edward Snowden.

Why do you say that?

Yes, I would like to explore the dark side of decentralization and direct democracy.

Let’s take, for example, the case of switzerland, they a very interesting political system but, in the last years, this system has been used by right-wings extremists to pass stupid policies like closing borders to imigration or forcing everyone to have guns at home.
The extremist explore the ignorance and fear of the rural population to attain their goals, and they often succeed.

If the X countries embraced DIY bio we would also have a lot of shades of gray in there


(Michael Hrenka) #29

That’s quite interesting. So, will there first be a transition to such a semi-direct democracy or a move to a full direct democracy? I think the idea of full direct democracy can be problematic if implemented naively. It would be more realistic if systems like Liquid Democracy or Democratic Intelligence were adopted by certain X bloc countries.

Perhaps you are right about that, but you also need to consider that the US government and the US secret services are two different entities. The US secret services are pretty much out of control and do covert operations pretty much as they like if they think they are of benefit for themselves or the US - no matter what the US government would think about that. I can imagine the NSA or CIA trying to destabilizing Iceland with covert operations while the US government knows (or doesn’t want to know) nothing about what’s happening.

Because the Chinese are quite active working towards that direction:


Also, China has no religious qualms about genetic engineering of humans, other than Western countries. And finally, there’s the one Child policy which creates a huge incentive to make that one single child as “good” as possible.

That is a quite interesting development. So, extremists would have it easier in X bloc countries to be influential? That opens up some really interesting dark, but also some bright, possibilities.

Yes, definitely. Imagine what could happen if people started DIY editing their own genome in their basements. That would be such a mess, but with huge potential for interesting bad and good things to happen. :smile:


(João Luz) #30

Yeah, Democratic Intelligence does seem to hold some promise. It’s definitly a lot more practical than old-fashioned referendums.

But even with that system countries would still have to keep a few representative institutions in order to mantain stability. Maybe parliaments would have some veto power for highly controversial policies.

Apart from that, I think a fully direct democracy is possible, but only with an intelligent system like Democratic Intelligence.

I didn’t know that. It would be very interesting to compare their approach in designer babies to the X-countries’ approach.
China will probably have a corporate oriented approach, and designer babies will initially be a commodity reserved for the wealthy, while X-countries may have a democratically controlled genetic enhancement system and, in some countries, DIY may be the norm


(Michael Hrenka) #31

Yeah, at least that’s what politicians and the media will tell the people even if that’s not true. There are many parties which would lose their privileges that they’ve attained so far, if more direct democratic forms of government were put into place. And these parties are certainly very influential.

Well, intelligent systems are certainly better than dumb ones :smiley:

Yeah, seems plausible. The real question is how a “democratically controlled genetic enhancement system” will actually look like. It sounds like something that will only try to eliminate hereditary diseases instead of doing any real enhancement. But that’s ok, as long as parents have the right to decide whether to use biotech approaches to get the best offspring they can get.


(João Luz) #32

So, let’s try to put everything into a timeline.

  • 2017: The Pirate Party of Iceland wins the elections, forming a coalation government with the Bright Future party. Citizinship is granted to Edward Snowden and the parliament starts seriously discussing copyrights reform.
  • 2018: The majority parties of Iceland promote an initiative in which the deputies decide their vote on a certain policy according to the results a a referendum organized through electronic means. Popular participation surprisingly high.
  • 2019: The first copyrights reform laws are appreoved by the Icelandic parliament. Although they are not very radical, those laws make Iceland the most liberal country in world regarding copyright issues. This leads many pirate websites to set there their domains.
  • In the same year, elections are held in Greece. After failling in the task nof renegotiating public debt, the SYRIZA government promisses that, if reelectet, it will take Greece out of the Euro. They win the elections by a small margin.
  • 2020: Edward Snowden is named head of the Icelandic intelligence. He starts a campaingn to protect Iceland from CIA and NSA, who try to depose the Pirate Party government.
  • The EU cuts off all financial aid to Greece and starts an embargo. The greek government turns to Russia and China for help, quickly shifting into their sphere of influence.
  • 2021: After reelecting the Pirate government, Iceland anounces a program of economic reforms which aims to turn the country’s economy into a reputation economy. The reforms advance shyly.
  • 2022: Edward Snowden prevents and exposes a massive NSA operation against the Icelandic government. The United States are firmly condemned by the international community and promise to refrain from attempting other operations like that.
  • 2025: Iceland formally transiotions to a mainly direct democracy. The Democratic Intelligence system is adopted to perform public polls.
  • Later, in the same year, the first signs of economic depression become visible, as many multinational corporations start having some real troubles.
  • 2025: A Hurricane devastates New York and most of the US east coast, leaving many key economic areas inoperable.
  • 2026: A Massive earthquake happens in California. The US government confesses its difficulty in dealing with natural catastrophes and economic ressession at the same time.
  • 2027: Wall street crashes.
  • 2028: Movimento X is founded in Brazil, promoting a set of radical reform inspired by the policies of the Icelandic government. The party grows extraordirarily fast.
  • 2029: Anticipated elections in Sweden have surprising results. Not only the Pirate party has its best result ever, acheiving a pretty signifficant representations, but also the transhumanist party elects its first deputy. In the following years, simillar results are obtained in Norway and Finland. Scandinavia is finally revolting against the status quo.
  • 2030: Massive protests happen in Brazil, forcing the president to resign and call for anticipated elections. Movimento X wins those elections.

And this is when the second cold war really begins. Now, I think we need to decide a few details before we continues the timeline:

  • How exactly will X countries perform their transitions to the X economic model?
  • How will capitalist countries surpass the depression without changing their economic system?
  • Who will be the leaders of the two Blocs? This is something we really need to think about, we need to add characters to our story.

(Michael Hrenka) #33

That’s not a bad start. I would be careful about predicting anything before 2020, though. That may be a bit too soon. Alternatively, we might say we are not describing a potential future scenario, but an alternate timeline that is similar to ours, but in which things turned out to be more fractally futuristic. I’m not sure which setup is the best, but I prefer the alternate timeline idea. It enables more liberty to paint a radically different future without having to look incoherent with the current reality. Actually, we could date back the time of bifurcation between our world and the Fractal Future timeline back to 2010 or something.

Using Edward Snowden as prominent influencer is an interesting idea, but I’m not sure we should base our story on real world persons. They might not like that. And there might be legal issues connected with that. This may be another reason to prefer the alternate timeline scheme: In an alternate timeline other people would have done similar actions, but they would be fictional persons.

The economic crisis scenario that you propose seems to be rather incomplete. Economic crises are rather complicated and the natural catastrophes would just be the drop that finally makes the barrel spill over. So, let me try something more complicated that might make more sense:

  • 2024: Peak fracking happens in the USA. It’s the end of cheap oil for the USA. From now on, oil prices are steeply on the rise, because the rest of the world can’t compensate either.
  • 2025: Suddenly rising oil prices globally cause economic pessimism. Everything becomes more expensive. Banks become less eager to lend money. Corporation profits crash. To compensate, governments start printing money like crazy.
  • 2026: Hyperinflation of the US dollar and the Euro. China must follow the hyperinflationary course in order to sell its products to the USA and Europa at reasonable prices. Global mistrust in conventional currencies makes people opt into cryptocurrencies in masses. Most non-X countries try to outlaw cryptocurrencies, because they undermine their own power. The conventional economy crashes hard. Those who use cryptocurrencies manage to stand more or less afloat. Everything else is massively screwed due to the massive economic crisis.
  • 2027: The conventional economy is in free fall with most governments being unable to react appropriately. Unemployment reaches unprecedented levels. Conventional social security systems are failing. This leads to widespread protests. Many people lose everything due to sudden unemployment and the collapse of social security systems. Only emergency foot stamp and housing programmes stave off outright starvation and revolution. Cryptocurrencies are illegal in non-X countries and many people get imprisoned for using them. The black market based on cryptocurrencies is booming nevertheless, because it’s much less affected by the general economic malaise.
  • 2028: Some countries have to default on their (foreign) debt, because their economies have eroded too much during the crisis. Government programs stop working. The situation for the unemployed gets worse. Private, network based charity steps in to provide some relief. The problem is that this charity is illegal, because it’s based on cryptocurrencies. People start revolting about the leaders of the charities being arrested. Governments get overthrown and massive revolutionary chaos emerges on all continents. In moderate countries, people elect democratic governments that implement X-like policies. In repressive countries, party dictatorships cooperate with private security corporations to fight off the protests with drone armies. Bloody civil wars break out, but the most ruthless dictatorships prevail. Millions of people die, but public order is quickly restored under regimes that rule with an iron fist in conjunction with the corporations that sponsor them.
    2029: After the restoration of order, the economy starts restructuring itself and recovery is beginning.

Well, that’s perhaps a bit dystopian, but I fear it’s a realistic scenario. A global economic crisis will be a real cluster fuck that could be about as destructive as a non-nuclear third world war.


(João Luz) #34

Your global depression scenario looks great and I think we can easily compensate for it’s pessimism by making much more optimistic predictions for the 2030s and 2040s.

What kind of economic restructuration do you have in mind? Countries can’t all transition to X, so, how will capitalist countries get over the depression?

I think that a project can perfectly start as a future history and then start descibing itself as an alternate future history (or whatever) once it becomes clear that it’s early predictions won’t become true.

I would like to base this project primairily on current trends. Of course that no one is gona complain if we take a liberty or two in order to make the story more interesting, and our creative liberty will certainly increase exponentially as we move further into the future and things become harder to accurately predict.

Do you have any good ideas for fictional events prior to 2015? If you do, and these ideas are aweasome and have interesting implications for our futuristic scenario, than maybe we should consider making this an alternate future history. Otherwise, it maybe be better to keep this a future history, even if we take some liberties.

In regards of using real people for our story, I’ve seen future and alternate history projects doing that all the time and, as far as I know, nobody ever complained much. Have you heard of anyone who got into trouble for a non-offensive portrayal of a public figure in fiction?

Anyone, we can try to be moderate, by using real people only occasionally and keeping the action centered on fictional characters.


(Michael Hrenka) #35

First of all, what will X countries do?

  • Legalize cryptocurrencies again
  • Implement basic incomes where they can
  • Transition to a reputation economy
  • Start moving towards a hybrid representative democracy and direct eDemocracy system

What will the centralist countries do?

  • Probably introduce their own “legal” pseudo-cryptocurrencies that are actually under government control but outlaw all competing cryptocurrencies
  • Use a workfare system where unemployed people are effectively forced to work for big government / corporate economic stimulus projects. Upgrading the infrastructure, transitioning towards a post-fossil fuel economy. They will probably live in slums and be really poor, but at least they won’t die.
  • Democracy is effectively abolished. A ruling party makes its decisions together with a permanent committee of the most influential corporations.
  • They effectively steal the decentralized solutions of the X nations and turn them into centralized solutions that they can control.

Good question. I considered something like Bitcoin being adopted much more quickly and stuff. But it’s somehow unnatural to assume that, because new technologies always take some time to get really widespread.

Also, the world could have reacted more drastically to the Snowden revelations, but considering widespread political cynicism that’s not very realistic either.

The Arab Spring could have worked out better and turned Arab countries into progressive democracies.

Transhumanists could have been more influential somehow and have founded a micronation or something.


(João Luz) #36

Since political turmoil in the Arab countries is far from being over, some of them can still become progressive democracies in the future.

I don’t think it would be realistic to assume that transhumanists could become very influential before technology progesses a little.

None of your ideas are bad, but I don’t think they justify a redefinition of the project.

In regards of the ways you propose for countries to get out of the depression, I think they are all pretty interesting and realistic.
I can’t imagine the US and western Europe formally abolishing democracy, but I can see them turning into somekind of de facto dictatorship,like nowdays’ Russia, where there are elections and a multi-party system, but effectively, decisions are made by small group of people.


(João Luz) #37

So, let’s try to build a timeline again.

  • **2017:**The Pirate Party of Iceland wins the elections, forming a coalation government with the Bright Future party. Citizinship is granted to Edward Snowden and the parliament starts seriously discussing copyrights reform.
  • 2018: The majority parties of Iceland promote an initiative in which the deputies decide their vote on a certain policy according to the results a a referendum organized through electronic means. Popular participation surprisingly high.
  • 2019: The first copyrights reform laws are approved by the Icelandic parliament. Although they are not very radical, those laws make Iceland the most liberal country in world regarding copyright issues. This leads many pirate websites to set there their domains.
  • Elections are held in Greece. After failling in the task nof renegotiating public debt, the SYRIZA government promisses that, if reelectet, it will take Greece out of the Euro. They win the elections by a small margin.
  • 2020: Edward Snowden is named head of the Icelandic intelligence. He starts a campaingn to protect Iceland from CIA and NSA, who try to depose the Pirate Party government.
  • The EU cuts off all financial aid to Greece and starts an embargo. The greek government turns to Russia and China for help, quickly shifting into their sphere of influence.
  • 2021: After reelecting the Pirate government, Iceland anounces a program of economic reforms which aims to turn the country’s economy into a reputation economy. The reforms advance shyly but effectively.
  • 2022: Edward Snowden prevents and exposes a massive NSA operation against the Icelandic government. The United States are firmly condemned by the international community and promise to refrain from attempting other operations like that.
  • 2024: Peak fracking happens in the USA. It’s the end of cheap oil for the USA. From now on, oil prices are steeply on the rise, because the rest of the world can’t compensate either.
  • 2025: Iceland formally transiotions to a mainly direct democracy. The Democratic Intelligence system is constitutionally adopted to perform public polls.
  • A Hurricane devastates New York and most of the US east coast, leaving many key economic areas inoperable.
  • Suddenly rising oil prices globally cause economic pessimism. Everything becomes more expensive. Banks become less eager to lend money. Corporation profits crash. To compensate, governments start printing money like crazy.
  • 2026: Hyperinflation of the US dollar and the Euro. China must follow the hyperinflationary course in order to sell its products to the USA and Europa at reasonable prices. Global mistrust in conventional currencies makes people opt into cryptocurrencies in masses. Most non-X countries try to outlaw cryptocurrencies, because they undermine their own power. The conventional economy crashes hard. Those who use cryptocurrencies manage to stand more or less afloat. Everything else is massively screwed due to the massive economic crisis.
  • A Massive earthquake happens in California. The US government confesses its difficulty in dealing with natural catastrophes and economic ressession at the same time.
  • 2027: The conventional economy is in free fall with most governments being unable to react appropriately. Unemployment reaches unprecedented levels. Conventional social security systems are failing. This leads to widespread protests. Many people lose everything due to sudden unemployment and the collapse of social security systems. Only emergency foot stamp and housing programmes stave off outright starvation and revolution. Cryptocurrencies are illegal in non-X countries and many people get imprisoned for using them. The black market based on cryptocurrencies is booming nevertheless, because it’s much less affected by the general economic malaise.
  • 2028: Movimento X is founded in Brazil, promoting a set of radical reform inspired by the policies of the Icelandic government. The party grows extraordirarily fast.
  • Some countries have to default on their (foreign) debt, because their economies have eroded too much during the crisis. Government programs stop working. The situation for the unemployed gets worse. Private, network based charity steps in to provide some relief. The problem is that this charity is illegal, because it’s based on cryptocurrencies. People start revolting about the leaders of the charities being arrested. Governments get overthrown and massive revolutionary chaos emerges on all continents.
  • In the US, republican senator Ronald Mackenzie is elected president by an historically large margin. Mackenzie’s campaign was supported by most of the country’s large corporate entities. Crictics speak of electoral fraud and intimidation and some citizins claim they have been coerced to vote for Mackenzie by the corporations they work for.
  • President Mackenzie dismissis all these accusations and some of the most prominent crictis are arrested. Force is used to put an end to the wave of protests that had been devastating the country for the past few months. Similar measures are taken by the governments of Russia, China and most of the countries under their influence.
  • 2029: Anticipated elections in Sweden have surprising results. Not only the Pirate party has its best result ever, acheiving a pretty signifficant representations, but also the transhumanist party elects its first deputy. In the following years, simillar results are obtained in Norway and Finland. Scandinavia is finally revolting against the status quo.
  • 2030: Massive protests happen in Brazil, forcing the president to resign and call for anticipated elections. Movimento X wins those elections and it’s leader, congressmen Marcus Oliveira, becomes president of the the country.
  • Oliveira anounces radical economic reforms. Cryptocurrencies are legalized,a modest Universal Basic Income is established and the government starts a fund to support small enterprises.
  • 2031: In just one year, the economic policies of the brazillian government have proved thei worth. Most moderate countries start adopting similiar policies.
  • X-inspired coalations triumph in all three Scandinavian countries. The new governments sign cooperation protocols with each others and Brazil. The Z Bolc is born out of an improbable economic alliance.
  • 2032: The United States, Russia an China introduce legal cryptocurrencies.
  • President Mackenzie anounces the creation of the Federal Workforce Distribution Bureau (FWDB), which has the authority to force people to work in certain corporation or public service where they are needed. Russia and China adopt similar measures.
  • Argentina and Venezuela elect their first X governments.
  • 2033: A new constitution, which consecrates X ideals, is approved in Brazil. The Federal election system is reformed using Democracy 2.1 and limited forms of direct democary are adopted in a local level.
  • Bolivia, Colombia, Chile and Peru join the X Bloc.
  • 2034: Large american corporations are finally recovering from depression, mainly thanks to the efforts of FWDB.
  • Despite the economic recovery life conditions are still hazardous for many people, salaries are low, slums are growing in the big cities and public helthcare is inexistent.
  • Portugal and Spain elect X-governments.
  • 2035: The United Sates constitution is amended so that president Mackenzie can run for a third mandate.
  • Another large ilegal operation by the american secret services is exposed. As a response, the X bloc lauches the International Co-operative Counter Inteligenge Program (ICCIP).

I think it looks good and I’ll continue it when I have the time.


(Michael Hrenka) #38

Not bad. One change that I’d like to propose is that some things should proceed faster and more in parallel. Movimento X needs to start somewhere around 2020 in order to be influential enough to have its own party being elected successfully in 2028. Movimento X would be something similar to the Pirate Party surprise success, but with better preparation it could become even more successful and influential than the Pirate Party. And I think the Pirate Parties will eventually fuse with the global “X Movement”, or we could start calling it “X Movement” and later on they decide to call it “Post-centralism Movement” or something.

Also, the year 2028 or something should be the peak of revolutionary activity. Very much will happen at once in that year, because it’s the worst year of the Global Depression and revolutionary unrests happen pretty much everywhere except in Iceland, because that country is already pretty much future compatible and directly democratic.

Furthermore, bloc formation should be completed by 2035, but the cyber war already starts in 2032 in earnest, because at that point the blocs have already formed quite clearly to some degree. It’s clear that the USA, Russia, and China will form the core of the Centralist bloc, and that Iceland and Brazil are the prime movers of the X bloc, but the other nations are still undecided until about 2035 when all of them have decided for one bloc or the other.

I think it’s cool that you researched potential presidents for the USA and Brazil.

We might also add one or two nuclear meltdowns at the Tschernobyl or Fukushima scale happening during the Global Depression for added effect. If they happen in the USA and the USA turn super-reactionary then it’s plausible that Europa rather wants to join the X bloc despite their current close ties to the USA.


(João Luz) #39

Not necessarily, Spanish political party Podemos was founded in 2014 and it’s already the second largest political party in the country. A political movement can grow a lot faster than the Pirate Party did.

I would like Movimento X do be founded after the Pirate Party of Iceland concludes it’s reforms, in order for them to have an inspiration.

Yeah, and if they don’t fuse they will at least form an alliance.

I like X better and I think it’s important for a political movement to have a catchy name in order to be successful. Post-centralism may be what the movement is about, but I don’t think it would stick as a name.

A lot of unrest could happen, but I honestly can’t see all countries suddenly changing their political system by that year.

I agree, but I think the peak of the war would only happen after the the X bloc lauches ICCIP and the United Sates become a pseudo-democratic dictatorship.

Oh, I didn’t research them, I totally made up the names :grinning:

Good idea. Nuclear disaters could totally happen, but Europe will undoubtabily remain divided between the two blocs until the end of the war. I just can’t see nations like the UK or Germany embracing X so soon.


(João Luz) #40

I’ve been really busy with school lately since my final exams are approaching, so, I haven’t been having much much time to work on Fractal Cosmos, but I really don’t want the project to die.

We need to continue the second cold war timeline, but first we need to decided what will be the role of some important countries:

  • Canada: They are an extremely progressive country, so, I could easily see them becoming a prominent member of the X Bloc, if they just weren’t so close to the US. Canadian economy is largely dependent on the americans and an invasion would be a piece of cake for the american militairy. So, I think they’ll probably be a reluctant member of the centralist bloc. They may try to implement some moderate X policies, but allways keeping in mind that they can’t piss off the americans.
  • Turkey: They are the most progressive country in the middle east (maybe with the exception of Israel) and they are also highly unstable, so, I think they do have a lot of X potential, but we need to think how X will interact with Islam and muslim traditions.