It’s really the New Year now! Wring out the old, bring in the same-old-same-old.

Why belief systems in temples, banks and sovereigns will doom 2015 to death by 15 conflicts

Looking forward to 2015 with something less than enthusiasm at the weekend, I jotted a few notes and came up with, oddly enough, 15 different dimensions of serious conflict on our little Earth. They were far from mutually exclusive: and they were all well capable of producing both mayhem and chaos. At a push, in fact, I was able to list them under three main headings:

The clash of belief systems

Finance and Economics

Culture, society, and freedoms

Growing clashes of belief and ideology

Islam v other religions

Japan v China

Oil obsession v post-oil research

US v Russia (which it still sees as USSR)

EU v rebel Sovereigns

The fruitless fight between socialists and neoliberals

Banks v Citizens

The US Dollar v an aternative bloc

Zirp v Welfare of the Old

Globalism v Nationalism v Communitarianism

Materialism v eclectic life fulfilment

Threats to our culture, freedoms, and social values

Deregulated media ownership v the Internet/’bloggers’

Surveillance v Privacy

Corporatocracy v Democracy

Controls on opinion v Liberty

Now putting them under three headings is what the structural functionalist Talcott Parsons would’ve done, but in reality their interdependence is plain to see. Just at random for starters:

An emphasis on material benefits leads to controlling corporacrats and the erosion of liberal democracy, but the inabilty of socilaists to look for new ideas makes them equally tribal…leading to controls on opinion suchas the Scots now want to introduce.


The US obsession with maintaining Dollar hegemony and access to oil leads to the old Russia v USA face-off.

Anyone who imagines that these intractably interwoven and increasingly ruthless ambitions in conflict can be deconstructed without unpleasantness is off with the fairies.

Happy New(ish) Year.

Related from yesterday at The Slog: the brass neck of pols using our own money to bamboozle us