Predictions and Resolutions for the World, 2013
What will the world be like in 2013?
Obviously, 2013 has already begun. We’re not talking about some moment in time, years and years away (I always disliked how, when people made predictions about mankind’s future, they always sounded so detached, as though we weren’t talking about our world). But seeing as the New Year has only begun, there is plenty to speculate about.
The state of world affairs (or what I would like to coin “The World Scene,” aka the blend of politics, economy, nature and culture that is known to people throughout the world-i.e. not just the citizens of one country but many) is at a strange point at the moment: a mix between a stalemate and a powder keg. We’ve got the fiery Middle East, which is in it’s umpteenth stage of the Arab Spring protests and revolution; Europe, which is about to go under with it’s debt crises; and Asia, which leaves everyone guessing as to what the next political and economic moves are (hello North Korea!) But ontop of this turmoil, there is also stagnation: witness Africa-can we say that the continent as a whole is in a state of progress, when there are rebel armies and kidnappers everywhere holding court? South America and Oceania-where is their presence on the World Scene? Located away from the Eurasian mass, the Middle East which joins Africa into the fold, what impact do these south-of-the-equator nations hold?
2013 I believe will be a strange year. There is both possibility and impossibility. I fear that more countries will succumb to the the pressures of debt and have no choice but to turn to austerity, including the United States. I am no economist–I’ll be taking my first Economics class ever this first semester of grad school–but I feel that the mounting debt crises has the possibility of changing the face of world politics and power. As the United States finds itself in fiscal cliff battles et al., it’s kind of difficult to go in and start a new war in, say, Iran or Syria; hopefully, the debt we incurred from Iraq and Afghanistan will mean that US foreign policy will become a little less invasive. Europe too will have little choice but to focus on itself and keeping the European Union from falling apart.
I also believe that 2013 will be the year that political correctness will come to a head. I am all for political correctness, as usually this equates with fairness and equality. In the United States, I do feel that we’ve taken it to an obsessive level–oftentimes, using “politically correct words” really is just a polite cover-up for what one’s really trying to say, and ultimately how does that change anything? Don’t we get the freedom of speech in this country, why should we be so afraid of insulting someone? In other countries where freedom and respect are less common, I feel that the battles for human rights will only become more intense. The Arab Spring highlighted this, since the region is so sensationally against political correctness and liberty for all, and I feel that social issues will only become more pronounced, for as societies try to grapple with depressing economic news and dwindling power, they will turn onto social issues as a sort of outlet (this is of course what happened with the women of Afghanistan, where extreme political and economic situation caused the men to reflect on the only thing they could really control-women).
United States: Gun Control! Need I say more. Let’s get guns off the streets and educate people. The list of resolutions for America goes on and on, from changing our approach to school and college (lowering school costs?) to getting universal healthcare for all
France: Focus on what’s important. No more mass protesting about gay mariage (seriously? The French of all people are protesting about gay marriage?) or the construction of airports: I hope France focuses on being an open-minded, democratic country (and manages to keep it’s economy in check!)
Germany: Play nice with the poor people. We know Germany has things in check, but that doesn’t mean Angela Merkel et al. need to be cruel to those countries that are sinking in debt
Russia: Embrace freedom of the press. After watching an Al-Jazeera documentary on Russia’s handling of protesters and free speech, I really hope that the Russian government will have a change of heart. After all, you’re not a Communist country anymore, it’s not the Cold War–what’s up with all the secrecy?
North Korea: Open up. What does North Korea have against the rest of the world? There’s always so much talk about Iran’s nuclear program, but everyone seems to forget that NK too has nuclear weapons and, I feel, goes unnoticed. When is the country going to stop playing the spectre?
Greece: Get a new government that isn’t corrupt. Isn’t there one honorable person in Greece, or has democracy turned into a dirty word over there?
And lastly, a worldwide resolution: women’s rights!
This will be my resolution for the world every year until I am satisfied with women’s status in the world. I hope that in 2013 women gain more ground in terms not just in legal rights but also in society (which is often harsher towards woman than governments are) too. I’m calling on India to resolve gang rape and how politicians respond to rape. I’m calling on Saudi Arabia which beheads women with little trial. I’m calling on the Western world, which stereotypes women on a daily basis. Let’s hear it for women in 2013!