Things that after the initial shock look in hindsight as something that should have been in the "probably to possible," vice the "impossible to improbable" at the turn of the year. The Islamic State and the Ukraine crisis are two of the more recent ones that come to mind.
Where will the next one be? Well, many years in the making, I think that one crisis that should be in everyone's "probable" category is a additional and potentially rapid political disruption in northern Europe as the working and middle classes lose their patience with their political elite's inability to deal with the existential threat of massive non-Western immigration.
In the old continent, there are a variety of currents coming together in 2015 that should make one keep a close eye on what is going on in the background.
With much of the Muslim world in expanding chaos, and Sub-Saharan Africa unable to grow its economy to match its population, even more that before, 2015 will be a year where population migration from the poor, corrupt and violent prone south to the north will grow and in some cases, further set the seeds for conflict in the nations they are migrating to.
The hard reality of human nature is going to begin to push the well meaning theory of the welcoming welfare state of Europe in to a region of unsustainable and instability - if it has not already. Combine the relatively inexpensive ability to move across continents along with a very low chance of being sent back if you make it, and you have a perfect match of push and pull.
Nations can absorb a certain amount of people from different nations, religions and cultures - but you can break the system. You can take more if both the people coming want to assimilate and the nation taking them insists on it. A nation cannot take the same numbers if the people coming will not assimilate. In the past, high financial, technological, cultural, and legal barriers prevented indigestible waves of immigration - but no more. Those barriers are gone in a way that requires correction. There can be a good correction, or a bad one. If correction is done in time, it can be done in the good category. If things are allowed to continue on their path without a proper response, then in a panic and time crunch at the tipping point, no one will like what will be done to correct the problem - if it can be corrected.
As large boats drift throughout the Mediterranean Sea, waiting to come ashore; as open borders to the east and south minimize barriers to entry, and a political elite who are tuning out the concerns of its own people - and more importantly - want to make sure no one calls them a nasty name - well, where does this go?
Each nation will ultimately deal with it their own way - but to get an idea about possible reactions, look for the most vulnerable nations - those closest to the tipping point. Look for the place where the extremes are - where the most stress is - that will give you an indication of what is about to come.
Let's get some pull quotes and articles for you to read about just one nation's challenge; Sweden.
"There was a sense that our government didn't have a clear plan for how to manage immigration," says Boel Godner, the mayor of Sodertalje. "And the question that has come up lately, is, can the welfare system bear us all? What's going to happen to everyone who comes here? No one has given the answer to that yet."For immigration to work where the people lack education, technical skill, and cultural literacy; if they come to work hard and contribute to society, most of the friction will come only from the indigenous population who are on the lower side of the economic spectrum whose wages are depressed (another reason to keep unskilled immigration at low levels, it impacts most your nation's most economically vulnerable). However - what if they come to only take?
"In the U.S., you always say that it's the land of dreams, yeah? I say it's actually Sweden," says Yakoub, who's now chairman of the Assyrian Community of Sweden. "Here you can get an education from kindergarten up to university without paying one cent. Society takes care of you because the social welfare system is good. Generally, it's an open society with good values."Who will pay for that?
Hope is not a plan.
Andreae, Sodertalje's city manager, says he hopes Swedish politicians find concrete ways to manage immigration instead of closing its doors to war refugees. He would like to see other municipalities take in more refugees, for example, since Sodertalje's resources are now stretched.At the end of the last decade, I had a Swedish Lt.Col. tell me what he saw in his nation's future - he saw blood.
He says he chose to work in Sodertalje in part because it reflects Sweden's openness to the world. He hopes that doesn't change.
"Because I like to think that the Swedes still are a very tolerant people," he says. "But of course, when you are challenged in that view, when things are happening, that situation can move, and it can move quite rapidly."
He spoke of the same, "...move quite rapidly" that Sodertalje mentions above. He saw the cowardly politicians refusing to do anything until it was too late ... and then he warned that there would be dark times. So far, the trend line is going exactly in that direction. Who can the Swedes blame? Who will they turn to?
SD is deemed anathema, so no party bargains with it to pass legislation, not even indirectly through the media. Both Left and “Right” seek to isolate and discredit it. Nevertheless, SD has played kingmaker on certain crucial legislation, particularly the annual budget. In keeping with its policy to drive from power every government that refuses to reduce immigration, it brought down an Alliance for Sweden government in early 2014. Recent weeks saw a repeat of this scenario, when SD joined the Alliance in opposing the leftist budget, forcing the government to call for elections in March 2015.Poorer. Less educated. More violent. Domestic strife. That is the future the Swedish politicians are setting up their own country for.
But then something remarkable occurred: The two major blocs compromised not only on the current budget, but also on future budgets and power-sharing all the way to 2022. The left and “right” alliances worked out trade-offs so that elections need not take place in March, allowing the Left to rule until 2018, with the “Right” possibly taking over from 2018 until 2022. Not only does this political cartel deprive SD of its pivotal role but, short of winning a majority of parliamentary seats in 2018, it has no meaningful legislative role for the next eight years, during which time the immigration issue is off the table.
The relentless stream of migrants to Europe — propelled by the war in Syria and turmoil across the Middle East and the Horn of Africa — has combined with economic troubles and rising fear of Islamic radicalism to fuel a backlash against immigrants, directed most viciously at Muslims.More than ever, there is a warning Mark Steyn gave that everyone in the West needs to keep in mind as this growing wave heads our way from the failed parts of the world;
The simmering resentments and suspicions have driven debates across Europe about tighter controls on immigration. Worries about immigration have helped buoy right-wing parties in Britain, Denmark, France and Hungary. German officials recorded more than 70 attacks against mosques from 2012 to 2014, including an arson, and the police in Britain have recorded an increase in hate crimes against Muslims. There are few places where the turn against immigrants is more surprising than Sweden, where a solid core of citizens still supports the 65-year-old open door policy toward immigrants facing hardship that has long earned international respect for the country.
On Friday, hundreds of Swedes gathered outside the royal palace in Stockholm and in other cities to show solidarity with the Muslim population a day after an unknown assailant threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid at a mosque in the northern city of Uppsala and sprayed racist slogans on the building. The firebomb caused no injuries and did not damage the building.
But as each day brings more reports of immigrants who have boarded ships and sneaked across European borders, the famous tolerance of the Swedes is being tested as never before.
Despite a lackluster economy, Sweden was third behind only Germany and France in the number of people registering for asylum in 2012, according to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. Relative to its population, Sweden received the second-highest share of asylum applications in the European Union after Malta, the institute says.
Continue reading the main story
The Syrian conflict has boosted the number of asylum seekers. Of 81,000 people seeking asylum in Sweden in 2014, roughly half were from Syria,
If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones.It doesn't have to be this way. Smart, humane, and economically sound policies are out there to keep things manageable without asking a people to commit cultural suicide or to turn to their darker natures to preserve their unique culture.
However, we are dealing with people of the political left here. They will destroy their neighbor's house and their own just to prove to themselves that they are ... well ... what they are.
As the world continues to suffer from conflicts and political extremism, Sweden received the most asylum applications in the world from 2009 through 2013, according to the U.N. refugee agency, and the country expects that the number of asylum seekers in 2015 will break records. "Our society should be prepared to receive between 80,000 and 105,000 asylum seekers in 2015," said Sweden's Migration Board, the government agency in charge of handling immigration issues. Sweden's refugee policy is also praised by many international humanitarian agencies, as it stepped up its efforts for Syrians by granting permanent residency to refugees fleeing the conflict. In light of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria, Sweden opened its borders to all Syrian asylum seekers by granting them permanent residency.Clever political games that lets the problem grow while bottling up political redress of grievances? Not smart. Facts like this are hard to ignore - and dangerous for politicians to try to hide for long.
However, Sweden's liberal policy towards refugees has resulted in decreasing tolerance in Swedish society toward immigrants. In the face of a massive influx of refugees and asylum seekers, Swedish nationalism has been on the rise, as far-right groups are deeply critical of the center-left government's policies towards immigration. The Swedish Democrats, a nationalist party that is also the third largest, favors deep cuts to immigration, as there have been growing hostilities towards immigrant communities.
Statistics concerning ethnicity and religion when it comes to criminals are not to be found in the world’s most politically correct country with probably the fastest-growing share of Muslims: Sweden. The risk of being raped in Sweden during one’s lifetime is one out of four, which is probably equal to the risk of being raped in any other country under Muslim attack. When it comes to rapes, Islamized Sweden is already in a state of war. If we want to have a hint about who is committing these tens of thousands of rapes and other types of sexual assaults yearly, we can turn to another Scandinavian country, Sweden’s neighbor Norway, the country most similar to Sweden. Here 100 percent of all rapes in the last five years in Oslo were committed by immigrants from “non-Western” countries. In Stavanger, a major Norwegian city, 90 percent of rapes are committed by “immigrants.”What is one thing 'ole Sal watching in 2015? The immigration crisis in Europe is unsustainable and things cannot stay the same. This will cause conflict, in what form, where, and towards whom? Ahhh ... that is the tricky bit.
One way or another, be glad you have a USA passport. We have out own immigration issues ... but nothing like over there.
Where to? Other nations, those who have a problem but not as bad as Sweden (that is getting worse). The Netherlands started its turn back to a more restrictionist policy a few years ago, and may avoid the extreme strife that Sweden seems to be setting itself up for.
Sad thing is, those who are making that huge risk to leave their horrible nations behind are very real people with very real concerns. If I were born in their nations, I wouldn't want to live there either.
That being said, small nations who have over centuries built a civil society that is a magnet to the world are under no obligation to let those centuries of hard work be destroyed by letting themselves be swamped by waves of others coming to take. No nation is obliged to commit suicide so pampered UN bureaucrats can say nice things about them.