One of the few subscriptions for news services that I keep up is one for Stratfor. They provide some of the best conventional analysis out there - certainly more in-depth than mass market websites and magazines and often sourced very well when it comes to high-level strategic decisions made by military and political leaders in the U.S. and around the world. They cut through the partisan haze and get down to the mechanics of how power is exercised around the globe.
Having a source that is plugged-in so well gives us a fantastic window into the minds of the Western power elites.
It also, in my opinion, hinders them from catching dramatic turns in mass sentiment such as the one we are living in today. Now, not to pick on Stratfor - they are among the best at what they do and I regard that subscription as worth the money - but I don't rely on them to inform me of how to plan in a strategic sense. And if I won't use the best in the business for that purpose, I certainly wouldn't use newspaper articles, blog opinion pieces or, heaven forbid, television talking heads.
Looking over the topics on Stratfor's main page, I am amazed by the lack of ongoing attention to potential fracture points in the conventional framework. Scanning the topics this morning, I see:
- A review of an attempt by Palestinian supporters to break the Gaza blockade
- A discussion of trade tensions between Argentina and Brazil
- A special report on security for the World Cup matches to be held in South Africa
- An in-depth review of efforts by Hungary to extend citizenship to Hungarians outside the current borders of the country
So what, you may ask?
In the late 1700's conventional analysis would have been discussing how the numerical and training superiority of British troops meant almost sure victory over a dispersed rabble in the North American colonies and a few years later, how the enraged peasants of France stood no chance against a monarchical structure in place since the Middle Ages. I won't even go into how bankrupt conventional "economic analysis" has become. This is the type of stuff the elites in politics are seeing, reading and "understanding" as hard facts. The decisions that will be made - or not made - in the coming weeks and months will probably not reflect the fact that the Powers that Be recognize that we are at a watershed moment in history, but will probably reflect painfully conventional thinking and absorption into the minutiae of tactics of a political hustle or the treatment of anger and violence as isolate expressions of local unrest, divorced of any grand understanding of the big picture.
Well friends, in my opinion, we are rapidly approaching a turning point in history that will present the elites with those kinds of challenges. This turning point that will rival if not surpass the upheavals of the French Revolution and the Cultural Revolution in Modern China. I think by the end of the year we'll all be living it and knowing it.
Every one of the stories that is pimped out in the mainstream media or via excellent conventional outlets like Stratfor is given better context and allows you to scenario plan by using socionomics. That's why I use that model often and why I harp on it in these blog posts.
For instance, the story above on Hungarian efforts to reclaim influence via the use of dual-citizenship (and why now? and what comes next?) gets deeply informed by knowing that we are entering a long period of negative-biased mass mood. The story about the trade spat between Argentina and Brazil is given much more life in that context as well. As for the story about security in South Africa, well, let's just say that socionomics illustrates very well what can happen to minority populations during periods of negative mass mood and if one uses that information properly, one could avoid the horrible wave of violence that the model indicates might be headed towards those minorities.
Also, what I find amazing, especially with Stratfor's deep connections to the energy industry, that there is no running analysis of the oil spill in the Gulf. I still regard that spill as a key "hook" on which much of the U.S. population will hang a lot of anger in the coming weeks and months, if not years. The latest story posted by Stratfor on this issue is from May 21st.
If this is the best that our conventional news sources can provide to the elites in coporate America and throughout the U.S. government, then you can imagine the types of responses that will be attempted based on this "analysis."
News is good. Conventional analysis isn't too dangerous for your health during bull market upswings. Unconventional tools are needed during times of change.