Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Extreme Outcomes (Part One): Forced Migrations

Escape by Hopedso
Working from the assumption that a powerful wave of negative social mood is reasserting itself as the prime driver Western world, this is the first in a series of posts where we'll look at Extreme Outcomes. These posts will cover mass actions of a kind most believe have been relegated to the bad old days, or at least the kinds of things that "can't" happen in Europe or the Americas.

Here in the fading twilight of the greatest era of positive mood and delusional thinking ever seen, it is time to think about how past tidal waves of negative mood and mass action have blasted apart communities and sent individual lives careening down very unexpected paths.

Put on your nitrile gloves and we'll flip through the bloodstained pages of history to get a feel for what we may see unfold in the coming years of the Great Collapse.

Looking at the Rift

Much anguish and hand-wringing has followed in the wake of the killings in France. While I derided the response as being part of the Clown Show that seems to make up 90% of modern discourse on topics of governance and strategy, the rift it illustrates between a the dominant culture of France and an unreconstructed Islamist minority is worthy of the headlines and attention.

Looking at the situation in France, much of Europe, and the  United States using the lens of socionomics, tensions between factions within a larger nation-state can play out in several ways:
  • In positive mood eras, federalism and a booming economy can smooth over tensions and at times lead to the assimilation of various cultures under the dominant culture represented by the ruling factions
  • Simmering violence and occasional pogroms can erupt, channeling the tensions into "retail" incidents of violence usually managed with ease by the dominant elites
  • Pogroms can at times escalate to wars of extermination as a dominant group attempts to destroy a smaller group or groups which have either resisted assimilation or which have been selected as targets for political purposes
  • Civil wars of various scales can erupt if negative mood becomes deep enough and pervasive enough and the population base is sufficient to support long-term conflict
  • Removal of the revolting faction if the disparity between the dominant governing culture or group is far superior in numbers and resources to the minority group, but the complete extermination of the minority group is not possible or desired

It is this last point I wish to consider today. 

Forced Migrations

Whether it is the Trail of Tears, forced population transfers in the Soviet Union, or the expulsion of Jews from Spain and England, the decision to force the relocation of peoples at gunpoint has been part of strategic and political warfare for millennia.

Let's look at two types of forced migrations, one within the last century and one from just over 500 years ago.

Turkey and Greece Shift Populations after the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922

In the wake of the catastrophe of the First World War, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of the Turkish state, the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, and partially in response to Turkish efforts to crush minority populations which it viewed as a threat, Greece and Turkey agreed to forcibly exchange populations, mostly based upon religious affiliation.

This was a treaty between two functional nation-states. The effect on the populations was enormous and the consequences are felt even today.

Actions such as this are one reason nationalism has a far different connotation for many Europeans of a previous generation than it does for most Americans. The association of the nation-state with forced migrations, pogroms, and other mass actions against minority populations helped fuel the rise of the European Union during the post-World War II era of generally positive mood.

The Alhambra Decree and the Expulsion of Jews from Spain

In 1492, Spain decreed all Jews living in Spain must either convert or leave the kingdom. This was driven by political, economic, and religious reasons and culminated in the displacement of anywhere from 130,000 to 800,000 Jews.

Others chose to convert, some secretly keeping their faith and known as Marranos - a group we have discussed here at FutureJacked some years back.

Again, a strong central government pursuing a policy of creating a more homogenous society led to the death and disruption of huge numbers of lives.

Applicability for Today

So? Nationalism and authoritarianism are returning to the political scene. Many of us, especially in America and the Anglo world don't immediately equate strong nationalism with extremely negative actions such as forced migrations at gunpoint - but it has always been in the nationalist toolkit.

As we peer through the murky fog towards what comes next, do not be surprised if you see public discussion of forcible relocation of Muslim minorities in at least some European countries.

This short note is not written to support such actions but to warn you. If you are among a minority group which could become vulnerable, consider scenario-planning some worst-case developments and be thinking of a Plan B and a Plan C.

Most every group that has been forcibly moved has lost much, if not all, of its material wealth. What options would you have today to hedge against such a calamity?

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