Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist who has spent his adult life studying sociology, economics, history, anthropology, macrohistory, theology, mathematics and has developed several theories related to peace and conflict. He has had over 1000 articles published and has written over 100 books throughout the course of his life.
Relative to us, Galtung predicted in 2000 that the U.S. would begin its course towards fascism and eventually, collapse as a world power within 25 years. With the election of President George W. Bush, Glatung sped up his prediction to 20 years because he believed Bush’s militarism would act as an accelerant. Now, with Donald Trump elected to be our next president, Galtung says the collapse could happen even sooner than 2020.
Galtung’s model for making such a prediction come from a pattern of “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions” that have been the theme in the collapse of 10 historical empires he has studied.
For example, Galtung says of Trump:
He blunts contradictions with Russia, possibly with China, and seems to do also with North Korea, but he sharpens contradictions inside the USA.
Galtung has correctly predicted the 1978 Iranian revolution; China’s Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989; the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989; the economic crises of 1987, 2008 and 2011; and the 9/11 attacks in 2001 based on the contradictions he identifies within these societies.
In the Soviet Union, Galtung saw five key structural contradictions, such as the strain between the Soviet working class and the bourgeoisie. When those stresses combined with the push for more freedom of expression, autonomy, and freedom of movement, eventually fragmentation, then collapse occurred in the USSR.
Compare that to the 15 internal contradictions the US is currently facing. Galtung says he identified unsustainable economic, military, social and political contradictions that would first diminish our power as a world leader, and then lead to reactionary fascism.
Galtung says he believes Americans will spring for fascism due to our capacity for global violence, our belief in our exceptionalism, a belief in the need for a war between good and evil, a cult of strong state and “strong leader.”
If you peruse Breitbart on any given day, you will see this cult of strong leader giddy over the fact that we’ve now entered the “Age of Daddy.” Ask almost any Christian conservative if we should nuke the Middle East, and you will almost always hear an enthusiastic ‘yes’. I think we’ve all sensed a major social shift with this last election, and tensions are high. And we’ve handed the keys to our country to a demagogue, who has brought confusion to the table, holds an intense hatred for the free media, and erratically changes his mind, policies, and mood.
The sociologist says America will be facing a war of sorts on two fronts, since our country operates domestically and as an empire. Galtung attributes our collapse as world power due to increasing political tensions between the US and the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. Throughout Trump’s campaign, he repeatedly threw gasoline on those fires.
Because of these international tensions, Galtung says:
The collapse has two faces. Other countries refuse to be ‘good allies: and the USA has to do the killing themselves, by bombing from high altitudes, drones steered by computer from an office, Special Forces killing all over the place. Both are happening today, except for Northern Europe, which supports these wars, for now. That will probably not continue beyond 2020, so I stand by that deadline.
Our domestic economic collapse will be due to the rising costs of war, overproduction relative to demand, high unemployment, and increasing costs of climate change (weather-related disasters cost the US billions of dollars every year).
There is a strong belief from Judeo-Christians their country has been stolen from them by Muslims and other religious minorities, which is a contradiction that is sharpened by wealth inequality and the inability to rise up in society through hard work. And there has been a deepening conflict of racial tensions, with a rise of white supremacists that may upend the US as a union and turn it into a confederation.
Galtung says the only way for America to steer off course would be if Trump did an about-face and ended wars, and apologized deeply to the groups and nations he has offended.
The guy who wouldn’t even apologize to Megyn Kelly for putting her life in danger.