Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's
These pages contain the complete manuscript of the new book
Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny,
written by John J. Xenakis.
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Chapter 13 -- America's Manifest Destiny and You
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
-- Satirist Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913)
How the nation and the world have changed since 2001!
Since World War II, America has acted as "Policeman of the World,"
defending freedom and democracy wherever it could. However, in the
space of a few years, that's changed from a defensive role to a
preemptive role. This is how the people of the idealistic Baby Boomer
generation think of America, and how they want us, as a country, to
As the world's only remaining superpower, America is viewed not only
by Americans but also by people around the world as the country that
protects freedom and democracy around the world.
We use the phrase "manifest destiny" to describe what America's role
has become. We chose that phrase to relate America today to Spain
during the 1500s.
The 1500s were the Golden Age of Spain. The country was rich and
powerful, and had just "discovered America," and had just completed
the reconquest of Spain from the Muslims (see page [westeurope#24]). It
became, in the minds of the Spanish people, the manifest destiny of
Spain to be the power that would spread true Christianity throughout
Europe and the New World.
| America is viewed not only by Americans but also by people around the world as the country that protects freedom and democracy around the world|
The period since World War II has been the Golden Age of America.
Today it's our manifest destiny to defeat terrorism and lead the
world to Democracy and Freedom.
This is an awesome responsibility. All Americans will be tested.
What you should do -- as an individual
Ever since I discovered, in 2002, that the Generational Dynamics
methodology implies that we were already in a 1930s-style depression,
I've been telling my friends the following: Even if you don't believe
this conclusion, you should still protect yourself and your family by
saving money and making only necessary purchases. I've been
gratified to see several of my friends save themselves by exercising
great care that they might not otherwise have exercised.
Unfortunately, it's human nature that human lives become cheap in
times of war and financial crisis. So each person has to fill a dual
role: Look for ways to serve your community and your country, but
also make sure that you protect yourself and your family.
- Manage money wisely. During the 1990s, there were plenty
of jobs and plenty of money. As we enter a time of worsening
financial crisis, many people will become bankrupt and homeless. Take
measures to make sure that this doesn't happen to you.
- Stay close to your family and community. When survival
(financial or physical) is in question, then people need to gather
together to protect each other.
- Develop 21st job skills. Computers and the Internet have
changed the world and every job drastically in the last 20 years.
It's not enough any more just to learn word processing and other
basic computer skills. You have to develop new skills in music,
writing, trade, management, and everything else. People who try to
get along with 20th century skills will find that they no longer have
- Be kind and decent to people. Many people will be in
distress, and a little kindness and decency can go a long way.
- Pay attention to current events, especially international
events. If you've read this book carefully, then you have an
idea what direction the world is going in. And remember,
Generational Dynamics is a long-range forecasting tool; it tells you
where we're going, but not you get there. This is a historic time,
and you owe it to yourself to see how the world gets to wherever it's
- Consider joining the armed forces or taking a defense-related
job. Patriotism isn't the only reason. An increasingly large
portion of the nation's jobs will be defense-related, and this may be
the best way to find a job. Eventually, some people may have no
choice: it's hard to see how we'll get through a crisis war without
reinstituting the armed forces draft.
What you should do -- as a community leader
If you're a political leader of a town, if you're the head of a
school, business, labor union, church, youth group, or other
organization, then you're in a position to help people, or to help
people help each other.
- Encourage people to start community projects. With many
unemployed people around, there are plenty of opportunities to
organize people to do some good. These could be civic projects, such
as repairing abandoned homes to give shelter to homeless people.
- Provide educational opportunities for people to learn new
skills. Similarly, when there are many unemployed people around,
there are opportunities for those with special knowledge or skills to
give courses to the others. Everything from home repair to computer
skills can be taught in this way.
- Keep businesses afloat by borrowing money. Interest rates
are expected to remain near zero, making it possible for shaky
businesses to stay afloat by borrowing money.
- Make your business a 21st century business. 20th century
businesses will not survive. Transform your business into a 21st
century business by taking advantage of high tech and the Internet.
- Promote community civil defense efforts. The last major
war on American soil was the Civil War. America has been insulated
from world wars in the past because the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
have provided insulation. However, the spread of terrorism and
weapons of mass destruction (including disease and chemical weapons)
may bring war to American soil again. Local community preparation can
save a lot of lives in such a case.
- Change your business to support the defense effort. It's
legendary that when World War II began, General Motors changed
overnight from a manufacturer of cars to a manufacturer of tanks.
Look for ways for your business to do the same.
| America's greatest danger is the belief that it can do everything|
What you should do -- as a national politician
- Mute political differences. During a crisis period, when
there's so much at stake, the public does not want to hear political
- Don't be too America-centric. It always amazes me how
politicians and journalists blame or credit almost everything that
happens in the world on America, sometimes even crediting something
as trivial as a speech by a politician. This is particularly true of
events in the Mideast region, where much that happens is because of
the Orthodox Christian / Muslim fault line, or various ethnic fault
lines -- things that few Americans even know anything about, let
alone control. If you've read this book carefully, then you know that
actually very little that happens in the world happens because of
- Avoid hubris. America's greatest danger is the belief
that it can do everything. Remember the mythical story of Icarus,
who escaped with his father from a prison island by wearing
fabricated wings made out of feathers and wax and flying away. His
father warned him that if he flew too near the sun, the sun would
melt the wax in the wings. However, filled with hubris, Icarus
thought he could fly to the heavens and become a god. When he tried,
the sun melted his wings and he fell into the ocean and died.
- Prepare for the worst. There's a tendency in Washington
to "shoot the messenger" who brings bad news about the economy or the
world situation. The result is that the nation can't properly
prepare for the future.
- Choose your battles carefully. Be especially careful to
save firepower in the early battles, since things will get much
worse before they get better.
History also tells us that we can win over terrorism during this
crisis period. By proceeding with caution, America can fulfill its
manifest destiny, can defeat terrorism, and can remain the greatest
country the world has ever known by bringing freedom and democracy to
the rest of the world!
Copyright © 2002-2016 by
John J. Xenakis.