It could be better or it could be worse than 2016… Either way, we’ve got to make the most of it.
Even if you put aside all the celebrity deaths and the murder of Jo Cox and Harambe, 2016 was still a pretty stark year. This has, quite undoubtedly, set the stage for a super eventful 2017… But what could happen?
Here’s what I think:
A Shift in Power – With President Trump in power, the USA will kick-start the process of its own destruction. No, I don’t mean its destruction in the physical sense of the word, but rather of its influence on the world. With U-turns galore and tweets about other countries, Trump is already alienating many a nation, which may force them to turn to other superpowers for support or guidance. The shift will not just be a political one, though. With the eyes of the world wandering for a new leader, a shift in trends, entertainment and goods may also be experienced. How far it will all go is anyone’s guess…
Image above: Donald Trump
A New Europe – Italy is now on the verge of a financial crisis, Marine Le Pen (National Front) may be elected in France, and current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is contesting the election once again. With each decision and each new occurrence, the balance of power in Europe is changing and its stability threatened. Even so, it’s not this that has changed Europe the most because, whether the UK goes ahead with Brexit or not, the European Union is now at the most crucial crossroads since it was first founded, and while the outcome may be less dramatic than many expected, everything has now changed.
The Rise of the Right – Most Western countries have had centre to centre-left politicians for the best part of the past two decades, but as the anti-establishment sentiment heightens, more people are voting in conservative leaders. This is a complex issue that stems from a variety of things, including the ever-increasing threat of terrorism, the migrant crisis, the furthering of the gap between the rich and the poor, and the feeling that politicians are unable to achieve people’s desires. With a shift in direction, there will also be a change in attitudes, particularly towards minorities or people of different religions and ethnicities.
Image above: Marine Le Pen president of the National Front in France
A New Financial Crisis – Fresh out of one, the world seems to, once again, be racing towards a new financial crisis. Brexit has wiped billions of British Pounds from the London Stock Exchange, Trump insists on shifting the way America buys its products, Europe is ravaged by Italy and the UK… Oh, and a loss for Merkel and a win for Le Pen could wipe billions off the euro, too. Also, graduates are getting poorer, expats can’t secure work in the UK because no one knows if they’ll be allowed to stay or not, and more and more people can’t afford rent.
Conflicts – Between Syria, Ukraine and Turkey, the chances are that 2017 will also see fresh conflict taking place. This, however, doesn’t even take into consideration any major incidents that may take place over the next twelve months that could completely shift things. How would Trump react to a terror attack in the USA? What would happen if one of the world’s major leaders got impeached, died suddenly, or was assassinated? What if Le Pen wins and France experiences another terror attack? And what if the conflict between Palestine and Israel worsens?
Image above: Hundreds of people were killed in a nerve gas attack in the Ghouta region near Damascus
If there’s one thing we can be sure of is that 2016 has left us with more questions than ever before, with very few answers. And that is exactly why it feels so surreal… At the beginning of a New Year, we’re more worried than hopeful.