It seems to me that 2016 was the year that the world decided to head off into a new direction leaving many bewildered and uncertain. This was the year that everyone collectively stopped believing in and following the manipulations of experts, the establishment and the rulers.
People demand certainty and strong leadership.
It is a matter of opinion what issues or events sparked the global paradigm shifts. Perhaps it was the relentless wars in the failed states of the Middle East such as Syria and Iraq; the movement of large numbers of refugees; the export of Islamic State terrorism to the rest of the globe. Such events revealed in stark terms the impotence and weakness of the ruler and status quo. People demanded certainty, they moved in the direction of strong leadership and parties with clear cut strong policies. 2016 was the year the pendulum moved in the direction of extremes in nationalism and religion. Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are today at the zenith of their power and rising, a situation repeating in other nations, including the rise of Trump and the Christian evangelical movements in the USA.
Globalism is dying
The ruler manipulated too much, went too far with their fearmongering narratives, people stopped listening, stopped trusting in the face of wishwashy policies and lack of results. People demanded certainty and hard measurable results. In the UK those behind Brexit promised hard results, as did Trump in the USA, people listened and gave them the political mandate in the expectation of delivery of those promises. In contrast the existing political orders were hubristic, confusing and fear-mongering offering neither hope or answers, thus they were swept aside. Political correctness, globalism, free-movement and centralised institutions such as NATO, IMF, EU and the UN have all been rejected in favour of localised and insular looking attitudes and ideas. No longer can Facebook expect to have easy access to every nation, or immigrants have ease of movement across borders, nor will global treaties and collective action be so easy.
A global population of unease and desperation
There is in all populations a sense of unease and desperation. The recent death of UK musical artist George Michael from heart failure on Christmas Day resulted in collective national grief in the UK media and population, people are more sensitive to bad news. The UK population like a drowning man desperately flail out at good-feel news stories such as the meeting of Prince George and Obama.
2017 is the year the game pieces start moving
If 2016 was the year that the game pieces were set up on the board ready to play, then 2017 is the year the game pieces begin to move. 2017 is when the global old order tears itself to pieces, when many will expect and demand instant hard action by the ruler. 2017 is the year when the straining fault lines that have been hidden and delayed begin to manifest in spectacular fashion, an out of control share market, housing market, and debt situation. Everywhere gun powder kegs are smouldering, the shiverings of riots in UK prisons, the failed coup in Turkey, the Islamic State inspired atrocities across the globe. 2017 is the year when all will be judged by fire, what is sick and frail will fall, the strong and healthy will be king.