ANALYSIS - After the crisis, a worldwide rise in unrest?
This is just one of several articles - all asking the same question: "What comes next?"
* In authoritarian states, protesters want more freedom
* Financial adjustments bring anger in Western economies
* Vicious cycle of inflation and unrest
With the Middle East in turmoil, other authoritarian states jumpy and post-crisis economic pain prompting protest in western Europe and elsewhere, some suspect a systemic rise in worldwide unrest might just be beginning.
Instability in the already volatile oil-producing Middle East could produce a feedback loop where unrest pushes up energy prices, fuelling inflation and deepening discontent both in the region and around the world.
That's a good way to state it: "a feedback loop where unrest pushed up energy prices, fueling inflation and deepening discontent both in the region and around the world."
And we definitely seem to be caught in this "loop" at the moment. It also raises more questions than answers:
In most countries, the so-called "misery index" -- an aggregation of unemployment and inflation long seen as a warning of protest and instability -- is pushing higher.
"After an extended period of economic growth and political apathy across the developed and emerging worlds, we may have reached a new political cycle -- one where populations take out their grievances on their leaders and their associates," wrote Citi political analyst Tina Fordham. "This won't be limited to the emerging world."
And this combination of events is being called the "perfect storm".
"Two crises are happening at the same time - which is unprecedented I think," said Joel Hirst, International affairs fellow at the US-based Council for Foreign Relations.
"An economic disaster and 'readjustment' of the developed world while the developing world fights for their freedoms. Add in there the oil/energy price, which could be seen as the link between the two, and it makes for a perfect storm."
Crude oil prices have risen by up to a fifth on recent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, enough to act as a potentially brake on already fragile economic growth.
Some also see a wider anti-establishment backlash to the global financial crisis, with anger directed not just at politicians of ruling parties but also whole systems of government and wider economic and market structures.
And ultimately, it comes back to fears of famine - fears that will be fully realized when we reach Revelation 6 on the timescale.
Certainly, the ability to guarantee food has long been core to regime survival and many analysts see governments ramping up purchases since Tunisia's revolt, again pushing prices higher.
"Food hoarding may continue as the general public and governments try to build inventories to protect against future shortages due to political upheaval or even a war," said Ana Armstrong, chair of fund manager Distinction Asset Management, warning that this could also cut growth and leave policymakers with difficult choices over what to do with interest rates.
In Western democracies, few see unrest ousting whole systems -- but it could bring down governments, make structural economic reforms impossible and drive populist policies.
Or, all of this turmoil could set the stage for the emergence of the 10 kings and subsequently produce a figure who will appear to have the answers to the world's problems.
As usual, the people of the earth, aka "the nations", will seek solutions to the various problems from man - in this case, a single individual - rather than to seek solutions from God and prayer. We already know where that leads - to the final, epic failure of human government.
Throughout history man has looked to man, and to human government in order to solve problems. This effort, by my knowledge of history has failed miserably.
But fortunately, this last form of human government - one which will rule the world - will be completely destroyed never to rise again, as the world will be placed under Jesus' rule.
"...the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." (Daniel 2:44).
Amen. While we celebrate our reunion in Heaven in the presence of Jesus, the last human kingdom will be brought to an appropriate end. And it will never rise again, as Jesus sets up His kingdom - and it will last forever:
"His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him." (Daniel 7:27).
Amen. We're almost there.