I wrote the original version of this in November 25, 1998. See the page history for revisions. Italicized text is commentary added in revisions.

In any society, there are two groups: those who believe in a higher power and those who don't. The higher power which is believed takes several forms, ranging from abstract whims about karma and fate to explicit, detailed, organized theology and religious doctrine.

Both believers and nonbelievers tend to be stubborn in their adherence to their particular ideology, resulting in perpetual conflict between the two groups. Those who believe in a higher power should have an inherent advantage, because they can (in theory) wield the power of their higher power. However, nonbelievers often carry a disgust of the believer and/or the higher power that drives them to wage war on the believer.

The power of the believers is inherently positive and constructive. The power of the non-believers is inherently negative and destructive.

During the latter half of the 20th century, nonbelievers took over the society and culture of the United States. They did this by attacking the institutions of the believer. Meanwhile, people professing faith or allegiance to religion, particularly Christians, acted and behaved in ways that allowed their enemies to make light of them and dismiss them. The revolution of the believers will be one not of religion but of morals, values and faith.

The result of the dominance of the nonbelievers is a culture rooted in materialism, triviality, sensationalism and vulgarity. As the non-believers continue to lower the standard of what is acceptable, and people become disgusted with the popular culture, the believers quietly gain numbers. People discover the higher power and turn to it for guidance.

This process will continue into the next decade.

By the mid-2000s (around 2005), the impact of believers will become visible. We already see this as Christian media becomes more visible and non-believing institutions become nervous. (2012: It wasn't the Christian media so much as the Internet, the rise of social networking, and the rise of conservative political activism on the Internet. The dominant groups are aligned not with Christian denominations but with conservative political causes, most notably the Tea Party movement.)

The Internet, like any other technology, is neutral. It is a tool rather than the institution itself, just as radio and television are just tools. The power of the Internet is that anyone can use it, whereas traditional media require large capital investment, the Internet has a low capital requirement and thus is more accessible.

The first half of the 2000 decade will see the rise of businesses owned by believers. The first wave will be the rise of Internet-based commerce firms, network distribution firms and knowledge-based consulting firms, in which individuals market their particular talents and areas of expertise as their own businesses. Networking will be the growth area, as believers establish social and business networks.

The white-collar job will become obsolete, as free information on the internet eliminates the need to hire and keep subject-matter experts as full-time employees. In fact, these experts will prefer to operate their own consulting firms, mostly through Internet presence.

The Internet will render obsolete by 2010 most forms of storing, transmitting and receiving knowledge as we knew them in 1998. At the end of the 20th century, data storage was largely a function of individual objects and devices such as floppy disks, hard disks and CDs. While 2012 still sees the widespread use of portable storage devices, the emphasis now is on storage in "the cloud."

The believers have a message and a passion. Non-believers have nothing to believe in, no message and nothing to be passionate about. In fact, being passionate about a cause runs counter to their insistence on non-believing. As a result, the believers will gradually take control of the communications media. (In 2012, the strongest groups are those that rally around specific causes, particularly causes rooted in belief that progress can be made in some social or political cause. Media outlets that cater to believers, such as Fox News and the Breitbart group, are flourishing, while media outlets that cater to non-believers, including the "traditional media," are languishing. Also, the Occupy movement shows the folly of action rooted in non-belief: The Occupy movement makes a lot of noise but is doing very little to influence the culture or produce any sort of real change.)

Information Media

He who owns the medium controls the content. Believers will work to acquire ownership of the traditional broadcast media (television, radio, newspapers). (2012: Didn't happen, but the believers created plenty of new outlets on the Internet to compete with the traditional media outlets.) The existing broadcast media are well into a decade-long decline, a decline to be accelerated by the rise of the Internet. //(2012: The decline has continued, though whether it accelerated is debatable.) The Internet, owned by nobody and designed to be decentralized, will become the dominate communications medium, Those there will be no dominate distributor of information. (2012: This has come true.)

Business Ownership

Nonbelievers accept any job they can get. They have no motivation to create their own opportunities and demand that others (government or corporations) create opportunities for them. Believers have vision. Every successful business has a vision, and only believers can create that vision.

As information technology makes jobs obsolete (this is already happening), nonbelievers will ultimately find themselves the economic serfs of the believers. (2012: Jobs aren't really becoming obsolete in the manner in which I predicted. However, the sense of entitlement that nonbelievers hold is exacting more and more of a strain on our economy.)


Nonbelievers are inherently selfish. They seek power for themselves. They enter government to wield power over others. Believers are inherently non-selfish. They understand the importance of helping others. They have nothing to gain for themselves; they enter government to serve the electorate.

In addition to the believers and nonbelievers, some politicians can be classified as pseudobelievers (able to act the role of believer and sell the belief while governing in non-belief) and the semibelievers (governing to some extent in belief

This will be a struggle. Look at the welfare state. The persistence of the believers will keep that group going. Once believers have control of the broadcast media, they will be able to lift their candidates into office.

In 1998, I predicted 2006 and 2008 will see a massive wave of believers being elected to office. So far, I am wrong. Do I have reason to believe that it will happen?

  • Dissatisfaction with the milquetoast government of George W. Bush and the Republicans led to nonbelievers taking over Congress in 2006. In the 2008 presidential election, the Republican party pitted nonbeliever John McCain against Barack Obama, arguably the greatest pseudobeliever of all of American history. McCain's selection of believer Sarah Palin as his running mate galvanized the believers shallowly, but could not overcome McCain's failings.
  • Shortly after Obama's inauguration, the political might of the believers coalesced into the Tea Party movement, and led to the huge turnover of the House of Representatives in 2010 and of the Senate in 2014. However, the Republicans elected aren't much more believers (or are pseudobelievers) than the Democrats they displaced.
  • In 2012, the nomination of Mitt Romney caused consternation among the believers. I noted in September 2012 that the choice of "believer" Paul Ryan would mitigate the consternation. Boy was I wrong there. Romney received fewer votes than McCain, and Paul Ryan turned out to be a useful tool of the Republican establishment. Ryan disappeared from the political scene after the 2012 election and has largely been a non-factor since.
  • The summer of 2015 saw the beginning of one of the wildest presidential races in US history. No fewer than 16 Republicans launched campaigns, virtually all claiming to be believers. As of August 2015, the contest is Donald Trump's show, with the other candidates working more quietly in the background. On the Democrat side, the front runners are Hillary Clinton, the default nominee, and Sen. Bernard Sanders, the avowed socialist who isn't shy about it.

Campaigns: Nonbelievers get out the vote by reducing their opponent to their level. Believers rise above the crowd by standing on their own merits while artfully and rationally dissecting the failings of their opponent.

  • Exhibit A: Marriage. Sexual activists executed one of the ugliest political movements in American history in their successful bid to implement same-sex marriage by judicial fiat. The main tactic: Impugning believers and their legitimate arguments for traditional marriage as bigots who were on the "wrong side of history."

Voting: Nonbelievers are inherently apathetic; more likely to believe their vote doesn't count; less likely to believe in the candidate. Believers believe (have faith in) their candidates, and voting matters to them. Nonbelievers must bring people to the polls in order to get elected, often through fraudulent manners. Believers find a way to get their and motivate their fellow believers to vote.

Schools and Education

Nonbelievers have no faith in the abilities of individuals. They compensate by insisting that it takes the proverbial village (collective effort or government) to raise a child. Believers understand the importance of parents. They take responsibility for their children. They take a proactive role in raising children.

The children of believers are superior to those of nonbelievers. They are ultimately wiser, better behaved, more creative, and more mature.

Humanity, Human Rights and Population

Believers recognize that human beings have inherent value and inherent rights. They support efforts that foster human life and oppose those that result in the deliberate destruction of human rights. Nonbelievers view human rights as non-inherent and given by personal choice or government fiat. Nonbelievers cling to ideologies and policies that regulate human liberty. Believers view additional human beings as an asset; nonbelievers view additional human beings as a liability. Nonbelievers are also more likely to view the planet and its ecosystems as victims of humanity, not beneficiaries.