A priori the coming year is shaping up to be a bad year.
Globally, there are no indications that the existing conflicts (in Ukraine, the Near East, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan Africa) will stop. In the same way, there are no evidence that there will be less hostage takings, suicide bombings, women abducted and raped, epidemics (cholera is already a threat in Central Africa, the plague is back in Madagascar). There is no evidence either that the global economic slowdown will not continue under the blows of deflation, competition and innovations. Therefore, economic and financial imbalances will continue to be exacerbated, public and private debt will keep increasing, inequalities and youth underemployment will keep growing, without a slowdown in greenhouse gas emissions.
There is even a probability that, far beyond the current overall trends, there will be in 2015 shocks of a completely different magnitude: natural disasters, epidemics, wars, massive terrorist attacks and financial bubble explosions.
For example, it cannot be excluded for NATO and Russia to stumble into a war over Ukraine, by a series of alliances.
In Europe, in particular, exposed to all the world's challenges, there is no indication that its own special and fundamental problems will be resolved or even addressed in 2015: The Eurozone governance will remain tenuous, vulnerable to the slightest crisis in Greece, Italy or France. In other words: A major eurozone crisis is indeed possible.
More specifically, in France 2015 is shaping up to be a particularly bad year for the government, hardly better for the opposition, and even worse for the poorest people in this country. Disastrous cantonal and regional elections for the left that will put the National Front in power at the departmental and regional level, a calamitous congress of the Socialist Party; the increasing difficulty in causing the voting of reforms; growth that will not materialize; unemployment and public debt that will rise inexorably, and even worse if we try to reduce them by brutal savings. And for the right, it will be even more evident through personal squabbles that there is extreme right in the right.
At the end of the year 2015, the world, Europe and France, being exhausted, will experience a great deal of tension that will probably become more and more violent.
And yet, the best is also possible.
One can imagine that Russia and western countries will agree to stabilize Ukraine and to move closer; that the alliance of all forces of the world will be able to eradicate Daesh; that the drop in oil prices will have a positive impact on global growth; that scientific discoveries will give us such a sense of wonder and excitement; that the Israelis will understand that creating a Palestinian state would be in their own interest; that Ebola will be defeated without another epidemic taking its place. One can also imagine that Europe, after the ECB has fired its last cartridge, with the purchase of sovereign bonds, will decide to carry out an institutional reform, leading to the creation of massive investment and borrowing capacity. One can further hope that the French government determined to leave its mark on history will make, in an unexpected upsurge, some genuine and far-reaching reforms; by starting from scratch with the law on continuous vocational training, by reforming primary school, so that no one leaves school without being able to read and write fluently; by deciding, finally, on a courageous reform of the pension system; and by reducing all State, regional and local authorities wastefulness.
And as I do not want to only present an alternative, I would like to think, even predict that 2015 will not be the year of entrance into hell, but the beginning of a renaissance. Because each of us will take matters into our own hands, for our personal lives, that of those around us and for future generations.
No doubt that narrowly avoiding a catastrophe may sometimes be necessary for humanity to become aware of the privilege of being alive.