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Prognosis of the World Development between 2000 and 2030
III. Science And Technology, 2000-30.
Letís take a look at major projected scientific and industrial achievements of the next century. Among what has been happening in this sphere between 1970 and 1999, the first place belongs to the "resource-saving" revolution, which allowed reducing energy and resources consumption 1.7 to 2 times in developed countries. The era of the Internet, which began in 1995, followed that of personal computers (1975-1999). In the 1960s it was engineering, chemistry, electronics and automobile industries that were basics for any economic superpower. Nowadays itís IT, biotechnology and telecommunications that matter. The management revolution got rid of cumbersome hierarchical schemes, to replace them with flexible market economy structures.
What trends would be characteristic of the years between 2000 and 2030? Are there new great inventions to be expected, such as thermonuclear power plants, or mass production of environment-friendly high technology cars, or self-teaching robots, or cure for AIDS, and so on?
Scientific revolution of the past twenty years contributed greatly to the democratization of the society. Home videos did more to tear off the Iron Curtain than the Golos Ameriki (lit. Americaís Voice, a radio station broadcasting anti-Soviet propaganda, which was very popular with East European dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s) ever did. Personal computers allowed small businesses to tap information resources, which earlier had been accessible only to major companies. The mass-produced, low-priced "economy car" expanded independence and mobility of individuals. Adaptive management won over hierarchical structures, making the market economy prevail over the administrating style.
Some 100 years earlier, due to the invention of railroads, which allowed centralized administrating, importance of the state in social life increased. The invention of radio and TV made governments play key role in forming public opinion and distributing information. The era of central water supply and public utilities made the population even more dependent on the state. The latest epoch-making discovery - the Internet - makes citizens of the "global village" of information independent of the stateís information monopoly. However, due to the Internet everybody on Earth gets into a new dependence, that of knowledge of English, which is now an impelling need everywhere in the world.
The inventions made between 2000 and 2030 may lead to further centralization of the world or, on the contrary, make societies more personalized. Colossal costs that will be needed to accomplish them will probably make nations unite. At the same time, re-division of the world into spheres of influence may easily launch a new arms race and make security services ultra-important.
In this world of the future, the Internetís communicating role, in all likelihood, will become so important that even a trifling error may cause a catastrophe. This could be used as a pretext for national governments to take control of all Internet-dependent technologies. Ultra-expensive, super-powerful and possibly dangerous thermonuclear power plants will also require state investments, and later state control. In such a way innovations are likely to lead to actual restraint of liberties and cause increased pressure of the state machine on individuals, along with the fact that global financial and stock trade instability would probably also require effective means of governmental regulation. The amount of investments needed to implement necessary projects will sometimes reach figures that are out-of-bounds for either privately owned companies (industrial groups) or for national governments. Thus the role played by the two super-powers will be made exceedingly important.
As for the superpowers, between 2010 and 2030 the "Atlantist" bloc will be ahead of the "Chinese" one in capital-intensive industries, such as space flights, national SOI-type TMD systems, use of thermonuclear energy for peaceful purposes, development of weapons of new generation, etc. However, Chinese intelligence services will be able to make up lost ground in short terms, making use of "triads", personalization and the Internet to spy out commercial and military information. The Chinese authoritarian system of state will be strengthened during this new arms and technologiesí race, shifting during 2000-2020 towards its old dominating policy. After that time, the China of 2020s will grow to be, quite the contrary, a multiparty, moderately nationalist, liberal democracy, with developed local government, while its modernized version of communist ideology will give way to new ideas.
From the year 2020 on, the global need for transnational organizations, which would be responsible of environmental, nuclear and information control, will constantly be growing. At the same time, superpowers will need new mechanisms to maintain their influence and stabilize the world. At this stage an international organization of a new kind must appear; it could be the reanimation of the UN, which have lost all their influence by 2000. The process of reanimating the UN will begin between 2015 and 2025, their importance rapidly increasing after 2025, when new blocs of countries will have already formed. Somewhere near 2050 or 2060 first mentions of a "global government" will be heard. However, the balance of powers in the world will remain unstable because of high level of confrontation between India, on one side, and China, Bangladesh and Pakistan, on the other. Instability zones will remain in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Siberia and the Far East, where China will be competing with Russia for influence. In the "Atlantist" bloc, roles may be reversed too, because Europe, which will have taken in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and North Africa, will pretend itís her turn to play the Big Brother.
By 2030, China may have already stopped her expansion, realizing that itís her claims to be a superpower that are the chief reason of the "Atlantists"í being so obstinate. After the pressure is diminished, the latent contradictions between the U.S. and Europe will start working their way out. It will take some 10 or 20 years for an open confrontation to begin. In the contest for leadership in the alliance, the U.S. will have better chances, for national autonomies, which will be still existing, and their conflicts will be undermining Europeís entity.
By that time the Chinese will be making about 2 percent of the U.S. population. Their influence in North America will rise rapidly after 2025, when China adopts a more peaceful stand in her foreign relations. One must remember that democracy of the American style is only arrogant towards those nations, whose ethnic minorities in the U.S. are weak or silent. Quite the contrary, it is influenced greatly by active communities, such as Jews, Italians, or Armenians. Until 2025, the Chinese will be subject to various kinds of discrimination in the U.S. However, after the relations between two countries are normalized, they will resume their political activity and gain the lost ground in incredibly short terms, making use of everything, beginning from money and subterranean diplomacy to the elections and transpacific trade.
By 2010 or 2020, the "great friendship" between China and Russia will have already breathed its last gasp. Hordes of the Chinese will be swarming across the Russian border, after people riots shake several Chinese provinces. The U.S. and Russia will receive about one million refugees each. Europe will give shelter to 500 thousand. However, by 2020, the authoritarian Chinese regime will have expelled another 5 million of its citizens out of China. This time, 90 percent of expats will settle down in Southeast Asia, in order to go back to China in a few years. Their forced expulsion from the homeland will in reality turn out to have been a Trojan horse, meaning a mere migration and "occupying" new territories.
At first democratic governments will be suspecting nothing of those cynical deeds. They will, willy-nilly, take in the first wave of refugees. However, the second one will be met with a different welcome, while in China a storm of public indignation over cruel treatment of fellow-countrymen will overthrow the regime, giving place to a new policy of pragmatism. New Chinese elite will be quite satisfied with Chinaís place in the world. The slogan of "Eurasian hegemony through stable development" will become a general feeling. Within the plans of the Chinese government, both Americas will be "conceded" to the U.S., while Africa should be given to the black race. By 2030, the ruling elite of China will be in sum quite ready for an alliance with the USA.
By 2010, scientists will have already invented cures for cancer and heart diseases, as well as means to prolong human life. New ecological standards will be also contributing to the prolongation of life. As a result, by 2010, 50 percent of Western industries will be working to meet exquisite individual requirements, rather than to satisfy essential needs of people or provide for economic security of their countries. Living in the West will become more than ever attractive for people everywhere in the world. It will make China double her efforts in the fields of the military, energy and engineering, for a sound reason that the West could be beaten out only due to those non-humanitarian basic industries (the USSR had been already using similar tactics in the twentieth century).
Itís in the 2000s that China will be multiplying her war potential at the quickest pace, purchasing military technologies from Russia. The military spending of the Western nations will run low at that time. Thatís why they will need 10 years, and a series of effective campaigns of the Chinese army in North Korea and Philippines, plus intelligence data of Chinaís developing national BMD and "star wars" systems, to realize that the Westís technical advantage could be lost in the next 10 or 15 years. This fact will call forth a real hysteria in Europe and Japan, making them swell their military budgets 60 to 80 percent up (in real terms) during the 2010s.
The Western attitude towards Russia will also change in spite of Western nations being induced to encourage isolation of Russia by the inertia of old "Russian Threat" myth. Japan, who has been the most ardent follower of the principle of deterrence being applied to Russia (in order to get Kamchatka and Sakhalin from her), will also renounce anti-Russian policy. In Russia herself, fundamental changes will be going on slowly during all of the 2010s, resulting in the end of anti-Americanism and readiness for an alliance.
After first thermonuclear power plants are built between 2010 and 2020, a new stage of technological competition will begin. Western allies, as well as China, will eventually develop their own nuclear umbrellas and create lunar beam complexes and distant space stations. The industries of the countries of the West will be regimented in favor of key branches. Increased taxation will help finally deploy the BMD over North America, Japan, Australia and Europe by 2020. By that time China will also finish "inventorying" her own missile defense capabilities and be learning how to make holes in her neighborsí nuclear umbrellas. So when the West, embroiled in another Middle East war, will imply that China might be made target to a nuclear strike, the Chinese will in return reveal their own capacity to dismantle Western BMD systems. The allusions to submarine nuclear mines off the North American coast, as well as other little presents from the Chinese scattered all over North America, will make the U.S. government easier to bargain, with American security services hysterically searching for the mines and actually finding some 50 km off New York.
The "ecology drive" of the 2020s will be playing a much more important role in the society than the arms race fifty years earlier. The explosive growth in the 2010s, when environment-damaging technologies prevail, and the armaments race in the 2020s, when morale imperatives pale into insignificance compared with the needs of military rush, will make the danger of global warming imminent and requiring efforts of both the world superpowers to fight. Both China and the U.S. will unite in implementing environmental-friendly projects. Catastrophic volcanic explosions will only add to already high dust and smoke content in the atmosphere. As a result, existing models of environmental-friendly cars, which have been too slow to gain foothold in the market, will be finally given large tax and tariff privileges. Pollution control will become the primary concern for the world community. The governments of the U.S., Europe, China, Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, and another 30 countries will finance an unprecedented $1bn joint anti-pollution and ozone layer regeneration program.
By 2025 or 2030, most of the core nations will introduce special ecology taxes to finance a united global ecological foundation, specially established for this purpose. Thus a trend will be set for creating large international purpose foundations, e.g., a foundation for building the first thermonuclear power plant (with 50 national governments, and private investors from more than 100 countries taking part), or "anti-meteorite" foundation, or "antiviral/anti-protein" one, etc. The latter will remind of a wave of epidemic diseases, caused by viral and protein mutations, which will take lives of hundreds of thousands people in the 2020s. The epidemics will make for a sharp turnabout in financing medical research. As a result, by 2035 computer systems will be developed, able to detect and kill specific viruses within the human organism. In addition, for the first time artificial computer-controlled organs (heart, liver, kidney, etc) will be created, which will perfectly substitute natural ones.
As a result of the worldís technological development, of the economic competition between core nations and their concerted efforts in solving ecological problems, global cooperation will live through the strain of years 2000-2025 and get stronger. By the end of the 2030s this cooperation will have gained enough momentum to make a prototype of a global government and global elite and, moreover, to be looked at as such in America, Europe, Russia, even in China.
© Dmitry Alemasov
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