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Prognosis of the World Development between 2000 and 2030
IV. The Lot Of Liberalism And Market Economy.
The personalization will be growing stronger both in Russia and in the West as the level of education and individual independence grows. The development of services industry and rise in the number of small businesses will spare businessmen the trouble of keeping accounts, maintaining marketing and sales departments of their own, and so on. It will allow them to concentrate on the sphere they are expert in, making specialization of labor and smoothly working market a dominant model of capitalism. This type of capitalism has formed in the U.S. between the 1980s and 2010s and in Europe somewhat later. Actually, this scheme is not devoid of risks, such as monotechnics and the "blind" market. However, the second tier of this structure, that of "brain pools" and headquarters of large corporations, balances the whole, by carrying out long-term projects neutralizing the evils of specialization.
In fact, by 2010, the U.S. will have grown to be a single integrated corporation nation-wide, whose functioning is maintained by economic or political, rather than administrative, mechanisms. Europe will develop into such kind of a corporation by 2025. However, the European model will be more complex and collectivist, as well as more state-oriented and ready to compromise with national governments. By 2030, core branches of European industry will be divided between different countries and different regions inside them. The center of automobile industry will move to Germany, while aircraft and computer industriesí - to France. Shipbuilding will be centered in Spain, machine-tool industry - in Switzerland, and tractor-producing factories - in Italy. Pharmaceutical industry will be developing mainly in Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, while ferrous metallurgy and cement industry - in Ukraine. Even emerging economies, such as Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, or Macedonia, will play their part in the United Europeís symphony by supplying food and commodities to their First World neighbors. By 2030, developers from Turkey will monopolize the construction market of Europe, and German and Hungarian engineering companies will be setting standards of competitiveness for the rest of the continent.
Trade regulation in the Europe of the 2020s will be more complex than in the U.S. and the markets - almost as perfect. London, left beyond the boundaries of the United Europe, will become financial and stock-trading center of Europe, with total volume of corporate issues sales 4 times that of Frankfurt, skimming the cream off the corporationsí trend to transfer money abroad for safety, the same way as Switzerland will have made itself the third in range financial center of Europe. France will feel bitterly its being forced out of the European financial community, in spite of compensation coming in form of leadership in pan-European aircraft, space and tourist industries, and in form of the independent nuclear power status.
Personalization will not win everywhere in the world. In particular, Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand will develop complex hierarchical collectivist systems instead, with personal and group interests ingeniously harmonized inside of them. In such a way, large and medium-sized companies or groups of companies will be competing within the limits of concerted interests. Sure, competition in itself will never make a locomotive of the economy here, but the tradition to coordinate individual and group interests, rooted in specifically "Oriental", communal and economy-centered psychology, will in return prove super-efficient and beyond the understanding of individualist-thinking Europeans and Americans.
Immense role that politics play in the economic behavior of Eastern nations and those nationsí cooperation-oriented way of thinking will help them adapt to democratic values. After the fever of the 2010s and 2020s is behind, strong democratic regimes will be established there. Imperfect, almost feudal markets of those countries, with their large "companies-states" fostering self-devotion and dependence spirit in their employees, and with industrial giants strictly controlling their suppliers and distributors will be forming a special kind of economic system - an impenetrable from outside, but quickly expanding one.
This system will give Eastern "young tigers" advantage over Western nations, at the same time making them strictly dependent on personal characteristics of their ruling elites and on the principles of their selection. China, which will have almost reached a 2 milliard population by 2030 (exactly 1.75 milliard), will suffer from uneven development of different regions and from resulting non-uniformity of their elite. The most serious conflict between the elites of developing and advanced regions of China will be settled before 2010. However, by 2030, new conflicting groups will have emerged, dividing into the West-, South-, or East-oriented expansionists, on the one hand, and the anti-expansionists wishing to concentrate on the interior problems and advocating gradual integration into the world community, on the other.
As a result of peaceful development between 2000 and 2030, core values of the liberal democracy will dominate everywhere in the world. However, itís only in the Americas, Europe, Russia, India, Turkey and North Africa that they will lay real foundation for political life. In China, Korea and most other East Asian countries, liberal values will only make the form, rather than the substance, for social relationship of hierarchy and cooperation. While members of the "Atlantist" elites could illustrate the principle of "the survival of the fittest", those of the "Pacific" nations will be rising from obscurity due to complicated schemes and controversies in the inner circles. Those schemes and intrigues will be responsible for both personalities of the elites and the policies they will be adopting.
The parallel existence of different centers of influence in the society will allow Eastern governments to be shifting quickly from democracy to authoritarian rule under a "national idea" and vice versa. Thence a certain degree of pliability in politics and even famous Chinese "cunning", as well as danger of psychedelic ideas and psychotic people getting into power. However, the coming of more quiet times and advantages flowing from good education received by the members of ruling elites will guarantee Eastern societies against sharp changes in policy or rapid successions of governments.
For all the above reasons, a "universal triumph" of a Western type liberal democracy will be limited between 2000 and 2020 to Europe, Russia and both Americas. In Africa and Asia two extremist regimes will come to power, while democracies of the Far East will remain such only by name. In fact, democracy there will be just another form of eastern ceremonies, an appearance of worshipping scary Western deities. In future, this state of things may lead to international conflicts breaking out "suddenly" and till the end of the century be making one of the greatest obstacles for unification of the world under a global government.
V. The New And The Old.
Now itís time to compare processes that will go on during next thirty years with those that have been developing between 1970 and 1999. The main distinctive feature of the past three decades has been confrontation between the USSR and the United States. In next thirty years the world will probably see through a new series of confrontations. Still, what will be making the difference?
During all of its Soviet-time history, the USSR has been an empire. As such, it had to suffer permanent instability, being forced by the way of things to repress entire ethnic groups. The Soviet economic system has been imperfect, and this left the Soviet Union no choice but geographical expansion. Itís only in moving outwards and expanding that it could be at peace with itself. The perestroika led to a catastrophe - the tempo of expansion was slowing down until the empire finally moldered away.
The United States and China have been neither empires, nor federations. American economic system has always been stable enough and developing in accordance with natural laws. The Chinese one is still on its way to self-regulation. If Radical Lefts in China rise to power again (by an unlucky train of events) between 2000 and 2010, it could make grim and miserable the fate of many nations besides the Chinese. The imminent communist revanche would mean repeated socialization of industries, partial mancipation of peasants, total ban on stock exchange operations, closing of the free trade areas, tightening the ideological control, and so on. However, this turn of events is not very likely. On the contrary, communist ideas, debased into innocuous formulas during the twentieth century, are sure to lose their savor entirely as reforms in the public sector triumph, and be changed into dreams of an empire. Worldwide, autonomous metropolises will evolve into a stable bipolar system by 2030. This system will be both dividing and uniting the world, and, in all likelihood, will mark a start of a new long peaceful period in history.
© Dmitry Alemasov
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