posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 11:44 AM
If you're talking strictly about the U.S. - and even if you were talking, in a larger sense, about the world - anything is possible. One hundred
years is a long time, and no one could have predicted in 1901 that the Austro-Hungarian and German empires would fall, or that it would be the
bloodiest century mankind has ever known, or even that advances would be made at a rhythm never seen before in transportation and communications.
I believe that whatever happens politically or economically in this century, will happen very fast. Communications are unceasingly getting better,
people in different countries are interconnecting, and global awareness is rising.
In my view, the following things MAY happen:
A) THE WORLD
- The resurgence of nationalism in Eastern Europe will be a temporary phenomenon, stimulated by the breakup of the Soviet Union. Eventually, those
countries - especially the smaller ones, like the Baltic ones - will show interest in federating again, albeit loosely. One, because the economic and
environmental mess wrought by the last 30 years of the Soviet Union will prove too much to handle at a national level, and two, because it will become
clear that in a world with only one superpower, political clout will depend not only on power of persuasion, but sheer size. Hence either the European
Union will extend far to the East, or - a more plausible scenario - Boris Yeltsin's old CIE (Community of Independant States) will be renovated and
center around Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, etc.
- The United States may be tempted to grow increasingly independent of international forums - it's already happening with the UN and the
International Criminal Court. Eventually, other countries will see the U.S. accumulating more and more power as a threat to their sovereignty and
relevancy, and will organize into closer-knit blocks to be able to deal on more equal terms with America: the European Union, obviously; China; India,
the aforementioned Eastern European/Centre Asian countries.
- The war in Iraq will spark more and more anger in the Muslim world, and as more Muslims are killed, more of their relatives will become terrorists.
The United States will be fighting the war on terror for many, many years, and the result may be that a number of Middle Eastern countries will be in
shambles, while the U.S. will be struggling economically under a staggering national debt - because of the money involved to keep the military effort
going and to secure the borders.
- Africa and South America will continue to develop in an unequal way. The depletion of the Amazon will leave millions of people with unfarmable land
(the Amazon's topsoil is fragile and provides farmable land for only a few years) and there may be massive starvation issues. Overpopulation and
pollution will become a heavy problem in cities like Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Lagos (Nigeria), Cairo, Rio de Janeiro, etc. In Africa, some coutries
will slowly get better because of local development initiatives (Senegal, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, to name a few) while others (Rwanda, Ethiopia,
Sudan, Congo-DRC, Uganda) will be unable to go forward economically because of the onslaught of AIDS, famine, or the aftermath of civil war.
But all this, of course, would happen in the next 30 years... there's no much to say about what happens after - it can really go in a lot of