In 1900, London was the capital of the world. As was famously remarked, “The Sun never set on the British empire”. European Imperialist nations were grabbing colonies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. All the great superpowers were prospering, although at the expense of their colonies. One would have expected the world to be peaceful and stable as everyone was gaining. War seemed a rather distant possibility. However, in 1914 a conflict broke out after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Soon, the world was divided into two belligerent factions. Naturally, as the colonies were a part of the war effort, the war was dubbed as the First World War. By the 1950s, the United Kingdom was replaced as the superpower by one of its former colonies, the United States of America. Another war had recently ended, one in which the atomic bomb was dropped and millions were killed as a result of a powerful person’s ambitions. The Third Reich lay in ruin and Japan was severely damaged. Soon, independent and sovereign nations sprang up around the world. Today, after the Cold War between the USA and USSR and the dissolution of the latter, one wonders what our world is headed towards. After studying modern geopolitics and history, this is an effort by me to predict what the world may be by 2100.
A Look into the Crystal Ball:
Contrary to most expectations, the US would continue to be the leading global superpower. Even today despite the recession, the GDP of the US is more than the next five nations put together. The demographics of the US would be radically different as the white majority today will be overtaken by huge influx of immigrants. A secular and democratic state, the US would be the leader in technology, military as well as the global economy.
China will continue to grow in the beginning of the 21st century. A natural rivalry will arise between the US and China of which the signs are evident even today. Owing to its aging population and One-Child policy, the economy will suffer a slowdown. Resentment will grow during this slump and the populace will grow tired of the dictatorial communist rule. There will be internal tensions with the Tibetans and Uighurs. A long and bloody civil war will take place during which the incumbent communists will look to defend their autocratic rule against the revolutionaries. The USA would intervene looking to establish a democracy in the nation with the help of Taiwan. However, all this effort would not be enough and the Communists will regain power. Looking to seek revenge, the rule in China will become even more dictatorial and anti-US sentiment will grow.
India being democratic will continue on its path to development. Internal tensions with the Maoists, Naxals and the North Eastern rebel groups will be quelled as development will reach the areas where these armed groups operate today. India will be inducted into the Security Council as a permanent member along with Brazil. Asia will become bi-polar with India and China leading two camps, one based on democracy with the other bolstering communist and autocratic rule. By 2020, India and Pakistan will reunite as Pakistan would look to rebuild herself after the crushing civil war with the Taliban and other extremist groups.
Africa will become the new Asia with countries like Nigeria and Congo tapping their resources and advancing their economies. With Chinese and American investments in the continent, countries supported by either would become “Neo-colonies”.
At the brink of another World War, the world will become polarised. As in the Cold War, the rival factions would look to recruit new member nations. However, for the first time the battleground will be Asia. New growth here would have given rise to powerful nations that would have then allied with either India or China. Driven by nostalgic communist sentiments, Russia will ally with China and her colonies in Africa and Asia like Nigeria, North Korea, Myanmar and the Arab world while the US would back India and her allies, Brazil, the EU and Japan.
The Third World War would be the most devastating and would be fought not only on the Earth but in space as well with spaceships and satellites capable of attacking any ground targets. The two parties will deploy armies over the entire surface of the Earth, and gruesome wars will be fought in Africa and Latin America. The centre stage of the battle would be in Asia with intense warfare between the reunited India and China.
The World After:
I believe at the end of the Third World War, hopefully democracy would govern the entire planet and totalitarian regimes would be done away with. It is a natural progression of humanity from monarchy to communism and autocracy to finally, democracy. Only with democracy everywhere can the world be a stable and peaceful place. Of course, my article is speculative and the details are likely to be wrong but given the current status of the world, I believe it is a likely course. Only time can tell how things will shape up in the end.