The world is changing. The resources that we use, the world map as we see it and the regimes that we have got used to over several decades are going to change in our lifetime.
The world is at the cusp of some big, dramatic changes. Some 30-40 years hence the world will be very different from what you see now. So, we thought why not give a sneak peek into how things might look different in our lifetime in five major ways.
5 things we will see in the next 30 years:
1.) Fall of the Saudi Arabia and Iran
2.) Dissolution of the European Union
3.) Fall of the CCP and democracy in China
4.) Independent nation of Tibet
5.) A full blown civil war in the United States of America
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) February 23, 2022
Fall of the Saudi Arabia and Iran
We have been living on conventional fuel for quite some time now. Our factories and our vehicles are all based on oil, coal and natural gas.
And this is going to change in our lifetime because countries around the world realise three things-
- Conventional fuel is expensive and countries like India have to spend heavily on fuel import bills.
- Oil and natural gas are used as tools of geopolitics by energy-rich nations. Just look at how Russia has been able to control EU policies with its control over European gas supply and how the Gulf countries exert control with their oil resources.
- And finally, conventional sources of energy are exhaustible. Once we consume them completely, the world will come to a grinding halt which is why non-conventional substitutes need to be harnessed.
Dissolution of the European Union
For all supporters of a borderless world, the EU used to be an example of international unity and a world without borders.
However, the way Russia invaded Ukraine without any attempt by the EU to save Kyiv shows how the EU is falling into disintegration.
Eastern European countries like Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria had joined the EU and NATO in the hope that if Russia went after them, the West will save them. But the Ukraine episode shows that the West will stay in a state of inertia when Russian tanks roll into an Eastern European country.
So, we are looking at Eastern Europe breaking out of the EU sooner or later. And once Eastern Europe breaks out, Western Europe itself won’t be able to stay together for too long.
Western Europe itself is full of contradictions. Berlin and Paris already do not see eye-to-eye on many issues including the level of cooperation with the US and EU’s refugee policy.
Moreover, France is turning extremely anti-NATO with its ambitions of creating a European Army and asserting strategic autonomy. Germany however isn’t ready to dump NATO. So, the two driving engines of the EU are moving in a different direction.
And then they also have a long history of conflict and animosity before the EU came into being.
Also, for richer countries like Germany and France, the EU is turning into an uncomfortable deal. In 2008, they had to bail Greece out of its financial crisis. Today, they are helping out Italy, which is facing a mounting debt-to-GDP ratio of around 150 per cent and a fast ageing population.
Now, the idea of saving weaker economies is likely to become a source of irritation for both France and Germany.
So, ultimately Western Europe too would realise that there is no point staying together and the grand EU project will fail terribly.
Fall of the CCP and democracy in China
This is by far the biggest change we are looking at.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has maintained an iron-fist rule in China for over seven decades.
But under Xi Jinping, things are heating up. He has concentrated absolute powers in himself by removing term limits and assuming all major powers. The lower level leadership in China thus stands disillusioned and is waiting for a flashpoint to overthrow Xi’s tyrannical regime.
Now, how will that flashpoint come? Will it be due to a war with the US over Taiwan? Or a war with Japan over the Senkaku Islands? Or a war with India in the Himalayas? Well, it will not be a war that brings down Xi. It will be China’s dipping economy that fuels its collapse.
You see, the CCP had chalked out an invisible deal with its people “You surrender your fundamental rights, and I will give you money”.
Issues like the Tibetan uprising or the Tiananmen Square massacre haven’t died down. But as the larger Han community kept getting richer and richer, such issues were more or less buried under the carpet.
Yet, under Xi’s watch, exports are drying up and the economy is faltering. China is simply not creating enough wealth to keep its people happy and silent.
Historically, China has been prone to rebellions and movements. With the Chinese economy dying down, you never know when the Chinese people will launch a major rebellion against the CCP.
Yes, Xi does have the option of crushing dissent the way it did during the Tiananmen Square massacre. But remember, Xi is not just making the ordinary Chinese poor but he is also slashing the salaries of CCP officials. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if the PLA too turns against Xi Jinping and takes down his regime.
If and when Xi goes down, you can visualize an era of chaos and mayhem in China. Xi has not anointed a successor and after he is taken down, there will be a sense of vacuum in China. A power struggle will start with several groups like Hu Jintao’s “Shanghai Faction” trying to usurp power.
And ultimately, we will be looking at international intervention to diffuse the situation. In our lifetime we could see China getting balkanized and a nascent democratic set-up being installed in Beijing.
Independent nation of Tibet
As and when China does balkanize, separate countries that the CCP presently occupies will seek liberation.
For India and Japan, it will mean breaking Tibet out of China and creating a buffer State dividing India and China.
Culturally, Tibet and China are different. Tibet was always a Buddhist nation separate from the People’s Republic of China which is dominated by the Han Chinese community. So, New Delhi will find an opportunity to liberate Tibet and push China away from the Himalayas.
A full-blown civil war in the United States of America
And meanwhile, in the West, the US is likely to get caught up in a caste conflict if Biden’s divisive policies continue for some more time.
Ideas like the critical race theory and creating a White vs Black narrative is already dividing American society.
Take Chicago for instance. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the first black woman and the openly gay person elected to run the city, has been pursuing President Biden’s agenda. So, she says that she would prioritize journalists of colour and would grant one-on-one interviews only to minority journalists.
Out of sheer populism, Lori Lightfoot has also tried to push in ideas like restricting foot chase by police officers. She wants cops to look for a go-ahead from their supervisor before pursuing a criminal. The proposal came up after a 13-year old Latino American boy was shot down during a foot chase.
Ultimately, the US society is going to end up in civil strife of sorts. The US won’t balkanize but its global reputation will go down with racial conflict picking up in the country under President Biden’s watch.
The world is changing quite quickly. And 30 to 40 years down the line, it would be hardly similar to what you see today. New powers are emerging and the old ones are going down. And we just gave you a brief trailer into what it is going to look like.