Monday, Jan 04, 2010
The 16th and 17th centuries saw experiments in colonialism, imperialism, and [mercantilism](http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Mercantilism.html), centered in Western Europe. The 18th and 19th centuries saw experiments in democracy and freedom (market, religious, thought, limited government), centered in the United States and quickly brought the fledgling country to prominence, although with many issues. The 20th century saw experiments in fascism and socialism, centered in Eastern Europe and Asia, and the more socialistic the government, the more of its own people the government killed ([deaths of 260+ million people](http://www.schizoidboy.com/its-good-to-live-in-a-democracy.html) in China, Russia, Germany and more, not including World Wars).
If one forgets about largely unpredictable shocks such as war, asteroids, etc. (and even these may simply be delays unless catastrophic), what might happen in the next few centuries?
The following predictions are based on two basic assumptions: that there still exist a lot of societal issues even in the most advanced countries that must be addressed, and that ideas of political utopianism or brand new ideologies have been exhausted. Both assumptions are worth questioning.
The 21st century will most likely be an experiment in "mixed" systems in which government interventionism and markets are mixed in different ratios, neither too much toward socialism nor too much toward libertarianism, with various levels of political freedom (mostly liberal democracy or communism). This may lead to one of the following outcomes: * Failure: Economically unsustainable systems which collapse or morph into previous systems. * Failure: Incremental degeneration into a stagnant or dystopian global government. * Success: Broadly successful societies roughly equivalent to, or better than, modern day Western European societies. * Success: A broadly successful global government roughly equivalent to, or better than, modern day Western European societies.
1 is very possible, although the devolution is unfavorable towards libertarianism, and more favorable towards fascism (bad), socialism (bad), or liberaltarianism (maybe good).
If #3 or #4 materialize, then that's it, we've basically got the best we can do and the only thing left would be to protect the system itself, although there will probably continue to be various societal problems which will be dealt with by delicate experiments in the 22nd century on top of this global government apparatus.
2 is the most likely, assuming the fallacy of "mixed" economies.
Monsieur, azonnal kövessen engem bitte.