Monday, April 09, 2007
Politically correct. Yes. Realistic? No
Slashdot links the Guardian's summary of what the UK Ministery of Defense fears the world may look like in 30 years. Some thoughts below:
Actually, this would be a revolutionary petite bourgeious...
"The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx," says the report. The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: "The world's middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".
Resentment among young people in the face of unrepresentative regimes "will find outlets in political militancy, including radical political Islam whose concept of Umma, the global Islamic community, and resistance to capitalism may lie uneasily in an international system based on nation-states and global market forces", the report warns. The effects of such resentment will be expressed through the migration of youth populations and global communications, encouraging contacts between diaspora communities and their countries of origin.
... is perhaps optimistic. Of greater concern to Europe are European Islamic No-Go Zones.
Nice bit about China though:
Tension between the Islamic world and the west will remain, and may increasingly be targeted at China "whose new-found materialism, economic vibrancy, and institutionalised atheism, will be an anathema to orthodox Islam".
The world would be very different in 9/11 had been directed against Shanghai and Beijing. Perhaps, as China connects with more and more New Core powers and threatens Islamic ruleset absolutism, that day may still come.
This reading of the report sounds a lot like JRobb. I wonder what he makes of it.
Posted by: ry | Monday, April 09, 2007
ry -- Good catch on the Robbite tone! The idea of a revolutionary petite bourgeoisie is bizarre in Marxist theory unless one is opposing an agrarian oligopoly, but fits well with the idea of decentralized balance-of-power realism that Robb holds too. 
I don't check up on Robb much (the combination of gloom and balance-of-power-realism makes him generally predictable, but please comment if he addresses the issue!
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, April 09, 2007
Hmm, the Guardian's editors have been asleep at the wheel again: "The global population is likely to grow to 8.5bn in 2035, with less developed countries accounting for 98% of that."
After my initial double-take, I was sure that the author did not mean that the population of more-developed countries would be only be 170 million (the US could have well over 400 million people by then, for example). Even if Mr. Norton-Taylor meant "with less-developed countries accounting for 98% of that growth," it's still an a muddy sentence.
Posted by: Dexter Trask | Tuesday, April 10, 2007