My God, I swear I remember this guy’s book! I saw it on the shelf way back when it was considered really, really far-fetched–early 1980’s? And I’ve remembered it all these years–I mean, he gave the PERFECT reasons. The USSR would collapse because of (a) economic and (b) ethnic reasons, he said. Bingo.
I agree that we are living in an empire. To call it an “American” empire is simplistic, but it does center around the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. And of course only SOME of those Americans, Europeans, etc. get to reap the full benefits. (Oh yes, and Israelis.)
I also agree that this system is likely to collapse, probably much sooner than we think. It depends on too many things, which it might not get. If the supply of oil goes funky, or the sea-lanes are blocked, or some unforeseen technological glitch interferes with our system of financial exchanges…? Poof.
As for the U.S. in particular, notice how many Mexicans are coming into the country, by fair means or foul. At some point the demographic balance will tip, and people will stop putting up with their competing social interests. This is likely to lead to Yugoslavia-style political conflict. And I don’t just mean with white people–blacks have a lot to lose from this development too, and are more likely to use violence to resist it. Throw in economic collapse, and what have you got? Something a lot more serious than Schwarzenegger v. Bustamente…
I can see two possible “successor” regimes to all this: a “fast forward” one in which some internationalist regime actually takes charge of the world; and a “rewind” one in which we basically go back to the political situation of a century ago (but with different borders, of course).
It’s hard for me to take Russia seriously as a military power, though (a point from this new book). I mean, they should consider themselves lucky to hold themselves together. If their military could one day advance to the point where it might be able to beat Turkey, I would be impressed. Being made into a colony of Europe is more likely.
Europe as an important future power is a no-brainer. I think much of the present Middle East will eventually gravitate to the European sphere, so that “Europe” comes to include the rest of the Mediterranean.
Japan is going to have huge problems with aging. They’re not going to be a superpower, and all their money could go “poof” so easily it’s not even funny.
Neither will China, I think–sure they look impressive on the map, being so big and all, but like Russia I think they should consider themselves lucky to hold together at all. (Or unlucky, if you’re a Tibetan.)