Thursday, January 22, 2009

Looking into the Crystal Ball

So far, this was the stuff of fairy tales, but now George Friedman attempts to do this in his new book "The Next 100 Years". From the extensive book reviews I like the reasoning behind the predictions - it is logical, on the other hand very frequently on this planet things have happened that no one predicted.

The main prediction is that the US will remain the main World power. I think the case is well made, I also think the US has the inner will and the belief that it can lead the World and remain the shining city on a hill. This is influenced by the "Yes we can" attitude that is so prominent in President Obama's speeches. As far as I know, not many countries exhibit this kind of attitude.

Closer to home, Poland is predicted to be a major power in Europe - and this is due to the close cooperation with the US - and I suspect the Baltic states (esp. Lithuania) will benefit from it - since as G.Friedman mentions the history repeats itself.

Consider "Pan Tadeusz" by the one of the best known Polish poets A.Mickiewicz :
"O Lithuania, my country, thou
Art like good health; I never knew till now
How precious, till I lost thee. Now I see
The beauty whole, because I yearn for thee.

On the oher hand, he predicts the Russian demographics will add to the decline of Russia, Turkey will increase in significance and the West Europe will decrease in significance. All this makes sense - and I am curious how it will progress. Are we going to see more cooperation between the New Europe and the US? Or is the "New Europe" too broad a definition - since it includes some very dissimilar cultures of various countries in the Balkans, Central Europe and the Baltic states. Also, is there a prediction about another big country - Ukraine - that is very tightly related to the two countries (Russia and Poland) that figure prominently in his analysis?

Below is a YouTube presentation of the book by G.Friedman himself:

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