The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century is a 2009 book by George Friedman. In the book, Friedman attempts to predict the major geopolitical events and trends of the 21st century.
“Europe is extinct.” “China cannot survive a billion pissed off peasants.” “Turkey is a power.”
“The U.S. will dominate the 21st Century.”
These are a few of the audacious and often controversial predictions of George Friedman. He is the author of The Next 100 Years, A Forecast for the 21st Century. The book focuses on what he knows best, the future. Positing that civilization is at the dawn of a new era. He offers a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world. Particularly, during the twenty-first century where all is based on individuals own thorough analysis and research.
The book was written in 2009 and already some of the predictions have already taken place! Not sure if I believe everything will go as predicted but, it’s a great analysis of the past history. Even it predict what could be the future. It will be intriguing to revisit the book in the future to see if any of the predictions actually happen! A very interesting read if you’re into geopolitics.
The book has no footnotes or references, like it was just written off the top of his head. Which probably was because George Friedman is phenomenal? I’m still patiently waiting for China to fragment. I think that prediction was for Today’s 2020’s. You see signs of it now, where President Xi’s power grabs maybe a sign of desperation. It is the fact that the wealthy are snapping up property overseas. China is definitely focusing more inward than they were, trying to reverse or prevent Western influence. When you feel the need to ban Santa Claus and the Dalai Lama, you obviously have some issues. This contrasts with their simultaneous push to expand outwards. But outward expansion aka the Belt and Road, space exploration, etc. is really the Chinese way of domination.
Friedman’s argument is that this has happened repeatedly over its history. When China opens up, the coastal areas become rich, but the interior stays poor. Today, they have income inequality on par with the US. They are trying desperately to enrich the interior but are facing the Uighurs in the west. It is for the fact that the average Chinese consumer is much more stringent than the American version. You will definitely love the prediction for 2080, a hot war between the US and Mexico. This becomes more probable if US politicians maintain an open border policy. But you will have to read the book to find out why.
While this book may not be accurate in its details, a point Friedman makes repeatedly. It is probably pretty close in its broad outline. This book is not like a blueprint or roadmap. It is an exposition of one possible future with an explanation of the likelihood of its happening. At that it is worth reading. Even if nothing happens as describe, the processes at work are the same and while the script may not be enact exactly, it is likely that Friedman has captured the broad outlines of what the 21st century will look like.
Entertaining, eye-opening, thought-provoking, this book zooms out from our daily political obsessions to take a long (very long) view of history past, present, and future. The author, with courage but also the appropriate dose of humility, takes us on a tour of the next several decades which, if he is even close to the mark, will see some startling geopolitical developments. In some ways his methodology – which he discloses fully and clearly – is even more interesting than his results. Well worth a look for anyone interested in international politics and the fate of the world.
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