4:10:14 The Next 100 Years, a book review

I heard of George Friedman, founder of STRATFOR, the world's leading private intelligence and forecasting firm, years ago. My first impressions, and what is borne out by The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, were Friedman's objectivity, his grasp of the hard data of geopolitics, his inclination toward realpolitik interpretation, and his imaginative, commanding grasp of complex change.

One measure of Friedman's accurate insights: A 2014 blog post at the STRATFOR website offers a commentary on the Ukrainian crisis that is essentially a cut-and-paste of what Friedman published in The Next 100 Years five years ago! (That Friedman agrees with my post about Russia's defensive aim in Ukraine here made me all the more amenable to his arguments.)


As for the future, I won't give away all four countries Friedman says will fight World War III in his scenario commencing on Thanksgiving Day in the year 2050. But I will say that one country will be the United States, expected to be the dominant player on the world stage for the 21st Century. The riveting account of what Friedman sees as WWIII makes the latter half of the book a page-turner. Would you believe one of America's enemies launches an attack from a secret Moon base against the American "Battle Star" space station in earth orbit?

Friedman sees the US and Russia engaging in a second cold war, but more an echo of the one Russia lost in 1991, and with world clout slipping away for keeps a second time. That is not a surprise.

What is a surprise is how fast China can be expected to lose its current momentum to be the dominant world economy. Friedman asserts China, like many Asian countries, suffers from crony capitalism. Deals done on "who you know," not rational business models. Japan has been decades recovering from the glory years of a "business volume first, profits second" strategy. China, Friedman asserts, is Japan on steroids and the slowdown will not be graceful.

I found Friedman's forecasts persuasive. The population explosion will end. A post-petroleum world is ahead. Reversing climate change is imaginable.

Read The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century for an authoritative and essentially optimistic view about why we will survive!

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman, Random House, 2009, 258 pp., ISBN: 978-0-7679-2305-7

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The Cat at Light's End

Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection, The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:

.mobi (Kindle)
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)

Also, a flash fiction, "Ylena Thinks Nyet," is at Cigale Literary Magazine.

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