The 90-page report comments on widely discussed issues such as the growing economic importance of India and China, the militarisation of space, and even what it calls "declining news quality" with the rise of "internet-enabled, citizen-journalists" and pressure to release stories "at the expense of facts". It includes other, some frightening, some reassuring, potential developments that are not so often discussed.
Such as chip implants and:
"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".
This is loopy, isn't it? Marxism generally doesn't go on the march unless there's some hyperpower putting it on the march, funding the failed states that adopt it. There are left-wing indigenous movements that are rattling the systems of some weaker nations, and that won't abate any time soon, but a proletariat rising up and taking over the means of production? At the same time that cheaper trade and more available goods are making their lives easier, even as, yes, the "super-rich" earn more money? I'm not sure we should worry about this. And we shouldn't worry about Iran:
Iran will steadily grow in economic and demographic strength and its energy reserves and geographic location will give it substantial strategic leverage. However, its government could be transformed. "From the middle of the period," says the report, "the country, especially its high proportion of younger people, will want to benefit from increased access to globalisation and diversity, and it may be that Iran progressively, but unevenly, transforms…into a vibrant democracy."
In the future, some other country will have to take their lunch money. Has anyone checked in with the Argies?