Many economists have pointed to the trend toward the corporate take over of the political world and sited it as the end of the nation state and the emergence of city states and city state alliances. That trend is dependent upon the continued acceptance of the form of capitalism that now seems to be in place, a kind of societal acceptance of the loss of freedom to permit business growth in response to a threat of a totalitarian regime The people of the noncommunist world are aware of the cruel and horrific extremes of fascism but they equate those extremes with communism because Joseph Stalin's version of communism was just, or perhaps in some ways, even more extreme than those of Hitler.  
  The seeds of the communist movement were in place more than twenty years before the turn of the century while nationalism and imperialism had even more of a head start so that the scene was set for the first world war at the beginning of the century. Fascism came about as a result of a collapse of traditional government structures and in reaction to the growing momentum of communism. World War II was as inevitable as the first war and to the credit of world leaders the “Cold War” was the most peaceful movement in centuries. An armed conflict with only minor scuffles, a condition made possible by the advent of the most total form of destruction ever devised, the thermonuclear bomb that produced the condition referred to as “MAD”, mutually assured destruction.  
  Now that we have looked briefly at the old century what can we glean from it to help us see what lies ahead in this new twenty-first century? The first thing we have to see is that most of the trends that will shape what will happen are already in place and we just have yet to recognise them. There are three main themes that mark this era, women, Marshall McLuhan and humanism.  
  When the twentieth century began women could not vote, own or deal in property and were not present in even small numbers in the important roles seen in society. That has changed but the consequences of such change will take much time to fully produce dramatic and real results. The impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton was brought about by a change in attitude by a public made aware of things that a hundred years ago would be of utterly no consequence. But with women reporters, judges, lawyers and politicians, human behavior is more closely scrutinised and this process will continue to advance.  
  Marshall McLuhan was a Toronto thinker and teacher who discovered that the means of communications and what was communicated had a direct relationship. His work was difficult to understand and largely ignored excepted for a few who realised this was an area of human interaction that was at last studied and some conclusions had been drawn. He wrote and talked about a “global village” no one including his disciples fully realised what he was talking about until we begin to see that what he described is not only happening but the principles he described are now in affect.  
  So many people at all levels are disconcerted that news, be it in the form of paper journalism, radio or television seems to have lost its way and is either trivial or confusing. “All news” radio and television networks have redefined reality and through all these are the basic principles that McLuhan described. If you look closely you will discover that news today is little more that big time gossip. There is some truth and some connection to reality but the choices of what to report and what to emphasis determine what is. Let us consider what gossip is all about.  
  Gossip is one of the most important elements of any society. People talk to one another, what they talk about is what is important to them. What they choose as important is almost always related to values. People identify what their concerns are and the values that trouble them most through their gossip. Gossip is morally based and intended to establish codes of acceptable behaviour in a society.  
  With the advent of the mass communication global village, we are now no longer concerned about what happened for that is almost mundane, we are concerned about the issues related to events that affect moral conduct. You will recall the extremely powerful concerns everyone had over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski, those were moral concerns, not legal ones and that is why he was not impeached but it is why he was soundly condemned by everyone including himself. The news during the crisis was essentially gossip. It changed behaviour and reinforced moral attitudes.  
  During the twenty-first century there is going to be a miserable and protracted conflict between the civilised world (read - non-Islamic) and the world of the Moslem. This struggle is not avoidable. Just as the holy war that lead them to invade North Africa and head into Europe resulted in Pope Gregory calling upon the Knights and Princes of Europe to a crusade we will see this pattern repeated. Islam by its nature is destine to self propagate and do so with violence if necessary. It is as a religion, linked to the culture that supports it, and is not likely ever to be compatible with non-Islamic cultures. This was fine as long as it stayed in its part of the world and did not intrude and when it did, there was war, a series of wars. In the early part of the twenty-first century the global village is aware of the nature of this culture and at times deliberately emphasises the differences and the seeming conflict with appropriate civilised behaviour. The culture, more so than the religion, is hostile toward women, who are well toward being equal in every way in the rest of the non-moslem world and they will not tolerate the continued behaviour of this culture toward their gender. At the same time there are many economic and political reasons to fuel the hostility necessary to bring sensible world leaders to action. The Gulf War over Kuwait was the first of many conflicts that will see the non-Islamic world take up arms and launch crusades against some or all followers of Mohammed.  
  For thirty years the reigns of government have slackened and let businesses of all kinds do what they do and that is make money. Some times government has been a partner in business expansion into the social conditions of democratic countries. This appears to have been simple reaction to the counter movement known as communism. The twenty-first century is about to see a new sociopolitical movement emerge. Without knowing where this movement will first obtain power we will for now refer to it as humanism. Not unlike the modified form of monarchies that evolved in Europe just before the coming of constitutional monarchies, there was a trend toward kings who would act with beneficence toward their subjects because they believed it was their role to do so. Similarly, we should expect a backlash toward the rampant form of corporate capitalism of the late twentieth century to evolve that will be led by “enlightened”, socially conscious political leaders. Some of these will be economists as we have already seen a strong moral position becoming accepted among this elite portion of the educated world and as shocking as it might seem, there will be political leaders with legal background who also will hold much higher behaviour standards than what we have seen in this past century.  
  The reason we know this will take place is simply because of the pendulum effect. Attitudes swing one way then another. Communism was an economic theory put into political practice to attempt to flatten the effect of land ownership and concentration of wealth. Capitalism, emphasising personal liberty over social concerns is equally repugnant and the swing toward moderation and humanism is a certainty.  
  Though we have ignored technology to a certain extent in this discussion the advances in the twentieth century are unsurpassed in terms of rapid change and these changes have resulted in the alteration of economies and life style. But the changes in the twenty-first century will not modify the way people live they will completely reorganise many portions of society. There will in as little as twenty years be whole segments of occupations completely and totally eliminated for ever.
As with all things the future is built upon the trends established in the past. We have seen in the twentieth century how offices developed trades or skill based jobs based on technological developments. Secretaries came about because of the development of the typewriter which needed specialised skills to used efficiently. This role has all but vanished today because the computer makes this work well within the capacity of almost everyone as those specialised skills once the realm of the secretary have been taught to everyone, out of necessity.
  In the 1970s the auto industry began to reduce the cost of manufacturing by replacing welding and painting skilled jobs with robotics devices leaving only assembly to human workers. The past thirty years have seen processor and memory capabilities multiply exponentially to the point that we as a society are going to endow mechanisms with more and more chores. Robotics is going to dominate the technological portion of human development of the next thirty years just as information has altered the past fifteen. It will take two very amazing forms, augmentation and automation.  
  With advanced processors and sensing devices massive cybernetic devices are about to become as common as shovels at the start of the twentieth century. A cybernetic device will involve mechanisms that will merely act for and under the direction of operators. Mimicking the operators actions with grace, skill and poise these devices will replace most heavy work machines and simplify construction and assemble on site. Walking, lifting and carrying immense loads will be accomplished routinely with highly skilled operators wearing exoskeleton machines.  
  In less than ten years farm field tractors will be replaced by automated field machines a fraction of their present size that will do the work twenty-four hours a day efficiently and allowing the farm unit to quadruple in size. But even more spectacular will be devices that function unattended and self directed that will weed crops, apply chemicals and similar versions will handle a wide range of work today carried out by wage earning people.  
  Both of these developments are a given, we could make them today with the present technology and economics will force this development much more rapidly than anyone expected.  
  The third form of technology that is also a certainty is that of nano machines. Microscopic machines designed to carry out little tasks that presently can not be achieved. These are not the things of science fiction but of the real world coming years not decades.  
  The genetic advances made in the last ten years are overwhelming in their consequential affects on human and animal life. They promise drastic changes in life span and medical advancements that are long overdue. No form of science today is as primitive as that of the practice of medicine and the sooner we realise that the better we all will be. As a society we have the means to improve all life, for everyone and there is no doubt whatever that we will see this happen at the same incredible rate it has happened in this century departing us today.  
  By now you have absorbed more than enough of what is to come, time does not permit more revelations to be included in this document but follow the principles discussed here and you will see that if we take what is and expand it we can see what will be.  

Timothy W. Shire