Whatever shape your world may take in the year 2000 A.D., we can all be fairly sure that it will be one world. Whether through war or through peace, the nations fifty years from now will have learned to enmesh their sovereignties into a single supreme authority. They will have learned to do so because, difficult as it may seem now, no other alternative exists. One world or none at all is the choice….
This trend toward world authority will be contested bitterly for many years, because national sovereignty is something all men cling to. But sooner or later a number of overwhelming questions will impose themselves on everybody who thinks at all. Questions like these: Is national sovereignty more important than society itself? Is civilization not something bigger than either the nation or the society? When these questions are asked, over and over and over again, the tendency toward World Agreement, already strong in some areas, will become, I believe, irresistible….
Vast advances in technology and science should let us insure our people against sickness, unemployment and the hazards of old age; lace the nation with 200-m.p.h., triple-tier highways and fill the skies with more comfortable, faster, perhaps supersonic air transports; build churches, schools, art galleries, lecture halls, libraries for everyone. Certainly power by nuclear fission will accelerate the most productive economic machine in world history. Nations will no longer be driven by hunger to overwork their soil and pillage other natural resources.
I love coming across these types of predictions from years ago. All future forecasters seem to always think things will happen much faster than they actually occur. But I must admit that things in the 1960s moved pretty fast. When John Kennedy set the goal to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade he caused our technology to leap frog ahead. Often times what it takes to make things happen as quickly as the predictors envision takes a person to put forward a paradigm shifting challenge and then provide the resources to make it happen. Providing the resources is where we perhaps have failed the most miserably in the last few decades. But our ever increasing resistance to change by the most conservative among us is another factor that is stifling us.
Everyone knows, although many still stubbornly refuse to admit it, that we need to wean ourselves off carbon based fuels and become much more “green” than we are now. If we don’t eventually face up to that challenge our great-grandchildren may suffer beyond our comprehension. Like in 1960 we have the capability and resources to make that happen. What we don’t have is the will. We are just too busy arguing with each other to be able to focus on this inevitable task before us.