Alan Kay, a Xerox genius, said that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” The international politics analyst Dario Fabbri on the issue now on newsstands of Limes, entitled “The rediscovery of the future. We cannot foresee the future, we must. We and the world in 2051 “ he transfers and articulates Kay’s motto at the geopolitical level, explaining that «the strategist is pontiff between past and future (…) Aware of the path he has led up to here, he tries to affect tomorrow without sinking into the miseries of everyday life. Mindful of the triumphs and defeats of his ancestors, he knows how to recognize the ancestral objectives of the community, without losing sight of the future ». And again: «The geopolitical diviner’s task is to recognize the movements of the communities. To grasp ahead of time the rise, stability, decline of a specific subject, when its evolution exists only in an embryonic form. He is not an unrealistic diviner, he is not called to announce new alliances or specific battles. Its goal is to foresee in advance the threats that are looming on the horizon, the force that animates them, the developments that they can trigger. Conversely, letting oneself be surprised by the epiphany of a power reveals a serious analytical error ».
Limes notes that history is full of circumstances in which the advent of a new enemy was recorded when it was too late, often at the very moment of the defeat: from the strengthening of the barbarians in the time of Augustus to the penetration of the Ottomans in the Byzantine territories, from the unsuspected military capability of imperial Japan up to the power of the United States snubbed in Europe before both world wars. In light of historical precedents and the need to anticipate the future, Limes mobilizes its analysts to predict in what shape the candidate countries for global leadership will be in 30 years.
General expectations are confirmed and surprises. Although the indications are not unique (each signature on Limes commits only the opinion of the author, not that of the magazine), the side of the winners sees the United States (which are not seen in decline at all) and China (whose ascension has solid foundations) but the forecast is not unfavorable to Russia either, which can even benefit from climate change (although the phenomenon is very complicated to manage with advantage). From the pages of Limes emerges little confidence in the ambitions of power of India, Brazil and “Global Britain”, while “countries such as Japan, Mexico and Turkey are clearly growing, despite considerable structural defects”. This is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the analysis: Turkey is almost devoid of intrinsic strengths and can rely mainly on a single resource, namely Europe’s passivity and (to a lesser extent) other international actors towards it. in all its initiatives from Libya to the delimitation of the waters in the eastern Mediterranean; if the wind changed and Turkey met any opposition it would find itself almost without cards in hand.
Limes does not dedicate a specific chapter to the European Union, but dedicates several individual ones to Germany, France and Italy, and in none of the three cases the forecast is unfavorable. Here and there daring perspectives are explored, such as German participation in a European nuclear deterrent in association with France and the United Kingdom.
In closing we point out a consideration on Angela Merkel, who certainly does not belong to the future of the world in 2051 but is still in office in 2021. Her historical figure received, on the avenue of sunset, doubly deserved applause, for the duration of her power and for the impact (on the collective imagination and on the substance of politics) of the first time of a woman at the helm not only of Germany but of Europe. However, having paid this tribute, certain excesses of rhetoric should also be reported. The praises of his Europeanism, for example: Merkel became a Europeanist belatedly and in the course of work, while all the post-war German chancellors (except you) have been pro-Europeans since the first day of their mandate. In the first thirteen or fourteen of her sixteen years in power, Angela Merkel seemed to conceive of Europe as a projection of Germany and only painfully changed her mind. Even the recognition he received for opening the doors of his country to a million Syrians should be balanced with the six billion euros that immediately convinced Europe to pay Turkey to keep another 4 million refugees at home. And these days, Angela Merkel’s Germany does not seem to oppose the “Salvinian” Poland which is blocking migrants; reacting to the crisis by imposing further sanctions on Belarus and blaming Russia’s unscrupulous moves eludes the humanitarian side of the issue, on which Merkel, Germany and Europe contradict themselves.
Again on Merkel mythology: for years it has been said and repeated that Angela Merkel’s lukewarmness towards Europe manifested itself on the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, when instead of celebrating the reunification of Europe on the street a sauna. This is an absurd consideration, albeit endlessly repeated: that day Europe did not reunify, the Germany, and if in going to the sauna a symptom of indifference were to be perceived, Merkel would be attributed (absurdly) an indifference not to the reunification of Europe, but to that of Germany.
As for the obsession of Angela Merkel and all Germans with austerity policies and the fight against inflation, are we sure that they find justification in the historical memory of the Weimar republic? It is commonplace to say that Weimar died of inflation, but the accounts do not add up. The hyper-inflation is from 1921-1923 and was economically and politically tamed, the republic in that period survived all the challenges of the right and left, including the 1923 Munich Putsch, when Hitler went to jail; instead ten years later, with inflation tamed for ten years, Weimar did not survive the Great Depression and six million unemployed, and in 1933 Hitler became chancellor. If there is a lesson to be learned from history it is this, not the babau of inflation.
We hope that between now and 2051 in Germany, in Europe and therefore also in Italy, thirty years of austerity willed by the Germans do not await us.
Luigi Grassia is the author of “Arcana Imperii. Cold War and geopolitics. George Kennan from Stalin to Putin “, Mimesis Editions. With preface by Domenico Quirico