October 21, 2018

The Anarchy That Came

By Robert D. Kaplan

What I said was provocative, or at least deemed to be, by complacent champions of globalization. Yet evolution is inexorable. Technology in particular is not so much defeating geography as shrinking it. This means the geopolitical world is becoming smaller, that much more claustrophobic, and consequently more nervous, with the fate of the West increasingly tied to that of Africa and other places. While Europe’s indigenous population stagnates, Africa’s population could grow from one billion to as much as four billion by the end of the century—and that is even with declining rates of population growth. Nigeria, whose population stands at 200 million, could reach 750 million by then, with concomitant erosion of agricultural soil. Thus, an era of migration from south-to-north may be only just beginning. This at a time, when, as experts suggest, the combined effects of automation, artificial intelligence and so-called 3d printing could make Western companies far less dependent on cheap labor in poor countries, further destabilizing them. Though middle classes are emerging in a number of African countries, that will only empower more people to vote with their feet and migrate. Peasantries rooted in place are far more politically stable than newly literate and empowered masses with rising expectations.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

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