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Society and Politics in 2100 – Part 1: The Rise of City States

Posted on February 24, 2013
Subject(s): Cities, Futuring, Humanity, Governance

Humans are hard-wired social creatures. We have always organized ourselves starting with nuclear families and extending to formal and informal groupings such as tribes, gangs, clubs, political parties, nations and religions. Today we are on a macro level politically organized around the concept of nation, a recent phenomena, first arising in Europe and then spreading globally. Nationalism is both a positive and negative influence on our behaviour. It has contributed to two conflicts in the 20th century that killed tens of millions of us. In forming nations we have organized government around a number of models from monarchy, to totalitarian dictatorship, to theocracy, oligarchy and democracy. To regulate society within nations we have created sub-organizations. Federations consist of states or provinces. Within our federal and local governments we have those who govern and those who oppose. These are the political parties that have graced modern democracy since the 18th century. Even in dictatorships we find centrally managed political organizations formed under party banners.

This is our past and present. What about our future? What will our global community look like in 2100? How will we organize? How will we govern? How will we oppose? I would argue that today we already have the tools in place to disrupt what has been. Let’s look at what may very well be our world in 2100.

1. The rise of the city state may very well be a common pattern of the 21st century replacing national governments.
2. The emergence of direct democracy facilitated by universal connectivity.
3. The emergence of region over nation.
4. The development of a global loosely constructed federalism.
5. Corporate players and NGOs no longer sit on the sidelines but become participants in governance.
6. Traditional political parties are usurped by organized social cause movements.

The tools to invent this altered world exist today so it is not too much of a stretch to imagine that many if not all of these predictions will come true. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring each of these topics in greater detail. So let’s begin.

Read more: Society and Politics in 2100 – Part 1: The Rise of City States | World Future Society.

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