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Pour Yourself a Strong Drink Before Reading This One

December 10th, 2012 - 11:47 am

The US won’t be the only superpower by the year 2030? Don’t look so shocked — it was inevitable. It also isn’t true.

American power was bound to decline in relative terms, as China caught up and Russia regained its footing. It’s also the human nature that when one power is dominant, smaller powers will band together against it. That has nothing to do with whether a power is relatively benign, like the US, or an evil empire like Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.

But we also seem to be entering a period where all powers might be in decline. China may grow old before it grows rich, to borrow Mark Steyn’s memorable phrase. Not helping things are China’s “Potemkin skyscrapers.” When their bust comes, as it must, it’s going to be brutal. And tough to climb out of while also in a demographic decline.

Speaking of demographic declines, Russia never did regain its footing. And the population is shrinking by nearly a million a year. Russia has a lot of people — and a lot of years — before it ceases to exist. But Moscow is also finding it’s tough to be a mineral-based power in an information age. They should have learned that lesson in the mid-’80s, but… still nope.

And Russia is just the meaner, more brutish version of what’s going on in Europe and Japan. Awash in debt and scarce on babies is no way to go through life, folks. Yet we seem to be catching …down… with them.

There’s a nugget of a bad Will Smith (or a good Vincent Price) movie in there somewhere.

What do all these impending failures have in common? Bad governance. Western nations have ridiculed and disincentivized family and babies. And who can afford the little ones in Obama’s economy, anyway? Russia got there sooner, as utter hopelessness merged with free abortion-as-contraception. China went with a one-child policy that might have seemed like a good idea at the time — but is proving troublesome as the country will end up with 100,000,000 too many men.

What it comes down to is, the human race may well become the first species to legislate itself out of existence.

So: Welcome to a world without superpowers. Or people.

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