In order to learn something about the future, in past times people were dependent on the interpretation of religious scriptures, prophetic prophecies and mystical traditions, the state of the
stars and on glass balls. Even today many people still believe in such and similar things, although they have long since proved unsuitable and misleading. The charlatan business continues.
In order to get more reliable answers to the questions of the future, scientific methods of futurology are used today. It is an interplay of real knowledge from a whole range of scientific disciplines, statistical calculations and plausible forecasts based on social and natural sciences. The now worldwide networking facilitates and accelerates the work. But here, too, the future is never known exactly. Unforeseeable events can lead to considerable deviations.
At the end of the 1960s, the german political scientist Ossip K. Flechtheim wrote in his work "Futorology - The Fight for the Future":
"Anticipating the result of the reflections of this book, but already here the anticipation of three schemes or alternatives is indicated, which may contribute
to the illumination of the future.
The first and perhaps not even the most improbable model would indeed be the end of mankind, or at least the downfall of modern civilization as a result of devastating wars.
The second model, on the other hand, would amount to a relative stabilization of bureaucratic-technocratic regimes of armament and space travel, which could be described by the term Neo-Caesarism.
The third and perhaps even least probable variant of development in the 20th and 21st centuries would be a world federation of solidarity planning the future of mankind in the service of peace, welfare and creativity".
When Professor Flechtheim wrote his lines, the world was in the middle of the Cold War. The Soviet Union and the Western powers held nuclear weapons with a total explosive force of more than 6000 times the Hiroshima bomb. Countless proxy wars raged in Africa, Asia and South America. The outbreak of a third world war was several times imminent and our survival on the knife edge. This danger seemed to be over with the end of the East-West conflict.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the situation has again deteriorated significantly. The longed-for world peace seems to be moving into the distant future. New human problems - caused in particular by climate change - create insecurity and fuel numerous armed conflicts, which could ultimately lead to a third world war. Neither the ban on nuclear weapons adopted by the majority of UN member states in 2017 nor a Nobel Peace Prize will change that much. That would then be the end of civilization, perhaps even of the entire human race.
Although the UN is undoubtedly an important organization without which the world would be worse off rather than better off today, it has not yet achieved the actual purpose of its foundation: the establishment and safeguarding of world peace. The major powers and their allies, who see the UN mainly as a playing field for their national interests, are still responsible for this. So far, the world lacks a generally valid and enforceable world law to which national interests must also be subordinated. It is not a question of trifles, but of global interests, such as world peace.
When Professor Flechtheim predicted in his second model a relative stabilization of bureaucratic-technocratic regimes of armaments and space travel, he actually assessed this stabilization as relative, i.e. uncertain. This is precisely what the current development in world politics amounts to. Nobody wants war, but everyone is preparing for it. It is becoming apparent that the arms race and the competition of the powers will continue in space. This means a permanent threat and considerable obstacle to a positive future for mankind.
The world federation, least likely after Professor Flechtheim, will come. The only question is when and how much suffering humanity will have to experience before then. Ultimately, the nation
states - including the great powers - will be forced to do so, because the future problems can only be overcome through effective cooperation in a world union based on solidarity. This is the
most realistic chance for humanity to survive in a better future.
However, there is a danger that such political unification will not be democratic. In times of crisis, people tend to trust authoritarian regimes to be able to cope with the problems. They then more or less democratically vote out democracy themselves. A development towards a world dictatorship of self-proclaimed elites would again lead to considerable conflict potential. A truly just world order based on solidarity would hardly be possible.
That is why it is extremely important today that people who want a better world and are committed to it also support the globalisation of democracy. In concrete terms, this means democratising the United Nations. The best way to get there is to create a democratic world parliament, as the UNPA campaign is striving for. It is no longer enough to demonstrate against grievances and follow superficial promises of salvation. We must take our fate into our own hands and really want it and demand offensively that ...
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