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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Saturday November 27, 2004. In the 1950's, English science fiction writers presented a future in which England was still a world power, and had become a major power in space.

By the 1950's, England was no longer a major power. And the signs of this were obvious.

(Note that I said "England" rather than "United Kingdom." The other parts of the UK weren't considered important.)

Today, some of the Russian Federation's policies make sense only if the government is run by people who think Russia is still a superpower. It hasn't been since the Soviet Union fell apart; and the evidence is that it never will be again. Russia is not going to be a superpower; it's not going to be a world power; it quite likely will not be a major power in Europe. And it might not hold on to the rest of the Russian Federation.

Today, many people -- inside and outside the US -- take it for granted that the US is the last superpower standing and will remain a superpower well into the future.

I suspect that being a superpower requires at least one opposing superpower. But even if so, the US is a major world power -- in some ways, the major power.

I wonder how much longer that will be true. And how much time will pass between that and the time when Americans realize we no longer live in the world's strongest country.

By some standards, we aren't now. For example, we're probably second in space to the European Space Agency.
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