Saturday, 10 March 2018

25 Years in the Future, January 16, 1962

LOOK Magazine asked famous people in 1962 about how the world would be in 25 years' time, i.e. 1987.  Here are two predictions. President Kennedy's is long and dull. I wish Adenauer's were on the net.

David Ben-Gurion, (Prime Minister of Israel):

“The image of the world in 1987 as traced in my imagination: The Cold War will be a thing of the past. Internal pressure of the constantly growing intelligensia in Russia for more freedom and the pressure of the masses for raising their living standards may lead to a gradual democratization of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the increasing influence of the workers and farmers, and the rising political importance of men of science, may transform the United States into a welfare state with a planned economy. Western and Eastern Europe will become a federation of autonomous states having a Socialist and democratic regime. With the exception of the USSR as a federated Eurasian state, all other continents will become united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police force, and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a Shrine of the Prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies, as prophesied by Isaiah. Higher education will be the right of every person in the world. A pill to prevent pregnancy will slow down the explosive natural increase in China and India. And by 1987, the average life-span of man will reach 100 years.”

He was a globalist and a universalist, though a nationalist when it came to Israel. 

Thank goodness planned economies are gone. 

A World Alliance ruling Asia, Africa and Latin America from its capital in Jerusalem? No. Far too much like world government, than which I can imagine nothing worse.

Would a democratic U.S.S.R. have been a good thing? No, not for the European and Caucasian Union republics. Possibly for the Soviet Central Asian republics.

And the pill has been a catastrophe.

Eleanor Roosevelt

“If we have not destroyed ourselves, I hope we will have learned that humanity must be looked upon as all of the same race. I hope that East, West, North and South will be tolerant and even friendly over the differences that must arise; there is a possibility for face-to-face communication as never before. I hope we will have strengthened the UN and built a system of international law to take the place of force. This is a great deal to hope for in 25 years, but we move fast these days.”

We must not judge people in history by what we know happened later. They didn't. She did not live to see what we see, far too much international law and too little national sovereignty, which means in effect far too many restrictions on democracy. 

We do see though in these remarks and Kennedy's the background to the globalism that has now taken such a grip on the developed world. This was five years after the E.E.C. was founded.


  1. It makes you realise just how shallow the major public figures of the post-war period have been. Incapable of expressing themselves without resorting to a string of bland feelgood platitudes. Perhaps that's what democracy inevitably leads to - no-one will dare utter any thought that is not a safe warm fuzzy platitude.

    I rather suspect that a selection of the great men of the 19th century would have come up with something a bit more worthwhile.

    1. I'd love to have Gladstone and Disraeli's predictions of how things would be in 1900. E. M. Forster in a story called “The Machine Stops” predicted things that closely resemble the internet, Skype and texting, as well as climate change. Climate change in his fictional account is real, not fictitious.

    2. E. M. Forster in a story called “The Machine Stops” predicted things that closely resemble the internet, Skype and texting

      Yes, I've read it, an extremely interesting story.

  2. Jerome K Jerome had some stunning predictions about Germany's rise as an authoritarian state in Three Men on a Bummel (published 1900-ish?)

  3. The future King Juan Carlos asked General Franco for his advice on how he ought to rule, to which Franco replied: 'Everything will be different then'. The Generalissimo was no intellectual but these words were wise, the only wise reply.

  4. A clever friend of mine has recommended that I read this to have an informed idea of what the future may bring. It is based partly on the views, he told me, of the secret services. I assume he meant ours and the Americans'. Perhaps, since he is Belgian, of the Europeans too.