Hello Leeky Forums,
I like to bring forward a theory.
An easy way to explain the past (and therefore predict the future) is to look at military technology and theories.
Often our social and political change happens as a consequence of military weapons.
I don't want to make this too long, but just look at the importance of the domestication of the horse and breeding of stronger, heavier warhorses who could carry a full armored knight. Is it a surprise that these societies were based on a hierarchical structure, where a large majority of the population worked to keep these warriors supplied with their equipment, armor, arms and fed?
And how firearms turned the whole situation around. Equalizing peasent and nobility until that idea was taken to its logical conclusion in the French revolution and teached the world how mass mobilization of a population can dominate a continent.
Well, you can already see at the horizon the comeback of maybe something more akin to the mediveal knight - invulnerable to the normal weapons available to the common population, one of them being able to keep hundreds in line.
Nuclear weapons, biological weapons are immensly destructive weapons, but you can't really use them against your own population and are therefore bound by THEIR WILL to not use them against others.
Anyone remember Eisenhower's quote about atomic weapons and the huge backlash he received, before he made a huge turnaround on that issue:
Yes, of course they (atomic weapons) would be used. In any combat where these things can be used on strictly military targets and for strictly military purposes, I see no reason why they shouldn't be used just exactly as you would use a bullet or anything else.
That wasn't the point I originally tried to make, but you can see that potential when the new Elite really doesn't have to care about public opinion anymore?
Anyway there are quite a few technologies in development which might hint at a future extreme imbalance between the common foot soldiers and a fully automated weapon system?
The most likely candidate is the drone, but it's not hard to imagine something even more futuristic, given that my prediction doesn't need to come true in just the next 100 years.
But let's look at a drone. In the future it might fly in such high altitudes that even expert snipers are going to have a problem hitting it (especially if it makes use of the sun or the night for that matter) and together with extremely precise weapons systems, it can be used for assassination and for crowd control. It already proved that it can enter buildings and operate there, making it useful for all kinds of situations.
Note on assassination:
Instead of a bullet, how about poison darts or some kind of cancer-causing (replace with any other kind of common disease) laser?
But it doesn't matter if it's drones or somethign else. The trends all go in one direction and it doesn't take much fantasy to speculate about all the kinds of inventions that can bring about such a future.
But let's look upon the societal impact on that. For the upkeep and production of such expensive equipment the continuation of a semi-capitalist system is needed for the wealth creation and scientific progress mustn't be oppressed to make this possible and keep it going.
Society has to be free enough for that to allow, but statist forces (libertarian theory about ever expaning goverment) push in the other direction, making it as authoritarian as it can be.
The biggest change is going to be the emergence (or consilidation) of an oligarchy who has an immense amount of wealth, multiplying their money by state-interventionist means (cheating the market) and going to be so deeply connected with dealings and politics all over their world, that people will have to go into conspiracy-nut like obsession with detail and speculation to connect all the dots. Offical history is going to be a fiction, with the real story likely not even knowable to the new oligarchy.
The good thing though is that we will not be just slaves to them, but share in a bit of the wealth creation of a semi-free economic system as well, with hedonism and materialism running wild. So called "social freedoms" being more easily granted than a ecoomical freedoms in an ever more complex system of regulation, taxes and interventionist policy. (all with the aim to enrich the new elite)
How close do you think we are to that future, Leeky Forums?
Remember, the theory says that military technology is responsible for social change, not the other way around … there won't e a remedyfor this once it gets going.