New MoD Strategic Report Extends Vision to 2040
Foresees the rise of a global elite that “sits above the level of individual states and influences the global agenda”
By Daniel Taylor
In 2006, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense published the DCDC Strategic Trends 2007-2036 report, outlining possible scenarios for technology, society and world politics. Among other issues, the 2006 reportaccurately envisioned a “revolutionary middle class” that would revolt against economic hardship and burdens of debt, and described a future population implanted with brain chips. A new report from the MoD titled Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2040 was published in February of this year, and extends the Ministry’s strategic vision to 2040.
Amidst the 168 pages of the report, these are a few highlights. The newest MoD paper, drawing influence from its predecessor, describes rapid changes in society that threaten to “radicalize” individuals who seek to maintain traditions and beliefs, while a global elite “…sits above the level of individual states and influences the global agenda…” By 2040 the MoD envisions a “global society” plagued with tensions brought about by globalization, and high technology exaggerates differences between haves and have nots. The MoD report states,
“The social tensions caused by intrusive global culture are likely to be most acute amongst those who seek to maintain their indigenous and traditional customs and beliefs, and feel threatened by changes. This is likely to lead to an increasing number of individuals and groups, many of whom form around single issues that differentiate them from wider society, becoming marginalised and possibly radicalised.”
These issues, along with the public response to economic hardship are driving the strategic vision of governments in the western world. In 2008 the Army War College released the report Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development. “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” states the report. The western world has seen an unprecedented build up for domestic unrest as the machinery of governance built for anti-terrorism is turned inward.
Additionally, the latest Global Strategic Trends report peddles the climate change fear that more and more people are rejecting as an excuse to impose draconian measures on their lives. Indeed, the MoD report foresees a move away from “freedom of choice” to more “sustainable” practices in response to climate change. Chillingly, the paper states,
“The developed world is likely to experience a degree of transformation as it moves from a consumerist society based on freedom of choice to a more constrained, sustainable societal model that provides financial and social rewards to encourage greener practices and discourage waste.”
“Emergence of a global elite”
The state will remain the predominant player in world affairs according to the MoD report, but “…the emergence of a global elite, a powerful network of individuals and institutions that sits above the level of individual states and influences the global agenda, is also possible.” While the report foresees the rise of a global elite, the existence of a global elite is a well documented fact. One method of influence that the global elite wield is through large foundations. As the MoD report states, these operate above individual states and influence the global agenda.
In an interview with the Seattle Times, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was asked, “Some say the emergence of super rich philanthropies like the Gates Foundation has undermined the effectiveness of the U.N. and its member organizations, like the WHO.” Moon responded,
“On the contrary that is what we really want — contributions from the business community as well as philanthropies. We need to have political support, but it doesn’t give us all that we need. NGOs and philanthropies and many foundations such as Bill Gates Foundation — they’re taking a very important role…”
In May of 2009 the so called “Good club” met in New York at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, president of Rockefeller University. According to the London Times, the meeting was so secret that, “…some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at ‘security briefings'”. David Rockefeller Jr, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey were all in attendance. The Times reports, “Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an “umbrella cause” that could harness their interests.” The Times interviewed a guest at the meeting, who said that the group wanted to meet in secret because they didn’t want their statements ending up in the media, “painting them as an alternative world government.”
In defense of the secrecy, the guest said that, “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.”
“To be disconnected may be considered suspicious”
By 2040 – and likely before then – many futurists and scientists are projecting that technology will have advanced exponentially, bringing the much anticipated “singularity” closer. The MoD hints at some of these possible developments, including the emergence of an internet of things, radical life extension technology, and surveillance of personnel via mood sensing devices.
Computing will become pervasive everywhere in the environment. According to the report, “The virtual networks will consist of communications servers linking individuals and objects, many of which will be networked through individual Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.” Ultimately, as stated in the paper, it may become difficult to “turn the outside world off,” and “…Even amongst those who make an explicit life-style choice to remain detached, choosing to be disconnected may be considered suspicious behaviour.”
Furthermore, life extension technology will “have a significant impact on global society,” and “…initial access… could be highly unequal and only be available to wealthier members of society.”