James C. Bennett thinks the English-speaking nations (the anglosphere) will lead the world in the 21st century:
"The Anglosphere Challenge is a new and different look at where globalization and information technology are taking the world, and specifically the USA and the other English-speaking nations. Unlike most of these observers, Bennett believes that these forces will not create a borderless world, nor will the process of globalization lead to a homogenized world culture. Instead, Bennett argues that what is emerging is a series of distinct but overlapping globe- spanning linguistic-cultural phenomena, which he terms 'network civilizations'. (The Anglosphere, or English-speaking network civilization, is the first but by no means the last of such entities.) Within these network civilizations, cultures with strong civil societies can cross intra- civilizational boundaries with ease, widening the scope of easy interaction, particularly for smaller, entrepreneurial ventures. The task of the emerging era, then, is one of creating political forms of cooperation appropriate to these network civilizations. Bennett argues that such a form, which he terms the 'Network Commonwealth', is already emerging. Unlike national or imperial forms of organization, network commonwealths are characterized by extreme decentralization and lack of compulsory mechanisms. Network commonwealths will serve to replace the trade and defense functions once performed by large economic states. Bennett's book contains a detailed discussion of the English-speaking world and why its strong civil society, and resultant entrepreneurial market capitalism and constitutional government will likely result in the Anglosphere's retaining the lead role in the next stages of development, the multiple and simultaneous scientific-technological revolutions sometimes called the Singularity, and the emergence of the Network Commonwealth.."
[via Chicago Boyz]
The Pentagon's New Map - Thomas Barnett
The Chinese Century - Moore's Lore
Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever - Ray Kurzweil, Terry Grossman