Geopolitics Of The Techno-Civilizational World Order
Forecasting is an art which always aims for accuracy, but is rarely perfect. The best analysts are aware of the obvious limitations to their work and therefore endeavor to provide decision makers with at least several scenarios whenever their skills are called upon. The outcome of their efforts gets broader and more generalized the further into the future that their forecasts are expected to penetrate, and they can always be offset by unexpected “black swan” events that completely change the scenario trajectories. In any case, scenario forecasting is important because it presents thought-provoking visions of the future that are ultimately somewhat accurate to varying degrees, thereby allowing decision makers and regular folks alike to reevaluate the present and better prepare for what might be to come.
Bearing this noble purpose in mind, the present research attempts to prognosticate the contours of the post-Multipolar World Order in view of the author’s recent analysis on the topic of the transitional global system and his previous two-year-long research about Hybrid Wars. These works form the frame of reference through which the current one will be analyzed, and readers are encouraged to review those studies if they’re not already familiar with them. The overarching idea is that the US is poised to wage identity-centric Hybrid Wars against the geostrategic transit states along China’s New Silk Road competitive connectivity corridors all across the world.
It’s therefore assumed that some of Beijing’s ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) projects won’t succeed, but most of them probably will, thereby heralding in a new system of “Silk Road Globalization”, which is intrinsically designed to compete with the existing one of “Western Globalization” by rerouting trade to the East. There’s no telling which of the two competing globalizations will emerge as the most prominent after the US’ Hybrid War offensives are finally concluded or at the very least begin to slow down, but either way, the prevailing trend is that some system of globalization will eventually succeed and that this future is seemingly irreversible. That’s not necessarily the case, however, as will be explained further on in the research, but presuming that this tendency holds across the century, then it’s likely that the ongoing process of globalization will lead to Civilizationalism.
From Globalization To Civilizationalism
Samuel Huntington is best known for identifying civilizations as an important emerging actor in International Relations, though his theory about them “clashing” essentially reads as an American-written blueprint for dividing and ruling the Eastern Hemisphere all throughout the 21st century. Huntington’s foil is the Neo-Eurasianist thinker Alexander Dugin, who has expostulated on at length about how civilizations could cooperate instead of clash. Neither thinker, however, foresaw the influence that China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity would have on catapulting civilizations to the future forefront of International Relations, but as argued by the author in his previous work on the “21st-Century Geopolitics Of The Multipolar World Order”, Beijing is doing more than any other Great Power to link civilizations together through its worldwide infrastructure projects.
If left unhindered, then they’ll inevitably lead to a Convergence of Civilizations, and even Hybrid Civilizationalism, which will be touched upon later in the forecast, but the US’ Hybrid Wars will probably scuttle a few of them and prevent this from happening. In the areas of the world where Washington is dominant, whether in its own Western Civilization or elsewhere, similar connectivity processes will continue to unfold, thus allowing for a strengthening of each civilization (Western and Chinese) and their steady integration with others, all of which is dependent on the trade routes between them which will serve as stitches tying the various parts together. Economic integration as spurred by infrastructure construction leads to new travel, study, and migration patterns, which will cause differing civilizations to enter into regular interaction with one another that could then serve to foster a complex interdependency between them which might mitigate the chance of them clashing.
The New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty
That’s just the theory, though, since local factors such as those primarily dealing with newcomers’ assimilation and integration predispositions (whether traders, tourists, students, or migrants) have already been proven to inspire the “counter-zeitgeist” of “New Nationalism”, or in some of its variations, “Resurrected Sovereignty”. The concept is that some populations resisted globalization – whether Western-led or driven by the New Silk Roads – and pushed back with Brexit, Trump, and Poland’s anti-migrant/-EU policies, to name but the most notable examples throughout 2016-2017, because they want to restore their state’s lost sovereignty by freeing it from the clutches of globalism.
As the years go on, it’s expected that this trend will manifest itself in different ways depending on the country involved, which may or may not be the leading entity in any given civilization, and will obviously encounter various rates of success. All of this is very difficult to accurately predict so far in advance of it happening, but what could potentially be more precisely pinpointed is the location where the trend of New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty will gain the most traction, and that will probably be in the transit civilizations-states along the New Silk Roads. Being irreplaceably crucial to these connectivity corridors, the given civilization and/or state might opt to maximize its geostrategic position through the strategy of “Economic Nationalism”, such as what Poland might be poised to do in the near future.
It would be to the grand strategic benefit of China and its multipolar allies if Silk Road Globalization didn’t encounter the obstacle of Economic Nationalism and its potential evolution into any forms of New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty which hinder their collective goal of replacing the Western-led international order via rerouted connectivity and trade corridors, but it’s natural that some transit states might encounter grassroots resistance to this and/or be encouraged by outside actors (the unipolar US and its “Lead From Behind” stakeholders in the existing world system) to push back against it. This could prove troublesome for the emerging Multipolar World Order and could also backfire on the US’ unipolar one unless Washington takes the lead in pioneering a global movement towards Economic Nationalism.
The AI-Robotic Revolution
No future forecast would be complete without commenting on the “black swan” impact of the AI-Robotic Revolution, which his set to fundamentally transform the lifestyle of most human beings. The exact nature of how this plays out will of course vary depending on the civilization/state, but it can be confidently predicted that the effects of this will be most heavily concentrated in the urban locales where the global masses congregate. The trend of urbanization will proceed unabated, and the vast majority of the world’s population will continue to live within close proximity to the global ocean, which will become more important than ever because of the extraction of offshore energy reserves and deep sea mining. The rural hinterland between each civilization/state will only pretty much be good for agriculture, natural resources, and connectivity/trade routes (New Silk Roads), though the first might be replaced by urban farming if the technology is refined and catches on by that point.
The rise of advanced robot workers will lead to the dispensing of a “universal basic income” (UBI) to the many citizens whose livelihoods are displaced by this paradigm shift. The “smart cities” that they inhabit will increasingly come to be controlled, regulated, and governed by decision-making AI infinitely more capable of proactively identifying and preemptively acting upon relevant patterns than humans are, and the streets will be patrolled by robotic policemen (some of which will be autonomous). The unemployed masses will need something to do with their newfound free time and UBI credits, so many of them might be encouraged – at least by Western civilizations/states – to engage in social hedonism such as drugs, orgies, and most importantly, the artificial world of virtual reality (VR). Of course, each civilization/state will find and encourage different things for the majority of their unemployed population to do in order to keep them from rioting or being exploited by foreign rivals to do so, but it’s likely that VR will nevertheless play some part in this.
Strapping on a VR headset and diving into what might by then be a meticulously crafted alternative universe modelled along the lines of the one first thought of in the sci-fi dystopian novel “Ready Player One” will amount to “voluntary imprisonment” from the perspective of the ruling AI (but “human-supervised”) authorities. This is significant to point out because states (especially post-modern ones, but not necessarily traditionalist ones) might actually prefer for their people to be “plugged into a matrix” than to risk being “bored” or dissatisfied to the point of using 3D printing technology (which could be highly regulated by that point) to manufacture weapons in starting a riot or revolution. The “matrix” of VR, however, isn’t without its own security risks too, since this platform might become the point of contact for hostile foreign forces to engage with a given civilization/state’s population in encouraging them to rise up and disrupt their rival’s socio-robotic urban system, hence the need for Big Data to integrate with VR policing in enforcing a totalitarian surveillance state.
The rural regions outside of the big cities will be sparsely populated and relevant pretty much only as it relates to agriculture, resources, and trade/connectivity corridors, like it was mentioned in the previous section, but the strategic threats facing these peripheries are perhaps even more important than the ones in the urban centers. Maritime trade networks will still probably be important in the future, but the overland New Silk Roads that China is charting will expectedly replace overseas trade to a large extent if for none other than the strategic reason that no civilization/state (except insular ones) would feel comfortable being totally dependent on foreign naval-controlled or –influenced routes if they could help it, hence the guiding motivation for OBOR in the first place. Whether it’s to trade with one’s neighbors, or in the case of many African civilizations/states, to extract natural resources (be they agricultural, energy, or mineral), there’s no denying that the rural hinterland will in many cases be the vital lifeline keeping cities alive.
These areas will likely be population deserts owing to the trend of big city urbanization and subsequently voluntary imprisonment through VR, except in the cases of an already existing transit civilization/state (which might come to embrace Economic Nationalism and/or its affiliated New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty ideology), but they’ll be the locations where rivals battle in determining the fate of their citizens. Just as the Hybrid Wars of the first half of the 21st century are expected to be waged in these transit regions, so too will the robotic wars of the second half of the century play out here as competing forces try to sever their rivals’ lifelines. In some cases, they might even seek to support rebel humans disgruntled with the post-modern, urbanist, and/or escapist tendencies in the big cities, but more than likely robotic weapons systems will be superior on all accounts in this theater (with humans having an edge in inciting chaos in the heart of the big city via externally provoked Color Revolutions instigated through VR infiltration).
Society will for all intents and purposes be wholly dependent on electricity to feed the robot and AI “overlords” presiding over each civilization/state in the coming future, thereby making this “utility” the “oxygen” of the future and consequently the target of its rivals. It’s not known whether power plants – be they nuclear, solar, or otherwise – will be concentrated in the urban jungles or the rural peripheries, with each location having its own strategic advantages and disadvantages, but they’ll still become the most sought-after targets in any future military conflicts because their disabling or destruction on an effective enough scale would disarm their opponent’s robot armies (whether immediately or with time, depending on their battery capabilities, charging method, and length of time between charges). It would also spark a debilitating societal breakdown in their cities as the population is involuntarily freed from their self-admitted VR prisons only to find out that the AI-driven state can no longer provide for any of their needs, especially crucial life-sustaining ones such as food, water, and potentially even psychiatric medicine supply.
There will be multiple means to achieve this outcome against a civilization/state adversary, but the most effective will probably be through space wars as fought with weaponized satellites, first between one another high up in the heavens and then with the victorious force scorching their enemy’s power grid with impunity down below. EMPs could predictably become the standard Weapons of Mass Destruction in the future, inflicting even more societal chaos than what unfolded in the novel “One Second After” because of mankind’s much more heightened dependency on technology by that time. Another possibility could obviously be through cyberweapons and hackers, who would be more akin to “stormtroopers” than the “Death Star” that space-based weapons would be, but which would in any case be able to inflict strategic damage on an adversary. Electricity Wars could also be fought by disrupting, controlling, and/or influencing the routes and/or locations from which a given civilization/state obtains their electricity-producing resources in order to blackmail them.
It’s conceivable that rival militaries will not want to inflict direct physical damage on their opponents aside from targeting their electricity-producing infrastructure except whenever necessary in order to retain as much of the (robot-produced) economic-producing capabilities as possible for them to expropriate afterwards, unless of course their objective was to destroy their rival and take them completely out of “the game”. The one thing holding civilizations/states back from this, however, would probably be an electricity/satellite equivalent of the nuclear weapons-era concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD), whereby if a tripwire is reached, then the other side would respond with full force in taking out the first attacker. While stabilizing to a degree, it also carries with it the same risks of an inadvertent escalation which sets mankind back to the “Stone Age”, though in this scenario without the physical destruction associated with the direct use of nuclear weapons hitting the earth.
The Rise Of Civilizations
Having described the nature of the prospective globalized future – whether Western-led, driven by the New Silk Roads, or a hybrid thereof – it’s now time to talk more thoroughly about the role that civilizations will have within this larger paradigm. To begin with, Samuel Huntington’s 9 examined civilizations might make for a good starting point, but they’re woefully inadequate for explaining the contours of the future Civilizational World Order.
Firstly, each civilization can actually be broken down into several others, some of which overlap with different ones. Here’s a brief breakdown of how it all looks:
* American (US, Canada, and Greenland)
* Western/Central European
* Greater Anglo-Saxon
* Greater Scandinavian
* Kazakh (Turkic)
* North African
* South Asian (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
* Central Asian (Turkic, including Xinjiang)
* Insular ASEAN (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippine island of Mindanao)
* Swahili Coast
* parts of Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago
Japanese: (only Japan)
* Greater Mekong Subregion/Mainland ASEAN (both without Vietnam)/Theravada Buddhist
* Chinese (minus Tibet and Xinjiang, could be further divided into Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking)
* Part of the northern Philippines (the island of Luzon)
* Gulf of Guinea/West African Coast
* Central African
* East African (the East African Community/Federation minus South Sudan)
* Cape Culture/Southern African
* Central American
* Southern Cone (Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile)
As can be seen from the above, Huntington oversimplified civilizations on the basis of religion. There are 4 Christian ones (Western, Orthodox, African, and Latin American), 3 Buddhist (Sinic, Japanese, Buddhist), and then a single Hindu and Muslim one each, although only the latter two are apparently indivisible to him. Interestingly, however, he doesn’t include the Muslim countries of Bosnia, Albania, and the self-declared one of Kosovo in Europe as part of the Ummah (international Muslim community), nor the Muslim autonomous republics of Russia or the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. Similarly, India is assumed by Huntington to be purely Hindu, despite some estimates indicating that it has more Muslims than neighboring Pakistan.
There are other such oversights in his approach such as failing to properly account for some countries’ mixed religious population which are associated with a specific geography (ex: Christians in eastern Indonesia), but the point to be made overall is that the broad religious brushstrokes that Huntington used in crafting his theory don’t explain the diversity and even sometimes conflict within his specified civilizations. That’s why the author’s own breakdown of each of Huntington’s original 9 civilizations is so valuable in better grasping the full range of civilizational actors that are primed to become international ones in the future.
To make everything easier for the reader, here’s what each larger civilization looks like when broken down by sub-/pivot-civilizations:
* Red: American (US and Canada)
* Orange: Mexican
* Yellow: Central American
* Dark Blue: Caribbean
* Cyan: Colombian
* Green: Amazon
* Brown: Andean
* Purple: Southern Cone
* Pink: Brazilian
* Grey: Greater Anglo-Saxon
* Orange: Mediterranean
* Yellow: Hungarian
* Cyan: Greater Scandinavian
* Red: Polish
* Green: Russian
* Pink: Turkic
* Lavender: Persian
* Light Blue: Levantine
* Murky Blue: North African
* Murky Blue: North African
* Green: Gulf of Guinea/West African
* Orange: Central African
* Dark Blue: Ethiopian
* Purple: Swahili Coast-Somalian
* Light Green: East African Community/Federation
* Cape Culture/Southern African
Murky Blue: North African
Yellow: Swahili Coast-Somalian
Light Green: South Asian
Dark Blue: Sinic
Orange: Greater Mekong Subregion/Mainland Southeast Asia/Theravada Buddhist
Dark Blue: Sinic
Light Green: South Asian
Orange: Greater Mekong Subregion/Mainland Southeast Asia/Theravada Buddhist
Cyan: Insular ASEAN
Lavender: Austronesian (Christian-Western)
The civilizations delineated in the above maps are rough estimates that are admittedly limited in terms of what they represent, yet they still do a more effective job of highlighting the civilizational diversity in the world than Huntington’s framework. Each examined civilization doesn’t always act as a unified whole, and they sometimes transcend state and religious boundaries. Furthermore, the civilizational actors can either cooperate or clash with their peers, and oftentimes they do so within their own boundaries more frequently than outside of them.
Another point is that some of the “minor civilizations” that make up each “macro” one, such as the Serbian civilization within the larger Balkan one, are dying out due to an ever-dwindling population cause by high out-migration and low birth rates. This means that they’ll probably be subsumed into the larger whole sooner or later, with their specificities preserved online, in the diaspora, and in local community centers, but that they’ll for all intents and purposes play an ever weakening role in this future paradigm.
The presented model is therefore clearly imperfect in illustrating the abovementioned nuances, yet it’s more workable than what Huntington presented, and it allows the reader to visualize how the Western-led and New Silk Road globalizations are leading to a convergence of civilizations via trade-connectivity corridors. Accordingly, this is also furthering the inevitable end of Hybrid Civilizationalism so long as the previous two globalization trajectories remain on track and aren’t offset by New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty (whether naturally occurring or weaponized by an adversary).
It’s possible to reimagine Professor Dugin’s “Big Spaces” in light of deconstructing Huntington’s 9 civilizations and viewing them through the new paradigm of Silk Road Globalization, accepting that the total fulfillment of China’s plans would allow for an intermixing of civilizations – or Hybrid Civilization – to take place. Of course, the following forecast isn’t expected to fully play out as expected because the US’ Hybrid Wars will surely sabotage some of China’s anticipated connectivity routes, but the below map more or less lays out what the future could have in store when it comes to civilizational geopolitics (as delineated by present-day state boundaries):
Pink: Sub-Saharan Africa
Amero-Hispania is essentially the US’ “Fortress America” geopolitical fallback plan if it’s successful in dividing and ruling the Eastern Hemisphere through the “Clash of Civilizations” blueprint, and also if Operation Condor 2.0 has already restored Washington’s full hegemony to the hemisphere by that time. In addition, Greenland is included in this hemispheric civilization because its distance from Europe will probably insulate it from the ongoing Arabization process there, and its geostrategic location along the Northern Sea Route coupled with its energy and mineral wealth make it an indispensable component of the US’ “Fortress America” plans.
As for Eurabia, this is the fusion of Europe and the Arab world (the latter of which includes some non-Arab Muslims from the southern reaches of North Africa) and has received an accelerated thrust through the 2-year-long migrant crisis. Sub-Saharan Africa, however, falls exactly within Huntington’s original boundaries and there’s nothing new to say in this regard.
Eurasia combines the Russian-Orthodox civilization with the Turkic-Muslim one to create a supercenter of geostrategic power in the Heartland of the Eurasian supercontinent. Persian civilization is largely independent but could also integrate with Eurabia, Eurasia, or even Chindia. The latter of the three is the mega-mass of demographic and economic potential formed by Asia’s two largest Great Powers and the world’s two most populous countries. Austronesia, however, is the least populated of all of the Hybrid Civilizations and is essentially Australia’s sphere of influence in Oceania.
None of the Hybrid Civilizations are unitary actors or necessarily at peace with one another – oftentimes not even with themselves – and a closer examination reveals many fault lines running between and even within them, whether naturally occurring or encouraged by outside forces:
From West to East, they are:
* Mexicalixas: The portmanteau of Mexico, California, and Texas, this refers to the borderland between Mexico and the US which is rife with crime, drugs, and illegal migration, essentially functioning as both the bridge between both Amero-Hispania elements but also a potential time bomb for blowing them apart.
* Amazonia: The world’s largest rainforest separates the spheres of influence between Latin American Great Powers Mexico and Brazil, as the latter is expected to obtain hegemony over everything south of this region through the forthcoming Transoceanic Railroad (TORR), while Mexico is anticipated to expand its influence south into Central America and possibly even team up with fellow Pacific Alliance member Colombia in the northern reaches of South America.
* Mediterranean Sea: This body of water naturally separates the European and Arab parts of Eurabia, and is crucial to the former’s “defense” against unregulated and limitless migration from the latter.
* The Frontline States: Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan are on the frontlines in an actual “Clash of Civilizations” between Islam and Christianity, one which has the dangerous potential of dragging in religiously mixed Ethiopia too.
* The Rimland: Nicholas Spykman’s concept of the Eurasian Rimland is the most extensive fault line in the world because of the Russian-Polish rivalry, the fractured Balkans, the US’ Wars on “Syraq” and Afghanistan, and the spillover potential (and in some cases, effect) of the latter into Pakistan, Central Asia, and Xinjiang.
* Himalayas: Tibet, Nepal, the formerly independent Kingdom of Sikkim, and Bhutan can all be said to collectively constitute a separate Himalayan Civilization between China and India, one which represents their sphere of rivalry and which also crucially provides freshwater to billions of people.
* Mahayana-Theravada Line: For the most part, there’s a clear geopolitical division between the Mahayana and Theravada Schools of Buddhism (except for Vietnam’s inclusion in the first), and this forms the frontier between China and ASEAN which has seen such conflicts as the 1979 Chinese-Vietnamese War and the overspill of Myanmar’s civil war into southwestern China.
* Continental-Insular ASEAN Split: The mainland countries of ASEAN in the Greater Mekong Subregion follow Theravada Buddhism while the insular ones adhere to Islam.
* Korea: The unresolved conflict in Korea is well known and doesn’t require any additional elaboration, but it forms the pivotal fault line between China and Japan’s regional spheres of influence.
* Australian Outgrowth Zone: Australia might very well attempt to carve out a sphere of influence for itself in the Christian-inhabited islands of eastern Indonesia, some of which previously erupted in intercommunal bloodshed in the years following Suharto’s downfall and could one day structurally (key qualifier) replicate the East Timor scenario of “salami slicing” Indonesia along religious lines.
A few significant observations can be gleaned from the inter- and intra-civilizational fault lines mapped out above:
* Mexicalixas is a geo-demographic reality mixed with historical irredentist claims, and this forms an existential threat to the US which can only eventually be countered through another Mexican-American War or the total integration of both states, the latter being what the globalists originally wanted via the NAFTA mechanism and the “North American Union” that was supposed to eventually follow it.
* Amazonia is a massive and largely state-neglected chunk of land that might form a zone of competition between the Hispanophone Great Power of Mexico and the Lusophone one of Brazil sometime in the future.
* The EU is facing an historic choice – it can either patrol the Mediterranean and regulate migration across it in order to indefinitely prevent the emergence of Eurabia, or it can give in to the population dynamics and surrender its civilizational sovereignty following an uncontrollable flux of “Weapons of Mass Migration” from the majority-youthful regions to its south and east.
* The ethno-religious wars taking place in Africa’s frontline states risk sabotaging the promised “African Century” of growth and development, and could lead to a chain reaction of conflict that could carry deep into the continent’s central (particularly Congolese) and eastern reaches (especially between the Muslim Swahili coast that forms the terminal point of Beijing’s OBOR projects and its Christian hinterland) and ultimately stop China’s planned Silk Road integration with it, thereby depriving Beijing of the markets that it needs to offload its excess production to and thus endangering the socio-economic stability of the People’s Republic itself.
* Poland’s “Three Seas” Intermarium plan for integrating the Central and Eastern European space would be terrible for Eurabian-Eurasian relations because of Warsaw’s equal hate for Berlin and Moscow, but could be beneficial for China’s interests in serving as a north-south corridor straight into the heart of the “Old World”.
* The US’ Wars on Iraq and Syria, followed by Washington’s quest to carve the “second geopolitical ‘Israel’” of “Kurdistan” out of both of them, Turkey, and Iran, poses a major threat for stability and civilizational cohesiveness between Eurabian, Eurasian (most directly Turkish), and Persian civilizations.
* The US’ War on Afghanistan spilled over into Pakistan and could put China’s game-changing CPEC investments at risk, and it also holds the potential of spreading into Central Asia and adding a terrorist element to Turkic nationalism there, with dire consequences for Russia’s Eurasian solidarity and China’s security concerns in Xinjiang.
* Tibet has already been turned into a Hybrid War battleground against China, but the entire Himalayan Region (Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan) is becoming strategically contested between China and India.
* Dutch historian Willem van Schendel was the first to call the Himalayan-Mekong frontier of “Greater Indochina” the term “Zomia”, and it’s this region which will probably become the ultimate fault line between China and India as the two Great Powers intensify their New Cold War proxy tensions with one another all throughout this century.
* The strategic dynamics are such that ASEAN will probably informally split along geographic lines between its Theravada Buddhist mainland and Muslim islands, with the Philippines representing the common ground between them and a crucial intra-organizational pivot state to retaining or influencing the bloc’s internal balance of power.
* Australia could either take advantage of the preexisting identity-insecurities in Indonesia, exploit an unexpected crisis akin to the nationwide chaos of Suharto’s downfall, or proactively engineer Hybrid Wars in the Christian-populated areas of eastern Indonesia in order to carve out a collection of East Timor-like statelets in forming a longitudinal civilizational corridor connecting Austronesia with Japan.
The Birth Of New Civilizations
The research has thus far identified many of the civilizations active in today’s world and forecast the hybrid ones that will likely form in the future, though recognizing that the list is confessedly incomplete because it only highlighted the larger groupings of them and doesn’t have the scope to examine their various subcomponents at length. Nevertheless, a few words can be said about the factors that help shape new civilizations, whether “micro” ones or their “macro” counterparts. The most important variables impacting on a civilization’s development – including its birth, growth, hybridization, and decline – are demographics (population size, growth rates, and migration), geography, connectivity prospects (e.g. New Silk Roads, which can lead to civilizational convergences and facilitate migration), and history.
With this in mind, and placing a particular emphasis on migration (or as Kelly M. Greenhill terms it in some contexts, “Weapons of Mass Migration”), one can already see how and why certain civilizations are merging with others or disappearing. For instance, critics allege that large-scale Han migration to Tibet after the construction of the first high-speed railway to Lhasa has led to the decline of that traditional civilization, while others point out the inevitability of the two sides’ convergence given that both populations-civilizations (Sinic and Tibetan) are within the legal administrative boundaries of the People’s Republic of China. Similarly, uncontrollable Muslim migration to Europe is driving the Eurabia concept, just as its Hispanic parallel to the US is doing the same with Amero-Hispania. Along the same lines, something similar is occurring with Central Asian Muslim Turkic migration to Russia in propelling Eurasia (understood by the author as the union of Russian-Orthodox civilizations with Turkic-Muslim ones), and if a related process happens vis-à-vis Indonesia to Australia, then it might be possible to one day speak of a “Greater Austronesia” which incorporates the entire insular ASEAN, Australian, and South Pacific space.
The migration of people across a nearby region can also give rise to more localized hybrid civilizations, such as Sahelgeria (the Sahel merging with Nigeria) and Ethiopalia (Ethiopia and Somalia), which could be abused for strategic and/or hegemonic ends by the larger of the two civilizations (in this case, Nigeria and Ethiopia) if they were strong enough to leverage their power in that manner. Another outcome of easily traversable geography, interlinked history, and demographic patterns (high population growth for some minorities and the out-migration of their kin from their homelands to a nearby territory) is that some civilizational realms might either come under threat by their neighbor or be compelled to integrate with them as certain groups form either the battering ram (as perceived from a negative, hostile perspective) or the bridge (from a positive, friendly vantage point) between them.
There are four latent cases of this which should be followed by individuals interested in the topic of hybrid civilizations.
The first one concerns neighboring “encroachment” on Theravada Civilization, or mainland ASEAN minus Vietnam. The latter Sinic-affiliated atheist nation-state had a Cold War-era sphere of influence over Laos and Cambodia, with it still retaining very close ties with the former and causing suspicion in the latter. There’s also Insular ASEAN (Muslim) civilization creeping into southern Thailand, though this isn’t so much due to demographics or any given civilization’s/state’s policy, but rather a legacy of the past whereby the Muslim minority there was kept within Buddhist Thailand’s administrative realm. From the Western front, South Asian civilization, particularly its Muslim component from Bangladesh, lays claim to Myanmar’s northwestern state of Rakhine via the Rohingyas. Altogether, these three civilizational fronts are creating complications for the Theravada one, which lacks any mechanism for unitary decision-making and action, and contributes to the perception that Buddhists are “under attack”. This in turn has engendered a hyper-nationalist reaction from many otherwise moderate Theravada Buddhists, such as what has been seen in Myanmar over the past couple of years, and which might become a weaponized trend exploited by the US to advance its “Clash of Civilizations” blueprint in ASEAN.
The next example is less dramatic and will probably not play out in any similar way to the previous one that was just described due to the fact that it only involves two civilizations-states, the Eurasian and Sinic. There have long been fears, many of which are overblown and amplified by external actors for political infowar purposes, of Chinese migration to Russia’s sparsely populated Far Eastern region, with some voices warning that Beijing might one day try to reclaim its lost territory that it had originally ceded to Russia through one of its 19th-century “unequal treaties”. The boundary issue is officially settled between the two actors, but some people are afraid that it could re-erupt in the future if the Russian-Chinese partnership ever frays or comes under question by either side. There are no grounds for predicting that this would happen under the present circumstances, but an eventual leadership change in both of them coupled with the US’ never-ending covert machinations to manufacture a crisis between the two might theoretically be enough to advance this scenario. In any case, so long as the Russian government controls Sinic-Han migration to the Far East, then there wouldn’t be any plausible pretext for this to ever happen anyhow.
The last two latent cases take place in the Western Hemisphere and involve the Mexican and Central American civilizations, and the American (US) and Caribbean ones. About the first, the significant out-migration from the so-called “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is a well-known development in regional affairs, but these individuals have thus far been traveling to the US and only temporarily transiting through Mexico. If the US strengthens its border security, however, then the migrants might settle in southern (historically Mayan) Mexico instead, potentially leading to battering ram and bridge scenarios. Likewise, a related pattern is occurring with the American and Caribbean civilizations, particularly in the state of Florida. Many people in the southern part of the state around Miami and its environs are descended from Caribbean migrants (whether legal or illegal), and this is rapidly turning Florida into an outgrowth of that region. If this trend relentlessly continues as it’s likely to do, then the American and Caribbean civilizations might soon merge together just as the former is slated to do with the Mexican one, thereby making significant progress on the globalists’ “North American Union” plans.
The Civilizational World Order will proceed from the inevitable Multipolar World Order that’s presently being shaped, though there’s no accurate estimate for how long it will take for civilizations to replace states as actors, though it’s probable that this will never occur in totality and that sub-civilizational actors such as national governments will in many cases still be the official practitioners of policy. Nevertheless, the emergence of civilizations as determining factors in International Relations is an inevitable outcome of the Western-led and Silk Road Globalization models, but it could potentially be offset by the latest trend of New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty. This resistance phenomenon is both naturally occurring and externally provoked, with the latter deliberately targeting transit civilizations-states along China’s New Silk Roads. Many of these are already predicted to be Hybrid War battlegrounds in the coming decades because of their importance to OBOR and Silk Road Globalization, but quite a few of them also interestingly fall along civilizational fault lines that will also be taken advantage of.
The incompatibility and contradictions that occur at times between state and civilizational borders (both Huntington’s and the author’s own) pose unique Hybrid War threats which will be instrumentalized by the US and its unipolar allies in the future in slowing down the emerging Multipolar World Order. Some of the many same identity-based variables weaponized by Hybrid War strategists (demography, geography, and history) might interestingly be put to positive and constructive use by China in reinforcing civilizational solidarity within each theater and fostering the grounds for cooperation between them, though so long as the New Silk Roads are successfully built in pioneering new connectivity corridors between them. These routes could realistically overcome the previously mentioned identity differences within and between civilizations by making everybody a stakeholder in reconstituting the world order, though they could also inadvertently exacerbate some of them due to the demographic changes that they’ll drive as a result.
Stitching together civilizations via global New Silk Road networks could lead to the phenomenon of macro-Hybrid Civilizationalism if carried out to its ultimate completion of uniting together several models of “Regionalized Globalization” across the world (ASEAN, Eurasian Union, SAARC, EU, etc.), though like it was previously mentioned, this will come up against the rising friction caused by the possible popularization of New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty. This ideology will most likely first manifest itself as Economic Nationalism before taking on broader geopolitical forms that might end up obstructing the New Silk Roads. New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty isn’t inherently anti-multipolar (after all, Russia practices it to a degree), and its proper implementation could actually end up making the transition from unipolarity to multipolarity more stable by smoothing over some of the structural socio-economic challenges that might accompany Silk Road Globalization, but it’s just that it could also be abused by external forces in order to sabotage this vision completely.
Syncretizing all of the various multidimensional trends that were elaborated upon in the research, it’s evident that the world is indeed on the verge of a rapid Chinese-led transformation which is set to challenge the existing American-dominated global framework, but that both systems risk being undermined by the emergence of obstructionist strands of New Nationalism/Resurrected Sovereignty. Furthermore, the impending black swan impact of the AI-Robotic Revolution is set to lead to unpredictable consequences that can only be speculated upon at the current moment, but which will nevertheless have a significant influence on the nature of the future Civilizational World Order. This is an aspect of the analysis which was admittedly underexplored owing to the author’s lack of expertise in this field, but which is assuredly relevant to the geopolitical component of this work. Even without its full incorporation into the present piece, however, the “Geopolitics Of The Techno-Civilizational World Order” still aimed to put forth a thought-provoking vision of the future which will hopefully inspire readers to carry out their own research in this direction and further contribute to the new field of Civilizational Geopolitics.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.