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By the mid-'70s, political power in Europe will be in the hands of a generation that remembers World War II and even the cold war as passages of history rather than living events. Thus many accepted postwar ideals, like the goal of "Atlantic Community," will become sharply scrutinized clichéssome of them, indeed, already are. In politics, West Germany during the '70s will gain the same kind of pre-eminence in Europe that Japan will have in Asia, and for much the same reason: economic prowess. It is not inconceivable that Bonn would opt for a neutral status between East and West if the Soviet Union offered reunification of the two Germanys. Some 30 years after they landed, most American troops will probably have been withdrawn from Europe. Almost as an afterthought, Great Britain will finally be admitted to the Common Market.
The Third World faces tribalism
"Brazil is the country of the future," say Rio wits, "and always will be." Sadly enough, the prospect for Brazil and most other underdeveloped nations of the Third World during the '70s could scarcely be gloomier. The prognosis is for a decade of anarchy and political instability, of coups and countercoups, and of widespread suffering. Historian Arnold Toynbee predicts that "the present worldwide discontent and unrest will become more acute, and will express itself in worse and worse outbreaks of violence. In fact, I expect to see local civil wars take the place of a third international war."
In a sense quite different from McLuhan's, tribalism will be a more "pervasive danger to the political stability than nationalism. In the wake of economic disasters, India might break apart, splintered by its divergent peoples. Indeed, so powerful is the attraction of regional autonomy that even the advanced countries may be shaken. Britain may have to grant quasi-independence to the Welsh and the Scots, and Canada could still founder on antagonisms between its French-and English-speaking halves.
The Arab-Israeli conflict may turn into a new Hundred Years' War
Political pessimists conclude that the Arab-Israeli conflict will eventually result in the destruction of one side or the other. Ironically, optimists predict that it will carry on as mankind's modern equivalent of the Hundred Years' War. In a way, this prognosis may prove to be an accurate description of world politics in the '70sa time that is not quite what the world regards as peace, and not quite armed conflict.
The most widely heard prediction about the 1970s is that the U.S. will turn isolationist after the Viet Nam experience and shy away from all but the most crucial foreign involvements directly affecting its own security. Chances are that this isolationism will not turn out to be as severe as it is sometimes feared and will not really result in a widespread abdication of American responsibilities around the world. What it should mean is a much