The challenges facing us in 2050 will be the worst dilemmas ever faced in the history of civilization.
Rather than having one or two problems to deal with in a century, we will be facing all of these problems at once. It will be a perfect storm. If we can weather this crisis, we can probably live a worry-free future until the universe undergoes heat death, billions of years from now. But if we can't, it's basically the end of the world.
Here's what we're up against:
1. Global Warming.
2. Overpopulation of 3rd worlders.
3. Underpopulation of 1st worlders.
4. Dysgenics (within both 1st world and 3rd world populations, as well as the rising preponderance of 3rd worlders as a percentage total of human beings).
5. Peak water, peak fossil fuels, peak phosphorous, peak topsoil, peak rare metals, peak everything. This obviously is related to (2) overpopulation.
6. Demographic aging, ie, a preponderance of unproductive people vs. productive people. This is related to (3) underpopulation.
7. Automation causing mass unemployment without any safety net in place.
8. Free trade and mass immigration doing the same.
9. The end of fatherhood and the growth of the broken home.
12. The diversity cult
Any one of these challenges is similar in difficulty to the Cold War or World War II. But instead we will have to overcome all thirteen of them at once. Who has the plan to do so? Who has a workable strategy that will simultaneously tackle all these disparate issues, all of which threaten the long-term prospects of humanity?
1. Starting from the top, it should be obvious to anyone that the Earth has a good climate suited to modern living. Radically changing that climate could have any number of catastrophic, unpredictable results, which we aren't prepared for. Ignoring global warming doesn't make it go away. The effects of global warming are already apparent all around us, and will become ever-more-dramatic with each passing year. Our cities, coastlines, farms, and everything else are built to work within a certain temperature range. If that temperature range changes, everything will have to change with it, which would mean the population displacement and economic infrastructure destruction of the whole world. We must deal with global warming now, before it becomes too severe and too late. There already exist viable alternatives to global warming inducing CO2 emissions -- wind, solar, nuclear, carbon-capture coal, etc. Just because they cost twice or three times as much as current energy prices doesn't mean we can't switch to them now. Global warming will cost far more than that when it arrives. Plus, as the technology matures and economies of scale kick in, those inflated prices will quickly decrease to the same levels or even lower than the electricity bills we see today.
2. Overpopulation is an obvious problem. We can define overpopulation quite simply: wherever people do not have a high standard of living, they are overpopulated. The solution to poverty is to reduce the population until the land can support everyone who lives on it. That has always been the solution across all of world history. The most overpopulated places in the world, therefore, are not Singapore or the Netherlands -- they are places like Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The solution is to link foreign aid/charity/trade to their agreement to reduce births. Only once they have a below replacement birth rate should we have any trade dealings or allow any immigration from these corners of the globe. You don't have the right to conquer the world via irresponsible breeding. Whether they reduce this birth rate through female education, free birth control pills, or sterilizing billions of people isn't my problem. I just want the mission accomplished.
3. Underpopulation is a less obvious problem, but it's similar to what happened when the Amerindians owned America and the Aborigines owned Australia. If people are not making full use of their land, this is a tragedy that needs correcting. There's also the problem that once underpopulation begins, it turns into a vicious cycle that leads to yet more underpopulation, with no conceivable end in sight. Underpopulation will continue to shrink the population until nobody is there to claim the land at all. Underpopulation isn't a problem in a vacuum, either, because the people specifically falling in population are the richest, smartest, most productive people on Earth. An underpopulation of these vital groups translates into the impoverishment of the entire globe. We need these people to exist so that they can make money, science, and art for the rest of us. First, we need to find out why people aren't having children. Is it lack of financial security? The inability to find a good mate? Hatred of children in general? Once we identify the problem, we need to provide people with the solutions, so that they don't have any more objections. Once all their difficulties are addressed, we can see what our new and improved birth rates are. If they're still too low, we can move on to mandates and the like. But come what may, we need America, Europe, China, South Korea, and Japan to increase their high IQ birth rates so that the future has some hope left in it.
4. Dysgenics. Another disturbing trend is that not only between populations (Dumb Africans vs. smart Japanese) are the dumb people having vastly more kids, but even within populations the same trend is occurring. Dumb Japanese have more children than smart Japanese. This is true across the whole world. Each generation humanity is becoming dumber, on average, than the previous generation that used to live on Earth. We are devolving as a species. Intelligence is vital to the welfare of the individual and the community. Intelligence is correlated to education levels, income, marital stability, scientific and artistic accomplishment, lower crime rates, longer lifespans, and everything else good on Earth. It is impossible for a dumb country to be happy. Intelligence is what separates us from the animal kingdom and what makes humanity special. We must preserve and increase our intelligence again at any price. There is nothing more important than who is having our children and how many. But as noted before, the worst people are having the most children under the status quo. As a result, average intelligence will continuously decrease, as will average happiness and average standard of living, which inevitably must follow the quality of people's brains. We will start to address dysgenics by increasing 1st world birth rates and decreasing 3rd world birth rates, but our job still won't be done until the top 10% of each country in IQ is also having 5 kids a piece while the bottom 10% is having 0. We must reward high IQ parents and punish low IQ parents until the numbers add up and the human genome goes back to evolving again. And by evolve, I mean, 'genetically improving towards a stated goal -- in this case higher intelligence,' so don't give me crap about how everything is always evolving. Cockroaches are always evolving, but they never seem to get any smarter, so what is their evolution worth?
Unless people claim that giraffes, with the proper nurturing, could outperform humans at IQ tests, IQ is genetic. If intelligence is a genetic trait, then perforce selective breeding of intelligent parents will produce higher intelligence kids than the average. Any argument contrary to this is just contrary to basic logic and science.
5. Peak Resources. The world's population is too high. If everyone lived at the same standard of living as citizens of the USA, we would have outstripped our resource base by 3 times what we have. Since I don't believe people in the USA have too high a standard of living, and in fact wish for everyone to have a much higher standard of living in the future, it's obvious that we must affect the other side of this equation -- we must lower world population until our resources can provide for a happy, worry-free life of abundance and prosperity. It's obvious who our first targets should be, the teeming masses in Africa, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc who have been recklessly driving up their populations despite having no access to any additional resources that might provide for them. Birth rates must be reduced.
There is no amount of new resource discoveries or efficiency innovations that can handle our skyrocketing world population. The world's population growth is not slowing down. In just a couple decades we went from 6 billion people to 7 billion people. In the next couple decades we'll be up to 9 billion people. The madness has to stop. No amount of horizontal drilling can serve the needs of an exponentially growing squirming mass of African babies. To encourage these countries to switch to below-replacement birth rates, we must cease trading with them, cease providing foreign aid, and cease any sort of diplomatic engagement, World Cup invitations, Olympic invitations, etc, until they control their birth rates. Only then will they be allowed to re-enter the world community and stop being pariahs. If they are too stubborn to reduce their birth rates and end up dying off in mass famines, that's their problem not mine. At least then the peak resources crisis will be averted.
6. The aging crisis. We can start solving the aging crisis by increasing births in the 1st world. But it's too late to fully avoid this disaster, because we have been ensuring it for the last century, one personal choice at a time. The only solution is to stop supporting our elderly with public funds. If they want to live till 110 on their own savings, more power to them. But the nation's welfare resides in its children, not its undead, and that is where public funds need to be devoted. Since children can still reproduce, have brighter minds, more creative thinking and learning capacities, are healthier, stronger, better warriors, better looking, earn higher incomes, etc, than undead elderly, we must reverse this perverse world view that subsidizes the elderly at the expense of the young. We are basically subsidizing the inferior in preference to the superior. Subsidies always get you more of whatever you subsidize. So, naturally, due to policies like social security and medicare, we have generated an undead zombie apocalypse of bent-over, hunchbacked, pock-marked, toothless, rotting elderly who seek to eat us alive so that they can stay animated corpses a bit longer. Once we drop the public funding, we can expect diseases to quickly kill off our super-sized elderly demographic and return us to a saner population pyramid.
7. The robot apocalypse. If only the robot apocalypse were the rise of AI that defeated us in war. In that case we could just bless the robots and hand the baton of the future over to them. This robot apocalypse is a much worse scenario, however -- sub-sentient machines working in concert with a few high IQ overseers are more efficient producers than middle class workers. However, if we imagine a society with a few super elites overseeing a robotic world, vs. a lot of humans living out their daily lives in peace and plenty, it should be obvious that what is more 'efficient' isn't also 'best.' We are already seeing the consequences of automation in the world around us -- wages haven't risen since 1970 and unemployment is at its highest levels in a century. But these trends will grow exponentially by 2050. Computers continue to gain better battery life, better AI, and higher processing power/memory storage capabilities. Each of these innovations makes them more and more likely to outcompete human workers. It will start with self-driven cars, tractors, etc. Factories will be fully automated producing all our manufactured goods. And eventually robots will be doing all the cooking and cleaning and shelf-stocking and waitressing. They will even take over the jobs of lawyers, doctors, and accountants, as we invent the perfect software program that can automatically do those jobs instantly and for free, instead of requiring a 10 year degree for humans. Each time robots improve, people will lose their jobs. Losing your job has a cascade of bad effects -- it lowers your potential at finding a mate, which in turn causes people to live as singles instead of married couples. Married people are statistically happier and healthier across the board. Furthermore, single people can't reproduce or raise children as well as married people can, which exacerbates other problems in our 13 challenges list. It also causes financial stress, and would eventually lead to homelessness, starvation, crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide. If the people who lose their jobs already had children, the children will also suffer the consequences of their parents' misfortune.
We must separate this chain of cause and effect or watch 99% of humanity boil away in suffering and death. When automation is fully in place, only 1% of mankind will be employable. These will be the creative, managerial, software engineer, rocket scientist types that no one else could dream of being no matter how hard they tried. Before that happens, we need to give jobless people A) a sense of self respect and community respect, so that they can continue to find mates, and B) enough money to get by. This won't be difficult. As I said above, machine labor is fixing to be incredibly powerful and efficient. There will be enough wealth available for everyone, so long as we distribute it. But it will require the cessation of the demonization of our unemployed as we ignorantly blame people who are not to blame for their inability to compete with machines which surpass all human abilities for tireless work, strength, error-free repetition, durability, etc.
8. Free trade and mass immigration are not in themselves problems. But if you don't address their consequences they become massive problems. The consequences of mass immigration from 3rd world countries are overpopulation, Islam, dysgenics, global warming, mass unemployment, insurmountable public debt and peak resources. Mass immigration exacerbates every single one of these problems. Free trade exacerbates many of them. A world without borders, either for trade or travel, is an ideal goal. But before that can happen we must fix everything that's wrong with the world. Immigrants must be as capable as the natives in the land they are immigrating to. We cannot use mass immigration as charity -- it will mean our extinction.
9. Broken homes. This problem affects everyone. Today's women are less happy compared to previous generations, according to their own surveys. They don't actually enjoy being the breadwinners and the sole nurturers of their families. Children also suffer from broken homes. They are poorer, have fewer role models, and are more likely to get into trouble -- the statistics are all ironclad -- children without fathers have higher teenage pregnancy rates, higher crime rates, higher drug abuse rates, higher divorce rates, higher everything rates than children with fathers. But the primary group who suffers from broken homes is unattached men. Men without wives or children live meaningless lives. They are so unhappy they die 20 years earlier on average than married men. They do not work hard, because there is no one to work hard for. They don't act responsibly, because there's no one they have to be responsible for. They are more violent, more prone to commit crimes, riot, or start wars, because testosterone levels literally go down when men are around women and children. Men are at their best when they have a wife on one arm and a kid to dandle on their knee. Not only are they happier, but they're also healthier, more productive, nicer, and more virtuous people than when they are alone.
It appears that people's natural instincts are self-destructive. Women always feel the itch to 'do better' than what they currently have. This propels them into recklessly dumping the boyfriends or husbands they have in the hopes that the next one will be better. However, as women age and develop bad reputations as traitors and sluts, they in fact can only find worse prospects each new relationship. No one's interested in an old woman who already has children and a record of adultery or divorce to the previous hapless male who tried his luck with her.
Likewise, men's natural instincts propel them to never settle down but instead try and have sex with as many different girls as possible while refusing to become stable, productive members of society. Men, if left to their own devices, will waste away their lives playing games or drinking while hoping for the occasional fling with a pretty girl to spice things up. The combination of women who are always greedy for 'more' and men who are always willing to settle for 'less' is a dystopia for all parties.
The only answer to this dystopia is force. We must counteract our natural base instincts with forceful community standards that do not let people choose to drink their preferred poison. Just like we know better than to allow children to do whatever they feel like, we must know better than to allow childish adults to do whatever they feel like. For their own good, as well as the good of the next generation, and the good of mankind, we must correct their mistaken instincts and lead them back to the path of happiness and harmony: Marriage should be encouraged, via incentives as well as cultural respect/praise, and unmarried couples should be discouraged, via disincentives and cultural opprobrium. If this doesn't work (however, it did work in the 1800's so I see no reason why it wouldn't work again today), then we must switch to mandatory marriage, arranged marriage, whatever it takes to get the sexes back together again in a civilized bond, instead of a cave-age primitive free for all.
10. Islam. Islam is the worst religion on Earth, and also the fastest-growing. Any country that becomes Islamic ceases to be free, happy, prosperous, scientific, or artistic. It essentially joins the dark side. Islam has been growing like a cancer all across the world, and has spread its tentacles into Russia, Europe, Africa, Australia, India, and even North America. The religion will destroy any region it gains control of, just like it's destroyed Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Kosovo, Albania, Sudan, Somalia, etc. Look at any problem spot on Earth and they're probably a bunch of muslims.
I could condemn the theoretical tenets of Islam, their heaven and hell, their calls for world conquest, their pedophile murdering rapist prophet, their banning of innovation and the death penalty for apostasy, but what's the point? We don't have to worry about their theoretical flaws. We can see their empirical, real life flaws without knowing any of that. It's self-evident that all muslim countries suck. Therefore, we know Islam sucks. Therefore, Islam must be destroyed.
The solution is the same as always -- cut off all trade with, immigration from, or diplomatic contact, World Cup invitations, Olympic invitations, etc with Islamic countries until they renounce Islam. If this means all those desert dwellers die of famine, that's their problem, not mine. They could've renounced Islam and lived, but the only good Muslim who refuses to abandon their evil creed is a dead Muslim. Muslims in countries that are majority non-muslim must simply renounce their religion or be deported to a muslim majority country, wherever they ethnically hale from, and then pariahed just like everyone else in their country from all international recognition.
11. Debt. The debt burdens of the world are getting ridiculously out of hand. Almost every country has a debt above 100% of its GDP, or will soon reach this limit. The interest on the debt is above what taxpayers can afford to pay. Once the elderly cash in their pensions and social security checks and receive free health care, the debt will grow to astronomical proportions. Even without this elderly deluge, debt is causing a long-term peonage to a few greedy bankers and capitalists of the entire population of the world. It seems as though people spend their whole lives paying interest on various debts -- car debt, college debt, mortgage debt, credit card debt. Debt, debt, debt. When do people escape their debt peony? Age 50? Why should everyone live as slaves to a few people whose only virtue is that they had capital when you didn't? There must be a universal default on all outstanding debts. Once this is accomplished, we need to put into place other solutions that mean we won't just instantly go back into debt again. We should ban interest-paying debt entirely as usury. The solution to businesses who want seed money is to sell stocks, not go into debt. The solution to individuals who want a house now, not later, is to take out a loan on the basis of their citizen's dividend. IE, a principle only debt that will be paid off every year by the diversion of your annual citizen's dividend income to your present needs. You will not be in debt to a greedy capitalist banker, you will be in 'debt' to the government, which will advance you the money immediately, and simply not send you any citizen's dividend until your advance has been paid off.
In this manner, no one will be working for anyone else's benefit, or earning money for free just by smoking a cigar.
There will also be no such thing as being 'bankrupt' or owning 'negative' amounts of money. Since the government is giving you a citizen's dividend for free, its retaining of these funds doesn't materially hurt you -- it just ceases to materially help you. You will always own whatever you've accumulated so far and you'll always be able to start over with a clean slate.
Loans from the government with future citizen's dividends used as the repayment method would also work in case people got sick and needed health care but couldn't afford it. We could eliminate the health insurance middlemen. Or if you got in a car crash and needed your car fixed or replaced, you could get a loan from the government and repay it over time with your citizen's dividend, without having to pay for expensive auto insurance. Or if you have a tooth ache, you don't need dental insurance, etc. We can get rid of all the parasites who live off of financial transactions instead of real productive labor.
12. The diversity cult is madness. People are happiest in homogeneous families, homogeneous communities, and homogeneous countries. The best countries on Earth by all statistics are homogeneous countries like Denmark, Norway, and Japan. Everyone acknowledges these facts, but somehow worships diversity and says it 'enriches' us anyway. Diversity of any type -- racial, religious, ideological, ethnic, whatever, hurts us and makes everyone unhappy. The study that proved this came out years ago, written by Robert Putnam, called Bowling Alone.
Diversity not only tears families and countries apart (leading to higher divorce and domestic abuse rates and more civil wars), it is underpinned by a web of lies. The totalitarian enforcement method to keep these lies in place is as bad as 1984/Soviet Russia. Because of diversity, we must pretend that all the races are equal, even when it's self-evident they are not. They are not equally physically athletic, they are not equally physically attractive, they are not equally moral, equally intelligent, equally productive, or equal at anything else. Religions are not all equal, some teach bad behavior while others encourage good behavior. Ethnicities aren't all equal, Nordic whites are smarter than Mediterranean whites, Chinese are smarter than Vietnamese, and so on. Straights live longer than gays and molest fewer children. These are all just facts. But all these facts are unspeakable because they undermine the cult of diversity, which relies on everyone being 'equal' in every way no matter how diverse a country becomes. The diversity cult replaces progress, a nation built around Superior Vs. Inferior, with stagnation, a nation built around everyone being Equal no matter how they behave or what the statistics show. It also replaces harmony, everyone loving everyone else, with discord, everyone hating everyone else with a totalitarian government the only lid on their mutual feuds (Just look at that paragon of diversity, Yugoslavia.)
Countries are becoming ever-more diverse as the century continues. In each and every case, this diversity has made them worse off. Diversity is innately bad, and it also is bad because, inevitably, it means lowering standards for our less able, instead of importing more-abled people to raise our native standards. To stop the destructive influence of diversity, we must first overthrow the lie of the diversity cult. Science must trump wishful thinking. Everything begins there.
13. Perhaps the greatest threat in 2050 is philosophical, however. Religion had one important positive: The belief in absolute good and evil, right and wrong. When we lost our religions because they scientifically no longer made sense, we randomly also threw out this idea of the absolute. But long before we had religion, greek philosophers believed in Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, and discussed thoroughly the moral virtues and the necessity to lead a good life.
We must return to these greek philosophies, these atheist absolutes. People cannot lead lives without purpose, without morality, without meaning. They must feel that what they are doing is right, true, and good, and not just 'pleasant,' like a drug rush. This makes people happier, it empowers them, and it inspires them towards greater participation in our most angelic capacities: Love, Beauty, and Truth. We will never become better people until we embrace the very idea of better and worse, good and evil, right and wrong. And if we do not become better people than our depraved and despicable status quo, then we may as well throw in the towel altogether and cease existing. (Which, of course, is the position of a large portion of mankind now, called nihilism.)
As religion continues to become less and less meaningful or accepted by the developed world, we risk falling into an abyss of relativism and nihilism that robs the energy from people's daily lives and turns them into moral monsters. If there's no such thing as right and wrong, then all is permitted. When all is permitted, people follow their basest instincts. These inevitably lead to mass suffering and mass destruction. Base instincts might have evolved to be suited to a cave-man's life, but they are hopelessly out of place and counterproductive in the modern world. Man has evolved to be evil, only culture makes us good. When culture surrenders the field and says 'just follow your instincts, we no longer have any opinion on right and wrong, good and evil, it's all just relative,' then mankind becomes a sea of demonic beasts.
Education must include a moral element. Culture must stress the importance and praiseworthiness of being good. Punishments for crime, corruption, and sleaziness must be increased dramatically. Everyone, even the dumbest among us, must start to get that the community doesn't consider everything 'equal' or 'relative.' It demands a certain code of behavior and will eliminate anyone who doesn't fit in. once they realize the new ground rules, they'll quickly shape up. Maybe they'll be as moral as the Greeks and Romans were during their golden ages. For now, I'd just be content with them thinning down and getting rid of their piercings and tattoos.
Any one of these 13 challenges, if unaddressed, will grow exponentially until it singlehandedly destroys the world. Most of them are slated to destroy the world by 2050. If all thirteen continue to grow unchecked, then 2050 will be a net negative world, a true hell on Earth.
There is still hope, however, that some place, somewhere, however small, gets control of these challenges, and separates itself off from the vast majority of the world. This can be done via border controls, a secret society, space travel, a robot revolution, or any number of means. These solutions are so sad, however, because it means saving a handful of people while the other 10 billion burn in hell. It would be much better for everyone if our solutions were not technical, but cultural and political, because only cultural, political solutions can save everyone. Technical solutions are just a lifeboat for mankind. Political solutions would be so much better.