Trends promoting violence
Throughout the world, America has been and continues to be the promised land, the standard of human success, and the embodiment of the fulfillment of a broad range of human aspirations for prosperity, health, freedom, mobility, and the good things in life. That expanding image of American culture has been augmented today by television and by films. American culture is the dominant culture in the world. English is the universal language of the world's middle class and, increasingly, of business, industry, and diplomacy. One result of the US dominance in entertainment and its delivery of culturally oriented messages are the comparisons, in most parts of the world, with what could be-the U.S. situation, and what is-the local situation. Information technology has led to a rise in global expectations and promoted a global homogenization of values and expectations. Low-cost transportation allows the direct cultural injection of values into people, as tourists and, more deeply, as students. One consequence of American cultural imperialism we see is pathetically illustrated recently in Tiananmen Square. The plan of the old-guard Chinese leadership was to have their students go abroad and selectively pick up only the economically and technologically useful lessons from the West. Instead, the inevitable happened, they picked up the cultural messages as well, and on returning home became unacceptably culturally disruptive. The Tiananmen Square response is a classic, at least 150-year-old, Chinese response to the inability to separate the cultural from the technoeconomic intrusion of the West.
Forms of collective violence
Nine kinds of traditional, collective violence will become increasingly popular, irredentist and balkenizing movements directed at the same goal of putting ethnic groups in closer cohesion with greater independence will flourish. There will be border conflicts, either skirmishes or outright wars between nations. Coup d'etat, the relatively peaceful turnover of head of state with little or extremely limited violence, will be common. Ethnic conflicts and civil war resulting from the expansion of either the coup d'etat, balkenizing and irredentist movements, or ethnic conflict will flourish. Terrorism, both internal and transnational, and civil unrest with substantial collective violence as we recently witnessed in Azerbaijan will be widespread. Finally, insurrectioncollective violence to change some policy of the central government, and different from civil war-will be seen in five continents. There will also be two new forms of violence. We anticipate that in the next decade several countries will go into a form of international receivership. Utter chaos with the total failure of central legal authority will force international collective action to move in to stabilize the situation. The likely and obvious candidates for this are Haiti, numerous minor South Pacific republics, and, most interesting to speculate about, Colombia. The second form of a new collective violence will involve some novel applications of nuclear materials. We see this in three distinct forms: The first is the distribution of radioactive materials in nonnuclear explosive devices by techniques varying from traditional bomb blasts to the equivalent of crop dusting to contaminate a population or a region. Second, we see an occasional weapon being lobbed by one small power at another small power. Since about a dozen countries now have nuclear weapons and materials, the abuse potential will shift from U.S.A.-U.S.S.R.-China to one of the other bomb holders. Finally, one can anticipate terrorist action destroying either a civil (nuclear power plant) or military (weapons facility) installation, thereby releasing large amounts of nuclear material.