Prospect did a very Edge-y thing and asked a hundred smart people what the big important axis of the 21st century is going to be — think left/right except, you know, futuristic. I liked this one from Mark Cousins:
By the end of the 21st century, politicians and the idea of the executive will have disappeared entirely. As everyone will be connected to some evolved form of the internet, all political decisions will be made by daily and weekly referendums. Right and left will still be underlying polarities, but will disperse into the hundreds of decisions a citizen will make annually. There will be no political class to pillory. Instead, the new dilemma will be how to delineate a constituency. By nation? Supranational region? Continent?
Note that I do not actually think this is true. But, I like it.
I have to say, as with the Edge question-fests, I really appreciate the people who engage honestly with the question, instead of using it to simply describe how they think the world ought to be.
So my favorite answer might be Michael Ignatieff’s:
Everything that happens to us will be unexpected. There is no reason to be discouraged about this. Practical political life is the art of managing the unexpected, just as life itself is a matter of rising to the occasion.
(Via 3qd. Check out the second reply they highlight. Eep!)