Futurs d'antan, Futuribles Journal n° 354

Géopolitique

A 200-Year Scenario. Revisiting the Hudson Institute Report of 1976

Par

A little over 30 years ago, the famous futurologist and founder of the Hudson Institute, Herman Kahn and two of his colleagues, William Brown and Leon Martel, published The Next 200 Years: A Scenario for America and the World (New York: William Morrow & Co. Inc., 1976), a foresight study which they intended would provide a visionary, resolutely optimistic account of the development of the USA and the world, partly in response to the wave of more pessimistic (and distinctly less free-market) thinking in favour of "zero growth". Pierre Bonnaure has re-read this 200-year scenario for Futuribles.
After recalling the context in which these studies were produced, he outlines the main arguments and trends laid out in them, resituating these in light of the developments that have since occurred and with regard to contemporary scientific forecasts. In this way, he shows that the report very properly identified a number of future challenges which, in many cases, still face us today. On the other hand, he draws attention to the excessive faith the authors vested in the capacities of scientific and technical progress to respond to these challenges.

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