Fernandez takes a clear-eyed look at where things are actually heading right now:
Conventional wisdom has had a pretty bad run these last 15 years. For that reason there is little purpose to trusting it further. Instead it might be better to predict a future based on observable trends rather than scenarios that politicians [promote?]. If those trends convey any information one would expect to see in 2025:
1. The self-destruction of the Muslim Middle East;
2. The rise of ethnic and national politics in Europe;
3. The widespread resurgence of religion and cultural identity as a consequence of (2);
4. Mass expulsions or segregation in large parts of the world to deconflict incompatible communities
5. Everyone packing personal weapons like the Wild West
6. The collapse of multi-ethnic countries into simplified pacts based around of national defense, with most social law generated by local communities and affinity groups;
7. One or more large regional wars with casualties in the tens of millions.
8. Several, possibly many WMD attacks on major cities involving radiological weapons, low yield nukes or biological agents.
8. The collapse of any realistic expectation of Peace on Earth, with the remaining hope of mankind vested in the new space frontier.
Such a world would be rough, dangerous and in many places, miserable. Perhaps it will not even be as good as that; for the list above omits the occurrence of an event equivalent to World War 3, in which case we can describe the future with a single word: ruin. But it is the world we are building, absent any change of course. The oddest circumstance is that politicians still pretend without the slightest basis, that if we stay their perverse course we’ll go right through the ruin and out the other side and find the dream we glimpsed as we crossed into the 21st century. […] It’s a condition they call Hope, though there’s another phrase for it: whistling past the graveyard.