Unipolar or multipolar? In which scenario of geopolitical balance would the development and deployment of molecular manufacturing be less likely to end in disaster?
This topic is of interest to CRN as we try to forecast the global political climate in the next 10-15 years, the time when exponential general-purpose molecular manufacturing probably will arrive with transformative and potentially disruptive impacts. The results -- galloping abundance and drastically improved standards of living for all, or economic chaos and devastating wars, or something in between -- may depend on where it is developed, who owns or controls the technology, how widely it is distributed, and what safeguards, if any, are implemented.
Today the United States is still the world's only superpower. But emerging strategic ties between India, China, Russia, and several Central Asian states may signal a shift toward multipolarity. It is uncertain whether realignments of power would make the introduction of advanced nanotechnology less risky or more risky. This question demands in-depth analysis, modeling, and debate. Creating effective policy solutions in light of those new projections will take still more time.