“It’s 2021. What does the world look like?”
Given that all things remained constant from then (2011) to now (2021), 2021 will not be much of a victory over the forces of “all things bad” (Let’s clump all of the negativities of the world in one phrase). Of course, the states (not necessarily only the Global North ones) that are on the right track to development will prosper and grow, those that aren’t are much more complex to describe. If a state is not on the right path of growth and prosperity, it does not necessarily mean that it will stagnate and just stop there. It will still grow and develop (because technology will trickle into such state unless for some reason it actively tries to deny itself of the technology), albeit weirdly, like a mutant.
The aforementioned state will have its rich sectors grow and prosper, catching up to the image and standards of what the Global North states were 10 years previously. It is still behind in terms of the current standards of what defines a grown and prosperous area but it is still going up. The fun, however, stops there. Unlike the rich sectors, the poor sectors of the state will go poorer. This is a disparity within a state in the making. Not only is the world divided into the rich (Global North) and the poor (Global South), the poor state will also be divided into the rich (commercial sectors, etc.) and the poor (anything agricultural and not a prosperous city). The poor sectors, already poor, will get worse as the more capital find their way into the rich sectors (they are showing promise, after all). It does not merely mean that the poor sectors will get worse in terms of dwindling numbers, the progress and skyrocketing of the rich sector alone will be enough to drag down the poor sector into further misery as it stagnates and fails to meet the ever-rising standards of the rich sectors.
Now apply that phenomenon to all states that are not on the fast track to development. By 2021, there will still be two kinds of division, the Global North (still the prosperous states) and mangled Global South (states that are prosperous on some parts while stagnating on others). In fact, we can even see this happening right now, let’s compare any Global North state to the Philippines. A Global North state would also have its rich and poor sectors, the rich sectors would be the usual towering buildings and commercial establishments (a good epitome of economic prosperity) while its poor sectors would have farmers living in modest (and sometimes even two-story) houses, using what is accepted as standard farming tools (which would be machinery and other automated stuff designed to ease the life of the farmers). Essentially, they are like middle class citizens with farms and machinery. The Philippine rich sectors on the other hand would have some towering buildings and commercial establishments (that looks a bit left-behind compared to the Global North’s but still good) and farmers in provinces who sometimes live in wooden houses with no electricity and farms like it was early 1900s.
See the disparity not only between the Global North state and the Philippines but also between the rich and the poor sectors of the latter state? It’s sad but if things were to stay this way (right now in 2011) or get worse, we are only getting that kind of future. A future not only divided by disparity on the global level but also within the state level.