Machine and Vladislav Surkov
© Getty Images/B4lls/Sputnik/Sergey GuneevMachine โ€ข Vladislav Surkov
In 100 years, politics as we know it will have degenerated into "humanless democracy," where decisions are made by machines instead of elected leaders, and countries will no longer need physical territory to exist in cyberspace.

That's the theory of Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, who penned an article called "Desolate Democracy and Other Political Wonders of 2121," in which he outlines his prediction for the evolution of politics and governments over the next century.

Surkov, once dubbed the Kremlin's 'grey cardinal,' held the post of Assistant to the President until February 2020 and has served under Putin in various capacities since 1999. His time in the Kremlin is best remembered by the cottage industry it spawned in the West, in which foreign commentators often portrayed him as the brains behind the entire operation.

In his latest piece, written for the publication Actual Comment, Surkov outlined his view of the world in the next 100 years. According to the former Kremlin aide, the coming century will see the "division" and "colonization" of cyberspace, while many wars are fought on the ground.

In terms of government structure, the internet will lead to a form of direct democracy, where there will no longer be any need for people to elect representatives. Instead, anyone who wishes can vote on proposed legislation. Surkov predicted:
"For example, if you need another law on beekeeping, everyone who cares - beekeepers, honey enthusiasts, beauticians, pharmacists, people who have been stung by bees, people with allergies, lawyers, hive and smokehouse manufacturers, beeophiles and bee-haters, as well as those who always care about everything - can all directly participate in its drafting, introduction, discussion and adoption.

"There is no parliament in this scheme. In its place are communication tools, algorithms and moderators."
As things develop, people will slowly be removed from the process, with machines steadily striving to eliminate the human factor - "a concept that has long become synonymous with a fatal error," he writes. Biological citizens will have more and more comfort and less value, getting to a point where people no longer have influence.

Surkov also predicts that new types of states will emerge, such as "virtual republics," without any real territory, and "post-patriotic communities," where the veneration of tradition and ancestors no longer exists.

He also suggests that "dwarf superpowers" will develop, which he describes as nations with minimal physical land but vast amounts of cyber resources that could, if necessary, "paralyze the military and economic potentials of the largest states."

Other states will act as "ecological dictatorships," forcibly limiting consumption to protect the environment and issuing banknotes with the face of Greta Thunberg.

Surkov concludes:
"Is 2121 better than 1984? Is the future bright? Is it beautiful? It depends how you look at it. Is this prediction clever? Is it serious? It's hard to say. In any case, it is ridiculous enough to come true."