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Future Predictions of Winston Churchill (1932)

Some of us may know about Winston Churchill's famous yet ominous prediction that an "iron curtain" has descended upon the...

Some of us may know about Winston Churchill's famous yet ominous prediction that an "iron curtain" has descended upon the European continent that cut through Stettin in the Baltic down to Trieste in the Adriatic but he has some future prophecies that were unheard of. Such predictions that he shared even before he became prime minister and years before Adolf Hitler plunged the entire world in a bloody war.

Published in the March 1932 edition of "Popular Mechanics," Churchill talked about man's exponential progress and how the future would be like. Many of his essays envisioned a world 50 years from his time and many of which were later appeared on his "Thoughts and Adventures" collection published in November 1932.

He envisioned a new source of energy in the future wherein we will utilize the power of hydrogen just like how a hydrogen bomb works.

"If the hydrogen atoms in a pound of water could be prevailed upon to combine together and form helium, it would suffice to drive a 1,000-horsepower engine for a whole year. If the electrons—those tiny planets of the atomic systems—were induced to combine with the nuclei in the hydrogen, the horsepower liberated would be one hundred and twenty times greater still."

Churchill got it right in his thoughts about wireless communication and video chatting technology.

"Wireless telephones and television, following naturally upon their present path of development, would enable their owner to connect up to any room similarly equipped and hear and take part in the conversation as well as if he put his head in the window."

He also talked about the emergence of genetically-modified food that address food shortages in the future.

"New strains of microbes will be developed and made to do a great deal of our chemistry for us. With a greater knowledge of what are called hormones, i.e., the chemical messengers in our blood, it will be possible to control growth. We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. Synthetic food will, of course, also be used in the future."

He further imagined how food will be produced.

"Vast cellars, in which artificial radiation is generated, may replace the cornfields and potato patches of the world."

Not only the common expectations of future living, Churchill is also concerned with human reproduction and genetic tinkering. In Popular Mechanics, he writes that:

"There seems little doubt that it will be possible to carry out the entire cycle which now leads to the birth of a child, in artificial surroundings. Interference with the mental development of such beings, expert suggestion and treatment in the earlier years, would produce beings specialized to thought or toil."

In conclusion, he sees a future where everything has become automated and in total control that future society may resemble a dystopian world of a Communist state.

"The production of creatures, for instance, which have admirable physical development, with their mental endowment stunted in particular directions, is almost within the range of human power. A being might be produced capable of tending a machine but without other ambitions. Our minds recoil from such fearful eventualities, and the laws of a Christian civilization will prevent them. But might not lop-sided creatures of this type fit in well with the Communist doctrines of Russia? Might not the Union of Soviet Republics armed with all the power of science find it in harmony with all their aims to produce a race adapted to mechanical tasks and with no other ideas but to obey the Communist State? The present nature of man is tough and resilient. It casts up its sparks of genius in the darkest and most unexpected places. But Robots could be made to fit the grisly theories of Communism. There is nothing in the philosophy of Communists to prevent their creation."

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