Some of you may know the RPG Cyberpunk 2020, which takes place in the year 2020.The world is your typical cyberpunk, as illustrated in books (Gibson) or films (Blade Runner). A lot of cybernetics, mega-corporations, etc.
I would like to create a world in a similar world, and it should be seen as a future of ours. However, I have some doubts we would reach such a country by 2020 (5 years from now). I don't know why.
Therefore what I'd like to know is how fast can we reach a cyberpunk society?
As this is a very complex and possibly broad question, I'd like, for now, to concentrate on the economy and politics. The society of cyberpunk 2020 is marked by the following point
- most, if not all, of the economy is in the hands of 10-20 mega-corporations,
- the state has a very little power and prerogatives left,
- education, justice and security are in the hands of the corporations,
- the state is poorer than the largest mega-corporations (viewed as a company, it would be ranked 15th or so).
We see that slowly in the last 40 years, in particular in Western Europe, the state owned companies are moved to privately owned. Some companies get omnipresent: Google, Unilever, Monsanto, etc. And as the change to Alphabet illustrates, those tend to diversify themselves to multiply their possibilities.
Assuming those trends continue, what could be a reasonable estimate for the earliest date when a country like the USA would economically surpassed by more than 15 mega-corporations.To give an idea, the GDP of the USA is about 250 times the income of google, but its budget is about 40 times that income.