A dark age is approaching for humanity. Because "democracy" is in decline, or rather, their civilian stratum is in decline. And totalitarian states are still stable enough to peck at them from all sides, almost with impunity, because. their population is slavishly submissive to all the hardships that their ruling layer puts on them (and as mobilization in Russia showed, they are even ready to easily, without a fight, because of fear, civic cowardice, give their own lives in the name of Russian kleptocracy). If the same thing that happened with the USSR does not happen (and now there are much fewer prerequisites for this, taking into account the digital opportunities (which the West gave them) of control (and mass zombies) by the authorities of the population in totalitarian countries), then the West has practically no means opposition, except to go on the defensive for 40-50 years and restore order in their societies by restoring civil rights and freedoms and ensuring the implementation of the Constitutions. Which is obviously unrealistic today, in view of the fact that most Western societies are already reactionary (the turning point for this was missed 30 years ago - immediately after the collapse of the USSR) and does not want to pay their debts (especially the younger generations to work with increased returns for the old generations that have gained loans over the past 50 years (when the credit pump began to win in the Cold War) and offer the young people to work much more productively for them (old generations), without promising any improvements in life, which the young people a priori perceive with hostility, I.e. in the West, a tough war of a generation began - the old debtor and the new ones, who are transferred their debts at the state level (and not just private ones)). So the world will spiral down. Things are getting worse in the West, in totalitarian countries like Russia and China there will be an almost feudal system with slavery, but in a new digital way. People in the West, if they manage to avoid the same slide into a fascist and slave-owning system, will simply have a hard time, but these are the little things of life, against the backdrop of the horror that will be in totalitarian countries ...Unfortunately, history has thought us otherwise. Chinese will invade Taiwan, only matter of time, and USofA would be just a bystander, or best case do as they do in Ukraine, however, Chinese are much more brutal then the Ruskies and would not allow it. USA only dared to attack countries that are much weaker than any other respectful power like Russia/China. I mean Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Syria didn't stand a chance against NATO. Then again, Vietnam gave them a run for their money, but was reversed situation, Chinese and Ruskies were helping North Vietnamese back then. Also, recent pull out of Afghanistan was a total fiasco.
What we should be afraid of is that Chinese will develop their own technologies for manufacturing semiconductors at almost the same level as the West, but would be good enough and reliable for their own purposes. Ecosystems will be built around RISC V that is open source and will step away from Wintel as many are doing it already. Once they do, they'll drop us like a Plymouth hooker knickers when a big ship docks in....they don't need us, and they'll demand to stop using USD as a trade currency. This is only the beginning I'm afraid
I think at this stage. all mankind, from the point of view of scientific and technical progress, lost outright. There will be no breakthroughs in the near future, because. resources for science and technology will rapidly decrease (and the pressure of the number of people will only increase). Recently, Intel has already become a loss-making company.
If you manage to stabilize the "perimeter" of some developed civil society (as a state or an alliance) surrounded by totalitarian ones and it has sufficient resources, then it will again (inevitably) win the scientific and technical competition against totalitarians. If there are no resources, then humanity will plunge into the dark ages and only the very distant surviving heirs of today's generations will apparently see the light at the end of the tunnel...