http://gamingtrend.com
October 20, 2014, 09:56:06 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Post-American World  (Read 1251 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3402



View Profile WWW
« on: May 09, 2008, 02:31:54 AM »

Fareed Zarakaria nails it again

The setup:

Quote
Americans are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the "wrong track." In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month's response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistic—a financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. But the facts on the ground—unemployment numbers, foreclosure rates, deaths from terror attacks—are simply not dire enough to explain the present atmosphere of malaise.

American anxiety springs from something much deeper, a sense that large and disruptive forces are coursing through the world. In almost every industry, in every aspect of life, it feels like the patterns of the past are being scrambled. "Whirl is king, having driven out Zeus," wrote Aristophanes 2,400 years ago. And—for the first time in living memory—the United States does not seem to be leading the charge. Americans see that a new world is coming into being, but fear it is one being shaped in distant lands and by foreign people.

Look around. The world's tallest building is in Taipei, and will soon be in Dubai. Its largest publicly traded company is in Beijing. Its biggest refinery is being constructed in India. Its largest passenger airplane is built in Europe. The largest investment fund on the planet is in Abu Dhabi; the biggest movie industry is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Once quintessentially American icons have been usurped by the natives. The largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore. The largest casino is in Macao, which overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenues last year. America no longer dominates even its favorite sport, shopping. The Mall of America in Minnesota once boasted that it was the largest shopping mall in the world. Today it wouldn't make the top ten. In the most recent rankings, only two of the world's ten richest people are American. These lists are arbitrary and a bit silly, but consider that only ten years ago, the United States would have serenely topped almost every one of these categories.

These factoids reflect a seismic shift in power and attitudes. It is one that I sense when I travel around the world. In America, we are still debating the nature and extent of anti-Americanism. One side says that the problem is real and worrying and that we must woo the world back. The other says this is the inevitable price of power and that many of these countries are envious—and vaguely French—so we can safely ignore their griping. But while we argue over why they hate us, "they" have moved on, and are now far more interested in other, more dynamic parts of the globe. The world has shifted from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism.

The payoff:

Quote
Americans—particularly the American government—have not really understood the rise of the rest. This is one of the most thrilling stories in history. Billions of people are escaping from abject poverty. The world will be enriched and ennobled as they become consumers, producers, inventors, thinkers, dreamers, and doers. This is all happening because of American ideas and actions. For 60 years, the United States has pushed countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. American diplomats, businessmen, and intellectuals have urged people in distant lands to be unafraid of change, to join the advanced world, to learn the secrets of our success. Yet just as they are beginning to do so, we are losing faith in such ideas. We have become suspicious of trade, openness, immigration, and investment because now it's not Americans going abroad but foreigners coming to America. Just as the world is opening up, we are closing down.

There is a lot of good reasoning in between. I have often thought that we are victims of our own success -- the global marketplace come back to bite us -- and Fareed really nails it. This is what happens when you win a Cold War.
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
CSL
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1356


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 02:48:55 AM »

I devoured his last book so I think i'll grab this sooner rather than later.
Logged
helot2000
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 287


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 03:10:58 AM »

Interesting...Zarakaria and Friedman are on the same trail.

Quote
A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.

How could this be? We are a great power. How could we be borrowing money from Singapore? Maybe it’s because Singapore is investing billions of dollars, from its own savings, into infrastructure and scientific research to attract the world’s best talent — including Americans.

And us? Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, just told a Senate hearing that cutbacks in government research funds were resulting in “downsized labs, layoffs of post docs, slipping morale and more conservative science that shies away from the big research questions.” Today, she added, “China, India, Singapore ... have adopted biomedical research and the building of biotechnology clusters as national goals. Suddenly, those who train in America have significant options elsewhere.”

Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.
Logged

Saving the world one post at a time.
Creepy_Smell
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 652

Load"*",8,1


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 03:29:40 AM »

Bah, who cares about research that propels us into the future?! We have ID!  ninja

<Runs off to the corner  crybaby>
Logged

Canuck
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 5482


I live in Japan


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 09:09:13 AM »

Well one of the best things about having your cities destroyed by war is that you can do it all over again except do it right this time.  If there hasn't been a battle on your soil since 1865 then that sort of cuts down on the need to rebuild.  Of course that doesn't account for Tokyo having some of the most backward street layouts that I have ever seen.
Logged
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3402



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 02:16:53 PM »

Quote from: helot2000 on May 09, 2008, 03:10:58 AM

Interesting...Zarakaria and Friedman are on the same trail.

Interesting read, but their perspectives are different. Zarakaria contends that the US is not in decline so much as the rest of the world is ascendant -- thanks, in large part, to the triumph of American-style capitalism. He also believes (as do I) that our openness gives us an inherent long-term competitive advantage over more rigid and collectivist societies. Without minimizing the challenges we face, Zarakaria is nonetheless optimistic about American prospects in the emerging multipolar world. 

I don't think Friedman shares that optimism. He believes that America is declining -- not just relative to the rest of the world, as Zarakaria might agree, but in the absolute sense.
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
whiteboyskim
Senior Staff Writer
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 7848


Hard partier


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 04:42:52 PM »

lol. "Vaguely French."
Logged

Behold the glory of my new blog!
Filmmaking is vision plus faith plus balls, all 3 of which Hollywood knows little about.
Pyperkub
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1569


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 05:56:40 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 09, 2008, 02:16:53 PM

Quote from: helot2000 on May 09, 2008, 03:10:58 AM

Interesting...Zarakaria and Friedman are on the same trail.

Interesting read, but their perspectives are different. Zarakaria contends that the US is not in decline so much as the rest of the world is ascendant -- thanks, in large part, to the triumph of American-style capitalism. He also believes (as do I) that our openness gives us an inherent long-term competitive advantage over more rigid and collectivist societies. Without minimizing the challenges we face, Zarakaria is nonetheless optimistic about American prospects in the emerging multipolar world. 

I don't think Friedman shares that optimism. He believes that America is declining -- not just relative to the rest of the world, as Zarakaria might agree, but in the absolute sense.

I'd argue that it is more the American middle class that is declining (relatively), hence the glumness of Americans which Zarakaria refers to, as well as Friedman's lack of optimism.
Logged

Pardon me, but that is a .... damn fine cup of coffee.
Sarkus
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2593


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2008, 08:06:46 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on May 09, 2008, 02:16:53 PM

Quote from: helot2000 on May 09, 2008, 03:10:58 AM

Interesting...Zarakaria and Friedman are on the same trail.

Interesting read, but their perspectives are different. Zarakaria contends that the US is not in decline so much as the rest of the world is ascendant -- thanks, in large part, to the triumph of American-style capitalism. He also believes (as do I) that our openness gives us an inherent long-term competitive advantage over more rigid and collectivist societies. Without minimizing the challenges we face, Zarakaria is nonetheless optimistic about American prospects in the emerging multipolar world. 

I don't think Friedman shares that optimism. He believes that America is declining -- not just relative to the rest of the world, as Zarakaria might agree, but in the absolute sense.

I saw Zarakaria inteviewed on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago and he was definately optimistic.  He thinks the world wants the US to continue to lead but will move on without us if we don't take the challenge.  Which is no surprise.

I've always seen the 21st century not as a decline of the US but as a return to the past, where there were several major powers of roughly the same significance.  That means change but it doesn't have to mean "bad".
Logged

Roger: And you should know, I have no genitals.
Syndey: That's alright.  I have both.

- American Dad
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.093 seconds with 41 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.015s, 2q)