I found the first part of Friedman’s book to be very interesting. It is filled with history, followed by dramatic proposals about the future. Friedman talks about the dominance of the United States, and makes predictions about where we will go from here.
One section I found to be particularly interesting was the idea that whoever rules Eastern Europe, rules the Heartland, whoever rules the Heartland rules Eurasia, and whoever rules Eurasia rules the world. I guess I had never really thought of this concept before. It does accentuate the very America-centric viewpoint of Friedman. It completely forgets (or perhaps intentionally omits) the global South and Asia (is Asia the global South?). This would be less problematic if it were about a strictly Euro-America-centric event or idea, but this is world power we’re talking about! Ignoring the global South as far as manufacturing capability, political influence, and growing middle classes is detrimental to any argument. Specifically, ignoring China and large economies like Brazil (and heck, Canada???) cannot possibly be a true analysis of world power.
I did, however, like the observation that we are a “dramatic” nation due to our immaturity. This is something I experienced a lot when I was abroad (in Brussels), and noticed that there were hundreds of buildings that ranged from 300 to 1000 years old. This is a stark contrast to buildings in the US, which are a maximum of 250 years old. A minor example, but still relevant when assessing the maturity of our civilization.
And finally, the observation about coalitions tearing down the US is very interesting considering current relations under the Trump administration. This is not necessarily the case yet, but judging by Mr. Trump’s international actions, a coalition is certainly likely to form amongst budding international powers (and even those who may choose to become antagonists to our little government).
Below is a really awesome article about American power (or lack thereof), and how we are not allying ourselves with the correct players in order to make feasible.
I don’t agree with everything the author writes, but I thought it was interesting the major point: America needs to innovate to stay supreme. This circles back to our points in class about innovation, and how one large innovation can actually leave a civilization stunted in the long run.
And finally, below is a picture of Putin and Jinping cheersing to the fall of US supremacy on the world stage 🙂
That’s all for now!