May 24, 2011

CONSTANTINOPLE WAS ROME:

How the American dream went global: interview with Fareed Zakaria: Even as America’s middle class plateaus, says author and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, emerging nations are celebrating a confident new class of consumers. (Nora Dunne, May 23, 2011, CS Monitor)

Q. You write that “the rise of the rest is a consequence of American ideas and actions,” but also say that these countries are entering the Western order “on their own terms.” How are they doing it?

A. These countries have embraced open markets, open trade, free market economics – basic American ideas about how to control your supply. It’s the fundamental driver of their growth, growth that has produced a certain kind of cultural pride. It’s an inevitable consequence of success. Whenever societies do well, they believe that there is something in their cultural DNA that made it happen. The first phase of this power shift was a fascination with the West. But now these countries are rediscovering their own values and heritage.

Q. Will one of these emerging countries become the next superpower?

I struggled with what to call the book. I called it “The Post-American World” because I really don’t think that we’re moving to a Chinese world or an Indian world.

It’s easier to define what we’re moving away from. We’re moving away from this period [that’s] rare in human history, where a single power has so dominated on every level of power. Certainly that was true of Rome, and you could argue for a brief period it was true of Britain. The United States has had a military, political, economic, cultural dominance over the last 20 or 30 years. Now we’re moving to an era of greater multipolarity, a genuinely global system where every part of the global system has countries that are rich and vibrant and participating.


On the one hand, he gets that all of the improvement in Third World economies comes from their movement towards the systems and standards of the Anglosphere, which has, of course, dominated global affairs for the past few centuries. But, on the other, that's supposed to be post Anglo-American?

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Posted by at May 24, 2011 6:16 AM
  

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