Sun Jan 22, 2012, 02:41 AM
Not so long ago, a high-ranking Chinese official, who obviously had concluded that America's decline and China's rise were both inevitable, noted in a burst of candor to a senior U.S. official: "But, please, let America not decline too quickly." Although the inevitability of the Chinese leader's expectation is still far from certain, he was right to be cautious when looking forward to America's demise.http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article.../after_america
For if America falters, the world is unlikely to be dominated by a single preeminent successor -- not even China. International uncertainty, increased tension among global competitors, and even outright chaos would be far more likely outcomes.
While a sudden, massive crisis of the American system -- for instance, another financial crisis -- would produce a fast-moving chain reaction leading to global political and economic disorder, a steady drift by America into increasingly pervasive decay or endlessly widening warfare with Islam would be unlikely to produce, even by 2025, an effective global successor. No single power will be ready by then to exercise the role that the world, upon the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, expected the United States to play: the leader of a new, globally cooperative world order. More probable would be a protracted phase of rather inconclusive realignments of both global and regional power, with no grand winners and many more losers, in a setting of international uncertainty and even of potentially fatal risks to global well-being. Rather than a world where dreams of democracy flourish, a Hobbesian world of enhanced national security based on varying fusions of authoritarianism, nationalism, and religion could ensue.
The peasants will be the last to learn of this. But I am not the only one noticing these trends... and I have written extensively about this here. But it seems to me that at this point folks need a reality check. This is not going to be on your evening news. Nor, quite possibly, in the NYT for a while yet. But it is now a regular matter of discussion in very elite media... and I do not care if this is Zbignew Brzezinski (no, no relation) or whoever. This is now being discussed at a very serious level.
So time to start thinking about this in a serious manner...
And at this time, well, guess what? I have been in extremely good company for close to a decade... but alas those folks do not write in the Daily Picayune