Globalist Review

A New Order for this Century and the Next

-America's role in the 21st century-
-Balancing social and economic growth-
-The next stage of our economy; sustainable capitalism-
-Engaging our enemies and allies-
-Recovering and maintaining moral leadership-
-The role of soft and hard power-
-Unilateralism or Multilateralism-
-Empire or Hegemony-

Questions or Comments:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The New Republic, "George Milhous Bush,"

The New Republic, by -
Last week the Bush administration reached its Nixonian climax, as CIA director Michael Hayden confirmed that the government had nearly drowned some people on purpose using techniques that American military men have long known as torture. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the Department of Justice could not investigate these alleged crimes. White House spokesman Tony Fratto explained why the President may authorize them again. Vice President Dick Cheney declared them a good thing. The administration is saying in effect, We do as we please, and care nothing for the laws; now, show us, Congress and loyal subject, er, citizens, what are you going to do about it? And Americans, frankly, face a strong temptation not to do anything: We will have a new president soon, and the race is exciting. But hard choice though it is, we need to recognize the constitutional crisis to which this administration has brought us, and as its officers now openly refuse to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, Congress must do all it can to expose, with the patience of the prosecutor the administration will not appoint, the wrongs done in our name. Otherwise we will forfeit what we painfully won from the Nixon era: our right to a government bound by law...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Response to "Integrating the Rising Powers"

Dear Tiberius,

You are absolutely correct, rising powers, such as China and India, will adapt to fit into the Western-led international order. However, they will do so not out of deference, or out of true acknowledgment of Western superiority in the international sphere, but rather out of immediate necessity. The rising powers have economic growth rates that far exceed those of the West, even in this time of global economic downturn, and it promises, with patience, a new, rearranged global playing field. What we are witnessing, is a holding pattern.

In terms of China, where this author has some knowledge, there is a general feeling that China is waiting patiently for its time to rise and achieve hegemonic status. In this author's opinion it is a day not so far off, or so unfathomable --- however it is also likely not today, not tomorrow, and maybe even not 10,15 years from now. However, the state driven, low-labor cost reinforced, technologically savvy economy of China will rise, and it will pressure the US and Europe for global hegemony. This can already be seen in the pressure China and India have placed on the oil market and the subsequent price rises. Is it so unfathomable to think that one day OPEC might value barrels of sweet crude in terms of Yuan? I think its possible.

The growth of China economically has been paralleled by an exponential effort by China to grow militarily. While their defense budget is still dwarfed by the US and EU, their growth rates are enormous and new fleets of well built nuclear submarines and fighter jets are emerging. If China decided tomorrow to invade Taiwan to prevent an independence movement --- are you confident our nation could or would be willing to butt in? I believe whole-heartedly in the preeminence of US military power, but China isn't a lowly neighbor, its a military peer.

This does not sound like a country that is ceding its security concerns to any international institution or community. Nor does it sound like a country that is acknowledging the West's ideological or material superiority. (Even Francis Fukayama has backed away from the notion that we have reached the End of History, of the triumph of liberal, progressive democracies.) Rather China is a country holding and waiting, carefully and prudently managing its tremendous economic strength --- much of which has yet to be tapped --- to ensure 10% growth a year and the financial strength to continue building and eventually challenging the world it works within for now.


***There may also be a point to be made about the concept of a Western-driven World. While the West may be joined together by NATO and loosely by the UN, do not confuse this with a world allied together in global harmony. The last 10 years have witnessed a souring of relationships between many of the EU countries and the US. Furthermore, these countries have shown complete willingness to check U.S. hegemony in the security council by vetoing sanctions on Iran, Iraq, etc. I think it would be unwise to believe that the ties that have held the 'West' together would be unbreakable, or that a wealthy, influential China couldn't step in and offer better aid packages, or security guarantees, so as to fundamentally alter the world order.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Integrating the Rising Powers

Political life in a global system is nuanced and fundamental to the growth of nations in today’s world order. Clearly rising powers will both integrate and further adapt the international system to their needs or there will be a more confrontational assimilation into the world order. As the historian Paul Kennedy notes in his book, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, a great power can only be properly measured relative to other powers. Today, the rise of new powers, with specific respect to those in the East, is a benefit to the world system but also a threat to western hegemony. Even more, the increase in regional trade agreements and security compacts is a menace to global order and must be countered by a renewed emphasis on the benefits and stability of existing institutions.

It is essential to prove that there is more to gain in what exists. World growth ultimately translates into new capital and consumer markets but also new economic and political cultures and coalitions. In this process of integration and growth, economic and social developments are still defined on western terms, through western institutions and universal values continue to be defined primarily through western political traditions. It is at this time in history that the west has the critical opportunity to reinforce the stability of the world system and the founders of that system.

In G. John Ikenberry’s January/February Foreign Affairs piece, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West,” Ikenberry notes that “China faces an international order that is fundamentally different from those that past rising states confronted. China does not just face the United States; it faces a Western-centered system that is open, integrated, and rule-based, with wide and deep political foundations.” New world powers cannot contend with a western coalition and the system it dominates but they can be further welcomed in.

History is in the West’s favor. The progressive values, alliances and the linear development of the global order can and should be sustained. Continued integration goes hand in hand with the significant precautions that must be taken to reaffirm global economic stability- expansion of regulatory control over global finance is a central concern, along with energy independence/alternatives. The past illustrates all too well the crushing market cycles of a growing and volatile world economic system but also that the system can be repaired and grow stronger. This strength can only be found through leadership. Now the world needs its leader to rise to the challenge.

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