Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The New World Order, 2017

t wasn't. Obviously, this reassuring vision no longer describes the real world, if it ever did. On all fronts, the actual future confounds the imagined future.
Economies around the world have slowed. In virtually every major country — the United States, China, Germany — growth has declined from what it once was, creating a global slowdown. Not surprisingly, the supposed connection between greater prosperity and democratic politics failed to materialize.
Democratic disillusion has paralleled economic disappointment. Globalization and trade have fallen into disrepute, charged with reducing the wages and jobs of industrial workers in advanced societies. With aging populations, governments in these countries are overcommitted. They struggle to pay costly welfare benefits. Public opinion, rather than strengthening democratic ideals, has veered toward economic populism and nationalism. Hello Brexit and Donald Trump.
The notion of a sole surviving superpower has also fared poorly. Power is the ability to get (or take) what you want. By this standard, China and Russia rank as important powers. Indeed, the very term "superpower" may be misleading or obsolete. The United States cannot get everything it wants simply by dispatching troops to hot spots.


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