Obama’s newest reading material is: “The Post American World” written by Fareed Zakaria, a Muslim, born in India, eduacted at Yale & Harvard; Editor of Newsweek International, and living in New York. His book, released in May 2008, was on the NY Times, top 13 list, for 13 weeks. Mr. Zakaria is a confused American. In the 70’s & 80’s he was a devotee of Ronald Reagan. In 2008, he thought Barak Obama was wonderful.
If Mr. Obama wanted to do well he should read: “Liberty & Tyranny, A Conservative Manifesto”, the hottest non fiction published in 2009, written by Mark Levin; that was number 1 on the NY Times best seller list for 12 weeks; # 2 for 6 weeks; # 3 for one week and still going strong.
Although a confused journalist, Mr Zakaria is right in some respects because Americas journalists are 90% liberal; and partly because of this and our vote buying politicians, America is trending to the left, the same direction Europe (which is socialist) has taken over the last 50 years, while Zakaria’s “up and comming countries”, China, Brazil, and India are all adopting more conservative free market economic principals.
Moral of the Story = Free Market Principals = Countries That will Lead the World in the Future = Not Where Obama is Headed
Synopsis of “THE POST AMERICAN WORLD”
The content is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter introduces the thesis of the book: that a ‘post-American’ world order is emerging in which the United States of America will continue to be the most powerful nation but its relative power will be diminished. He believes that there have been three power shifts in the last 500 years: a shift of power to the West during the Renaissance, a shift of power to the US making it a superpower, and now a shift to several surging countries, especially China and India, and to non-governmental organisations. Zakaria believes that international organizations are not adapting well to emerging challenges and that there is too much focus on problems arising from potential market failures or general crises (e.g. terrorism) at the expense of focus on problems stemming from success (e.g. development causing environmental degradation, or rising demand creating high commodity prices).
The world is moving from anger to indifference, from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism. The fact that new powers are more strongly asserting their interests is the reality of the post-American world. It also raises the political conundrum of how to achieve international objectives in a world of many actors, state and nonstate.
—Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, pages 36–37.
The second and third chapters examine factors that led to the current power balance. Power shifted to the West because it fostered trade with foreign peoples and developed superior labour productivityper capita. Power shifted to the US because of its strong democracy and capitalist market. Zakaria argues that the success of the US in promoting free market capitalism and globalisation has led to power being dispersed to several other countries. Economies have been surging for decades, in part due to large new players entering the global market place. He compares this era’s economic growth to the economic surges of the 1890s and the 1950swhich also saw new players become global powers. At the same time, Zakaria sees attitudes in the US becoming insular and distrustful of foreigners.
The fourth chapter focuses on China. Its strategy of small, gradual reforms have allowed it to quietly modernize. It has become the second most powerful nation, but still unlikely to match the US for decades to come. China’s strengths include a philosophy that reflects Confucian ideals of practicality, ethics and rationalism. Its non-combative foreign policy is more appealing, most notably in Africa, to interventionist Western-style policy that demands reforms in other countries. China’s weakness, though, is a fear of social unrest.
The fifth chapter focuses on India. Contrasted to China, India has a bottom-up democratic political system constantly subject to social unrest but which only results in few politicians losing an election. Its political systemis characterized by strong regionalism — often placing high priority on regional interests rather than national. Zakaria lists India’s advantages: independent courts that enforce contracts, private property rights, rule of law, an established private sector, and many business savvy English-speaking people.
The sixth chapter compares the American rise to superpower status and its use of power. He draws parallels between the British Empire in the 1890s and starting the Boer War with the US in the 2000s and starting the Iraq War. The difference between them is that the British had unsurpassed political power but lost its economic dominance, whereas the US, in the 2000s, had huge economic power but faltering political influence. Zakaria defends the US from indicators that suggest American decline but warns that internal partisan politics, domestic ideological attack groups, special interest power, and a sensationalistic media are weakening the federal government’s ability to adapt to new global realities.
The final chapter outlines how the US has used its power and provides six guidelines for the US to follow in the ‘post-American world’ envisioned by Zakaria.