Hopes for a new peaceful international order after the end of the Cold War have been dashed by sobering realities. Great powers are once again competing for influence. International competition between the United States, Russia, China, Europe, Japan, India, and Iran raises new threats of regional conflict. Communism is dead, but a new competition ...
Hopes for a new peaceful international order after the end of the Cold War have been dashed by sobering realities. Great powers are once again competing for influence. International competition between the United States, Russia, China, Europe, Japan, India, and Iran raises new threats of regional conflict. Communism is dead, but a new competition between Western liberalism and the great Eastern autocracies of Russia and China has reinjected ideology into geopolitics. Finally, there is the violent struggle of radical Islamists against the modern secular cultures and powers that, in their view, have polluted the Islamic world. The expectation that after the Cold War the world had entered an era of international convergence has proved wrong. We have entered an age of divergence.In his new book, "The Return of History and the End of Dreams", Robert Kagan masterfully poses the questions facing the liberal democratic world today. For the past few years, the liberal world has been internally divided and distracted by issues both profound and petty. But, now History has returned, and the peoples of the liberal world need to choose whether they want to shape it or let others shape it for them.
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The major powers Kagan discussed were China, Russia, India, Japan, and the US. He takes us through a labyrinth of power and we see that the collapse of the Berlin wall only resulted in more powerful potential allies. I can't see why Russia or the others should not have wealth. Moscow, described in an article in the current National Geographic, has more billionaires than any city in the world. Millionaires are like church mice. So why does Putin clamp down on democracy? Perhaps one who has never had a free society cannot envision it even if they try it on or for size. And why should we expect countries who have never had the taste of democracy to embrace it.
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