Predicting the future is risky business, and even deciphering the present can be problematic, but when explaining the past, consensus often comes quickly and cruelly – as it has when the world has seemingly rushed for it. pass judgment on the escalating calamities that have occurred in the United States.
The Economist asked four great thinkers – author Robert Kaplan, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, diplomat Henry Kissinger and historian Niall Ferguson – to speak generally about the future of America, and in particular on whether the United States will be able to maintain its influence in world politics in the future. While they largely agreed on the fact of America’s decline, they brought different perspectives on causation and what the path to the future might look like. Kissinger’s diagnosis was particularly compelling: “The United States has been torn apart in its counterinsurgency efforts because of its inability to set achievable goals and link them in a way that is sustainable by the American political process.
In a recent Wall St. Journal article, “American Global Leadership Is In Retreat,” Walter Russell Mead looked at the dilemmas of the world from an even broader perspective and stated that the root cause of America’s decline – and dysfunction more generally Western world – stems from the fact that “globalists have so far failed to master the challenges of the 21st century”.
To understand the meaning of this judgment, one has to go back 30 years, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the publication of Fukuyama’s influential book, “The End of History and the last man ”, in which he postulated that the worldwide spread of liberal democracy marked the“ end point ”of the socio-cultural evolution of mankind and that the system would become the final form of human government. Although not fully understood, this doctrine, in one form or another, has become the main driving force behind political, economic, and foreign policy in the Western world and beyond. He has progressed dramatically with an aura of triumphalism nowhere more toxic than in the United States, which has assumed the role of world leader and arbiter of the fate of other nations.
The mechanism of governance of this New World became known as the “international rules-based order”, which sought to empower supranational organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and others as substitutes for nation states responsible for wars and economic disasters that have plagued humanity for centuries. Although theoretically attractive, this new regime of globalism was largely responsible for growing ills such as income inequality, class warfare within and between nations, and lately a rising tide of populism, in which the working classes of many nations turned against the elites who controlled the economy and politics and amassed vast wealth while despising the lives and values of the poor.
This whole story is the necessary backdrop to understand President BidenJoe BidenPelosi votes on bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday Pressure increases to cut diplomatic formalities for Afghans left behind President Biden makes the world a more dangerous place MOREthe recent speech of ‘at the United Nations, given that the “international rules-based order” has been exposed as dysfunctional and even counterproductive, in large part due to repeated and unpunished violations of these rules by authoritarian states . They skillfully use them to cripple and manipulate liberal democracies, which have foolishly continued to obey the rules even after it has been repeatedly shown that totalitarian rogue states – China, Russia, Iran and Korea. North – play with a very different and dangerous set. rules.
If Biden had acknowledged with some humility the mistakes of the past, both recent and more distant, and had proposed a bold change of course aimed credibly at rectifying the mistakes, the applause he heard might have been sincere and even full of hope. Instead, an amazed audience and a worried world heard a speech that seemed to emerge from a time lag, one that was still 1991 and not 2021 – haughty rhetoric still celebrating the triumph of liberal democracy, delivered by the strong and determined leader of an America with realistic plans for a better world, and the strength and will to implement them. Instead of such a bugle call, however, the United Nations heard only the fading notes of an uncertain trumpet echoing a past world.
Unsurprisingly, people are reluctant to listen when the words they hear are simply no longer believable.
William Moloney is a Conservative Thought Fellow at the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. He studied at Oxford and the University of London and received his doctorate from Harvard University. He is a former Colorado education commissioner.