Bill Galston in the Wall Street Journal recently put it well: “It is no longer possible to believe, as many did before World War I and again after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that economic considerations dominate politics and make some measures unthinkable.” I remember reading and commenting on Tom Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, upon its release in 2005, in which he celebrated global interdependency and his prediction that no two nations that both had McDonald’s franchises would wage war against each other. Well, guess what? Both Ukraine and Russia have hundreds of McDonald’s stores, so we can again put that naive sentiment to bed. In fact, no less an expert on global affairs and trends than BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has flatly written that “the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the past three decades”.
What does this mean? In the current edition of Chief Executive magazine, its CEO Marshall Cooper outlined in some detail “the stew of ingredients that went into Russia’s invasion” and that now, in retrospect, seem wholly predictive for an “all powerful dictator of a country with a proud history exploiting nationalism through visions of restored imperial glory”. I won’t cite the entire list but the one thing they have in common is that every one of the ingredients exists in China today. This should be the lesson from this war to date–a wake up call, a harsh reminder of the continuing importance of hard power, the reality that America’s leadership in the world will require an annual defense budget of much more than 3% of GDP, and a message to dump the “woke” and DEI training of the military. Will President Biden come to this obvious conclusion?
Greg Stachura says
Once again, the evidence of unchanging human nature presents itself. The West has long understood that the farther the distance of the government (or regulators) from the people, the less accountable they will be. Moreover, the competing interests of these governing bodies, cultures and even individuals make impossible lasting arrangements.
Vernon Edgar Wuensche says
James you might read Peter Schweizer’s book Red Handed. The China situation is worse than I thought. And Larry Fink does not come off well. Schweizer’s books assertions are always well documented. In this case almost 100 pages are lists of supporting documents out of 340 pages.
Danny Billingsley says
Of the 195 countries in the world how many are run by power hungry homicidal lunatics? How many are run by socialist bent on forcing failed policies on their people? How many are run by theocrats bent a world domination by their religion? How many are run by dictators? How many are run by incompetent fools? That last group has not bothered to count the others. That’s where we are I’m afraid.
Dr. Tom says
a) Biden will not come to this obvious conclusion. It’s what comes of “electing” a corrupt, demented fool. What are you going to do about that? Abide by the Constitution?
b) China is our worst enemy by far.
c) Our future is grim! The payout to Defense is limited by the Medicare/Medicaid/ Social Security mandates. The country is done,
Tim Richardson says
Jim, Good job on the Tom Friedman flashback. I haven’t seen that put better elsewere. Dr. Tom, guting the social safety net leads to chaos here. DoD $ is plentiful. Our finanancial elite built China so they could sell cheap labor produced goods back into US, the world’s largest consumer market. It only works as long as you have a secure stable middle class which the export of investment capital for manufactured goods has finally destroyed. Jim, please change the pastel color of the text to darker color. I’m 70, can barely read pastel gray on gray.