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jerryking : walter_russell_mead   13

Britain resigns as a world power
May 21, 2015 |The Washington Post | Fareed Zakaria
"I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

Over the next few years, Britain’s army will shrink to about 80,000."... Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged and forward-looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today’s international system — one based on the free flow of ideas, goods and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.

This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book “God and Gold,” Walter Russell Mead points out that in the 16th century many countries were poised to advance economically and politically — Northern Italy’s city-states, the Hanseatic League, the Low Countries, France, Spain. But Britain managed to edge out the others, becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world’s first superpower. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, including of course, its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world’s leading power, things would look very different today.
BBC  books  cosmopolitan  cost-cutting  cutbacks  David_Cameron  drawdowns  EU  Fareed_Zakaria  foreign_policy  forward_looking  geopolitics  globalization  industrial_economy  international_relations  international_system  internationalism  leadership  London  middle-powers  parochialism  punch-above-its-weight  retreats  rule_of_law  superpowers  United_Kingdom  Walter_Russell_Mead 
may 2015 by jerryking
America’s racial divide widens under Obama’s watch - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

African-Americans are sliding down an economic ladder they had been gradually climbing. Millions of black people who moved north during the Great Migration of the mid-20th century found jobs in bustling factories. Millions more found public-sector jobs – as teachers, postal employees or city workers – as black people took over city governments and congressional seats in places such as Baltimore and Detroit. These workers formed the basis of a black middle class.

But the previous recession hit black people harder than any other group. Manufacturing was shedding jobs before the crash; governments and the post office followed suit when it hit. As Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead has noted, black people accounted for less than 12 per cent of the U.S. work force in 2011, but 21 per cent of postal employees and 20 per cent of all government workers. But with government and manufacturing in retreat, black people faced bleak job prospects.

The new economy is largely a black-free zone. A USA Today analysis last year found that African-Americans occupied only 2 per cent of the jobs at seven big Silicon Valley companies. That’s not hard to understand given the state of public schools in places such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, where political nepotism and unions have stood in the way of reform.

Meanwhile, systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system – black people are far more likely than white people to be sentenced to jail for minor drug violations, ending up with criminal records that make them virtually unemployable – is so deep as to cry out for a national inquiry.
racial_disparities  Silicon_Valley  Ted_Cruz  Konrad_Yakabuski  Campaign_2016  digital_economy  race_relations  Obama  downward_mobility  African-Americans  public_sector  middle_class  Walter_Russell_Mead  systemic_discrimination  criminal_justice_system  joblessness  public_schools  Great_Migration  sentencing  downward_spirals  institutional_path_dependency 
may 2015 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you (JCK: Worst of all worlds).
authoritarianism  autocracies  category_errors  China  Colleges_&_Universities  Crimea  curriculum  David_Brooks  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  dilemmas  diplomacy  geopolitics  grand_strategy  insouciance  international_system  Iran  liberal_pluralism  multiple_stressors  obliviousness  power_plays  power_to_obstruct  rogue_actors  Russia  self-congratulatory  South_China_Sea  stratagems  strategic_thinking  strategy  Walter_Russell_Mead  worst_of_all_worlds  Yale 
april 2014 by jerryking
Jobs, jobs, jobs! The future is brighter than you think
Feb. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.

if the idea of working for someone else doesn’t appeal to barista girl, she’s in luck. Thanks to the IT revolution, starting your own business is easier than ever, as American thinker Walter Russell Mead has pointed out: All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. You can provide math tutoring to kids, music instruction, even long-distance psychological counselling. You don’t even have to be in the same country as your clients. You can find cheap marketing information to identify your potential customers, and you can reach them via social media. You can buy inexpensive accounting and billing software. If you have employees, you can even get HR advice online.

The IT revolution is wiping out entire industries, like bookstores and travel agents. But it is also creating virtually unlimited opportunities for new service businesses.
Margaret_Wente  entrepreneurship  Desire2Learn  disruption  self-employment  IT  millennials  Walter_Russell_Mead  bookstores  travel_agents  new_businesses 
february 2013 by jerryking
How Bush grasps the world
January 28, 2003 | The Globe and Mail pg A15 | Walter Russell Mead. When America comes to grips with global politics, history's themes leave their fingerprints on the present.
U.S.foreign_policy  Walter_Russell_Mead  history  9/11  al-Qaeda  George_W._Bush 
july 2012 by jerryking
Literary Saturday: Science Fiction is a Genre That Everyone Should Read - Walter Russell Mead's Blog
September 18th, 2010 | The American Interest | Walter Russell Mead.

.........The biggest single task facing the U.S. today is the unleashing of our social imagination. We are locked into twentieth century institutions and twentieth century habits of mind. Science fiction is the literary genre (OK, true, sometimes a sub-literary genre) where the social imagination is being cultivated and developed. Young people should read this genre to help open their minds to the extraordinary possibilities that lie before us; we geezers should read it for the same reason. The job of our times is to build a radically new world; speculative fiction helps point the way.......Taken as a whole, the field of science fiction today is where most of the most interesting thought about human society can be found. .....In the work of writers like David Brin and Neal Stephenson there is more interesting reflection on America’s place in the world than you will find, I fear, in a whole year’s worth of reading in foreign policy magazines.....Read C. J. Cherryh’s foreigner novels for insight into international relations and her Cyteen novels to sharpen your wits about both international politics and the impact of technological change on human society......Science fiction is perhaps best understood by an alternative name for the genre: speculative fiction. It is fiction that asks questions about the human condition and the meaning of life by taking us beyond everyday life. We go to strange planets, far distant futures or even to our own past — in order to learn about who we really are. Science fiction takes its readers to far off galaxies in order to help them understand life on earth more clearly — just as Dorothy traveled to Oz to learn what Kansas was really all about. .....
fiction  science_fiction  the_human_condition  Walter_Russell_Mead 
september 2010 by jerryking

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