To celebrate our brand new access to the Foreign Affairs magazine*, tomorrow we’ll do things a little different: we’ll actually read an article and discuss it**.
In perusing their extensive collections, it might be striking that most of their current affairs articles are devoted, in one way or another, to the downfall of the empire. It might just be a sign of the times - the decline of the empire was often alluded to when I went to DC in December.
For example, here’s something to think about: for most of the past century, Uncle Sam got around to dictating and enforcing the the world norms for old and new issues. Things like space law, banning chemical weapons, Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and even fuzzier things like not murdering important world leaders as a mean of furthering political goals (third world leaders are generally considered fair game tho).
Now, like always, we have to deal with a wealth of
buzzwords emerging technologies that have unclear effects in world policy. Things like gene editing, artificial intelligence, internet on all the things, quantum computing. But we can no longer count on Uncle Sam imposing it’s arbitrary will on how we are to deal with them.
Even more than that - Uncle Sam is making it clear we can’t count on even old taken-for-granted things. Like nuclear arms controls treaties.
The alternative to a world without a hegemon could be a more free-for-all, unstable world. It could also be a world where all the little guys have to band together to put up with the bigger guys, cohesive enough to defend themselves against attacks but not enough to be belligerent. Maybe a world without a hegemon could end up with many confederacies such as the European Union and be much more peaceful than a unipolar world!***
So, to prompt our discussion on the changing landscape of global leadership, I picked two articles (mostly because of the snarky titles):
However, if you do end up on another article that is particularly relevant (and has a sufficiently snarky title), I do encourage you to hit reply all and spam everyone with it.
See you at 6pm, in the belief that someone will actually have read the articles.
* ask me for the credentials
** the truth is I didn’t get around to preparing anything and this is a shoddy cover-up.
*** lol no, who am I kidding, everyone knows that coordination is impossible, the EU is a historical fluke, and everything will soon fall apart, our best hopes being nuclear Armageddon brings us a swift end.