“We’ve Heard All This About American Decline Before.”
This time it’s different. It’s certainly true that America has been through cycles of declinism in the past. Campaigning for the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy complained, “American strength relative to that of the Soviet Union has been slipping, and communism has been advancing steadily in every area of the world.” Ezra Vogel’s Japan as Number One was published in 1979, heralding a decade of steadily rising paranoia about Japanese manufacturing techniques and trade policies.
In the end, of course, the Soviet and Japanese threats to American supremacy proved chimerical. So Americans can be forgiven if they greet talk of a new challenge from China as just another case of the boy who cried wolf. But a frequently overlooked fact about that fable is that the boy was eventually proved right. The wolf did arrive — and China is the wolf.
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign-affairs commentator for the Financial Times and author of Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety.
Phi Beta Iota: The problem with the “status quo” actors and thinkers–however good their intentions–is that they simply do not know what they do not know. The world can indeed be zero-sum. It can also be non-zero sum, a case made by Robert Wright and summarized in Review: Nonzero–The Logic of Human Destiny. We know how to do this and want to do this. Those in power do not know how to do this and do not want to do this. Therein lies the challenge–all it takes is ONE leader–Cynthia McKinney comes to mind–willing to stand up, demand Electoral Reform (1 Page, 9 Points), and the rest will be history–a very good history of the Second American Republic, how it came to its senses, and created a prosperous world at peace through intelligence as design. Now THAT is Advanced Cyber/IO!