The many now climb

When you read this Newsweek excerpt of The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria, maybe a few sentences will stand out. I copied a few:

On the first page, he points out “The world has shifted from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism”, and he says it’s the “power shift of the modern age—the rise of the rest“.

Later he says, “The underlying reality across the globe is of enormous vitality. For the first time ever, most countries around the world are practicing sensible economics” seeing that “$1 a day has plummeted from 40 percent in 1981 to 18 percent”, [on the way to 12 percent].

He sees “waves of globalization” in a “global economy [that] has more than doubled in size over the last 15 years.” [A mere 15 years!]

Huge numbers of people are in truth a “world of functioning economies”.

Comforting our worries, he says, “… this is America’s great —and potentially insurmountable— strength. It remains the most open, flexible society in the world, able to absorb other people, cultures, ideas, goods, and services.”

Helping us face facts, he says, “America’s unimpeded influence will decline. But if the world that’s being created has more power centers, nearly all are invested in order, stability and progress.”

“Rather than narrowly obsessing about our own short-term interests and interest groups, our chief priority should be to bring these rising forces into the global system, to integrate them so that they in turn broaden and deepen global economic, political, and cultural ties. If China, India, Russia, Brazil all feel that they have a stake in the existing global order, there will be less danger of war, depression, panics, and breakdowns.

“There will be lots of problems, crisis, and tensions, but they will occur against a backdrop of systemic stability. This benefits them but also us. It’s the ultimate win-win.”

Urging us to willingly enjoy the future, he warns, “For America to continue to lead the world, we will have to first join it. This is one of the most thrilling stories in history. The world will be enriched and ennobled as they become consumers, producers, inventors, thinkers, dreamers, and doers.”

Reminding us that we already know what we need to do, he concludes, “This is all happening because of American ideas and actions.”