The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas
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A much better analogy for how it works, say the authors, is the competition of the commercial marketplace.
Book Discussion: The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas
In his recent state of the union address, President Obama adopted similar themes of American economic dynamism as strengthening national competitiveness, but End of Arrogance is a methodical reconception of U. Jentleson and Weber portray an international order that is up for grabs at the beginning of the 21 st century.
Their claim that nations and leaders are working with a clean slate probably overstates the case, but most of the book charts a credible course to renewed U. In a functioning modern marketplace of ideas, at least three things are true of a twenty-first-century leadership proposition. First, we offer, but they choose. A market leader is fundamentally more dependent on the followers than the followers are on the leader. Second, the relationships are visible and consistency is demanded. Finally, there is real competition. Markets are relentless in their ability to generate new offerings.
The authors describe some key challenges in the contemporary marketplace, all of which lower the barriers to entry for our competitors. They highlight the revolution in information and communications technology, demographic trends that fill megacities with young people whose worldview is non-Western, the openings provided by the diffusion of authority, and the permeability of national borders.
The section concludes with a sobering assessment:. In , globally, there remains a deep skepticism about the proposition that the United States can be more powerful and the world can be a better place at the same time. The belief that these two things could be consistent or even reinforce each other was the most valuable and precious advantage America had in the post-World War II milieu.
It has eroded and that changes the nature of ideological competition dramatically. A new foreign policy proposition has to find a way to put that belief back into play.
In place of democratic ideology — electoral competition and the popular mandate — the essential elements of a just society are the empowerment of people to lead fulfilling lives and protection of the vulnerable, those buffeted by forces of rapid change such as extreme weather, industrial accidents, or spikes in the price of staple foods. As the authors step out of ingrained American worldviews to gain perspective on democracy, they make a compelling point about the weaknesses that others perceive. In the wide swath of the world where daily life is a grinding struggle, to idealize process and treat material conditions as secondary and contingent must seem exotic.
Just as the book proposes revised standards of good governance, it issues a similar challenge to recast the international political order. Again the root of the problem is complacency; Americans are still trying to dine out on our authorship of the post-World War II order when the resonance of that creation myth has faded. Rather than dismissing the mere notion that the postwar order could be or has already been upended, we should try to get out ahead of the revision process.
The Guardian view on Facebook: the arrogance of power | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
The leadership proposition that Weber and Jentleson put forward is a response to the interconnected 21 st-century world, and rightly so. As a key to spurring a more civic-minded attitude from nations and their leaders, the authors offer an alternative to narrow and short-sighted conceptions of national interest: the principle of mutuality. When policy makers mull tough diplomatic compromises or tithes they might contribute toward global public goods, they should use an accounting system that takes a long view.
Strategy is the discipline of choosing the most important aspects of that world and leaving the other stuff behind. But it is a long way from sentiment to policy. In this work it has had no help from the companies it believes need regulating. Facebook, in particular, has shown itself to be arrogant and dishonest. Not only did Mark Zuckerberg refuse to present himself to the committee, as even Rupert Murdoch has done: the underlings he sent in his place gave misleading or untrue accounts.
But the problem is wider than just one company.
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Google and YouTube, which are hardly mentioned in the report, play almost as important a role in the dissemination of misinformation online and are just as happy to profit from it. As the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has warned, we are now being sold political ideas online with the same techniques that are used to sell shoes and holidays. And since the cost of buying into the wrong ideas is much less immediately apparent than the pain of ill-fitting or unfashionable shoes, the political sale is much more easily made.
In her testimony to the committee, the information commissioner put her finger on one of the most important advantages that Facebook has over traditional advertising media. Internal emails obtained by the committee show that the company goes to great lengths to acquire such data from its advertisers. The historian Mary Renda in her book, Taking Haiti , talks about the American invasion of Haiti to bring about political stability through U.
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The American government did not believe Haiti was ready for self-government or democracy, according to Renda. In order to bring about political stability in Haiti, the United States secured control and integrated the country into the international capitalist economy, while preventing Haiti from practicing self-governance or democracy.
Bi-Sectoralism VI: It’s Still the Economy, Stupid
While Haiti had been running their own government for many years before American intervention, the U. In order to convince the American public of the justice in intervening, the United States government used paternalist propaganda, depicting the Haitian political process as uncivilized. The Haitian government would come to agree to U.
This direct supervision of the Haitian economy would reinforce U. Active distrust surfaced immediately, as even before the October Revolution , British officers had been involved in the Kornilov Affair which sought to crush the Russian anti-war movement and the independent soviets. British diplomat Bruce Lockhart cultivated a relationship with several Soviet officials, including Leon Trotsky , and the latter approved the initial Allied military mission to secure the Eastern Front , which was collapsing in the revolutionary upheaval.
Globalisation once made the world go around. Is it about to grind to a halt?
Ultimately, Soviet head of state V. This separate peace led to Allied disdain for the Soviets, since it left the Western Allies to fight Germany without a strong Eastern partner.
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Poole , sponsored an attempted coup in Moscow involving Bruce Lockhart and Sidney Reilly , which involved an attempted assassination of Lenin. The Bolsheviks proceeded to shut down the British and US embassies. Tensions between Russia including its allies and the West turned intensely ideological. Horrified by mass executions of White forces, land expropriations, and widespread repression, the Allied military expedition now assisted the anti-Bolshevik Whites in the Russian Civil War , with the US covertly giving support  to the autocratic and antisemitic General Alexander Kolchak. Wilson launched seven armed interventions, more than any other president.
I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints.
The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts.
I operated on three continents. Although the United States was the last major belligerent to join World War II , it began planning for the postwar world from the conflict's outset. This postwar vision originated in the Council on Foreign Relations CFR , an economic elite-led organization that became integrated into the government leadership. CFR's War and Peace Studies group offered its services to the State Department in and a secret partnership for post-war planning developed. This was not done primarily out of altruism, but out of economic interest. Better than the American Century or the Pax Americana, the notion of an American Lebensraum captures the specific and global historical geography of US ascension to power.
After World War II, global power would no longer be measured in terms of colonized land or power over territory. Rather, global power was measured in directly economic terms. Trade and markets now figured as the economic nexuses of global power, a shift confirmed in the Bretton Woods agreement, which not only inaugurated an international currency system but also established two central banking institutions—the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—to oversee the global economy.
These represented the first planks of the economic infrastructure of the postwar American Lebensraum. In a wide sense, commerce is the mother of all wars. Prior to his death in President Roosevelt was planning to withdraw all U. Soviet actions in Poland and Czechoslovakia led his successor Harry Truman to reconsider. Heavily influenced by George Kennan , Washington policymakers believed that the Soviet Union was an expansionary dictatorship that threatened American interests. In their theory, Moscow's weakness was that it had to keep expanding to survive; and that, by containing or stopping its growth, stability could be achieved in Europe.
The result was the Truman Doctrine regarding Greece and Turkey.