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4:14AM

A summary of required compromises detailed in Great Powers

GREAT POWERS 

By Thomas P.M. Barnett 

G.P. Putnam's Sons 

Pub Date: February 5, 2009 

 

A Summary of the Compromises Required 

Within the

Five Major Elements of U.S. Grand Strategy

 

as detailed
in

 

GREAT POWERS:

 America and the World After Bush

 

By Thomas P.M. Barnett  

 

ECONOMIC

 

"Our economic compromise is as follows: We asked you, the New Core East and South, to join this international liberal trade order so long restricted to just the Old Core West.  Having done so, overwhelmingly on our terms (even if you were too smart to buy our fast-forwarding argument known as the Washington Consensus), our quid pro quo seems obvious enough: We need to do whatever it takes to meet your demand for a middle-class lifestyle within this global economy. So no, we won't be cutting your legs out from under you on global warming, nor will we make unreasonable demands that you support us as much on the kinetics of this long war as you logically should on the follow-up state-building and market creation and infrastructure networking. As far as posses go, our rules will be come as you are and come when you can, because we're no longer under any illusions about which half is harder--the war or the postwar."(p. 413) 

 

DIPLOMATIC

 

"Our diplomatic compromise is a bit trickier: If you connect your population in a broadband fashion to the global economy and its many networks, we'll allow you to pursue control over content. If you can't handle the MTV right away, or the pornography, or the 'challenging' depictions of personal liberty that Western societies routinely produce, we'll help you exercise some equivalent of 'parental controls' over the flow. While we may find such censorship offensive from the standpoint of our mature democracies, we're not too ignorant of our own history to realize that we didn't reach this level of--if you'll pardon the term--sophistication overnight, so we certainly shouldn't expect you to accept such wide-open content as the initial requirement for aspiring to such global connectivity. We're confident, based on our experience, that you'll come to open up your controls over time, but we respect your need to go slow at first. While we believe that all people want the same basic things out of life, we recognize that life is a journey each of us--either individually or collectively--must take at a pace of our choosing. That's an essential freedom we recognize too. As long as you give your people the essential choice of stay-or-go on the basis of this new connectivity, how you regulate its flow internally should remain your political decision and yours alone." (pp 413-414) 

 

SECURITY

 

"On security, our offer is a simple one: In this increasingly connected world, dangers know no boundaries, so we're done with trying to firewall ourselves off from scary things and have come to understand that our homeland is only as secure as every other Homeland to which it is connected. Along these lines, experience has taught us that certain minimal rule sets must be obeyed by any and all who interact with us economically and socially.  If you accept this minimal rule set, then we'll promise to document all our kills in defense of these proposed global rules. If either the rules or our execution come under question, we'll listen to your complaints, realizing that our role as global Leviathan does not excuse us from responding to the demands of globalization's stakeholders, to include civilized compensation for all losses incurred. We don't pretend such efforts repay all sacrifi ces endured; we simply believe in demonstrating that all lives have value. In sum, we won't use force unless certain conditions are clearly met, and when we do, we'll offer complete transparency regarding its employment--as in, every round fired." (p. 414) 

 

 

NETWORKS

 

"Moving on to globalization's vast array of networks: If you allow us to enter your networks, achieving the transparency we think is necessary to keep our people safe, we will grant you 'fast-pass' access to our networks--without bias. If you can't afford such network connections, we will endeavor to provide them to you at the lowest possible cost you can bear. We recognize your fears of falling behind as globalization surges forward, and we want to make clear from the start that we want you to become as connected as you can currently manage. (p. 414) 

 

STRATEGIC SOCIAL ISSUES

 

"Finally, on the most personal questions of identity: If you can find your way to allowing freedom of religion in your country, we will do our best to reciprocate regarding any demands you may have for cultural separatism. While we don't believe that such separatism is good or healthy, because it tends to prejudge the talents and ambitions of those we fear are trapped within its walls, we believe in voluntary associations--even those that won't have us as members. But we know this: Humanity's paths to happiness are as varied as the human condition. While some of us may applaud your achievement of a strict social rule set in this regard, none of us will countenance your unreasonable desire to impose those strict rules unwillingly on others. If you can accept that while your definition of God's law may be forever, humanity's need for rule of law is persistent, then we're willing to let you carve out an enclave within our global society.  


America doesn't pretend to have all the answers regarding this historical integration process we now call globalization. We do, however, want you to recognize that we inhabit the longest-running experiment of states and nationalities and religions uniting in the common cause of individual freedom, collective security, and economic prosperity. We understand that our model does not constitute the universe of possibilities even as we seek to universalize those possibilities." (pp. 414-415)

 

 

From GREAT POWERS, to be published by G. P. Putnam's on February 5, 2009.

Reader Comments (1)

"I am leaving soon and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. The Universe grows smaller every day -- and the threat of aggression by any group -- anywhere -- can no longer be tolerated.

There must be security for all -- or no one is secure... This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.

We do not pretend to have achieved perfection -- but we do have a system -- and it works."

Excerpts from The Day the Earth Stood Still (The original, dammit)
January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCadet Echo Boomer

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