Fareed Zakaria’s “The Post-American World” “Through his writings, research, and teaching, Fareed Zakaria has made an impact in the field of political science and foreign policy. A graduate of both Yale and Harvard, Zakaria has utilized the knowledge that he has gained by writing extensively on the subject of international affairs. Articles authored by Zakaria often appear in distinguished publications such as Wall Street Journal, New Republic, New York Times, and Foreign Affairs. Zakaria’s Journalistic writing has also led to the publication ofa number of books” (Fareed Zakaria).
Fareed Zakaria is Indian mmigrant who has become a true patriot of America. Almost all his works are related to the United States. This fact can be read in his creations such as The American Encounter, From Wealth to Power, and The Post-American World. “Several critics found The American Encounter to be an admirable project…. Library Journal contributor Tricia Gray felt the book is the best suited for academics and some of the larger public libraries, while Booklist reviewer Mary Carroll recommended the book for public display, noting: ‘Even Libraries with a full run of Foreign Affairs on the shelf may want this collection.
Fareed Zakaria). Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World is extraordinary event. The author of the idea of “Illiberal democracy’ Fareed Zakaria sought to explain to America and West political diversity of the modern world, to imbue the American establishment to respect the historical choice of non-western peoples. The author’s new creation is not a description of decline of the U.
S. that has become commonly known, but thoughtful analysis of the growing world’s globalization, its effects and outlines of the future configuration. “Changes take place gradually’, writes Zakaria.
We live in the Newton’s dynamic world, not in the Medieval Europe’s static world. Everything started from Galileo Galilei who challenged static world and made first changes which led to collapse of Medieval Europe’s world. According to Fareed Zakaria, over the past five centuries there have been three “tectonic shifts of power”. The first shift that began in the XV century and accelerated dramatically in the XVIII century gave rise to the phenomenon “modernity’ with corresponding attributes of science and technology, commerce and capitalism, and agrarian and industrial revolutions.
The first stage haracterized by the continued dominance of West over the rest of the world. The second shift, according to the author, began in last years of the XIX century, and its content was an elevation of the U. S. , its transformation into “imperial successor” of ancient Rome with the relevant economic and political-military attributes. In the last two decades America’s influence has become “unipolar” – a phenomenon unprecedented in modern history. Finally, the third shift that Fareed Zakaria called “the rise of the others” is happening before our eyes.
It is a consequence of accelerated growth of major countries in Asia and beyond. The third shift is actually creating a new international system in which the former “object” and “observers” are transtormed into real global “players”, acting on the basis ot their own interests In other words, distribution of power is shifting from America to other centers of power. However, “It is not ‘anti-American’ world, but ‘post-American’, directed from many centers not only by Americans, but also by others”, writes the author.
Fareed Zakaria describes several trends that determine and will determine the trajectory of evolution of the “Post-American World”. The author emphasizes the “Islamic threat” hich, however, at the level of ideology cannot compete with the west modernization. Islam has to adapt to the challenges of modernization and globalization in societies that do not welcome the idea of Jihad. Therefore, “Modern civilization may be stronger that we suspect” (Zakaria 17). Fareed Zakaria states the offset of the global geo-economic “axis” to the east, in the direction of the Asian-Pacific region.
This trend was reinforced by globalization. Now, the vast majority of the monetary and financial resources of the world are concentrated in the Asian-Pacific region. “According Goldman Sachs, by 2040, the combined GDP of China, India, Brazil, Russia and Mexico may exceed the corresponding fgures of the G-7” (Zakaria 27). Thus, “American ideas of the world order” actively challenged by global energy producers: Iran, Venezuela and Russia. Particular attention is given to the national identity of the peoples in the “Post-American World”.
In “The Rise of Nationalism” Zakaria sees two sides. Firstly, objective difficulties of coordination of private and public interests, and in this sense “raising of the rest”, are able to “prevent transformation of the forces of global growth nto factor of global disorder and disintegration” (Zakaria 27). Secondly, the U. S. will have to reckon with the fact that in the modern world there is the concept of “freedom of choice”. Zakaria cleverly illustrates this fact by excerpt from a conservation of last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten and Mahatma Gandhi.
Mountbatten said: “If we Just leave (India), there will be chaos. ” Gandhi replied: mies, but it will be our chaos” (Zakaria 33). Further, very few people in the modern world are ready to agree with the western version of the “new world order” which is a continuation of the American version. Now, many countries set together horizontal communication without support of the American “center”. One example of this kind is an interaction of the four mega-countries: India, China, Russia and Brazil (BRICS).
As for the “Last Superpower” the U. S. holds and will hold the positions of the most competitive economy due to the highly developed demographic dynamics. At the same time the role of Western Europe and Japan in the world economy, according to the author, will continue to decline. The inconsistency of being America is that the U. S. , on the one hand, remains at the top of the world’s new order, and on the other and, the new order of its dynamics challenges the privileged position of America.
Fareed Zakaria fascinatingly describes historic ascent of the West to the top of industrial civilization, which is a subject well known by experts of the economic history, but new to the ordinary readers. In this approach, there is convincing, in my view, the geopolitical logic. This logic has an idea that the industrial civilization and its foundation not questioned. The author writes: “Unprecedented economic growth has produced unprecedented social change. China has compressed the West’s two undred years of industrialization into thirty’ (Zakaria 97).
The country with an active operation of market mechanisms and the most significant population in the world is a new challenge to the United States. It is the challenge that America hasn’t previously encountered and to which was unprepared. The tinal chapters ot the book are dedicated to America’s role in the “post-American world. ” “Secret weapon” of the U. S. , Zakaria believes, is the demographic potential of the country. It is going to hit 365 million people by 2030, while the ratio of workers to not employed will be ore favorable than, for example, in Western Europe and Japan.
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