Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

How do you see the global power dynamic in 2008?

Noam Chomsky: Well there are basically three major power systems, roughly speaking: North America, Europe and North East Asia, joined to Indian and South Asia and to South East Asia. There are lots of integration among them, they are not distinct, but they are identifiable power centers. Separate from them are the major oil producers, which have power, but have a lot of financial resources.

Europe and the United States are roughly comparable in every dimension except military force. The United States, its military spending now exceeds substantially that of the rest of the world combined, and nothing is even close.

The North East Asia is probably the most dynamic economic region in the world; China, Japan, North and South Korea. It has amassed enormous financial resources. In fact, Japan and China, and to some extent the oil producers, have been sustaining the U.S. economy. How long they will do it is unclear.

There’s plenty of violence all over the world, with the most extreme regions are the Middle East region, mainly because that’s the major energy sources of energy for the world. The U.S. invasion of Iraq is the central part of it, but not the only one. And it’s a very volatile area. There could be a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, a U.S. attack on Iran, which one well known British military historian, Correlli Barnett, said that it would be world III. And he could be right.

There are other tendencies developing. South America, as you mentioned, is actually for the first time in its history since the Spanish invasion, is making significant moves towards integration. The society, countries have been very separate from one another. They have been ruled by tiny, wealthy, mostly Europeanized elites, related to the imperial societies, not to one another. And they are moving towards a degree of integration, its independence.

They are also beginning slowly to tackle some of their immense internal problems. There is a huge inequality. In fact some of the most exciting democratic experiments, may be the most exciting, are taking place right there, especially in Bolivia where the indigenous majority of the population has, for the first time, entered the political arena in a serious way, elected their own candidate from their own ranks. It’s leading to a possible threat of cessation by the white Europeanized elite, which has always around the country and has most of the resources. And there is plenty of sources of conflict there. An important development, in many ways the most exciting area of the world, I think.

There is the Bank of the South, which is broadly supported, could be an alternative development fund, just as the Asian Development Bank could be.

What happens in China and India will be no doubt be of enormous significance. They do have high growth rates. A lot of people have been taken out of poverty. It should be recalled that they have succeeded in doing this largely by violating the rules of game that the western powers have attempted to establish. That’s no surprise the economic historians, because it’s the way the developed countries got rich themselves. But they are now significant players around the world scene. Particularly China.

However, with extraordinary internal problems. Hundreds of millions of people either destitute or in serious economic problems, enormous ecological problems.

India which has developed significantly, starting in the 1980s, but particularly in the last 15 years, still ranks about 125th or so in the United Nation’s Human Development Index, has seen enormous poverty and destitution. But they have tremendous internal problems to deal with. They are nowhere near the level of the rich developed western European, North American countries. But shifting power in the world seems doubtless.

China happens to be the center of a developing strategic system. The Shanghai Corporation Organization, which is based in China, includes Russia with its quite enormous energy resources. India, Pakistan and Iran are associated, admitted observers. The central Asian states are part of it. The United States has sought observer status, but has been rejected. The organization has called on the U.S. to leave Central Asia and other regions. And this is slowly emerging power block that some regard as potentially a counterpart NATO, with substantial internal resources, Russian particularly, but if Iran joins in, even more. And they’re reaching out even towards Saudi Arabia, which is the jewel in the crown, as far as energy resources are concerned. So doubtless a source of enormous concern to the United States, which is trying pretty desperately to set up a Sunni counterforce and to somehow control Iraq, which has turned to total catastrophe. These are some, not all, of the major live issues on the global scene.

 

Recorded on: March 21, 2008

Chomsky talks about the three major world power systems: North America, Europe and Northeast Asia

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Sex & Relationships
  • Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
  • Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
  • The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.
Keep reading Show less

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

These new status behaviours are what one expert calls 'inconspicuous consumption'.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Tiffany
Politics & Current Affairs
In 1899, the economist Thorstein Veblen observed that silver spoons and corsets were markers of elite social position.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast