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by Fabio de Oliveira Ribeiro
Sunday, Mar. 28, 2010 at 5:53 PM
Analysis of George Friedman's book.
The release of this book in Brazil received several matters and complimentary and favorable synopses in the internet. But until the present moment no ví a deep analysis of the same.
Therefore of exit the author affirms that any "... attempt of foreseeing the century XXI that doesn't take in it begins with the recognition of the extraordinary nature of the American power is out of the reality. But I defend a point of view still wider and unexpected: the United States is just in the beginning of his power. The century XXI will be the American century. "
The first thing that jumps to the eyes is the author's incapacity of admitting an evident fact. From the invention of the nuclear weapons the war stopped being the continuation of the politics for other means. Hannah Arendt affirmed with a lot of property that the "... technical development of the implements of the violence reached the point now in that any political objective presumably could correspond to his destruction potential or to justify his effective use in the armed conflict. Like this the war - since times immemorial last and implacable referee in international disputes - it lost a lot of his effectiveness and almost all his fascination. The chess game 'apocalyptic' among the superpowers, it wants to say, among those that maneuver in the highest plan of our civilization, it is being played in agreement with the rule that 'if somebody 'to win' it is the end for both'; it is treated of a game that doesn't introduce any similarity with any war game that preceded it". (ON THE VIOLENCE)
In 301 pages the author describes the next 100 years, in that the USA won't do more than to reaffirm his power winning economical and military conflicts against emerging potencies like China, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Turkey and Japan.
Therefore in the beginning, the author makes an apology of the American culture. He affirms that the "... American pragmatism was an attack to the European metaphysics accused of not being practical." According to him the "... American culture no worked easily with what is beautiful and true. She values to accomplish things, and no the concern on the importance of what is done."
What seems an innovation is actually a practical application of the concept of Johann F. Herbart (1776/1841) second which "of the thoughts leave feelings and, of these, beginnings and action manners". Herbart was a critic of Rousseau and of the other educators that depreciated the instruction. But it was also a ferocious critic of the traditional education for teaching useless things for the action. Therefore, the American pragmatism and his pedagogic correspondent was not born in the USA.
For George Friedman China is a paper tiger. "The problem to China is political. China is sustained because of the money not of the ideology. When an economical crisis comes and the money to leave of entering, not only the bank system will have their spasms, but the whole fabric of the Chinese society will tremble."
The American financial crisis came and the economical growth in China only moved back 2%. China resisted the retraction of the world trade very well and they were not Chinese that asked the Americans for help, but the Americans that asked Chinese for help. On this exact moment the Americans try to convince China to value Yuan but Chinese continue if attaching to his ideology.
Among the effects of the economical destruction of China, the author foresees that a "... very real future to China in 2020 is his old nightmare - a country divided among regional leaders that compete foreign potencies amongst themselves removing advantage of the situation to create areas where can determine the economical rules for his own good, and a central government trying to sustain everything this, but failing."
The author seems to be a follower of the myth of the eternal return. For him the history is cyclical and the problems that corroded the Chinese empire in the century XIX will torment Chinese in the century XXI again. Friedman ignores the essential. The collapse of China in the century XIX was one more effect of his isolation than of his bold insert in the international market of changes. Chinese seem to have learned the lesson: to grow and to expand or to refuse and to die. I don't think that Chinese ignore his own history or that they intend to retreat in the time. The most probable is that before an eminent economical collapse, the communists will make the same as the Americans: to appeal for the war as form of maintaining united his immense population and his active economy.
In the imaginary of Friedmam Russia is predestined to the collapse. "The protection of the borders is not the only problem of Russia today. The extremely conscious healthy Russians that they are in front of a considerable demographic crisis. The current population of Russia is about 145 million inhabitants, and the projections for 2050 rotate around 90 million and 125 million. The time plays against. Inside soon, the problem of Russia will be his capacity to maintain an army sufficiently big for their strategic needs."
Vast Armies are things absolutely anachronic and without any real strategic value. There is basante time the borders of the countries are not more protected for Armies, but for automated arsenals operated by a number every time smaller of specialists. The dissuasive power of the tanks, hunts, bombardiers, missiles and of the nuclear weapons they guaranteed the borders of the countries in the second half of the century XX and they will continue to do this in the century XXI. At the present time the Armies have more the function of avoiding internal revolutions than of preventing external wars. The author's reasoning would be valid in Napoleon's times. At the present time it is just an anachronism that besides leaves of taking into account the technological capacity that the Russians have been demonstrating of modernizing their military equipments.
Friedman affirms that the "... United States will be anxious for increasing the power of Poland and of the Baltic countries and to let them to face Russia." Obama gave up on installing missiles in Poland and the USA anything did concerning the Russian campaign in Abkasia and South Ossetia. As we can see the facts they already began to run over the author's forecasts.
In the following chapters the author foresees a fort economical growth of the USA after overcoming the population crisis with the increase of the immigration of Mexican. He also foresees an armed conflict between the USA and Turkey, Poland (that will have dominated Russia) and Japan. The American victory will be a consequence of the construction of military bases in the space. After the victory on Turks, Poles and Japanese, the Americans will enter in war with Mexico because of the increase of the Mexican nationalism inside of the USA. This conflict will end in tie.
Any one that is not familiarized with rhetoric will conclude that the book is excellent. The most careful will notice that there is a different one among the what the book is and what he pretends to be. THE NEXT 100 YEARS it pretends to be product of the most genuine métis (Greek word used to designate the capacity to advance the facts and to appropriate of the best practical result by a trick), but it doesn't go of a collection of adorned hyperboles by correct statistical data and projections of the present and of a certain past in the future, as if the own future didn't go something absolutely uncertain or it could be conditioned by the language.
THE NEXT 100 YEARS book not only it is ridiculous as extremely pernicious (especially if the North Americans believe in him). To the Brazilian readers I suggest that they read this book taking into account Hannah Arendt warnings:
"The logical flaw in those hypothetical constructions of the future events is always the same: what before appears as a simple hypothesis - with or without their consequent alternatives, according to the sophistication degree - it becomes immediately, in general after some few paragraphs, a 'fact', which, then, it originates an entire current of similar no-facts, then resulting that the character purely speculative of every taskwork it is forgotten. It is not necessary to say what is not science, but pseudo sciense, 'the desperate attempt of the social and of the behavior sciences', in Noam Chomsky's words, 'of imitating the superficial characteristics of the sciences that really have a significant intellectual content. And the most obvious and 'deeper objection to that type of strategic theory is not his limited usefulness, but his danger, because she can take us to believe that we have an understanding near of those events and a control on his flow, what doesn't have', as it indicated Richard N. Goodwin recently in a magazine article that had the rare virtue of detecting the characteristic 'unconscious humor' of many of those pompous theories pseudo sciences." (ON THE VIOLENCE)
In reason of his optimism and arrogance George Friedmam did for deserving the words what Safo it drove the women that "of versatile soul in his lightness think only in the present." The contempt for the history impelled the strategist to foresee the persistence of the present in spite of the unpredictability of the future facts. Friedman forgot of what happened to medieval Siena, that it was surpassed absolutely by Florence by a fact unexpected: the bubonic plague. What does impede that the USA are Siena of the century XXI? Anything and the book of Friedman to it can contribute to this unchaining exactly what doesn't want.
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