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<nettime> Is the US declining too fast?
Felix Stalder on Mon, 15 Sep 2008 14:14:39 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Is the US declining too fast?


Over the summer, I read a fantastic book by Marc Leonard called "What does 
China think?" [1] which is a survey of the debates within and across 
Chinese think thanks. If you are interested in long-term political 
strategies (or at least, competing theories of such strategies) by the 
Chinese, read this book. 

It also contains the most surprising interpretation of the crack-down on 
the Tiananmen square I've ever read (basically, some Chinese scholars view 
it not just as a pro-democracy movement, but also, and crucially, as an 
anti-neoliberal reform protest. Thus, the crackdown was not the works of 
some backwards Stalinists, but of the dominant faction of the reformers 
bent on putting economic privatization above all else). 

Anyway, one of the questions that agitates many of the scholars is whether 
the US is declining too fast, meaning before China is powerful enough to 
take over the show. 

Looking at the US these days, one cannot but wonder if the answer might not 
be yes (even if you don't wish China to take over instead). On the one 
hand, there are very dramatic convulsions at the core of the economic 
system. It doesn't get any bigger than one of the major investment banks 
filing for bankruptcy. One the other hand, the current presidential 
campaigns seems to be on auto-pilot, entirely preoccupied with the most 
superficial of "culture wars". 

Felix

[1] 
http://www.ecfr.eu/content/entry/commentary_mark_leonard_what_does_china_think/

--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------------- out now:
*|Mediale Kunst/Media Arts Zurich.13 Positions.Scheidegger&Spiess2008
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 


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