Culture Follows Power?
As part of a doctoral program in Global Christianity, our cohort is picking over and engaging a litany of books at the numerous intersections of global leadership, which forms the theme for our final study residency (January 2015).
One such book, Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World (Release 2.0; W. W. Norton & Co., 2012) "continues to explore the shifting role of the United States in the rapidly changing landscape of world affairs."
Here are five provocative quotations from the book—
The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (in Zakaria, 74)
But now [Americans] are becoming suspicious of the very things we have long celebrated—free markets, trade, immigration, and technological change. Just as the world is opening up, American is closing down.
Global power is, above all, dominance over ideas, agendas, and models. The revelation [with the economic crisis in 2008] that much of the financial innovation that occurred in the last decade created little more than a house of cards erodes American power.
The Chinese used cannons effectively in the thirteenth century. Three hundred years later, they couldn't operate one without a European to show them how. [China's] achievements ended up being episodic and ephemeral. This was the tragedy of Asia: even when there was knowledge, there was no learning.
Neither Hinduism nor Confucianism believes in universal commandments or the need to spread the faith. So for both practical and cultural reasons, both [China and India] are unlikely to view human rights issues as central to their foreign policy.