Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Forgotten Lands

It's taken me a long time, but I've finally found my way through Parag Khanna's The Second World: How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-First Century. It's all about the new geopolitics and the new maps of the world.

Many amazing things that we've all forgotten come back to light; the fact of how big Xinjiang and Tibet are compared to the rest of China; the size of Brazil compared to that of the USA (8.5 million sq km vs 9.8 million sq km); how many pieces of desert with oil under them can be found in central Asia; the fact that on a clear day you can see Pakistan from Oman; the list goes on. It is a fantastic survey of all the world.

Quite often, in our obsession with the First World and the Third World, we forget that there was a Second World, once full of life and humanity, but drained by the First World over the last 150 years or so. As we head towards a new multipolarity, the mass of China, the European Union and the American hegemony will set these up as the new powers. True, the USA has a huge military edge — but what can it do with that edge?

Meanwhile, China and the EU chip and chisel away at the former Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, Africa, west Asia, and even South America. It all depends on which way the remaining lesser powers of the First and Second World decide to go; huge Brazil, innovative Japan, massive India and its neighbour Pakistan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and others. What a wonderful world!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home