Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mandatory reading

Two articles should be read today.

The first one of major importance for readers of this blog is the long and detailed expose by Brunilde in her blog as to the lame excuses used by chavismo to justify the unconstitutional "emmienda". It is in Spanish but if you leave a message at her page I am sure she will make an effort to translate it for you. I offer her this page to publish the English version if she wishes. Heck, I will help her with the translation!

The second page to read is an article by Paul Kennedy. I read soon after it appeared his "Rise and Fall of Great Powers", a book that made great impression on me. His take on how the US relative decline is unavoidable and how the torch seems destined to Asia is a must read. Now, there is no need to be alarmed as the relative decline of the US was written in stone, 2008 crisis or not. The rise of China and India would have taken care of shifting the relative power share of the world and only a political collapse of China or India (never to be discarded as long as true democracy does not reach China) could slow down this shift. True, the US has still enormous advantages that will ensure a relative preeminence for a few more decades but it will look increasingly like Spain in the XVII, France in the XVIII (outside of the revolutionary paroxysm) or Britain in the first half of the XX. These three countries by the way are sort of reborn but their size and the world structure today forbid them to ever play a major role again, a handicap that might be spared the US if it deals with the current crisis and accepts to limit its area of influence convincing others to step to the plate in a productive way.

-The end-

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