Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Brazil Drops Out," from Walter Russell Mead

At The American Interest Online, June 21, 2010.
“We got our fingers burned,” Amorim told the FTThe Daily News, an English-language Turkish newspaper published by the Hurriyet group, tried to cast doubt on the story, saying that there were ‘conflicting’ reports about the Brazilian position.  As the smoke cleared this morning, however, both the AP and Reuters confirmed the FT account...

The endless nattering about ‘emerging powers’ is particularly misguided; it probably led to the brash overconfidence which is ending so badly for both Turkey and Brazil.  It also leads far too many people to underestimate the clout that the world’s true great powers have...

The fundamental analytical flaw is due in large part to simple ignorance of history and an over-dependence on theory.
Yes! Agreed. I am a political theorist suspicious of theories.

If we add to that the media’s restless hunger for new and exciting big stories and headlines, we get to the kind of overheated universe of commentary that surrounds us today.  The death of free markets, the rise of Japan, the triumph of laissez-faire: surely we have all heard enough of these proclamations to realize that they almost always describe short term trends rather than seismic shifts.  The first task for anybody who wants to understand the world today, much less to change it, is to cut through the useless chatter and infatuation with cheap and shiny trends that surround us on every side.

As someone who recently started a blog, I should probably feel sheepish.