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Марио Монти
21 апреля, 23:44

Weekend Roundup: Amid Great Cultural Shifts, Voting Settles Little

In an era of profound cultural transformation, elections and referendums have very real consequences ― such as the repeal of environmental regulations or crackdowns on press freedom. But as much as they reveal how markedly divided societies are at this historical moment, they settle little. For those who are nostalgic for an ideal past, the challenges of a complex future wrought by globalization, digital disruption and increasing cultural diversity remain unresolved. For those looking ahead, there is no going back. The present political reaction is only the first act, not the last. It is the beginning, not the end, of the story of societies in fluid transition. The recent Turkish referendum, like Brexit and U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, fits a pattern of a territorial divide. Residents in large cities and coastal zones linked to global integration and cosmopolitan culture represented just under half of the vote; rural, small-town and Rust Belt regions linked more to the traditions and economic structures of the past were just over half. But there is also a major difference. The populist, nationalist narrative that won the day in Great Britain and the United States championed the “left behind” and splintered the unresponsive mainstream political parties. In Turkey, the day was won by a conservative, pious and upwardly mobile constituency already empowered by some 15 years of rule by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party. The cultural duel there, backed up by neo-Islamist and nationalist statism, will thus be more intense than elsewhere. In an interview following the historic vote in her country, novelist Elif Shafak says, “The referendum has not solved anything. If anything, it deepened the existing cultural and ideological divisions.” She also laments the decline of Turkey’s long experiment as a majority-Muslim country attempting to balance culture, secularism and Western democracy. “This is the most significant turning point in Turkey’s modern political history,” she declares. “It is a shift backwards; the end of parliamentary democracy. It is also a dangerous discontinuation of decades of Westernization, secularism and modernization; the discontinuation of Atatürk’s modern Turkey.” Writing from Istanbul, Behlül Özkan explains the details of the constitutional referendum, how the playing field was tilted in Erdoğan’s favor and how it will have massive implications for Turkey’s future. He also emphasizes the historic importance of Turkey’s reverse. Özkan cites the political theorist Samuel Huntington who, in an essay decades ago on transitions from authoritarian rule, once defined Turkey as a clear example of a one-party system becoming more open and competitive under the constitution put in place by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is rare in history to move in the other direction, as Erdoğan has now accomplished. Also writing from Istanbul, Alev Scott believes Turkey is in for “a decade of paranoia under a modern-day Sultan” who was unnerved by the slim margin of his victory. Noting a widely circulated photograph of the president at his moment of triumph, she saw a man not “celebrating victory” but “a man alarmed by near-defeat.” Even as critics within Turkey and others abroad expressed concern over the extinguishing of democracy, Trump again showed his affinity for strongman politics by calling to congratulate Erdoğan on his victory. Yet, as with other countries from India to Argentina, there is likely another element as well to this potentially budding bromance. Sam Stein and Igor Bobic report on ethical issues raised by Trump’s business ties with Turkey. In 2012, Erdoğan joined Trump and his family to mark the opening of Trump Towers Istanbul.  Here are a few additional highlights from The WorldPost this week: 11 Things To Know About North Korea’s Secret Nuclear Program North Korea’s Simple But Deadly Artillery Holds Seoul And U.S. Hostage Bill Clinton’s Secretary Of Defense Likes Trump’s North Korea Strategy Photo Series Show The People Of North Korea You Rarely Get To See 4 Reasons Why France’s Presidential Election Is So Important France’s Youth Are Turning To The Far-Right National Front Can American Democracy Survive The Era Of Inequality? Trump Shouldn’t Mess With The Clean Air Act, American Lung Association Warns Amazing Photos Capture How Flowers Look Under Ultraviolet Light  WHO WE ARE     EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar(First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherlandand Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 апреля, 23:44

Weekend Roundup: Amid Great Cultural Shifts, Voting Settles Little

In an era of profound cultural transformation, elections and referendums have very real consequences ― such as the repeal of environmental regulations or crackdowns on press freedom. But as much as they reveal how markedly divided societies are at this historical moment, they settle little. For those who are nostalgic for an ideal past, the challenges of a complex future wrought by globalization, digital disruption and increasing cultural diversity remain unresolved. For those looking ahead, there is no going back. The present political reaction is only the first act, not the last. It is the beginning, not the end, of the story of societies in fluid transition. The recent Turkish referendum, like Brexit and U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, fits a pattern of a territorial divide. Residents in large cities and coastal zones linked to global integration and cosmopolitan culture represented just under half of the vote; rural, small-town and Rust Belt regions linked more to the traditions and economic structures of the past were just over half. But there is also a major difference. The populist, nationalist narrative that won the day in Great Britain and the United States championed the “left behind” and splintered the unresponsive mainstream political parties. In Turkey, the day was won by a conservative, pious and upwardly mobile constituency already empowered by some 15 years of rule by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party. The cultural duel there, backed up by neo-Islamist and nationalist statism, will thus be more intense than elsewhere. In an interview following the historic vote in her country, novelist Elif Shafak says, “The referendum has not solved anything. If anything, it deepened the existing cultural and ideological divisions.” She also laments the decline of Turkey’s long experiment as a majority-Muslim country attempting to balance culture, secularism and Western democracy. “This is the most significant turning point in Turkey’s modern political history,” she declares. “It is a shift backwards; the end of parliamentary democracy. It is also a dangerous discontinuation of decades of Westernization, secularism and modernization; the discontinuation of Atatürk’s modern Turkey.” Writing from Istanbul, Behlül Özkan explains the details of the constitutional referendum, how the playing field was tilted in Erdoğan’s favor and how it will have massive implications for Turkey’s future. He also emphasizes the historic importance of Turkey’s reverse. Özkan cites the political theorist Samuel Huntington who, in an essay decades ago on transitions from authoritarian rule, once defined Turkey as a clear example of a one-party system becoming more open and competitive under the constitution put in place by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is rare in history to move in the other direction, as Erdoğan has now accomplished. Also writing from Istanbul, Alev Scott believes Turkey is in for “a decade of paranoia under a modern-day Sultan” who was unnerved by the slim margin of his victory. Noting a widely circulated photograph of the president at his moment of triumph, she saw a man not “celebrating victory” but “a man alarmed by near-defeat.” Even as critics within Turkey and others abroad expressed concern over the extinguishing of democracy, Trump again showed his affinity for strongman politics by calling to congratulate Erdoğan on his victory. Yet, as with other countries from India to Argentina, there is likely another element as well to this potentially budding bromance. Sam Stein and Igor Bobic report on ethical issues raised by Trump’s business ties with Turkey. In 2012, Erdoğan joined Trump and his family to mark the opening of Trump Towers Istanbul.  Here are a few additional highlights from The WorldPost this week: 11 Things To Know About North Korea’s Secret Nuclear Program North Korea’s Simple But Deadly Artillery Holds Seoul And U.S. Hostage Bill Clinton’s Secretary Of Defense Likes Trump’s North Korea Strategy Photo Series Show The People Of North Korea You Rarely Get To See 4 Reasons Why France’s Presidential Election Is So Important France’s Youth Are Turning To The Far-Right National Front Can American Democracy Survive The Era Of Inequality? Trump Shouldn’t Mess With The Clean Air Act, American Lung Association Warns Amazing Photos Capture How Flowers Look Under Ultraviolet Light  WHO WE ARE     EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar(First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherlandand Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 апреля, 02:50

Weekend Roundup: For China And The U.S., The Solution Is In The Problem

Harvard’s Graham Allison worries that China and the U.S. risk falling into the “Thucydides Trap” ― named after the historian who chronicled the conflict between ancient Athens and Sparta ― in which rivalry between rising and established powers inevitably leads to war. More often than not, Allison’s research shows, similar rivalries throughout history have held to that pattern. The great question in this era is whether the world’s two largest economies can embark on a new departure, or if they are fated to replay an all too familiar past.  The first face-to-face meeting this week of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump is an opening indicator of which path will be taken. One summit does not make a relationship. But it does set a tone. That Donald Trump has changed his tune from charging “rape” by China on the campaign trail to inviting President Xi for a lavish repast at Mar-a-Lago is a sign that convergent interests may out of necessity forge a different future than history would suggest.  The interwoven relationship that has tightly tethered the U.S. and Chinese economies over the past three decades is the basis both of the present conflict and for resolving it. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have escaped poverty and climbed the income ladder by supplying cheap goods and produce to the likes of Walmart, Costco and Home Depot or assembling Apple iPhones and other electronics that are ubiquitous in the daily lives of Americans. This accounts for the huge trade deficit with China ― though the main reason for U.S. trade imbalances globally is simply that, since the 1970s, Americans consume more as a nation than they save and invest. As the made-for-export low-wage factory of the world, China has surely taken up jobs that might have been created in the U.S. Yet China, too, is a major importer of components for what it produces, reportedly spending more on importing microchips than oil, to take but one example. Increasingly, the fortunes of leading U.S. industries like Hollywood and Boeing depend on Chinese markets. If “the globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia,” as White House adviser Steve Bannon has declared, then therein lies the solution. Having achieved relative prosperity built upon the American-led open trading order that President Trump says he is seeking to dismantle, China now has the income and the intent to shift to a domestic consumption-driven economy less reliant on exports to the U.S. As Shen Dingli writes from Shanghai, that means the present trade imbalance can best be addressed by China through increasing imports from the U.S. rather than cutting exports. The enormous financial resources China has accumulated from its trade surplus with the U.S., David Shambaugh suggests from Singapore, could be plowed back into the U.S. to finance the very kind of infrastructure projects Trump has promoted. If Trump can manage to restore a manufacturing base in the U.S. that is not mostly automated, it will reinforce the trajectory toward a more stable balance between the American and Chinese economies. Further, China is plotting an economic future that largely looks away from the U.S. ― through regional free trade agreements in East Asia, building out a revived Silk Road trading route that stretches across Eurasia from Beijing to Istanbul and deepening commercial ties with Africa. In short, if the U.S. and China can manage the bumps over the next few years, the root of economic conflict will resolve itself over time. But there’s a big hurdle they’ll have to get over first. For the two leaders, dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program is a continuing conundrum. The likely course ahead appears to be a hybrid of harsher sanctions ― which the U.S is pushing ― followed in time by direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which China is pressing for, according to top Chinese diplomat Fu Ying.  As Xi sat down with Trump in Florida, the American president launched his first direct military strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s airfield, where the planes which allegedly delivered this week’s deadly Syrian gas attack were based. Former NATO commander James Stavridis calls the move “proportional, tactically sound [and] professionally executed” and says it “sends a reasonable coherent strategic signal.” That signal, he suggests, was not only to Russia and Syria, but also to China and North Korea. The follow-up message Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should carry on his visit to Moscow next week, the former admiral adds, is that it must “restrain” its Syrian ally. China’s intertwined relationship with the U.S. is also getting entangled in the immigration debate. While most of that debate has focused on Mexicans and Muslims, a new schism has broken out between second and third generation Asian Americans and immigrants who have arrived in recent years from a bolder and more prosperous Middle Kingdom. Frank Wu, who chairs the prestigious Committee of 100 top Chinese-American entrepreneurs, scorns the new immigrants “from an ascendant Asia.”: “Some of our cousins, distant kin who have shown up here, are alarming. They are bigots who do not care about democracy. They believe themselves to be better than other people of color ― it hardly is worth pointing out since it is so obvious. They even suppose, not all that secretly, that they will surpass whites.” Responding furiously to this characterization from Shanghai, Rupert Li fires back that, “The Chinese-American elite were appalled by the watershed of support for Donald Trump among new Chinese arrivals.” If “they do not feel solidarity with disadvantaged groups,” he goes on to say, it is “not because they are bigoted, but because they do not consider themselves disadvantaged.”  Reflecting on events elsewhere in the world, Scott Malcomson reports on the latest turmoil in Hungary around the government’s effort to impose crippling restrictions on the Central European University, founded with the help of the Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, and other institutions that receive foreign funding. As Malcomson sees it, the anti-foreigner animus of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “self-destructive” because it isolates the country and will undermine what it needs to progress. Muhammad Sahimi worries that the tough stance of the Trump administration on Iran only boosts the chances of the hard-liners ousting reformist President Hassan Rouhani from power in upcoming elections and putting a conservative, Assad-supporting cleric in his place. Erin Fracolli and Elisa Epstein contend that what they call Trump’s “Muslim ban” harms women by identifying “honor killings” as an Islam problem in the same way he conflates the Muslim religion with terrorism in his rhetoric about “radical Islamic terrorism.”  Pax Technica author Phil Howard reports on his new research that shows “more than half the political news and information being shared by social media users in Michigan [a pivotal state that helped Trump triumph in the recent U.S. president election] was not from trusted sources.” He contrasts that experience with an election in Germany where, “for every four stories sourced to a professional news organization, there was one piece of junk.” He concludes: “Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t generate junk news, but they do serve it up to us. They are the mandatory point of passage for this junk, which means they could also be the choke point for it.” Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how CRISPR gene editing for crops can feed the 9.7 billion people our planet is expecting to host by 2050. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 апреля, 02:50

Weekend Roundup: For China And The U.S., The Solution Is In The Problem

Harvard’s Graham Allison worries that China and the U.S. risk falling into the “Thucydides Trap” ― named after the historian who chronicled the conflict between ancient Athens and Sparta ― in which rivalry between rising and established powers inevitably leads to war. More often than not, Allison’s research shows, similar rivalries throughout history have held to that pattern. The great question in this era is whether the world’s two largest economies can embark on a new departure, or if they are fated to replay an all too familiar past.  The first face-to-face meeting this week of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump is an opening indicator of which path will be taken. One summit does not make a relationship. But it does set a tone. That Donald Trump has changed his tune from charging “rape” by China on the campaign trail to inviting President Xi for a lavish repast at Mar-a-Lago is a sign that convergent interests may out of necessity forge a different future than history would suggest.  The interwoven relationship that has tightly tethered the U.S. and Chinese economies over the past three decades is the basis both of the present conflict and for resolving it. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have escaped poverty and climbed the income ladder by supplying cheap goods and produce to the likes of Walmart, Costco and Home Depot or assembling Apple iPhones and other electronics that are ubiquitous in the daily lives of Americans. This accounts for the huge trade deficit with China ― though the main reason for U.S. trade imbalances globally is simply that, since the 1970s, Americans consume more as a nation than they save and invest. As the made-for-export low-wage factory of the world, China has surely taken up jobs that might have been created in the U.S. Yet China, too, is a major importer of components for what it produces, reportedly spending more on importing microchips than oil, to take but one example. Increasingly, the fortunes of leading U.S. industries like Hollywood and Boeing depend on Chinese markets. If “the globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia,” as White House adviser Steve Bannon has declared, then therein lies the solution. Having achieved relative prosperity built upon the American-led open trading order that President Trump says he is seeking to dismantle, China now has the income and the intent to shift to a domestic consumption-driven economy less reliant on exports to the U.S. As Shen Dingli writes from Shanghai, that means the present trade imbalance can best be addressed by China through increasing imports from the U.S. rather than cutting exports. The enormous financial resources China has accumulated from its trade surplus with the U.S., David Shambaugh suggests from Singapore, could be plowed back into the U.S. to finance the very kind of infrastructure projects Trump has promoted. If Trump can manage to restore a manufacturing base in the U.S. that is not mostly automated, it will reinforce the trajectory toward a more stable balance between the American and Chinese economies. Further, China is plotting an economic future that largely looks away from the U.S. ― through regional free trade agreements in East Asia, building out a revived Silk Road trading route that stretches across Eurasia from Beijing to Istanbul and deepening commercial ties with Africa. In short, if the U.S. and China can manage the bumps over the next few years, the root of economic conflict will resolve itself over time. But there’s a big hurdle they’ll have to get over first. For the two leaders, dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program is a continuing conundrum. The likely course ahead appears to be a hybrid of harsher sanctions ― which the U.S is pushing ― followed in time by direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which China is pressing for, according to top Chinese diplomat Fu Ying.  As Xi sat down with Trump in Florida, the American president launched his first direct military strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s airfield, where the planes which allegedly delivered this week’s deadly Syrian gas attack were based. Former NATO commander James Stavridis calls the move “proportional, tactically sound [and] professionally executed” and says it “sends a reasonable coherent strategic signal.” That signal, he suggests, was not only to Russia and Syria, but also to China and North Korea. The follow-up message Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should carry on his visit to Moscow next week, the former admiral adds, is that it must “restrain” its Syrian ally. China’s intertwined relationship with the U.S. is also getting entangled in the immigration debate. While most of that debate has focused on Mexicans and Muslims, a new schism has broken out between second and third generation Asian Americans and immigrants who have arrived in recent years from a bolder and more prosperous Middle Kingdom. Frank Wu, who chairs the prestigious Committee of 100 top Chinese-American entrepreneurs, scorns the new immigrants “from an ascendant Asia.”: “Some of our cousins, distant kin who have shown up here, are alarming. They are bigots who do not care about democracy. They believe themselves to be better than other people of color ― it hardly is worth pointing out since it is so obvious. They even suppose, not all that secretly, that they will surpass whites.” Responding furiously to this characterization from Shanghai, Rupert Li fires back that, “The Chinese-American elite were appalled by the watershed of support for Donald Trump among new Chinese arrivals.” If “they do not feel solidarity with disadvantaged groups,” he goes on to say, it is “not because they are bigoted, but because they do not consider themselves disadvantaged.”  Reflecting on events elsewhere in the world, Scott Malcomson reports on the latest turmoil in Hungary around the government’s effort to impose crippling restrictions on the Central European University, founded with the help of the Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, and other institutions that receive foreign funding. As Malcomson sees it, the anti-foreigner animus of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “self-destructive” because it isolates the country and will undermine what it needs to progress. Muhammad Sahimi worries that the tough stance of the Trump administration on Iran only boosts the chances of the hard-liners ousting reformist President Hassan Rouhani from power in upcoming elections and putting a conservative, Assad-supporting cleric in his place. Erin Fracolli and Elisa Epstein contend that what they call Trump’s “Muslim ban” harms women by identifying “honor killings” as an Islam problem in the same way he conflates the Muslim religion with terrorism in his rhetoric about “radical Islamic terrorism.”  Pax Technica author Phil Howard reports on his new research that shows “more than half the political news and information being shared by social media users in Michigan [a pivotal state that helped Trump triumph in the recent U.S. president election] was not from trusted sources.” He contrasts that experience with an election in Germany where, “for every four stories sourced to a professional news organization, there was one piece of junk.” He concludes: “Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t generate junk news, but they do serve it up to us. They are the mandatory point of passage for this junk, which means they could also be the choke point for it.” Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how CRISPR gene editing for crops can feed the 9.7 billion people our planet is expecting to host by 2050. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 марта, 17:57

Зачем Германия мешает "мягкому" Brexit?

Москва, 28 марта - "Вести.Экономика". Все говорит о том, что Германия усложнит для Великобритании переговоры по вопросу Brexit, сразу после того как будет запущена статья 50 и начнется формальный двухлетний процесс переговоров по вопросу выхода Великобритании из ЕС.

28 марта, 15:58

Зачем Германия мешает "мягкому" Brexit?

Все говорит о том, что Германия усложнит для Великобритании переговоры по вопросу Brexit, сразу после того как будет запущена статья 50 и начнется формальный двухлетний процесс переговоров по вопросу выхода Великобритании из ЕС.

18 марта, 04:00

Weekend Roundup: As The West Fragments, China Cements A Path Ahead

This week we witnessed two contrasting systems of governance at work. In the Netherlands, we watched the divisive system of Western multi-party democracy struggle to contain volatile populism. In China, the annual gathering of the “two sessions” ― the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference ― demonstrated the consensus-driven nature of China’s one-party system by reaffirming ongoing reforms. While the West is fragmenting, China is cementing its path forward. The flaws in both systems are closely related to their strengths. While rough-and-tumble political battles may rage within the great tent of China’s 88 million member Communist Party, the aim of its political process is to unify the body politic in order to put a steady wind under the wings of policy decisions that, to be effective, must be carried out without a break in continuity over the long term. It is this core attribute of Chinese governance that has raised some 600 million people out of poverty in only 30 years, not to speak of other impressive accomplishments such as building a vast high-speed rail network along with other infrastructure to modernize a backward country in record time. Within this strength, of course, resides China’s chief flaw: erring on the repressive side of order over freedom to avoid fraying of the consensus. By contrast, the Western adversarial system of competitive elections divides the body politic against itself at the cost of consensus and long-term continuity in governance. In the Netherlands, the surging anti-immigrant partisans of Geert Wilders were kept in check only by the governing centrist party migrating rightward and the splintering of the rest of the vote across many parties through proportional representation. Some 28 parties competed in this election, many of them “pop-up parties” focused on one issue. Within this strength of diverse participation lies its flaw: the growing inability to forge a governing consensus out of the exploding cacophony of voices and interests. And, as we’ve seen in the United States on policies ranging from Obamacare to climate change, when all-out competitive partisanship destroys consensus among the body politic, the democratic transfer of power can mean a complete rupture from policies endorsed by most voters only four years earlier. Writing from Copenhagen about the Dutch elections, Flemming Rose, the Danish editor who sparked worldwide protests by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, condemns the anti-Islam extremism of Geert Wilders, who has called for banning the Quran. Marking the difference between liberal democracy and the authoritarian bent of populism, Rose writes that the “essence of tolerance” means “you do not ban, intimidate, threaten or use violence against speech that you deeply dislike or hate.”  Kaya Genc reflects from Istanbul on the anti-Islam climate in Europe in the context of the Dutch election, the Turkey-Netherlands spat and the “barbarian” stereotype of Turks he experienced while a graduate student in Amsterdam. “As someone deeply weary of jingoism and the political rhetoric of patriotism, I had long disliked Turkish identity politics,” he recalls of his mindset as a student. “And yet, it was also in the Netherlands that I’d realized the uncannily inescapable power of national and religious identity ― of the misery of being pigeonholed into categories inside which I couldn’t help but appear to Europeans.” Maastricht University’s Jacques Paulus Koenis takes a deeper look at voter discontent in the Netherlands. “The so-called ‘losers of globalization’ are not the only ones who vote for Wilders these days,” he writes. “Nor do these voters in many cases seriously believe that Wilders should rule the country. What matters is that he is tapping into the anxieties of many voters.” As Koenis sees it, those citizens believe that Europe’s intrusive political elites and new migrants are “undermining Dutch culture.” He concludes: “Nostalgia is what moves them into the belief that new Dutch dikes are needed: to keep an ever-more-threatening outside world out of this low country.”  Meanwhile, back at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, delegates from around China who gathered for the annual “two sessions” of that vast nation’s legislative and consultative bodies are looking ahead, not back with nostalgia. Reflecting on those gatherings, Fred Hu sees “no earth-shattering bold initiatives,” but only the three “C’s” of “caution, consistency and continuity.” In the face of global uncertainty, not least the rising protectionist sentiment in the U.S. that would dismantle the trading system upon which China’s prosperity was built, Hu writes from Beijing that China is prudently targeting “a growth rate realistically achievable by the expansion of domestic demand alone.” Akshay Shah, also writing from Beijing, argues that China’s economy won’t surpass the U.S. for at least another 10 to 15 years.  Jeremy Goldkorn describes how the annual meetings that took place this week in Beijing play an important role in shaping the political agenda, albeit guided by the Communist Party, while also educating public opinion on key issues of policy through their highly-publicized proceedings. As Goldkorn reports, one impassioned topic of debate over a new civil code would be familiar to most Americans: balancing the rights of women with those of the fetus. Writing from Hong Kong, Jean-Pierre Cabestan has few kind words and many harsh ones for China’s system of governance. Echoing populist sentiment sweeping the West, he writes that “the unchecked powers and accumulated privileges of the ruling elite have exacerbated a sense of injustice.” As Cabestan sees it, “the [Chinese Communist Party] no longer represents the workers and peasants” and corruption has not diminished, despite President Xi Jinping’s ballyhooed campaign, but only “become more discreet.” This interactive graphic prepared by WorldPost editor Peter Mellgard using a U.S. government data base visualizes China’s jailed, murdered or missing political prisoners. In an episode of “My Life, My China” produced by WorldPost’s partner in Shanghai, Guancha.cn, Ye Qinglin couldn’t disagree more with Cabestan’s sweeping negativity on his country and the political prisoner data that comes along with that. In this video Ye describes how he rejected a lucrative offer from the BBC, for whom he had worked, to make a documentary about “miserable conditions” of coal miners being exploited or peasants whose lands were seized to make way for the Olympics. Offended, he returned home for good in 2005, shed “Western standards” and began reporting instead on the “real China” about which he says there are many more positive stories to tell. Part of that real China is an effort by a small city in Shandong Province to go carbon neutral. As another reporter, David Biello writes, the men and women who govern Rizhao are seeking to change the course of “heedless growth” that has blanketed the country in pollution to make their city one of the first in China to achieve a “circular economy” where waste is turned into clean-burning fuel. Writing from Hong Kong, Tom Phillips tells U.S. President Donald Trump that he should heed the lessons from China’s bad experience of building the celebrated Great Wall. It was built on xenophobic principles, he says, and ultimately doomed an entire dynasty. As Trump’s Muslim-focused travel ban was blocked yet again, Christopher Mathias and Omar Kasrawi tell the tale of a gay refugee lawyer who helped fight it. When asked what the ban means to him as a refugee, Luis Mancheno, who fled from Ecuador to the U.S. for safety, said: “Closing the door to the people that need help the most is one of the cruelest, anti-American things that this government could have done. If I wasn’t allowed to come here as a refugee, I wouldn’t be alive today.”  Mouhanad A. Al-Rifay has a similar gratitude for America. Now based in Trump’s Washington, Al-Rifay came to the United States with his family as an asylum seeker in 2005 after direct death threats were made against them by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Though the U.S. president’s ban made him worry that he might have to flee hatred in his new home, the new American citizen says the nationwide outcry against this and other xenophobia have made him feel more safe and thankful than ever before.  Rami Adham, the so-called “toy smuggler” from Aleppo now based in Finland, is also thankful to have escaped the horrors of Syria, but returns to help ease the pain of those who are still there “living in a nightmare” with toys and other aid. On the eve of the 6th anniversary of the country’s uprising, he offered a mixed tale of hope and despair from Idlib ― where coming “to America is the last thing on people’s minds” ― and called on Trump and populist leaders in Europe to put an end to the long conflict. “While you have lived in beautiful towers engraved with your name, the people you are trying to keep out have been living under the dictatorship of one regime ... that has dictated their future by killing hundreds of thousands of those closest to them,” he says. The Future of Life Institute’s Ariel Conn this week explores whether AI will worsen income inequality as workers are demoted or displaced. Most agree, she writes, that it will exacerbate the problem. Finally, our Singularity series this week reports on a major advance in the creation of synthetic life as scientists for the first time have succeeded in creating what is commonly known as Baker’s yeast from scratch. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

04 марта, 01:26

Weekend Roundup: U.S. Founders Entrusted Elites To Save Democracy From Itself

The word “democracy” does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. Nor in the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence. That is because, as most Americans today would likely be surprised to discover, America’s Founding Fathers not only distrusted democracy but, based on their close reading of Greek and Roman history, were actually hostile to the notion that it was the best system for governing society. James Madison, the fourth U.S. president and a key author of the Federalist Papers, famously declared: “Democracy is the most vile form of government ... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” John Adams, the second American president, wrote: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Taking into account this central lesson of antiquity, the founders instead designed a mixed constitutional republic that, while rooted in consent of the governed, delegated authority to elites ― representative, indirectly elected and appointed bodies ― that could “refine and enlarge the public views” as ballast against the popular passions of prejudice and the narrow horizons of self-interested constituencies. For the founders, popular sovereignty unchecked by the cool and reasoned deliberation of the meritorious few would invite majoritarian intolerance of individual and minority rights, degenerate into mob rule and summon tyranny to restore order. “No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value,” Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers No. 47. In an interview with The WorldPost this week, political scientist Francis Fukuyama addresses the conundrum presented to the founders’ idea of governance in the face of 21st century populism. “Populism exists,” he says, “because institutions are elite-driven.” While “institutions in the past have always been controlled by the elites,” he continues, “through the presence of the internet they are losing their power. Maybe democracies don’t work too well without a certain degree of control from elites.” I would add that the great danger today is conflation by fervent populists of corrupt, out-of-touch and unresponsive elites ― that rightly should be overthrown ― with a learned and experienced elite that any large society needs to govern. As a governing ethos, know-nothingness will get you nowhere. Yet, as Pankaj Mishra observes in another WorldPost interview, the very foundation upon which elites might rehabilitate their authority has eroded. The Indian author takes the debate to both a deeper and a more global level by examining how the ressentiment against the cosmopolitan caste that has been gestating in the developing world for decades has now erupted in a mutiny against the governing narrative in “the heart of the modern West.” If the Western “truths” that have dominated the world in modern times at the expense of alternative worldviews are now themselves unraveling, where do we go next? “We are now recognizing that our modern civilization has always been incredibly fragile,” Mishra says, “since it has no recourse to any transcendental truth, as distinct from certain agreed-upon truths. And so while political and economic crises may come and go ― Trump’s presidency may implode tomorrow ― the moral and epistemological breakdown we witness today is more enduring and destructive. I would argue that the naïve people, the free-marketeers and globalizers, responsible for this state of affairs did not know what they were doing ― that they were dismantling a whole system of interlocking and necessary fictions that societies and individuals have needed since the death of God to give a degree of meaning, purpose and stability to their lives.”  The consequence, Mishra argues, is the universalization of nihilism in which the whole notion of “consensual truth” is collapsing. “Nihilism today is the single greatest threat to the modern world since its founding principles of reason, science and progress were formulated,” he concludes. It is not surprising, then, in his view, that “the subjectivization of ‘facts’” and the “fragmentation of ‘truth’” are filling up the vacuum. They are the remainder of the West’s heyday. Nowhere is the truth these days more malleable than in Russia. Writing from Moscow, Ilya Yashin marks the second anniversary this week of the assassination of his friend and opposition leader, Boris Nemstov. Yashin sees a dangerous campaign to revise recent history and roll back post-Soviet advances in the media and the rule of law in the nationalist revival under Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nick Robins-Early reports that Russian disinformation efforts have a lopsided advantage over Europeans trying to defend the integrity of their discourse as elections loom. He also highlights a speech by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban this week in which the leader expressed a new angle on nativism ― that “’ethnic homogeneity’ is key for economic success, and that ‘too much mixing causes problems.’” In a wide-ranging essay, Nicolas Berggruen examines the role of opposition movements. While raucous protests in and of themselves may make a point, he says, they also can create a sense of chaos that “is the greatest gift to parties in power, especially dictators.” Social movements that succeed, by contrast, are characterized by a broadly shared narrative, a plan, organization and leadership, Berggruen argues. This week the Berggruen Institute also hosted a discussion in Los Angeles with Sapiens and Homo Deus author Yuval Harari. The Israeli historian discussed what it means to be human in an era when we are attaining the power of gods to change our own species and create a new one ― AI. “History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods,” he says.  Former WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan looks outside the box on the troubled relations between Washington and Beijing. “The engine room of the U.S.-China relationship,” he writes, “has moved from the White House to City Hall.” While the talk in Washington is of tariffs, American mayors are wooing Chinese investors and immigrants for their local projects. Writing from Shanghai, Zhang Weiwei argues that political legitimacy comes fundamentally from the competence of leadership, as in the case of the Chinese Communist Party, that fulfills its contract with the people by delivering prosperity and security ― whether they were elected or not.   Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden see a Trump-inspired shift to China coming to Africa as the continent looks to Beijing for stability in the absence of a clear American Africa policy. Finally, our Singularity series this week asks a question about our pets that we may soon be asking about our children: should we genetically engineer dogs to make them healthier? WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

04 марта, 01:26

Weekend Roundup: U.S. Founders Entrusted Elites To Save Democracy From Itself

The word “democracy” does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. Nor in the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence. That is because, as most Americans today would likely be surprised to discover, America’s Founding Fathers not only distrusted democracy but, based on their close reading of Greek and Roman history, were actually hostile to the notion that it was the best system for governing society. James Madison, the fourth U.S. president and a key author of the Federalist Papers, famously declared: “Democracy is the most vile form of government ... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” John Adams, the second American president, wrote: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Taking into account this central lesson of antiquity, the founders instead designed a mixed constitutional republic that, while rooted in consent of the governed, delegated authority to elites ― representative, indirectly elected and appointed bodies ― that could “refine and enlarge the public views” as ballast against the popular passions of prejudice and the narrow horizons of self-interested constituencies. For the founders, popular sovereignty unchecked by the cool and reasoned deliberation of the meritorious few would invite majoritarian intolerance of individual and minority rights, degenerate into mob rule and summon tyranny to restore order. “No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value,” Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers No. 47. In an interview with The WorldPost this week, political scientist Francis Fukuyama addresses the conundrum presented to the founders’ idea of governance in the face of 21st century populism. “Populism exists,” he says, “because institutions are elite-driven.” While “institutions in the past have always been controlled by the elites,” he continues, “through the presence of the internet they are losing their power. Maybe democracies don’t work too well without a certain degree of control from elites.” I would add that the great danger today is conflation by fervent populists of corrupt, out-of-touch and unresponsive elites ― that rightly should be overthrown ― with a learned and experienced elite that any large society needs to govern. As a governing ethos, know-nothingness will get you nowhere. Yet, as Pankaj Mishra observes in another WorldPost interview, the very foundation upon which elites might rehabilitate their authority has eroded. The Indian author takes the debate to both a deeper and a more global level by examining how the ressentiment against the cosmopolitan caste that has been gestating in the developing world for decades has now erupted in a mutiny against the governing narrative in “the heart of the modern West.” If the Western “truths” that have dominated the world in modern times at the expense of alternative worldviews are now themselves unraveling, where do we go next? “We are now recognizing that our modern civilization has always been incredibly fragile,” Mishra says, “since it has no recourse to any transcendental truth, as distinct from certain agreed-upon truths. And so while political and economic crises may come and go ― Trump’s presidency may implode tomorrow ― the moral and epistemological breakdown we witness today is more enduring and destructive. I would argue that the naïve people, the free-marketeers and globalizers, responsible for this state of affairs did not know what they were doing ― that they were dismantling a whole system of interlocking and necessary fictions that societies and individuals have needed since the death of God to give a degree of meaning, purpose and stability to their lives.”  The consequence, Mishra argues, is the universalization of nihilism in which the whole notion of “consensual truth” is collapsing. “Nihilism today is the single greatest threat to the modern world since its founding principles of reason, science and progress were formulated,” he concludes. It is not surprising, then, in his view, that “the subjectivization of ‘facts’” and the “fragmentation of ‘truth’” are filling up the vacuum. They are the remainder of the West’s heyday. Nowhere is the truth these days more malleable than in Russia. Writing from Moscow, Ilya Yashin marks the second anniversary this week of the assassination of his friend and opposition leader, Boris Nemstov. Yashin sees a dangerous campaign to revise recent history and roll back post-Soviet advances in the media and the rule of law in the nationalist revival under Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nick Robins-Early reports that Russian disinformation efforts have a lopsided advantage over Europeans trying to defend the integrity of their discourse as elections loom. He also highlights a speech by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban this week in which the leader expressed a new angle on nativism ― that “’ethnic homogeneity’ is key for economic success, and that ‘too much mixing causes problems.’” In a wide-ranging essay, Nicolas Berggruen examines the role of opposition movements. While raucous protests in and of themselves may make a point, he says, they also can create a sense of chaos that “is the greatest gift to parties in power, especially dictators.” Social movements that succeed, by contrast, are characterized by a broadly shared narrative, a plan, organization and leadership, Berggruen argues. This week the Berggruen Institute also hosted a discussion in Los Angeles with Sapiens and Homo Deus author Yuval Harari. The Israeli historian discussed what it means to be human in an era when we are attaining the power of gods to change our own species and create a new one ― AI. “History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods,” he says.  Former WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan looks outside the box on the troubled relations between Washington and Beijing. “The engine room of the U.S.-China relationship,” he writes, “has moved from the White House to City Hall.” While the talk in Washington is of tariffs, American mayors are wooing Chinese investors and immigrants for their local projects. Writing from Shanghai, Zhang Weiwei argues that political legitimacy comes fundamentally from the competence of leadership, as in the case of the Chinese Communist Party, that fulfills its contract with the people by delivering prosperity and security ― whether they were elected or not.   Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden see a Trump-inspired shift to China coming to Africa as the continent looks to Beijing for stability in the absence of a clear American Africa policy. Finally, our Singularity series this week asks a question about our pets that we may soon be asking about our children: should we genetically engineer dogs to make them healthier? WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 февраля, 01:21

Weekend Roundup: A Hard Look At The Long Past And The Near Future

Sorting out the present global turmoil understandably demands our attention. But fathoming the lessons of the long past and anticipating the near future is no less important in framing the consequential choices we make today. Warning to the reader: what follows will likely disturb the safe space of those with a Panglossian outlook. A decided pessimism prevails among today’s key thinkers who look at the times ahead through the prism of historical experience. This week, Stanford University classics historian Walter Scheidel outlines the theme of his new book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. “For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years,” Scheidel writes, “peace, stability and development have rewarded those at the top of the food chain more than anybody else. Profits from business, connections and power multiplied in the hands of the few and passed between generations. But the inverse is also true: Every time the gap between rich and poor narrowed ― during the two world wars, for example ― there was massive violence, a shock to the established order.” “Yet,” he continues, “inequality” is “resilient” ― it “regularly advances once violent shock retreats.” Despite our idealistic hopes, Scheidel concludes, there is no reason to believe the future will be any different than the past: “Once genetic and cybernetic enhancements of the human body migrate from the domain of science fiction to real-life labs and clinics, the well-off will inevitably be in the best position to take advantage of these offerings, both for themselves and their offspring.” In an interview, Cambridge University astrophysicist Martin Rees ― famous for asking whether we are living through humankind’s “final century” ― tallies the promise and perils ahead. Above all, Rees is concerned about the uses and misuses of biotechnology in the coming decades. “We are already seeing that it’s becoming easier to modify the genome,” he says, “and we heard about experiments on the influenza virus to make it more virulent and transmissible. These techniques are developing very fast and have huge potential benefits but unfortunately also downsides. They are easily accessible and handled. It’s the kind of equipment that’s available at many university labs and many companies. And so the risk of error or terror in these areas is quite substantial, while regulation is very hard. It’s not like regulating nuclear activity, which requires huge special purpose facilities. Biohacking is almost a student-competitive sport.” Like Scheidel, Rees’ reading of history casts a dark shadow on the future. As he puts it, “what can be done, will be done.” And in the near term, Rees see the main challenge as intelligent robots replacing workers with living wages. “We will have to accept a big redistribution in the way the labor market is deployed,” he warns. “And in order to ensure we don’t develop even more inequality, there has to be a massive redistribution of wealth too. The money earned by robots can’t stay with a small elite ― Silicon Valley people, for instance.” Rees’ advice for the short and long-term future: “There is a great saying, ‘fortune favors the prepared mind.’” Back in the present, defenders of liberal democracy are preparing for the worst. Human Right Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes with alarm that, “I’ve spent years defending human rights around the world, but I’ve never been this worried about the future of the United States.” Roth warns that, “Experience elsewhere teaches us that [autocratic governments] can arrive with extraordinary speed, signaled not by tanks surrounding the presidential palace but by the erosion of democratic norms.” Writing from Hong Kong, Chandran Nair has had enough of America “bullying” everyone else, especially now that President Donald Trump is the culprit in the pulpit. “In response,” Nair writes in a defiant call to action, “the world should now get tough with America, and let it know that the global majority will no longer be pushed around.”  Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, sees some value in Trump’s penchant to candidly acknowledge what everyone knows to be true but won’t say. Though perhaps not quite as the president meant it when he recently said that he is open to a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Fuller agrees that “the two-state solution in practice is essentially a fraud.” Drawing on his long experience in the Middle East, he writes, “honest observers know full well that the mantra of preserving ‘the peace process’ for the two-state solution is now little more than a cover by hard-line Zionists for full Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands.” The impacts of Trump’s America are also being felt in Africa. As China widens the scope of its activities there and the U.S. steps back from the world, Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden find that many are scrutinizing whether Beijing is a partner or predator on the continent.  Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz talks with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man most known for his role in a controversial plan to build an Islamic community center near ground zero in New York. He says Muslims in America should create an “American Islam” in order to assimilate with other like-minded people of faith to combat the extremist rhetoric in their respective religions. He also notes that his Cordoba House is, “training imams who are culturally integrated into the American life and can deal with the issues of it.”  Writing from Berlin, Yermi Brenner looks at how the marginalized Roma minority community in Germany continues to struggle against racism, invisibility and the threat of deportation over seven decades after a significant fraction of its population was murdered during the Holocaust. Reporting on the tensions between South Africans and Nigerian immigrants and shopkeepers in Johannesburg, Sipho Hlongwane reminds us that xenophobia is not limited to America or Europe these days. Finally, our Singularity series this week showcases a “one-cent lab-on-a-chip” that “can diagnose cancer and infections.” WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 февраля, 01:21

Weekend Roundup: A Hard Look At The Long Past And The Near Future

Sorting out the present global turmoil understandably demands our attention. But fathoming the lessons of the long past and anticipating the near future is no less important in framing the consequential choices we make today. Warning to the reader: what follows will likely disturb the safe space of those with a Panglossian outlook. A decided pessimism prevails among today’s key thinkers who look at the times ahead through the prism of historical experience. This week, Stanford University classics historian Walter Scheidel outlines the theme of his new book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. “For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years,” Scheidel writes, “peace, stability and development have rewarded those at the top of the food chain more than anybody else. Profits from business, connections and power multiplied in the hands of the few and passed between generations. But the inverse is also true: Every time the gap between rich and poor narrowed ― during the two world wars, for example ― there was massive violence, a shock to the established order.” “Yet,” he continues, “inequality” is “resilient” ― it “regularly advances once violent shock retreats.” Despite our idealistic hopes, Scheidel concludes, there is no reason to believe the future will be any different than the past: “Once genetic and cybernetic enhancements of the human body migrate from the domain of science fiction to real-life labs and clinics, the well-off will inevitably be in the best position to take advantage of these offerings, both for themselves and their offspring.” In an interview, Cambridge University astrophysicist Martin Rees ― famous for asking whether we are living through humankind’s “final century” ― tallies the promise and perils ahead. Above all, Rees is concerned about the uses and misuses of biotechnology in the coming decades. “We are already seeing that it’s becoming easier to modify the genome,” he says, “and we heard about experiments on the influenza virus to make it more virulent and transmissible. These techniques are developing very fast and have huge potential benefits but unfortunately also downsides. They are easily accessible and handled. It’s the kind of equipment that’s available at many university labs and many companies. And so the risk of error or terror in these areas is quite substantial, while regulation is very hard. It’s not like regulating nuclear activity, which requires huge special purpose facilities. Biohacking is almost a student-competitive sport.” Like Scheidel, Rees’ reading of history casts a dark shadow on the future. As he puts it, “what can be done, will be done.” And in the near term, Rees see the main challenge as intelligent robots replacing workers with living wages. “We will have to accept a big redistribution in the way the labor market is deployed,” he warns. “And in order to ensure we don’t develop even more inequality, there has to be a massive redistribution of wealth too. The money earned by robots can’t stay with a small elite ― Silicon Valley people, for instance.” Rees’ advice for the short and long-term future: “There is a great saying, ‘fortune favors the prepared mind.’” Back in the present, defenders of liberal democracy are preparing for the worst. Human Right Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes with alarm that, “I’ve spent years defending human rights around the world, but I’ve never been this worried about the future of the United States.” Roth warns that, “Experience elsewhere teaches us that [autocratic governments] can arrive with extraordinary speed, signaled not by tanks surrounding the presidential palace but by the erosion of democratic norms.” Writing from Hong Kong, Chandran Nair has had enough of America “bullying” everyone else, especially now that President Donald Trump is the culprit in the pulpit. “In response,” Nair writes in a defiant call to action, “the world should now get tough with America, and let it know that the global majority will no longer be pushed around.”  Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, sees some value in Trump’s penchant to candidly acknowledge what everyone knows to be true but won’t say. Though perhaps not quite as the president meant it when he recently said that he is open to a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Fuller agrees that “the two-state solution in practice is essentially a fraud.” Drawing on his long experience in the Middle East, he writes, “honest observers know full well that the mantra of preserving ‘the peace process’ for the two-state solution is now little more than a cover by hard-line Zionists for full Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands.” The impacts of Trump’s America are also being felt in Africa. As China widens the scope of its activities there and the U.S. steps back from the world, Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden find that many are scrutinizing whether Beijing is a partner or predator on the continent.  Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz talks with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man most known for his role in a controversial plan to build an Islamic community center near ground zero in New York. He says Muslims in America should create an “American Islam” in order to assimilate with other like-minded people of faith to combat the extremist rhetoric in their respective religions. He also notes that his Cordoba House is, “training imams who are culturally integrated into the American life and can deal with the issues of it.”  Writing from Berlin, Yermi Brenner looks at how the marginalized Roma minority community in Germany continues to struggle against racism, invisibility and the threat of deportation over seven decades after a significant fraction of its population was murdered during the Holocaust. Reporting on the tensions between South Africans and Nigerian immigrants and shopkeepers in Johannesburg, Sipho Hlongwane reminds us that xenophobia is not limited to America or Europe these days. Finally, our Singularity series this week showcases a “one-cent lab-on-a-chip” that “can diagnose cancer and infections.” WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 февраля, 03:37

Weekend Roundup: Disarming America’s Soft Power

Presidential historian Daniel Franklin writes this week that U.S. President Donald Trump could be a once-in-an-era “reconstructive president” in the mold of Andrew Jackson, FDR and Ronald Reagan. Like those former leaders, says Franklin, he has upended the status quo by realigning partisan constituencies and departing entirely from the previous governing consensus, a shift that can be progressive or regressive. More than just having won an election, Trump is out to effect a “regime change” that will be in place for a long time to come. “There is a very good possibility that Trump will succeed,” Franklin writes. “It is hard to fight a reconstructive president. By and large Americans want to be led. My own research suggests that there is a bias in our minds towards bold leadership, no matter where it takes us. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that with human beings the facts bend to perception rather than the other way around.” Writing from Santiago, Chile, Andrés Velasco thinks that Latin America’s experience with populism also suggests that Trump’s protectionist policies will first gain momentum and produce results long before their “toxic” impact becomes clear. One of the most consequential victims of America’s radical change of course is its unique status as a beacon for a certain set of values in the world through its “soft power” appeal as a diverse nation of immigrants that has managed to live together in liberty under the rule of law. That image of America has already been fairly dashed by the package of policies and rhetoric during the first three weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. The rest of the world is warily watching the continuing assault on what the president calls the “dishonest media,” a smear chillingly close to the Nazi-era term “Lügenpresse”, or “lying press.” Many beyond U.S. borders were shocked by the blanket ban on visas from several majority-Muslim countries, which is already being contested on the streets and in the U.S. courts. Former security officials see it as a gift to terrorist recruiters. Sara Afzal surveys the attitudes toward the ban of Iranians both in the U.S. and Iran. Yet, perhaps more menacing than the ban itself has been the president’s contemptuous denigration of the independent judiciary that is hearing the case, even belittling respected jurists who don’t agree with him as “so-called judges” and less qualified than “bad high school students.”  Paul Gowder sees two factions emerging in this battle ― the “authoritarian” camp led by the president himself and the “constitutional” camp that includes the new Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who has called Trump’s comments on the judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” If the “reconstructive president” succeeds, what values will America stand for in the world at the end of this road of regime change? Soft power is arduously hard to attain but easy to lose. So far, the insistence of the U.S. courts in checking executive power actually further bolsters America’s positive image despite the new administration’s efforts. Anastasya Manuilova has seen this same steady erosion of a free press and judicial independence under President Vladimir Putin in Russia. Writing from Moscow, she surveys those who protested against Putin in 2011 for their advice to Americans. One suggestion the Russians had: “Hold your leaders accountable and don’t stop protesting. No protest is too small.” Wary of both Trump’s hints over abandoning allies in Europe and the Russian bear breathing down their necks, Naomi O’Leary reports from Narva, Estonia on how that country is training civilians to prepare for self-defense.  Benjamin von Rooj and Jeffrey Wasserstrom argue that, despite his high-profile appearance as a defender of global cooperation recently in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s increasingly authoritarian turn disqualifies his nation from taking up the “moral leadership” in the world that the Trump administration has relinquished. Paradoxically, the lack of an independent judiciary is one of the reasons they cite in dismissing a leading role for China. “Last month,” they write, “China’s highest judge came out with an unusually sharp warning against Western legal influence.” They quote the chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court of China as saying, “We should resolutely resist erroneous influence from the West: ‘constitutional democracy,’ ‘separation of powers’ and ‘independence of the judiciary.’ We must make clear our stand and dare to show the sword.” China scholar Minxin Pei also posits that Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, carried out by the Communist Party’s disciplinary inspection commission, will falter and ultimately fail without the kind of independent judiciary China’s top judge denounces. “A more independent legal system,” he writes, “not an extrajudicial body, must lead the charge against corruption in order to preserve the procedural integrity and protect the constitutional rights of the accused.” Pei also adds, “effective policing of corrupt officials is impossible without a genuinely free press.”  The free press is an issue in today’s America as well, not only because of Trump’s taunts, but because of the way “alternative facts,” hate speech and fake news spread so rapidly across social media. Frank Pasquale is concerned that extremists are “gaming” Google’s search engine and others posting algorithms. To make the tech giants more accountable he proposes five solutions: limit obscure content that is damaging and not in the public interest; label, monitor and explain hate-driven search results; audit logs of data fed into algorithmic systems; possibly ban certain content; and permit limited outside annotations of defamatory posts and hire more humans to judge complaints. The Future of Life Institute’s Ariel Conn this week explores how privacy can be protected in the era of big data. She quotes an IBM executive as saying, “It’s absolutely crucial that individuals should have the right to manage access to the data they generate.”  As all these controversies play out, Syria continues its downward spiral. Writing from Idlib, Syria, Lina Shamy relives the harrowing years leading up to Aleppo’s destruction. Her written account is accompanied by photos and an audio narration of the course her life has taken since the 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad and the brutal civil war that ensued. Finally, our Singularity series this week show how a simple new invention enables robots to make clothing. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.   EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 февраля, 03:37

Weekend Roundup: Disarming America’s Soft Power

Presidential historian Daniel Franklin writes this week that U.S. President Donald Trump could be a once-in-an-era “reconstructive president” in the mold of Andrew Jackson, FDR and Ronald Reagan. Like those former leaders, says Franklin, he has upended the status quo by realigning partisan constituencies and departing entirely from the previous governing consensus, a shift that can be progressive or regressive. More than just having won an election, Trump is out to effect a “regime change” that will be in place for a long time to come. “There is a very good possibility that Trump will succeed,” Franklin writes. “It is hard to fight a reconstructive president. By and large Americans want to be led. My own research suggests that there is a bias in our minds towards bold leadership, no matter where it takes us. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that with human beings the facts bend to perception rather than the other way around.” Writing from Santiago, Chile, Andrés Velasco thinks that Latin America’s experience with populism also suggests that Trump’s protectionist policies will first gain momentum and produce results long before their “toxic” impact becomes clear. One of the most consequential victims of America’s radical change of course is its unique status as a beacon for a certain set of values in the world through its “soft power” appeal as a diverse nation of immigrants that has managed to live together in liberty under the rule of law. That image of America has already been fairly dashed by the package of policies and rhetoric during the first three weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. The rest of the world is warily watching the continuing assault on what the president calls the “dishonest media,” a smear chillingly close to the Nazi-era term “Lügenpresse”, or “lying press.” Many beyond U.S. borders were shocked by the blanket ban on visas from several majority-Muslim countries, which is already being contested on the streets and in the U.S. courts. Former security officials see it as a gift to terrorist recruiters. Sara Afzal surveys the attitudes toward the ban of Iranians both in the U.S. and Iran. Yet, perhaps more menacing than the ban itself has been the president’s contemptuous denigration of the independent judiciary that is hearing the case, even belittling respected jurists who don’t agree with him as “so-called judges” and less qualified than “bad high school students.”  Paul Gowder sees two factions emerging in this battle ― the “authoritarian” camp led by the president himself and the “constitutional” camp that includes the new Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who has called Trump’s comments on the judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” If the “reconstructive president” succeeds, what values will America stand for in the world at the end of this road of regime change? Soft power is arduously hard to attain but easy to lose. So far, the insistence of the U.S. courts in checking executive power actually further bolsters America’s positive image despite the new administration’s efforts. Anastasya Manuilova has seen this same steady erosion of a free press and judicial independence under President Vladimir Putin in Russia. Writing from Moscow, she surveys those who protested against Putin in 2011 for their advice to Americans. One suggestion the Russians had: “Hold your leaders accountable and don’t stop protesting. No protest is too small.” Wary of both Trump’s hints over abandoning allies in Europe and the Russian bear breathing down their necks, Naomi O’Leary reports from Narva, Estonia on how that country is training civilians to prepare for self-defense.  Benjamin von Rooj and Jeffrey Wasserstrom argue that, despite his high-profile appearance as a defender of global cooperation recently in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s increasingly authoritarian turn disqualifies his nation from taking up the “moral leadership” in the world that the Trump administration has relinquished. Paradoxically, the lack of an independent judiciary is one of the reasons they cite in dismissing a leading role for China. “Last month,” they write, “China’s highest judge came out with an unusually sharp warning against Western legal influence.” They quote the chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court of China as saying, “We should resolutely resist erroneous influence from the West: ‘constitutional democracy,’ ‘separation of powers’ and ‘independence of the judiciary.’ We must make clear our stand and dare to show the sword.” China scholar Minxin Pei also posits that Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, carried out by the Communist Party’s disciplinary inspection commission, will falter and ultimately fail without the kind of independent judiciary China’s top judge denounces. “A more independent legal system,” he writes, “not an extrajudicial body, must lead the charge against corruption in order to preserve the procedural integrity and protect the constitutional rights of the accused.” Pei also adds, “effective policing of corrupt officials is impossible without a genuinely free press.”  The free press is an issue in today’s America as well, not only because of Trump’s taunts, but because of the way “alternative facts,” hate speech and fake news spread so rapidly across social media. Frank Pasquale is concerned that extremists are “gaming” Google’s search engine and others posting algorithms. To make the tech giants more accountable he proposes five solutions: limit obscure content that is damaging and not in the public interest; label, monitor and explain hate-driven search results; audit logs of data fed into algorithmic systems; possibly ban certain content; and permit limited outside annotations of defamatory posts and hire more humans to judge complaints. The Future of Life Institute’s Ariel Conn this week explores how privacy can be protected in the era of big data. She quotes an IBM executive as saying, “It’s absolutely crucial that individuals should have the right to manage access to the data they generate.”  As all these controversies play out, Syria continues its downward spiral. Writing from Idlib, Syria, Lina Shamy relives the harrowing years leading up to Aleppo’s destruction. Her written account is accompanied by photos and an audio narration of the course her life has taken since the 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad and the brutal civil war that ensued. Finally, our Singularity series this week show how a simple new invention enables robots to make clothing. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.   EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

01 февраля, 18:53

Лондонский институт пророчит третью волну кризиса в ЕС

Привлеченные сотрудники Лондонской школы экономических и политических наук полагают, что введение мер по государственной поддержке банковского сектора в Италии может запустить третью волну госвмешательства в Евросоюзе. В Лондонской школе экономических и политических наук задаются вопросом: запустит ли поддержка Италией собственных банков новую волну государственного вмешательства в Европейском союзе? Статья под таким заголовком опубликована на официальном сайте Института. Авторы - бывший старший экономист Минфина Италии Лоренцо Кодогно и журналист ведущего итальянского финансово-экономического издания "Il Sole 24 Ore" Мара Монти. Итак, 21 декабря 2016 года, пишут авторы, парламент Италии одобрил увеличение лимита заимствования в государственном секторе до 20 млрд евро (1,2% ВВП) для поддержки финансовых учреждений. В Банке Италии заявили, что это - необходимый шаг, так как многие банки сталкиваются с рядом проблем: низкие потенциал роста и инфляция, слабая диверсификация бизнес-моделей и другие. 23 декабря правительство страны постановило создать фонд для поддержки банковского сектора - до 20 млрд евро. Средства обеспечат приток капитала и ликвидность проблемных финансовых учреждений, защитят вкладчиков. Проблемы некоторых слабых банков будут таким образом решены. Первым извлечет выгоду из этого третий по величине банк - Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). 22 декабря в банке заявили, что не могут к концу года завершить докапитализацию на 5 млрд евро, в соответствии с указаниями Европейского Центробанка (ЕЦБ). В результате MPS на следующий день получает экстренную государственную поддержку, а 26 декабря объявляет об увеличении запроса капитала до 8,8 млрд евро, которые поступят уже из средств нового, созданного правительством Фонда. "Это последняя жертва европейского банковского кризиса, который начался в 2007 году и продолжается в различных формах и по сей день", - говорится в материале. Кризис оказал значительное влияние на банки во всем Евросоюзе, и для снижения негативных последствий власти ЕС одобрили государственную помощь финансовым учреждениям: рекапитализацию, меры по сокращению активов, предоставление гарантий, а также другие меры по поддержанию ликвидности. Первые две категории в сумме показывают фактические денежные средства, выделяемые на поддержку банковского сектора. Другие меры - только условные обязательства. Во всем ЕС общая сумма рекапитализации достигла 802,1 млрд евро, объем фактически использованных средств - 453, 3 млрд за период с 2008 по 2014 годы. Сумма рекапитализации и кризисных фондов в 2014 году составила 641,8 млрд евро или 4,6% от ВВП Евросоюза. На обеспечение ликвидности разрешили выделить до 229,7 млрд евро, а использовали только 105 млрд евро. Больше всех использовали фонды рекапитализации в Великобритании - 100,1 млрд евро за период с 2008 по 2014 годы. В то же время в Германии потратили 80 млрд евро на меры по обесцениванию активов. Авторы, изучив фактические суммы, пришли к выводу, что Берлин потратился на поддержку финансового сектора больше всех - 144,1 млрд евро или 4,8% от ВВП. Суммируя рекапитализацию и обесцененные активы Германии, Великобритании, Ирландии, Бельгии, Нидерландов, Дании, Люксембурга, Австрии и Франции получилось 92% от господдержки, использованной в ЕС в 2008-2010 годах. Во время первой фазы кризиса объемы поддержки были ограниченными: 4,1 млрд евро займов в Италии (в основном, для MPS в 2009 году), 13,7 млрд для Испании, 3,1 млрд - Португалии, 3,8 млрд - Греции. Италия сейчас, отмечают авторы, единственная страна, которая применяет меры государственной поддержки банков, которые уже не разрешаются по европейским правилам. Поэтому для внедрения "предохранительной рекапитализации" используются европейские Директивы по реструктуризации и санации банков. Не ясно, будет ли 20 млрд евро достаточно Италии для интервенции в банковском секторе. Авторы полагают, что существует вероятность того, что дополнительная помощь итальянским банкам со стороны государства повысит сильные оценки на финансовых рынках и привлечет больше инвесторов в восстановление экономики. В других странах менее вероятно, что банки смогут сокращать запасы без государственного вмешательства. То есть, итальянский пример может запустить третью волну госвмешательства в странах, не справляющихся с обслуживанием невозвратных кредитов, и с более низкой вероятностью того, что вливания капитала через некоторое время произведут положительную доходность. Так, в 2008-2009 годах массовое государственное вмешательство в банковский сектор пострадавших, в основном, Германии, Великобритании, Ирландии, Бельгии, Голландии, Дании, Люксембурга, Австрии и Франции привели к меньшим экономическим последствиям. Вторая волна началась с кризиса в Греции. Европейские политики захотели разорвать связь между государствами и банками и заявили: "больше ни разу". Это привело к тому, что в 2013 году повторно ввели правила государственной помощи финансовому сектору, а затем и Директивы по реструктуризации и санации банков, которые вступили в силу в январе 2016 года. Государственное вмешательство ограничили до такой степени, что в Испании, например, европейские деньги стали буквально необходимостью. Положение с тех пор изменилось, и европейские рамки начали сжиматься, заставляя инвесторов и вкладчиков платить за любое будущее кризиса. Ситуация продолжала ухудшаться до сегодняшнего кризиса в Италии, что относится к остаточным явлениям предыдущей волны. "Сегодняшние проблемы в банковском секторе в Италии являются управляемыми и, вероятно, потребуется значительно меньше государственных денег, чем в прошлом, и в других странах. Тем не менее, запас невозвратных кредитов намного выше в других периферийных странах, и, таким образом, больше жертв не ожидается в течение 2017 года", - заключили авторы.(https://sm-news.ru/news/a...)

21 января, 02:09

Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown

This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of lifting up the left behind, which the political establishment he ousted could not do. Yet, anyone with the slightest sense of history must also worry how his path to power will define what he does with it. The debasement of the democratic discourse introduced during Trump’s election campaign and since has already inflicted damage that cannot be easily undone. The level of xenophobic demonization of the world outside and enemies within, like his impulsive invective unleashed against even marginal critics, has been unprecedented for any presidential candidate in memory. Perhaps most dangerously, his effort to delegitimize any media, and even denigrate official intelligence agencies, that won’t play along with his fast and loose use of facts or distortion of reality aims to make all information suspect. In this Orwellian universe, truth then becomes only what the self-anointed tribune of the people, speaking on their behalf, declares it is. Fortunately, the Trump electoral mandate fell far short of a majority in a country that has a more diverse and pluralistic civil society than other times and places (such as 20th century Europe) where demagogues have risen to power. Robust cultural resistance will be part and parcel of the Trump years. Whole swaths of the nation, even entire states like California, will stand up and push back. Several polls already show that there is more popular opposition than support for Trump as he enters office. Outside the U.S., concerns abound over what the new president will do next. Angst is probably the greatest south of the border, in Mexico. In grappling with Trump, Sergio Muñoz Bata advises Mexico to look back to its proud history of standing up to the “colossus of the north.” James Zogby predicts that if Trump follows through on his promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it “would ignite a spark that would set the region aflame.” Writing from Australia, Helen Clark says the possibility of an American retreat from Asia and rising tensions in the South China Sea are putting the region on edge. Nick Robins-Early interviews an independent Russian journalist who says Russian media coverage of Trump is so sympathetic, “it’s getting bizarre.” Peter Wittig, German ambassador to the U.S., asserts that we need a robust transatlantic alliance more than ever to counter terrorism, deal with Russia and create growth and jobs.  Within the U.S., Juan Escalante, an undocumented immigrant, lays out his emergency plan in case the Trump administration tries to deport his family. A Pakistani Muslim immigrant whose visa is up for renewal this summer, Mahira Tiwana tells us that despite feeling “other” in Trump’s America, she is not ready to give up on the “American dream” yet. Sina Toossi worries that Iranian-Americans will lose the voice they gained under Obama and that the Iran nuclear deal will be dismantled, worsening U.S. relations with Iran. Richard Eskow addresses Americans who voted for Trump because they felt left behind, saying Trump will let them down and that then, the working class should create a “grand alliance,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated. Filmmaker Ethan Coen pens a Dr. Seuss-style poem about Trump, saying, “He’ll change some people used to say / Calm down after Election Day / But Putin and the KKK knew / Trumpet always be that way.” Jon Deutsch suggests the plus side of a Trump presidency could be the disruption of a political system that is long overdue for reform. Ivan Eland argues the U.S. intelligence community ― comprised of 17 huge agencies that don’t communicate effectively ― needs a shake-up, and Trump― who criticized intelligence officials after the release of reports about Russians hacking the election ― may make it happen. Howard Fineman reflects on Obama’s legacy, maintaining that his presidency worked “moderately well in domestic affairs, less well in the world ... is likely to be regarded more as transitional than transformative ... and ... feels oddly more like the end of an era than the beginning of the one he promised.” As Obama and his world order said goodbye, this week also saw China’s President Xi Jinping looking to fill a global power gap. Xi became the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, and he gave a speech with strong messages on globalization and climate change. Jane Cai and Frank Tang responded to his presence at the summit, writing, “With choking smog, a weakening currency and a widening wealth gap at home and a fragmented global capitalist system abroad, President Xi Jinping is determined to take advantage of an elite forum to assure the world that China is doing fine and is ready to help pull the world together.” From Beijing, Akshay Shah and Carole Bernard paint another picture, sharing charts they made using new data that show warning signs that China could be headed for a financial crisis. In a WorldPost feature, Danielle Mackey reports from San Salvador that a U.S. program meant to help Central American refugees is leaving most in danger. Saskia Sassen contends global firms and local elites who take land from farmers are partly to blame for skyrocketing violence in Central America. Edward Alden explains why, if Trump wants good jobs and investment, he needs to shape rules for foreign investment competition to avoid a race to the bottom in wage, consumer and environmental standards. From Helsinki, Heikki Hiilamo explores the potential of Finland’s new program testing out basic income for unemployed citizens. “As the world begins to see the impacts of globalized society with the elections of new leaders ― including Mr. Trump ―” he writes, “the answer to the fears of declining economies may just be a basic income system.” Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how cellular reprogramming boosted the lifespan of mice by 30 percent. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.   EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 января, 02:09

Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown

This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of lifting up the left behind, which the political establishment he ousted could not do. Yet, anyone with the slightest sense of history must also worry how his path to power will define what he does with it. The debasement of the democratic discourse introduced during Trump’s election campaign and since has already inflicted damage that cannot be easily undone. The level of xenophobic demonization of the world outside and enemies within, like his impulsive invective unleashed against even marginal critics, has been unprecedented for any presidential candidate in memory. Perhaps most dangerously, his effort to delegitimize any media, and even denigrate official intelligence agencies, that won’t play along with his fast and loose use of facts or distortion of reality aims to make all information suspect. In this Orwellian universe, truth then becomes only what the self-anointed tribune of the people, speaking on their behalf, declares it is. Fortunately, the Trump electoral mandate fell far short of a majority in a country that has a more diverse and pluralistic civil society than other times and places (such as 20th century Europe) where demagogues have risen to power. Robust cultural resistance will be part and parcel of the Trump years. Whole swaths of the nation, even entire states like California, will stand up and push back. Several polls already show that there is more popular opposition than support for Trump as he enters office. Outside the U.S., concerns abound over what the new president will do next. Angst is probably the greatest south of the border, in Mexico. In grappling with Trump, Sergio Muñoz Bata advises Mexico to look back to its proud history of standing up to the “colossus of the north.” James Zogby predicts that if Trump follows through on his promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it “would ignite a spark that would set the region aflame.” Writing from Australia, Helen Clark says the possibility of an American retreat from Asia and rising tensions in the South China Sea are putting the region on edge. Nick Robins-Early interviews an independent Russian journalist who says Russian media coverage of Trump is so sympathetic, “it’s getting bizarre.” Peter Wittig, German ambassador to the U.S., asserts that we need a robust transatlantic alliance more than ever to counter terrorism, deal with Russia and create growth and jobs.  Within the U.S., Juan Escalante, an undocumented immigrant, lays out his emergency plan in case the Trump administration tries to deport his family. A Pakistani Muslim immigrant whose visa is up for renewal this summer, Mahira Tiwana tells us that despite feeling “other” in Trump’s America, she is not ready to give up on the “American dream” yet. Sina Toossi worries that Iranian-Americans will lose the voice they gained under Obama and that the Iran nuclear deal will be dismantled, worsening U.S. relations with Iran. Richard Eskow addresses Americans who voted for Trump because they felt left behind, saying Trump will let them down and that then, the working class should create a “grand alliance,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated. Filmmaker Ethan Coen pens a Dr. Seuss-style poem about Trump, saying, “He’ll change some people used to say / Calm down after Election Day / But Putin and the KKK knew / Trumpet always be that way.” Jon Deutsch suggests the plus side of a Trump presidency could be the disruption of a political system that is long overdue for reform. Ivan Eland argues the U.S. intelligence community ― comprised of 17 huge agencies that don’t communicate effectively ― needs a shake-up, and Trump― who criticized intelligence officials after the release of reports about Russians hacking the election ― may make it happen. Howard Fineman reflects on Obama’s legacy, maintaining that his presidency worked “moderately well in domestic affairs, less well in the world ... is likely to be regarded more as transitional than transformative ... and ... feels oddly more like the end of an era than the beginning of the one he promised.” As Obama and his world order said goodbye, this week also saw China’s President Xi Jinping looking to fill a global power gap. Xi became the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, and he gave a speech with strong messages on globalization and climate change. Jane Cai and Frank Tang responded to his presence at the summit, writing, “With choking smog, a weakening currency and a widening wealth gap at home and a fragmented global capitalist system abroad, President Xi Jinping is determined to take advantage of an elite forum to assure the world that China is doing fine and is ready to help pull the world together.” From Beijing, Akshay Shah and Carole Bernard paint another picture, sharing charts they made using new data that show warning signs that China could be headed for a financial crisis. In a WorldPost feature, Danielle Mackey reports from San Salvador that a U.S. program meant to help Central American refugees is leaving most in danger. Saskia Sassen contends global firms and local elites who take land from farmers are partly to blame for skyrocketing violence in Central America. Edward Alden explains why, if Trump wants good jobs and investment, he needs to shape rules for foreign investment competition to avoid a race to the bottom in wage, consumer and environmental standards. From Helsinki, Heikki Hiilamo explores the potential of Finland’s new program testing out basic income for unemployed citizens. “As the world begins to see the impacts of globalized society with the elections of new leaders ― including Mr. Trump ―” he writes, “the answer to the fears of declining economies may just be a basic income system.” Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how cellular reprogramming boosted the lifespan of mice by 30 percent. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.   EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 января, 11:23

FTSE 100 hits another record high; Davos founder criticises populism – as it happened

Sterling recovers after hitting 10-week low against the dollar as investors fret about the lack of details about BrexitFTSE 100 posts nine day record breaking runWEF’s Schwab criticises populism as Davos loomsPound was down against euro and dollar again todayCity bosses warn of Brexit job losses 5.55pm GMT While the FTSE 100 was breaking new records, European markets were more subdued but still managed to end the day in positive territory, for the most part. The final scores showed: 4.41pm GMT The FTSE 100 has closed at a record high for the ninth day running, breaking a record which has stood for nearly 20 years.The index finished up 0.53% at a new peak of 7275.47, bettering the eight day winning streak recorded in May 1997 as Tony Blair’s Labour won the general election. Continue reading...

07 января, 03:11

Weekend Roundup: America’s Crisis Of Social Intelligence

If the recent U.S. presidential election campaign was about defining American reality, little has been decided. The ongoing inability to arrive at a shared worldview or even to agree on basic facts, abetted by a media that thrives on adversity to monetize attention, is deadly for the discourse in any democracy. This crisis of social intelligence in which the perception of reality is unmoored from objective observation is even more consequential than the highly damaging quarrel between the official U.S. intelligence agencies and President-elect Donald Trump over Russian influence meddling. But the two are linked. None of the intelligence professionals I know would ever consider themselves infallible. Yet they do strive mightily to establish the facts and resist partisan pressures to slant their findings. Professional intelligence analysis seeks to root out false signals, disinformation, unfounded rumor and subjective opinion. It is, in effect, the opposite of peer-driven social media which now has the most influence over American hearts and minds including, apparently, over the incoming commander-in-chief. While the joint report on the Russian hacks released last week by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security was scored by some as less than conclusive, former NATO commander James Stavridis and cybersecurity expert Dave Weinstein believe it was highly effective. “Publicly laying this level of detail out sets a dramatic precedent that could serve a significant blow to Russia’s current and future cyberoperations in the U.S. and elsewhere,” they write. “The technical details of the report constitute an intelligence windfall for ordinary network defenders who have been starving for rich real-time threat information from the federal government to protect their systems against sophisticated actors.” A further report released Friday by U.S. intelligence agencies concludes that Russia aimed “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency” and that “Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” Writing from Moscow, Maria Snegovaya reports that most commentators there have greeted President Barack Obama’s recently announced sanctions in response to Russian hacking with “mockery and derision.” Official Russia, she says, has offered the usual retort: deny then distort.  If identifying and shutting down hackers has become a key task of intelligence agencies in these cyber times, the new challenge for education is to provide young people with the tools of social intelligence so they can tell fact from fabrication on social media. Stanford professor Sam Wineburg lays out the steps educators need to take to help students discern what is fake news or not. “The tools we’ve invented are handling us,“ he says, “not the other way around.” Teacher Lynn Kelley tells her students they fall victim to fake news when they lack the critical distance to be aware of their own biases and assumptions or when they are unable to evaluate claims without the relevant historical knowledge. Natalie Jackson reports on a poll that says most Americans think tweets are not the way a president should communicate.  The scientific consensus on climate change is perhaps the most contested fact by the new powers to be in Washington. These stunning motion graphics compiled by James Warner illustrate the toll a warming climate took on the planet in 2016. Dominique Mosbergen reports that, indeed, 2016 was the hottest year on record.  Nicolas Berggruen and I suggest how the incoming U.S. administration can promote renewable energy while creating jobs and security for Americans by jointly investing with China and Mexico in the infrastructure of a “solar border” instead of a wall. Guy Standing argues that a universal basic income would be a bulwark against far-right populism because it provides a secure economic base in people’s lives. “The response to these darkening times,” he writes, “must be to devise and rally support for a new income distribution system.” In other global developments, yet another terror attack hit Istanbul on New Year’s Eve at a fashionable nightclub on the banks of the Bosphorus. Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz reports that, despite the aims of the terrorists, the responses to the attack are serving to unite a divided country. Mercy Corps’ Michael Bowers looks ahead to the humanitarian crises that should garner more attention in 2017 – in Yemen, South Sudan and Lake Chad. Ali Rodriguez reports that the economic situation has become so dire in Venezuela that even talented artists committed to the opposition can’t afford to stay and are fleeing. Former Iranian National Security Council member Seyed Hossein Mousavian sees the potential for hope in the incoming U.S. administration. “While it might sound counterintuitive,” he writes, “Republican control of Congress and the presidency presents an opportunity for successful U.S.- Iran diplomacy. The U.S. government is now able to act in unison, enabling for novel approaches towards the region that may have previously been politically impossible.” In his piece, Mousavian also lists what he believes President-elect Donald Trump should know about Iran. One point is that America’s military presence in the Middle East has created instability there. Interestingly, while chaos gripping much of the Mideast is leading to disengagement by world powers, Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden explore why China is actually looking to invest more in the region. In recent years, China was also always the poster child for the worst pollution in the world that came along with rapid growth. Now that China is trying to clean up its act, and India has joined the club of rapid growth, it is facing its own challenges. Bhargav Krishna writes from New Delhi that, “India’s under-funded public health system is straining to cope with the increasing burden of pollution-driven illnesses.” Writing from Hong Kong Wang Xiangwei reports that President Xi Jinping, recently donned “a core leader,” denounced resistance to his reforms by local officials at a Politburo meeting this week after which his comments were splashed across national media. Former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei argues that, despite Brexit and the Trump election, globalization is not doomed; it is just shifting East with China in a leading position. Taking a comprehensive strategic view of world events, Zbigniew Brzezinski proposes that the only effective response to the present crisis of global power is trilateral cooperation among the U.S., China and Russia. He warns that, “The U.S. should not act towards China as if it were already an enemy; significantly, it should not favor India as America’s principal ally in Asia. This would almost guarantee a closer connection between China and Russia. Nothing is more dangerous to the U.S. than such a close connection.” Our Singularity series this week looks at the technological developments to watch in 2017 – artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, decentralized peer-to-peer networks, biosynthetic labs and autonomous vehicles. Finally, our latest column by the Future of Life Institute reminds us that, in many ways, 2016 was a year of hope with advances in AI and health as well as new moves to reduce the global number of nuclear weapons. WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 декабря 2016, 21:32

Year-End Roundup: In 2016, The World Passed The Tipping Point Into A Perilous New Era

In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era. The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era,” I continued, “future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike.” Revolt Against Global Elites  Economics and technology forged the worldwide convergence we have seen with globalization over recent decades. But as people lose any sense of control over their fate in this process, culture and politics engender the opposite ― a divergent search for shelter in the familiar ways of life that register a dignity of recognition among one’s own kind and constitute identity against the swell of anonymous forces.  The determination to “take back control” across the Western democracies among those dispossessed by change was explosively expressed in 2016 in a widespread revolt against the elite custodians of the status quo through Brexit, the Trump victory and the ongoing anti-establishment insurgency in Europe.  The “Great Reaction of 2016” may well have been justified because of the decay of democracies captured by organized special interests. Too many were left behind by unresponsive insiders. Yet the populist character of this political awakening threatens more chaos ahead rather than fixing what ails today’s vexed societies. “Populism appeals to the ‘will of people,’ Julian Baggini wrote in a piece for us last year, “but is actually profoundly undemocratic. Democracy is about the negotiation of competing interests, the balancing of different values. Populism, in contrast, is a kind of mob rule. Where there is complexity, it offers simple solutions. Instead of seeking common ground, it looks to exaggerate the differences between them and us. The unquestioned righteousness of its own cause and means to its ends leads to the demonization of those it opposes.” The Turn Toward Autocracy and Nativism The close cousin of populist politics is the affinity for rule by strongmen who fashion themselves as tribunes of the people. In the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tightened the screws in the place once thought to be the model of democracy with Islamic characteristics. In an interview right after the failed coup, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak lamented the new course of events: “There was already a rise in illiberal democracy in Turkey. There was already a rise in authoritarianism. The country was already sliding backwards and now this! The ballot box in itself,” she said in words that apply to the West as well, “is not enough to render a system a ‘democracy.’ A true democracy needs separation of powers, rule of law, freedom of speech, women’s rights, LGBT rights, free and diverse media and independent academia. Without all these institutions and values you can only have ‘majoritarianism.’ And majoritarianism is not the same thing as democracy.”  Writing from New Delhi, Shashi Tharoor placed a similar slide in India toward autocratic rule, intolerance and nationalist assertion in the global context: “The global backlash against the forces that have defined the first decade and a half of the 21st century has taken on a nativist hue everywhere,” he said. “In Europe and America, this has involved racist hostility to immigrants and minorities (whether ethnically or religious defined). In India, too, the ruling party rose through demonizing Muslims and stigmatizing political and social dissenters. Since such negative messaging requires a positive counterpart, nationalism has filled the breach, as a majoritarian narrative has sought to subsume each country’s diverse political tendencies into an artificial mandated unity masquerading as patriotism.” Social Media, Russian Hacks and Surveillance Capitalism The newfound prevalence of social media has been part and parcel of this year’s momentous shift. As we reported in our 2016 Global Thought Leaders analysis, the passionate political environment of 2016 appears to have marked the inflection point when the influence of individuals sharing information with their peers on social media surpassed that of established media platforms. “This shift matches the inversion of the old pyramid in which the authority and influence of elites in both society and the media held the most sway over the majority of the population,” we noted in early December. “The separation of authoritative knowledge from influence in a world where the social medium is not only the message, but the route to power,” we continued, “is a menacing turn for society.“ The internet activist Wael Ghonim, whose Facebook posts helped spark the Arab Spring in Egypt, concurs. While social media did not create the passions behind hate speech and intolerance, he said in a WorldPost interview in October, “there is no doubt that the algorithmic structure of social media amplified and abetted the turn to mobocracy. The internet has empowered the masses and introduced a more decentralized medium for communicating with each other.” But,” he asked, “is this so-called ‘liquid democracy’ without any form of meritocracy that sorts out the wheat from the chaff a good thing for society?” For Ghonim, the spread of a post-fact discourse of peer-driven mobocracy creates a new challenge. “While once social media was seen as a liberating means to speak truth to power,” he said, “now the issue is how to speak truth to social media.” A related, and equally menacing, facet of the incoming era is the emergence of a new “code war” that reached fresh heights this year through Russian influence meddling in the U.S. presidential election. Writing from Moscow, Fyodor Lukyanov reflected that the U.S. is just now getting a taste of its own medicine after intervening in other countries, including by trying to influence democratic elections, for decades.  Zbigniew Brzezinski has no doubts Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in seeking to influence the U.S. election since he is in absolute control of the state, including the intelligence agencies. While acknowledging the U.S. has meddled for years in other democracies, Brzezinski nonetheless recognized that, “The new methods give activities of this sort a wider scope than ever before. And thus they are indeed more influential and effective than ever before. That is new and, of course, deeply troubling.” Toomas Ilves, the former president of Estonia, expects more cyberattacks from Russia as elections loom in Europe in the coming year. “The conundrum that Europe will face,” he wrote from Tallinn recently, “is whether or not to use illiberal methods to safeguard the liberal state. … Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy.” Oliver Stone, who is preparing a new film based on his conversations with President Putin, has his doubts about Russia’s involvement. But he, too, agreed that we are now embarked on a “digital arms race” due in his view to the first use by the U.S. of offensive digital weapons, like the Stuxnet virus that disabled Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. In a WorldPost interview in September that focused mostly on his film “Snowden,” the Hollywood director worried as much about the invasion of privacy by the private sector as by the state. “Companies like Google profit enormously from data mining of your personal searches, behavior and habits,” he said. “There is more money in selling that data than in selling a product. It’s surveillance capitalism. It really is a new kind of totalitarianism.” AI, Algorithms and the Religious Imagination Another game-changing development in technology that continued to advance rapidly in 2016 is artificial intelligence, or AI. In April, the Berggruen Institute gathered top scientists and philosophers in Palo Alto to discuss the promises and perils of AI. While many saw enormous benefits in the short term, for example through the diagnostic capacity of big data for health care, the longer term was more concerning. Bill Joy, who helped develop the “Java Language Specification” software, warned, as but one example, that sophisticated new gene editing technology has the potential to “eliminate genetic diversity.”  Sapiens author Yuval Harari followed up this theme in an interview we published in May: “The whole of science is converging on this master idea of processing data in an algorithmic way, and this will cause the whole of economics and politics to converge on the same idea,” he argued. “The whole of biology since Darwin can be summarized in three words: ‘Organisms are algorithms.’ Simultaneously, computer scientists have been learning how to create better and better electronic algorithms. Now these two waves … are merging around this master concept of the algorithm, and their merger will create a tsunami that will wash over everything in its way.” In a reflection on the peril to the person from these developments, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio vigorously resisted the idea that being can be reduced to an algorithm. In a related essay, I pondered how scientific advances are resurrecting the religious imagination. “The more scientific discovery reveals,” I wrote, “ the more we realize it can’t answer the great existential questions.”  Interdependence Works Both Ways 2016 also demonstrated just how connected the world really is. We saw how China’s economic slump is testing Brazil’s democracy. The deep recession there due to slack demand by China for the South American nation’s commodities exposed the political cracks in the system, illustrating that the interdependence which giveth can also take away. As the revered former president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, wrote in the wake of the now-ousted President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the cracks in the country’s democracy result from the same causes as in the advanced nations. “At the core of this crisis is the widening gap between people’s aspirations and the capacity of political institutions to respond to the demands of society,” he wrote. “It is one of the ironies of our age that this deficit of trust in political institutions coexists with the rise of citizens capable of making the choices that shape their lives and influence the future of their societies.” In another example of how what happens in one part of the world impacts others far away, the recapture of Aleppo by Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Russian allies in December after years of horrific civil war coincided with the Christmastime attack in Berlin by a suspect who was believed to be an asylum-seeker with ties to Islamist terror groups. This tragic event likely tipped the scales decisively in favor of anti-European Union and anti-immigrant political forces which have been gaining momentum in reaction to the massive refugee influx, including of Syrians fleeing the carnage at home. As a WorldPost editorial summarized the situation: “The European idea, which has been losing luster for years, looks to be the latest and most consequential casualty of a world in turmoil that stretches from the rubble of Aleppo to the World War II memorial ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm church, near where the Christmas market attack took place in Berlin.” Where Hope Remains The temptation to blame refugees for Europe’s woes must take in the broader picture, Pope Francis told our outgoing Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard, in an interview. He called on Europe to “rediscover its capacity to integrate” plural cultures. But the Holy Father didn’t mince words about the dynamic he sees behind terrorism and the refugee crisis. “In the face of Islamic terrorism,” he told Maillard, who is also an editor of Le Croix, “it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in [which] an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, ‘We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have 50.’” When politics divides instead of unites, walls off instead of embraces, spiritual authorities like Pope Francis and artists or musicians like Yo-Yo Ma step into the breach to sustain our humanity. As we wrote in June, highlighting the release of the Silk Road Ensemble documentary, “The Music of Strangers,” the famed cellist is the pope’s spiritual cousin in this cause, sounding the healing chord of fellowship instead of enmity. More than a musician, he, too, is a guiding spirit who rises to the challenge of a world unraveling. “To be able to put oneself in another’s shoes without prejudgment is an essential skill,” Yo-Yo Ma once told The WorldPost. “Empathy comes when you understand something deeply through arts and literature and can thus make unexpected connections. These parallels bring you closer to things that would otherwise seem far away. Empathy is the ultimate quality that acknowledges our identity as members of one human family.” Finally, this year we celebrated Charles Taylor, who was awarded the 2016 Berggruen Prize for ideas that shape the world, as the “anti-xenophobe philosopher.” In an overview, Berggruen Institute president, Craig Calhoun, summarized the key works of the Canadian philosopher. And in a related editorial we wrote about how the man is an important figure for our time, and indeed, for this year: “It is Taylor’s thinking on the recognition of irreducible diversity in an interdependent world of plural identities ― and how societies can cope with this reality ― that gives him urgency in this era of Trump, Brexit, the burkini ban and the rise of the anti-immigrant right in Europe.”  WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 декабря 2016, 21:32

Year-End Roundup: In 2016, The World Passed The Tipping Point Into A Perilous New Era

In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era. The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era,” I continued, “future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike.” Revolt Against Global Elites  Economics and technology forged the worldwide convergence we have seen with globalization over recent decades. But as people lose any sense of control over their fate in this process, culture and politics engender the opposite ― a divergent search for shelter in the familiar ways of life that register a dignity of recognition among one’s own kind and constitute identity against the swell of anonymous forces.  The determination to “take back control” across the Western democracies among those dispossessed by change was explosively expressed in 2016 in a widespread revolt against the elite custodians of the status quo through Brexit, the Trump victory and the ongoing anti-establishment insurgency in Europe.  The “Great Reaction of 2016” may well have been justified because of the decay of democracies captured by organized special interests. Too many were left behind by unresponsive insiders. Yet the populist character of this political awakening threatens more chaos ahead rather than fixing what ails today’s vexed societies. “Populism appeals to the ‘will of people,’ Julian Baggini wrote in a piece for us last year, “but is actually profoundly undemocratic. Democracy is about the negotiation of competing interests, the balancing of different values. Populism, in contrast, is a kind of mob rule. Where there is complexity, it offers simple solutions. Instead of seeking common ground, it looks to exaggerate the differences between them and us. The unquestioned righteousness of its own cause and means to its ends leads to the demonization of those it opposes.” The Turn Toward Autocracy and Nativism The close cousin of populist politics is the affinity for rule by strongmen who fashion themselves as tribunes of the people. In the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tightened the screws in the place once thought to be the model of democracy with Islamic characteristics. In an interview right after the failed coup, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak lamented the new course of events: “There was already a rise in illiberal democracy in Turkey. There was already a rise in authoritarianism. The country was already sliding backwards and now this! The ballot box in itself,” she said in words that apply to the West as well, “is not enough to render a system a ‘democracy.’ A true democracy needs separation of powers, rule of law, freedom of speech, women’s rights, LGBT rights, free and diverse media and independent academia. Without all these institutions and values you can only have ‘majoritarianism.’ And majoritarianism is not the same thing as democracy.”  Writing from New Delhi, Shashi Tharoor placed a similar slide in India toward autocratic rule, intolerance and nationalist assertion in the global context: “The global backlash against the forces that have defined the first decade and a half of the 21st century has taken on a nativist hue everywhere,” he said. “In Europe and America, this has involved racist hostility to immigrants and minorities (whether ethnically or religious defined). In India, too, the ruling party rose through demonizing Muslims and stigmatizing political and social dissenters. Since such negative messaging requires a positive counterpart, nationalism has filled the breach, as a majoritarian narrative has sought to subsume each country’s diverse political tendencies into an artificial mandated unity masquerading as patriotism.” Social Media, Russian Hacks and Surveillance Capitalism The newfound prevalence of social media has been part and parcel of this year’s momentous shift. As we reported in our 2016 Global Thought Leaders analysis, the passionate political environment of 2016 appears to have marked the inflection point when the influence of individuals sharing information with their peers on social media surpassed that of established media platforms. “This shift matches the inversion of the old pyramid in which the authority and influence of elites in both society and the media held the most sway over the majority of the population,” we noted in early December. “The separation of authoritative knowledge from influence in a world where the social medium is not only the message, but the route to power,” we continued, “is a menacing turn for society.“ The internet activist Wael Ghonim, whose Facebook posts helped spark the Arab Spring in Egypt, concurs. While social media did not create the passions behind hate speech and intolerance, he said in a WorldPost interview in October, “there is no doubt that the algorithmic structure of social media amplified and abetted the turn to mobocracy. The internet has empowered the masses and introduced a more decentralized medium for communicating with each other.” But,” he asked, “is this so-called ‘liquid democracy’ without any form of meritocracy that sorts out the wheat from the chaff a good thing for society?” For Ghonim, the spread of a post-fact discourse of peer-driven mobocracy creates a new challenge. “While once social media was seen as a liberating means to speak truth to power,” he said, “now the issue is how to speak truth to social media.” A related, and equally menacing, facet of the incoming era is the emergence of a new “code war” that reached fresh heights this year through Russian influence meddling in the U.S. presidential election. Writing from Moscow, Fyodor Lukyanov reflected that the U.S. is just now getting a taste of its own medicine after intervening in other countries, including by trying to influence democratic elections, for decades.  Zbigniew Brzezinski has no doubts Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in seeking to influence the U.S. election since he is in absolute control of the state, including the intelligence agencies. While acknowledging the U.S. has meddled for years in other democracies, Brzezinski nonetheless recognized that, “The new methods give activities of this sort a wider scope than ever before. And thus they are indeed more influential and effective than ever before. That is new and, of course, deeply troubling.” Toomas Ilves, the former president of Estonia, expects more cyberattacks from Russia as elections loom in Europe in the coming year. “The conundrum that Europe will face,” he wrote from Tallinn recently, “is whether or not to use illiberal methods to safeguard the liberal state. … Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy.” Oliver Stone, who is preparing a new film based on his conversations with President Putin, has his doubts about Russia’s involvement. But he, too, agreed that we are now embarked on a “digital arms race” due in his view to the first use by the U.S. of offensive digital weapons, like the Stuxnet virus that disabled Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. In a WorldPost interview in September that focused mostly on his film “Snowden,” the Hollywood director worried as much about the invasion of privacy by the private sector as by the state. “Companies like Google profit enormously from data mining of your personal searches, behavior and habits,” he said. “There is more money in selling that data than in selling a product. It’s surveillance capitalism. It really is a new kind of totalitarianism.” AI, Algorithms and the Religious Imagination Another game-changing development in technology that continued to advance rapidly in 2016 is artificial intelligence, or AI. In April, the Berggruen Institute gathered top scientists and philosophers in Palo Alto to discuss the promises and perils of AI. While many saw enormous benefits in the short term, for example through the diagnostic capacity of big data for health care, the longer term was more concerning. Bill Joy, who helped develop the “Java Language Specification” software, warned, as but one example, that sophisticated new gene editing technology has the potential to “eliminate genetic diversity.”  Sapiens author Yuval Harari followed up this theme in an interview we published in May: “The whole of science is converging on this master idea of processing data in an algorithmic way, and this will cause the whole of economics and politics to converge on the same idea,” he argued. “The whole of biology since Darwin can be summarized in three words: ‘Organisms are algorithms.’ Simultaneously, computer scientists have been learning how to create better and better electronic algorithms. Now these two waves … are merging around this master concept of the algorithm, and their merger will create a tsunami that will wash over everything in its way.” In a reflection on the peril to the person from these developments, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio vigorously resisted the idea that being can be reduced to an algorithm. In a related essay, I pondered how scientific advances are resurrecting the religious imagination. “The more scientific discovery reveals,” I wrote, “ the more we realize it can’t answer the great existential questions.”  Interdependence Works Both Ways 2016 also demonstrated just how connected the world really is. We saw how China’s economic slump is testing Brazil’s democracy. The deep recession there due to slack demand by China for the South American nation’s commodities exposed the political cracks in the system, illustrating that the interdependence which giveth can also take away. As the revered former president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, wrote in the wake of the now-ousted President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the cracks in the country’s democracy result from the same causes as in the advanced nations. “At the core of this crisis is the widening gap between people’s aspirations and the capacity of political institutions to respond to the demands of society,” he wrote. “It is one of the ironies of our age that this deficit of trust in political institutions coexists with the rise of citizens capable of making the choices that shape their lives and influence the future of their societies.” In another example of how what happens in one part of the world impacts others far away, the recapture of Aleppo by Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Russian allies in December after years of horrific civil war coincided with the Christmastime attack in Berlin by a suspect who was believed to be an asylum-seeker with ties to Islamist terror groups. This tragic event likely tipped the scales decisively in favor of anti-European Union and anti-immigrant political forces which have been gaining momentum in reaction to the massive refugee influx, including of Syrians fleeing the carnage at home. As a WorldPost editorial summarized the situation: “The European idea, which has been losing luster for years, looks to be the latest and most consequential casualty of a world in turmoil that stretches from the rubble of Aleppo to the World War II memorial ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm church, near where the Christmas market attack took place in Berlin.” Where Hope Remains The temptation to blame refugees for Europe’s woes must take in the broader picture, Pope Francis told our outgoing Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard, in an interview. He called on Europe to “rediscover its capacity to integrate” plural cultures. But the Holy Father didn’t mince words about the dynamic he sees behind terrorism and the refugee crisis. “In the face of Islamic terrorism,” he told Maillard, who is also an editor of Le Croix, “it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in [which] an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, ‘We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have 50.’” When politics divides instead of unites, walls off instead of embraces, spiritual authorities like Pope Francis and artists or musicians like Yo-Yo Ma step into the breach to sustain our humanity. As we wrote in June, highlighting the release of the Silk Road Ensemble documentary, “The Music of Strangers,” the famed cellist is the pope’s spiritual cousin in this cause, sounding the healing chord of fellowship instead of enmity. More than a musician, he, too, is a guiding spirit who rises to the challenge of a world unraveling. “To be able to put oneself in another’s shoes without prejudgment is an essential skill,” Yo-Yo Ma once told The WorldPost. “Empathy comes when you understand something deeply through arts and literature and can thus make unexpected connections. These parallels bring you closer to things that would otherwise seem far away. Empathy is the ultimate quality that acknowledges our identity as members of one human family.” Finally, this year we celebrated Charles Taylor, who was awarded the 2016 Berggruen Prize for ideas that shape the world, as the “anti-xenophobe philosopher.” In an overview, Berggruen Institute president, Craig Calhoun, summarized the key works of the Canadian philosopher. And in a related editorial we wrote about how the man is an important figure for our time, and indeed, for this year: “It is Taylor’s thinking on the recognition of irreducible diversity in an interdependent world of plural identities ― and how societies can cope with this reality ― that gives him urgency in this era of Trump, Brexit, the burkini ban and the rise of the anti-immigrant right in Europe.”  WHO WE ARE   EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor. CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul. EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large. The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea. Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine. ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian. From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt. MISSION STATEMENT The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets. We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.