I recently finished reading this book by Fareed Zakaria titled "The Post American World". It was an interesting read since it presents a pragmatic perspective about the current seemingly volatile, uni-polar world we live in. In the face of a growing sense of a rise in religious fundamentalism, wars, and heightened unilateralism; the author refuses to predict an alarmist and radical future. Instead, he argues, and i quote, "today we are probably living in the most peaceful time in our species existence."
He says this is because:
- Between 2000-2007, the world economy grew at its fastest pace in four
decades. Income per person across the globe rose at a faster rate (3.2%) than
in any other period in history.
- Politics is troubled, but markets panic only over economic and not political
news. For example,
than 7% growth since the war.
- Religious fundamentalism is fueled more by a "cottage industry" of
scaremongering flourishing in the west that tends to extrapolate every trend
that they dont like. In reality, he argues, it is a persistent problem, but one
involving a small number of fanatics.
Today, he says, there’s a mismatch between reality and our sense of it, primarily arising out of a revolution in Information Technology that brings us news from around the world instantly, vividly, and continuously. In short, he say's it feels like a very dangerous world. But, it isn’t. Instead, it’s a safe world with the
And firmly in charge as well. Since the middle of the 1880's, the US Economy has been the world’s largest and by 2025, most estimates suggest that it will still be twice the size of
The authors point is, unlike popular belief, a dramatic and tectonic shift in the balance of power to the developing world led by
- In 2005, 24 out of the 25 of the world’s largest IPO’s were held in countries
other than the
- By 2050, estimates say
- Indian companies are becoming far more competitive and use their capital
more efficiently, in part because they do-not have access to unlimited supplies
of it. Over the last 5 years, more of the Deming Awards for managerial
innovation have been awarded to Indian companies than to firms from any
More than anything else, he says this rise of