Which nation will be the global leader in the 21st century?

October 23, 2012

A theoretical foundaton of this blog is that the world system requires a single nation to exercise hegemony – leadership and rule setting.  Czech writer Libor Benes agrees.  In this blog post, he examines the contenders, and finds only one who truly fits.  It won’t be a multipolar world, it won’t be the EU or one of the BRICs; it will be America:

America’s uniqueness

But only America has the complete set of characteristics that can really lead the world – out of this economic crisis and in building the new world. It can have problems but it is able to mobilize unique mechanisms to overcome those problems:
  • hard-working, enterprising people, keen on innovative processes, and ability to mobilize their support and work for new processes, products, and even industries,
  • openness to the world: hub of information, know-how, technology, innovation, and best universities, knowledge, and science centers,
  • a unique system of political administration,
  • the unique and open society and culture, the “melting pot” able to absorb and develop new people, people have the opportunity to work their way to the top of the society,
  • bringing people, information, and experience from around the world, emulate, develop, and invent ideas, but also share experience, information, technology, innovation, know-how, ideas, etc.
  • the massive experience of its business and political leaders who know the world and how it works,
  • the unique geography,
  • unique free market foundations of the economic system, massive and resilient economy that is able to sustain hardship and transform it into new opportunities,
  • bears the heaviest burden for world politics, security, and open economic environment,
  • has the best military that is the biggest contributor to developing cooperation with other militaries and that shares its capabilities to protect world’s security and economic environment,
  • unprecedented public and political discussion about all the problems,
  • unprecedented experience with being targeted by various hostile players,
  • strong tradition in promoting freedom and democracy around the world and being its main defender against various totalitarianisms,
  • a strong foundation in values that was crafted by one of the highest concentration of the world’s best minds in history. The Founding Fathers amalgamated world’s highest principles of society organization and ingrained them into the firm foundations of American democracy.
These are some of the aspects that make America unique and give its unique position in the world. There may be some countries more skillful in developing some of the elements, they may have higher growth rates for some time or can have larger population. Nevertheless, leading the world requires a combination, the whole complex of factors a country must meet and it takes a unique attitude. The new trends in the world are very complex. I see the amazing success of some new ‘power centers’ in the world and one must admit that some of those factors are remarkable.
I do not see anybody meeting all the criteria and the unique attitude as America does.
I don’t agree with every point, but certainly with his wider argument, one that I have been making on this blog for some time.  It is nice to hear it coming from a non-American. Read the whole thing.

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