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PostIs the American Century Over? (Istvan Simon, USA, 09/05/17 4:29 am)
Regarding the supposed death of the American Century (see David A. Westbrook, 3 September), I'd like to say that I believe that its death has been greatly exaggerated. WAISers know that I am not fond of our president, who in my view will definitely not make America greater than he encountered it. But that does not mean the death of the American Century.
The American Century will be determined by our technological leadership in renewable forms of energy. In spite of our president consistently making all the wrong decisions, the United States is a country which has its own engine of innovation that no president can dent too much. The 21st century therefore will be much like the 20th century was--an American Century though most probably with a major Chinese accent.
Russia is a great power and will have its place in this, as will Europe, and also Africa, the emerging giant, but the role of Russia will be moderated in my view, because Russia though rich in hydrocarbons and scientific talent, lacks engineering talent, and lacks major entrepreneurial spirit, which is also limited by an autocratic government without imagination, and headed by a little dictator. Russia also lacks population growth which will also limit what it can do.
JE comments: Will the rest of the 21st century be English with a Chinese accent, or Chinese with an English accent? China is the only feasible challenger for America's hegemony. Or do we overestimate the Middle Kingdom's power and the stability of its institutions? Some economists argue that the Chinese model of cheap labor making cheap goods has already reached its limit. Other nations (Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh) can always out-cheap you.