April 01, 2016

Flying American Flag

The American flag in the Greensboro Gardens. Credit: Andy Ciordia / Flickr Creative Commons

America won’t be a superpower much longer.

But the next superpower isn’t China, or India, or Japan, or Germany.

The next superpower… is no one.

That’s according to Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group and author of Superpower: Three Choices for America's Role in the World.

He views America’s power on the world stage as waning, after multiple foreign entanglements and an increasingly isolationist mood.

And Bremmer doesn’t see any other country filling America’s superpower vacuum. Instead, he believes there are two trends coming to the fore.

The first is the increased importance of local leaders. As national power diminishes, cities and states will increasingly step up and shape their own policy in a more hands-on way.

You can already see this happening in the U.S. Some progressive states are legalizing marijuana, while some conservative states have embraced pro-fracking policies.

The second, and perhaps more important trend, is the rising influence of the global ‘super elite’. People like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma, and Bill Gates.

Bremmer says these people are “a cosmopolitan international class that frequently has more in common with each other... than they do with their own countrymen. And that’s another thing that’s going to erode governments.”

Which worries him. Though Zuckerberg, Ma, and Gates might genuinely be using their billions to make the world a better place, “most of the people in that category aren’t that interested in doing that. They’re working incredibly hard to improve their own standing.”

So, America might no longer be a superpower. But New York City and Bill Gates? It looks like they’ll become even more powerful.

America, Ian Bremmer, politics

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