This essay is based on the first chapter of the book :‘The post American World and the rise of the rest’ by Fareed Zakaria. Chapter 1: The Rise of the rest
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius
United States of America: The great superpower; the only one, people used to know, at least that is what everyone liked to say, but that changed and keeps changing. ‘America’ as the US is called was known as the greatest superpower; powerful in every sense, political, economic, military and so on, but we have the rest of the world trying to go outside and start growing. The United states role in today’s world is not the same as it was, there are still people thinking of it as a powerful country, and it might be, but it is not the one we saw years ago.
We have seen new powers being born, in the book it is said that the US is still the one who is military superior, but we have seen them fail, they are not prepared for big things, they like to look for problems and then they are not ready to face them, as I see it, the country on the top when we talk about military power is Russia. We have seen them act. They might not have the credit they deserve, but lots of us know how they have achieved goals and how they are ready to defend themselves They fight battles as they were in war, their head plays smart.
As the book mentioned it should not be about the United states’ falling down it should be about how ‘the rest’ had been rising, and how they proved they are not a painting, they think and they can do it in a smart way. The superpowers the US had before are being acquired by others. It might seem like a simple example, but when we talk about movie production and sales, most of people might say: Hollywood; but that is just image; the king of movie-making is Bollywood in India, we have new actors on the scene, we have known ‘the rest’.
The 9-11 attacks, to be honest I am not sure that was an attack from the outside, I have said these many times but I will repeat it: power corrupts people, and there are some that would do anything to get attention and to reach their goals, their personal goals not the goals of a nation, of the people, we have created monsters by giving them the most dangerous tool: power, and they have destroyed us. 9-11 attacks as I saw them were a great plan for those that had it in mind, but for me was a cruel thing, because these people act in the name of others that do not want to be represented by them. It was shocking because it was America, a great not that great power, it could have worked but it cost people’s lives, but that is not important for them, or it would not happen. Looking closer, it might be people that corrupts power and not backwards.
I am not so sure if we are in a less safe world, because it has always been unsafe, but we cannot change the past, and we need to face today, we are in front of huge problems not only for possible wars, we have people dying on Africa of hunger and thirst, we have become indifferent people, the world is more dangerous because of the people that just stare and do nothing than because of the ones hurting others. We really need to fight any kind of terror and inequity because we are part of the problem.
How do we see ourselves that we cannot fight anything? We are afraid because of what could happen to us, we let fear rule our worlds, that is why there is always someone waiting for the chance to act. War on Terror, sure, we are just part of the chess game, we believed that powers wanted to help us, and if they do help, I would suspect they just do it because it benefits them.
China, India, South Korea, just a few of ‘the rest’ , acquiring superpowers, but we know the US still has some power over people’s head and we need to be careful new powers, technological power (we are a generation of zombies, obsessed with technology), for example, we need to analyse and not just talk, not just act. We are still a world with America’s influence, not the same as in the past, but in the end influence, and we have new influences, good and bad influences, if we can today say something is good or bad like when we were little kids.
I probably miss lots of things that should have been said, but we have clear that today there is not just one single superpower, “Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death”(Jean-Jacques Rousseau), We are not players of the game but we make part of the board, so we probably could do something, not solving everything, but helping to solve even the smallest problem.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Albert Einstein
Daniela Toro Becerra.