.Brian Beedham, foreign editor of The Economist for a quarter of a century, died this week, aged 87 F or nearly all the 25 years leading up to the collapse of communism in 1989, two intellects dominated the pages of The Econ- omist. They were Norman Macrae, as dep- uty editor, and Brian Beedham, as foreign editor. Their marks were influential, endur- ing-and quite different. Norman, who died in 2010, relished iconoclasm, and orig- inal ideas sprang like a fountain from his ef- fervescent mind. Brian, bearded, tweed- jacketed and pipe-smoking (or pipe-pok- ing), held ideas that were more considered. It was he who provided the paper’s atti- tude to the post-war world. In that world, nothing was as important as seeing off communism, which in turn could be achieved only by the unyielding exercise of American strength. This view was not in itself unusual. What made it re- markable, and formidable, were the clarity, elegance and intellectual power with which it was propounded. No issue demanded the exercise of these qualities more than the Vietnam war, and probably none caused Brian more an- guish. A man of great kindness, and with- out a hint of vanity or pretension, he was far from being either a heartless ideologue or a primitive anti-communist (though he never visited either Russia or Vietnam to put his opinions to the test). But his unwa- vering defence of American policy drew criticism from both colleagues and readers. Why did he persist in pounding such a lonely trail, even after it had become clear that the American venture in South-East Asia was doomed? The short answer was conviction. His anti-communism was born of a love affair with America. As a young man, at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford, his politics had been leftish. They might have stayed that way. But in 1955 ambition bore him from the Yorkshire Post to The Economist where, after a few months, he won a Commonwealth Fund fellowship and with it a year study- ing local politics in the South and the West of the United States. In America Brian dis- covered a national ideology based on indi- vidualism, bottom-up democracy and an active belief in liberty that meant pro- blems could be solved at home and na- tions could be freed abroad. This was ex- actly in tune with his own emerging ideas. The dispassionate romantic Coming from drab, class-ridden, 1950s Brit- ain, Brian might have stayed. But he felt in- dubitably British. The Suez crisis was be- ginning just as he left for America in August 1956; he so strongly backed the in- vasion of Egypt that he volunteered his ser- vice to the British military attache in Wash- ington, ready even to give up his new American adventure to fight for this hopeless cause. And though he later became enthusiastic about direct democracy (an en- thusiasm, like that for homeopathic pills, which was fostered by his links with Swit- zerland through Barbara, his wife), he was a monarchist to the end. Suspicious of intellectuals, Brian rel- ished exposing the soft, less-than-rigorous- ly-thought-out (he was fond of hyphens) orthodoxies of the liberal left. As foreign editor, he liked to draw unsparing compar- isons between the Soviet Union and the Nationalist regime in South Africa: to deny freedom on the basis of ideological convic- tions, he argued, was no less objectionable than denying it on the basis of colour. It was no doubt Brian’s command of words that helped to make him our Washington correspondent in 1958 and then, in 1963, foreign editor. In this role he wrote leaders on all manner of topics, often argu- ing a difficult case: for nuclear weapons, say; for supporting Israel (another of his unshakable causes) when sentiment was running otherwise; or indeed for the do- mino theory itself, which was never so ringingly defended. Brian was equally skilled as a sub-edi- tor. Articles that arrived on his desk with no clear beginning, end or theme were turned, apparently effortlessly, into some- thing perfectly sharp and coherent. More annoyingly for authors, articles that were perfectly coherent were sometimes turned with a few tweaks, deft as a paw-dab from one of his beloved cats, into pieces that said something quite different from what had been intended. A statement of fact might be qualified by “it is said” or the American invasion of Cambodia would become a “counter-attack”. These intrusions could be difficult to square with The Economist's tradition of open-mindedness; especially as Brian’s own mind was more contradictory than it seemed. His favourite conversation-part- ners were men like Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Richard Perle, hawkish intervention- ists; but he also had an acquaintance, al- most friendship, with at least one kgb man at the Soviet embassy in the 1980s. Away from work, the world he was analysing weekly was kept at bay. He did not own a television set, and found the best use of computers was to listen to American civil-war songs. Some of his pieces were pounded out on an ancient Ol- ivetti in a turret of Barbara’s family castle in the Alps, surrounded by peaks and clouds. Deep down he was a romantic, capable of great human feeling, whose head con- stantly seemed to remind him to keep a rein on his heart. He wrote sympathetical- ly and perceptively about Islam, and mov- ingly about refugees-especially boat peo- ple, and especially if they were Vietnam- ese. They were making his point for him....The Economist May l6th 2015

.................................................................................................................................................................america's media crisis started with its biggest brands...Help teachers and children generatethe most exciting jobs creation game? A 21st C mashup of a board game like monopoly, a quiz like trivial pursuits, and both a mass media and an app such as jobs creation sharkette tank?. more : why not blog your peoples search for world record jobs creators ..last 7 years of generation of changing education
1 the board - maps of large continents and small islands, of super cities and rural villages, transportation routes for exchanging what people make connected to webs like Jack Ma's gateways where 3000 people co-create live for a day before linking in their networks (Notes on valuing freedom and happiness) join 25th year of debating whether we the parnets and youth can change education in tine to be sustainable
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3.1 cases and the cultural lessons from future history that worldwide youth will need to translate if they are to be the sustainability generation
3.2 unexpected joys; eg often the most exciting innovations for linking the sustainability generation come from communities that had the least connections - eg some of the games best players are the women and girls who developed bangladesh as 8th most populous nation starting with next to nothing at independence in 1971; case sino-english translation of world record book of jobs creators- can you help us translate this into other mother tongues - isabella@unacknowledgedgiant.com us we chat line 240 316 8157 - click to diary of good news youth journalism trips 8 to china, 1 korea, 3 arab emirates, 13 bangladesh 1 to japan

Friday, December 7, 2018

From Joseph Nye

The current information revolution is putting transnational issues like financial stability, climate change, terrorism, cybercrime, and pandemics on the global agenda – at the same time as it tends to weaken the ability of all governments to respond. Complexity is growing. One model for the future is great power conflict or concert, but a second model involves “information entropy.” In that world, the answer to the question “Who’s next?” is “No one.”
A man photographs a WikiLeaks billboard in Los Angeles.

Courtesy of Richard Frazier/Shutterstock
While this answer is too simple, it does indicate important trends that will affect the place of the U.S. and others in the world. World politics will not be the sole province of governments, as individuals and private organizations – ranging from WikiLeaks to corporations to NGOs to terrorists to spontaneous societal movements – are all empowered to play direct roles in world politics. The spread of information means that power will be more widely distributed and informal networks will undercut the monopoly of traditional bureaucracy. As of 2018, there are about 20 billion devices connected to the internet, and most are autonomous.
Even if the U.S. remains the largest power, it cannot achieve many of its international goals acting alone. That means the case for providing leadership in multilateral institutions remains stronger than ever. In some areas of military and economic goods, unilateral American leadership can provide a large part of the answer. But on the new transnational issues, while American leadership will be important, success will require the multilateral cooperation of others: International financial stability is vital to the prosperity of Americans, but the United States needs the cooperation of others to ensure it. Regardless of potential setbacks to economic globalization, environmental globalization will increase. Climate change and rising sea levels will affect quality of life for everyone, but Americans cannot manage the problem alone. And in a world where borders are becoming more porous to everything from drugs to infectious diseases to terrorism, nations must use soft power to develop networks and build institutions to address shared threats and challenges.
In this sense, power becomes a positive-sum game. It will not be enough to think in terms of American power over others. One must also think in terms of power to accomplish joint goals, which involves power with others. The United States benefits if China improves its energy efficiency and emits less carbon dioxide. In this world, networks and connectedness become an important source of relevant power, and the most connected states are the most powerful.

The Need and the Threat

If the key to a multilateral world order is developing cooperation and valuing “power with” as well as “power over,” the opening years of the Trump administration are not encouraging. Every country puts its interests first, but the important question is how broadly or narrowly those interests are defined. Trump has shown an inclination toward narrow, zero-sum interpretations. At the same time, while Trump won the 2016 election, he did not win the popular vote, and in recent polls by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a large majority of Americans say globalization is mostly good for the U.S. and they continue to support multilateral engagement.
President Trump gestures during a rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 5, 2018.

Courtesy of AP
At mid-term in 2018, on the four major strands of the post-1945 liberal order – security, economics, global commons, and values such as human rights and democracy – the record is mixed. Thus far, while the Trump administration has weakened American alliances, it has not destroyed them. The security regimes for restraining proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are challenged, but remain in place. The damage to economic institutions, particularly those related to trade, appears to be greater than to the monetary order (where the dollar still dominates).
On global commons issues, the Trump administration has withdrawn U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord, but the substitution of natural gas for coal continues. As for values, Trump has shown less interest in human rights than his predecessors, and has often embraced authoritarian leaders. Some defenders argue that his unorthodox style and willingness to break institutions will produce major gains, but as The Economist argues, the institutional costs of using a wrecking-ball approach may reduce American power to deal with the new transnational issues that we face.
The terms “liberal international order” and “Pax Americana” have become obsolete as descriptions of world order, but the need remains for the largest countries to organize multilateralism for public goods. Leadership is not the same as domination. There have always been degrees of leadership and degrees of influence during the seven decades of American preeminence after World War II. Now with less preponderance and in a more complex world, American provision of global public goods, in cooperation with others, may be threatened more by the rise of populist nationalism at home than the rise of new powers abroad.
***
Joseph S. Nye (@Joe_Nye) is university distinguished service professor and former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has published 14 academic books, including Soft PowerThe Future of Power, and Is the American Century Over?

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