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An essay from the American perspective
on 22 March 2011
"The Next Decade" is intended as an essay from the American perspective on the relations of certain conceptual categories: the Empire, the Republic and the exercise of Power in the next ten years. And it is a very personal essay in which there are no academic references, no footnotes, no bibliography and no biography of the author are provided, in short even less information than there was in his previous best seller "The Next 100 Years".
From the cover we see that the author is founder of Stratfor and this is the main guarantee to the claims in the book. In my opinion this is a questionable guarantee. One issue is to be knowledgeable about what is happening in the world, which is what Stratfor does, and quite another for the essay to have solid arguments, which in my opinion it has not, at least not at the level of its pretentious goals.
The science fiction stories of the previous book were excusable for the American reader because they gave assurance of America's imperial dominance in this century. In this new book there are no such stories because the horizon is closer. But as in the previous book the unintended Empire is assured, but now the author fears (does he really?) that the rise of this global Empire will damage the Republic.
The author affirms in the introduction: "the next decade must be one in which the USA moves from willful ignorance of reality to its acceptance". He could have applied that to himself, as he remains an advocate of a notoriously simplistic interpretation of the "realist" theory of international relations, and shouldn't blame this questionable approach to the "spirit" of this decade. The author thinks that the existence of the American Empire is unquestionable; the problem is in the acceptance of this fact by American voters and their President, the new Emperor. But obviously the word that the President should never use is "Empire" (p.24). So why write this book in which this term is used countless times at all? From my European perspective, I recommended forgetting about this book.