Stephen Kotkin: Sphere of Influence III – The Chip on the Shoulder

Stephen Kotkin: Sphere of Influence III – The Chip on the Shoulder



good evening and thank you for everybody for coming it's a great pleasure it's the SIRT of a series of lectures that Professor kotkin is giving to the Institute I was trying to figure out why we decided that this very special lecture this is the only once in the year we have a somebody whom we invite to give three lectures and my speculation is that probably this is the spirit of Charles Taylor who wrote a book on Hegel so if you want to do something serious it should be in three stages so this is why we decided to come with the three lectures probably for many of you who have been on the first two lectures you're going to hear the certain production of Professor kotkin so I will be very brief you hear not because you don't know who he is but because you know he's the professor in history and international relations in the wood Rosen Institute in the Princeton University and his fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford in my humble opinion probably the most interesting writer on anything on Russia in the post-soviet space so please professor thank you again three lectures is very difficult and I appreciate that some of you are here again for the third time for the Alf fable as Yvonne described it we'll see if we can really lift up so I'm going to continue what I did the first two times and not really repeat much of the first two lectures but I will give a little bit of analysis of what I've said up till now so what have been the themes the first theme is that we are dealing with success meaning that we tend to speak mostly about crisis about failure but I instead think that the world today is a result of our success it has been built by the West the West has expanded to its greatest extent other places have copied the West and in fact they've paid homage to the West by trying to undermine the West because it's so strong and so powerful we always qualify success every time I say we talk about success people say to me but it depends when I say crisis in failure nobody says it depends who you're talking about it depends which groups of the society but success for some reason we have a difficult time admitting the second point I've been making is that despite the success nobody is happy there is a malaise which is quite pronounced and needs to be explained you can see I have borrowed from the preeminent philosopher of our time this problem that everything is amazing and nobody is happy my third point has been that geopolitics is wrongly dismissed as the problem when in fact it is or can be the solution we have an escape from geopolitics mentality we have a fear of the return of geopolitics for the right that is to say people who consider themselves conservative they are above geopolitics there is a kind of pure American hegemony for the left geopolitics is so evil that it must be transcended with pooled sovereignty and multinational institutions these are not only wrong they're not only mistakes but they're politically dangerous views because we got to where we were through geopolitics the Cold War was won because of geopolitics the war was built because of geopolitics and it will sustained only because geopolitics is our friend another point I've been making is nationalism once again we are very dismissive of nationalism nationalism is a pejorative we tend to see ourselves as international people as transnational people as cosmopolitan people and so we hand nationalism over to our enemies those who are not for freedom they cease nationalism because we say that nationalism is not what we need in fact nationalism is just another word for politics politics can be defined as the struggle to define the nation there are many different incarnations of the nation inside Austria you have debates about what Austria is and what Austria should be those are debates about defining the nation you can have an open nation you can have a nation that agrees to pool its sovereignty and join multinational organizations like the EU or others but if you refuse to engage with nationalism if you believe nationalism is your enemy you are committing once again a political mistake just like with refusing geopolitics it's very important to cease nationalism and make it work as an instrument for you including defending the European Union if you give up nationalism if you see nationalism you are automatically in the minority transnationalism internationalism is it's so facto a minority ideology only nationalism can be majoritarian we've seen this problem now unfortunately unfolding okay and now the key point which I hope to cover in more depth today is this problem of resentment when we see Democratic mechanisms able to reveal we might call the losers of some of our processes that is to say the people whose voices have not been heard they feel the system does not work for them and yet because of democratic mechanisms they've been able to give voice to their resentment to their disappointment to their anger we call this now populism populism is of course just another word for politics there is nothing particularly exceptional about populism moreover it's not the end of civilization when poor people or people who have been excluded from political processes gained a voice you can argue that there are they are represented by mendacious politicians and I can't disagree with that but then again the establishment politicians have a lot to answer for including on the question of mendacity so the losers surface the resentment but today I'm going to talk a little bit more about resentment not inside a country but in the international system as a whole because that's what we're witnessing we're witnessing a sense of losers surfacing or people feeling angry or people feeling resentment at the international system and attempting a kind of populist politics in international terms once again this is not particularly shocking it's not particularly earth-shattering I believe everything on this list is more or less banal I don't think anything here is very deep except maybe this one nonetheless I think it bears remembering so let me talk a little bit about the fascism communism question from the last lecture once again I said I wouldn't repeat what I said from the lectures but I will just review a little bit or as my wife always likes to say I heard you twice already the first time yeah we used to call it when I was growing up a broken record but we don't have records anymore they used to go around on this spinning thing and play music and sometimes they wouldn't work anymore and the same synced piece would repeat and repeat and repeat but since now we have CDs it's a little bit different actually I don't think we have CDs anymore just joking okay so what did I actually argue I argued that communism ceased to work for the pigs the pigs as you know from Animal Farm was the group that all well chose for the Communist Elysee instead they discovered that in liberalism with private property and markets is much superior to a liberal ISM with this communism nonsense now this was not their motivation for overthrowing communism a lot of them were communists that was the problem with communism the problem with communism was there were too many communists however despite that's not being their motivation it was a prime cause of the collapse because they lived in a capitalist world and they suffered under a capitalist example or sphere of influence remember I talked about the East German elites how did they mark their status they wore Western suits they had Western perfume for their wives and mistresses they drove Western cars their entire life was completely suffused with status symbols of the capitalist world right this was true of the entire block this was true of the Soviet Union as well so they lived in a capitalist world and this was their problem there was a structural crushing of communism by the capitalist sphere of influence known as the West now modern authoritarianism which is the rule of the few in the name of the many the rule of the few in the name of the many modern authoritarianism although authoritarians was the rule of the few in the name of the few now we have the rule of the few in the name of the many and you'll remember from Tocqueville that he predicted that the authoritarians the absolutists would not be able to legitimize themselves in the new era of democracy he was right about many things but he was wrong about this they've been able to figure out how to do the rule of the few in the name of the many and I said there were four components there was the coercive apparatus you can't really get by without the course of apparatus there was the revenue stream not economic growth they don't really need that they need cash flow there was control over life chances to be able to reward and punish people by denying them their job by denying them perquisite and they needed a deep well of powerful stories all of this was brittle without the stories the threats the enemies the grievances and of course the national glory stolen right and I said that this authoritarianism or illiberal ism with private property in markets is not a new phenomenon nor is it particularly let's say shocking instead it's a long-standing phenomenon now you can calibrate the amount of violence you use you can calibrate the xenophobia violence and xenophobia for authoritarian regimes are like the accordion they can open it wide or they can close it a little bit if for example the national glory stolen mythology is very effective if people buy into this then the need for the violence can be reduced and the cost of the violence they don't have to pay the regime's so it's blasphemous to suggest that there's any connection with fascism remember what I said about the problem of fascism and communism I said that the right has a notion that fascism and communism are equal that they're the same that they're part of totalitarianism this was very effective in the cold war against communism to equate it with fascism because if you can equate it with fascism Hitler is the gold standard of evil and if you can make something equal to Hitler who's irredeemable then communism can also be irredeemable it was a brilliant notion totalitarianism right and then there's a left-wing version of the problem which is that communism was anti fascism communism was anti-fascism meaning that they were the ones who struggled against fascism of course this leaves out the fact that communism was a culprit in bringing fascism to power this part of the story is normally suppressed so we have a mythology of equation and then we have a mythology event in Timoney and I said in fact that the difference between fascism and communism was that communism was over and I still believe that that holds and the reason communism is over is because it didn't work for the pigs and they will not bring it back they will instead mutate evolve in the direction of illiberal ISM with private property and markets so if you talk about calibrating the violence and the xenophobia you can actually talk about a continuum of modern authoritarianism and you can put Mussolini in that continuum and you can put Hitler in that continuum you can't put Stalin in that continuum because he was a communist they didn't have private property in markets but it's very very blasphemous to suggest this first you're trying to reduce the uniqueness of Hitler and Nazism secondly you're playing the leftist game of potentially equating or bond or trump with fascism which of course doesn't really work because they don't have the kind of power that the fascists were able to command right so what you're talking about is a difference in Epoque the post-world War one epoch when violence in politics was not only a high level but considered normally necessary it was a norm to be violent and that's how you recruited people and of course the xenophobia or the anti-semitism or core to the Nazi project in a way that they're only toyed with in the regimes today so the idea that there is a continuum right is a dangerous one politically but intellectually I think it can potentially be justified so that's the only point I was making however was that communism is over I was not necessarily suggesting that they weren't that the right didn't have a point in equating them I was not suggesting that the left didn't have a point that many communists resisted fascism I know the history just like you do I was merely suggesting that communism didn't last and is not coming back because it doesn't work for the elites you can't steal as much property you can't loot as much public money you can't own as much right under communism as you can do post communism it's a very simple equation once again it was not the motivation for the communist capitulation that was a story about living in a capitalist world and the capitalist world which we call the West crushing them in the daily life competition and then Gorbachev accidentally unwittingly destroying the system from within as he tried to fix it right so it's not causal direct but nonetheless it's the main structural fact that the framework that allows everything to happen anyway so that was what I tried to say the last lecture what about today as you know I told you already that I took this photograph myself that's the American Bald Eagle you recognize and you see him writing it the way he rides everything so this is what we think this is our image of what is going on it couldn't be farther from the truth this image is complete nonsense as amusing as it is we have a predicament Russia's predicament which is that it wants to be a great power it considers itself what we call a providential power of power on the Providence or under God right it has a special mission in the world this is the core this is the core of Russia the problem however is that they are not the greatest power they consider themselves a providential power but they are relatively weak visa vie the West there's a gulf or an asymmetry a gap and so what you see in Russian history is you see the quest for a strong state to manage or maybe even overcome the gap with the West there's a Czarist version of this there's obviously a Stalinist version of this and there's a potent version of this recourse to the state because we're weak visa vie the West we feel threatened we perceive that the West is too strong for us but we should be in the same rank or maybe even higher than them the result of this quest for a strong state is you get economic spurts followed by prolonged stagnation time and time again coercion state is an instrument Vash the country a little bit forward and then you end up in a hole that's where they are again it takes different versions the Czarist version the Stalinist version the Putin version are very different I know the history just like you don't but there is a pattern finally the quest for the strong state culminates in what what is it culminating does it culminate in a strong state never it culminates in personal rule every single time it's astonishing and then we have the conflation of state interests with the political fortunes of one person so people say you can't criticize Putin because he's defending Russian state interests but he's not defending Russian state interests I can be a Russian Patriot and criticize that regime because that regime is defending itself that regime is about maintaining itself in power it's a personal rule problem this is Russia's predicament that's where they are again they got themselves into the same predicament once more we talked about democracy in the 90s but what happened in the 90s what happened in the 90s was the gap with the West grew even more the gap with the West kept growing so the state collapsed problem was one element but the other problem was visa vie the West worsening relationship in terms of the power symmetry and so here we go quest for the strong state Putin overcome or managed this weakness visa vie the West culmination and personal hard to believe but we see the pattern look this is all we've got it looks very large Crimea you know about the two provinces in eastern Ukraine right the Transnistria strip which is Boris Yeltsin's confection from 1992 and the two pieces in Georgia all told it's not very much this is the Russian sphere of influence there it is that's your Russian sphere of influence that's where they succeeded okay how about the Eurasian Economic Union you heard a lot about it their version their competition for the European Union right well it started with the three and then they strong-armed two more in so they've got five but a lot of them refused to join can you imagine respect Astana Kazakhstan Turkmenistan refused to join forget about these other ones during the negotiations they even removed any of the political dimensions of the European Union so the one supposedly closest to Russia balked at political aspects of the Union but even if every single member who could join joined what would it be would it have advanced technology would it have significant financial resources no and moreover guess what they agreed to harmonize their your Bayesian economic union with China's one belt one road so China is creating a greater Eurasia but a real one a real one so here we show this the first lecture here's the GDP of the Eurasian Union there it is you see Armenia you see Kyrgyzstan you don't see them because their economies are invisible there's nothing there unfortunately this by the way is 2014 when the ruble dollar exchange rate was still very different about 30 rubles for the dollar now you're not a two trillion but you're down here at one point two seven trillion dollar economy because of the collapse following the oil price collapse and the the rubles devaluation so these things are even smaller right Ukraine's entire economy today is not even a hundred billion not even a hundred billion so I tell you this is the sphere of influence look at it he's writing at American Eagle look at this view of influence here's the language 1994 Russian language 2016 Russian language look at the direction of Russian language Latvia Ukraine from 34% to 24% first language in the home Russia Georgia Turkmenistan Lithuania only one country has increased Russian language usage in the home that's it otherwise the Russian sphere of influence is declining in the former Soviet space declining precipitously these are merely facts I understand we could talk a lot about the other aspects of soft power but this chart enables you to see what's going on Russia's the unit dimensional power that's the whole Russian GDP one to seven trillion look at the size of the Russian economy 115 115 the size of the United States economy and not even 115 to a u economy the Soviet Union was one-third the size of the US economy Russia is 115 you can do the math yourself under 2% of global GDP what kind of sphere of influence is this no alliances military modernization yes a little bit but does that work for great power status over the long term I don't think so right Russia is a difficult place to understand simultaneously strong and weak authoritarian and yet lawless right traditionalist and its values and yet valueless or cynical right everything could change overnight and yet in 300 years it looks the same it's a crazy place right it's hard to understand it's an amazing civilization Russia is incredible what they've given to the world and what they've achieved I've spent much of my life studying it but I have to tell you it's in decline in a way that's breathtaking the anguish of patriotic Russians it's the most corrupt highly urbanised well-educated country in the world and it has a lot of competition massive long-term underinvestment the economy is tiny and capacity is 85% they're even I mean slack yes can you imagine how about their labor pool shrinking and a lot of it is employed in what you call low value-added like repressive apparatus private security right yeah that's Russia today hemorrhaging talents every year twenty to thirty thousand professionals that's a lot of people to lose do you know how about this 10 million Russians are abroad beyond the FSU that's the size of the Russian middle class inside Russia yeah that's London Israel Berlin Vienna Princeton University Stanford University that's where they are and they're earning 20% above market average in all the countries they're in what does that tell you they have the best people and they're leaving at 20 to 30,000 a year it is already almost 10 million of them abroad can you imagine what is happening astonishing correct ok meanwhile back at home you have a cauldron of roiling resentment the main threat to Russia yes that's right that's the main threat to Russia and it's a very big threat and it's anguish for those of us who understand and feel for that country even before the oil price plunge the chrony economic system had dead ended it was zero growth before the collapse of the oil prices essentially they squandered their revival I can explain how the revival happened in the question period if you're interested but I'm just saying they squandered it and to get anywhere better what do they have to do they have to overturn the existing system they have to destroy the Putin system and the current elites to get any internationally competitive model that is a deep hole you're in when your own regime has to destroy itself for your country to move forward they may destroy themselves but obviously unwittingly which is what's happened now several times to maintain the Putin regime means widening the gap with the West it widens every year those people who are apologists for the Putin regime this is your argument you're saying we want to widen the gap with the West because that's what that regime is doing ok so that's the Russian sphere of influence yes they have cyber warfare as we discussed the first lecture yes they have nuclear weapons as we discussed the first lecture right so they are a special power in decline that makes them different from for example Angola I could talk a lot about Angola and in fact a book I read two years ago in Angola is the best book I've ever read about Russia but they have unique characteristics in addition to the corrupt oil driven oligarchic personal rule system the Angolan ruler has been there since 1979 so Putin has a way to go ok next we're going to talk a little bit about the Chinese sphere of influence now and then wrap up with the u.s. I'm going to leave Iran out of this lecture because I'm looking at the time and seeing I'm abusing it already you know actually I shouldn't say it I think we're friends but we're not that close yet okay so this is the China Greater Eurasia does it look different from that little piece of Crimea right done yet skinned little gone Transnistria does it look a little bit different China Greater Eurasia it looks different to me and there's a sea version of it too right you see Djibouti you see the Straits yeah this is the China version so it's a very different situation with China we're not talking about a country that is in the self perpetuated decline which is what Russia is right now self destruction which is what Russia is in right now we're talking about a country that has ambitions this I showed the first lecture you'll recall these are ports abroad where China owns a significant ownership stake China's Merchant Marine is two hundred thousand ships two hundred thousand ships and these are the ports where they have a significant in many cases more than 51% interest you'll notice that it looks a lot like the British Empire doesn't it yeah spear of influence emulation this map are the ports which are so-called dual use that's where you start with trade and you decide to build a military you start with trading this against we have we come in peace we have no hostile intentions we're only want to trade and raise your economy up and then you have a toehold you have a port and then you say you know what we will need to defend our trade we want to make sure that nobody interdict our trade nobody tries to undo our global trade so we're going to defend them and we're going to build as they've done in Gwadar Djibouti and next potentially Piraeus right we're going to start calling there with our Navy and we going to create dual-use commercial and military with the ports so you go back to this this is already there and this is the beginning of the dual use so that's Chinese grand strategy yes and I got to tell you they're very serious about it this is I showed the first lecture right the percentage of world trade look at this u.s. percentage of world trade this is the British Empire they created the world economy this is the u.s. eclipse of the British Empire you can see already in 1900 look out right before the British Empire in fact the British Empire is going to grow to its biggest height after that after 1900 in the interwar period and now look at China and look how recent that is and look at the trajectory right the sharpness that's what we're dealing with Chinese sphere of influence question China has 20 neighbors as we discussed in the first lecture it's got more neighbors 14 on land and 6 on sea than any other country ever it has more neighbors in Russia has it has more neighbors in the Soviet Union at so it's got borders with 20 countries and it's in dispute with those countries in many cases we talked about the South China Sea and I showed you the military base that they built right on fiery cross reef you'll remember the picture it was a coral reef in 2014 and in 2016 it had a 10,000 right foot runway for military ships ok but the other thing you see from this map is that China has no California that's the single biggest problem geopolitical problem of China on the one hand they're boxed in right they have US military bases all around their seaports right the US has bases all up and down Japan is basically a US aircraft carrier right Philippines has US bases and so they're boxed in even where they have water and then they have no California instead this is what they've got you see this see what this is this is farmland this is desert this is encroaching desert this is what China's West looks like that desert is moving and it's eating and eating the farmland so if you go back here this is all desert and this desert is going this way that's their California that's a really big problem if everybody in China drinks an extra glass of water every day this thing heads for Beijing right that's their ecological challenge this is a very serious look at that that sand and it's on the move okay they have no California but guess what they're building a California here's Gua daughter we talked about a dual-use port originally commercial now also military and you can see the Chinese built infrastructure right through Pakistan onto the ocean here's the same story but in Burma also you build a gas pipeline right it's for commercial reasons and then we have an outlet to the Bay of Bengal and they can play a long game if the Burmese government stops the infrastructure for a time because they feel the Chinese grip is too tight the Chinese know they'll be around for a while and they'll be able to resume the problem with their California is it has to go through Pakistan and it has to go through Burma you see the United States California just goes to California it's a lot easier to have a California that you own and that doesn't go through potentially difficult places like Pakistan and Burma nothing to take away from Pakistan and Burma but it's a much bigger challenge for that to be your western coast for that to be your port than for California to be your western coast then you have the roiling East Asia problem world war two it's not over yet in stasia it didn't end the Cold War and it's not over yet in East Asia this is a big problem there is tremendous roiling historical grievance tremendous grievance over the war which is unsettled and it's the kind of grievance that's as greater greater than we saw in interwar Europe the grievances of a world war one you know how those grievances were manipulated we got grievances at least as deep and in many cases significantly deeper and they're right they're not below the surface they're right there in the society on their media all the time so we have a combustible narrative victim of humiliation in the past and adversaries trying to hold it down in the present right this is the resentment this is the resentment now I won't go into detail about where you know can China get better is China getting better right it's how resilient is China what happens when there's a crisis I could talk all about the challenges in China this is the main one right we focus on Tibet and Xinjiang because they have the ethnic strife there but the big ones are Hong Kong Taiwan because those are alternative political models right so you have Manchuria and Inner Mongolia are gone they've been overrun by Han Chinese Outer Mongolia is currently independent Tibet and Xinjiang are being assimilated forcibly by China with the ethnic strife but it's very hard to assimilate the Hong Kong and the Taiwan because it's an alternative political model this is the deepest threat to the Chinese political system they want to bring them in and with Hong Kong they've already done that in a partial way and they would love to do it with Taiwan but it's not a simple proposition for them that's bigger than the ecological challenge which is big enough okay right we can have miscalculation there are many ways that China could have an explosion or an implosion many weaknesses many issues right but even if there are no shocks they're slower economic growth there's corrosive corruption there's demographic and environmental stress and there's inability to stabilize the political system and during Lee that's without the shocks that's where they are right so this is not an easy situation by any stretch of the imagination what the Chinese Communist Party leadership faces our challenge is significantly greater than anything they've dealt with up till now what are the experts on China say right they say the China becomes aggressive when it feels strong and that it becomes aggressive when it feels weak that's what the literature says right we don't know about the decision-making process this is the first time in history that a country has been this wealthy with this opaque a political system because opaque political systems smother wealth they don't create wealth but the Chinese system is completely opaque and the second largest economy in the world it's something that we haven't confronted before we can't see inside their decision-making process right so Chinese intentions are not understood and of course US actions are unpredictable because what's the single biggest variable of all United States actions or inactions China is no substitute for u.s. power we talked about the first lecture how you measure power and what the measuring of the two side-by-side are and I attempted to show that there's no way that China measures up anywhere near u.s. power on any parameter what's the level right it cannot replace the US to underwrite the international order it cannot and China knows this right let alone the fact a leader of any open system what's a self be open but openness is potentially the killer threat to the Chinese regime so here's the strange thing China too is nervous about the us possibly withdrawing from the liberal international order China is dead set on gaining dominance in East Asia and that means evicting or pushing out the u.s. past the first island chain out to the second island chain but nonetheless China does not want to overturn the international order because they are the prime beneficiaries besides the US and the EU China in any case lacks the capacity let alone the desire on the right a global international order so if you look at the threats where are they is Russia a threat to overturn the international order and put something in its place is even China with its colossal sphere of influence emulation of the British Empire is it even a threat to overturn the US sphere of influence the Western liberal international rules-based international order no that's not the threat that's not the threat communism couldn't be brought down from without and the us-based power in the world cannot be brought down from the outside either it can however as in the case of communism be brought down from the inside that's the threat the threat is the same resentment the same populist politics in international terms at the level right of the international system but coming out of Washington not coming out of Beijing or not coming out of Moscow that's the world we live in today that world makes sense I understand where this came from my father was part of the white working-class and we remember the Nixon presidency very very well I remember this stuff because it was in the household we have however incomprehension Trump is a fascist Trump is a unique phenomenon Trump came out of nowhere and etc etc right there's far too much Trump discussion far too much Trump discussion and not enough discussion about long-term structural factors that he didn't cause may accelerate but may not accelerate these are things that were happening under Obama they were happening under the second Bush right the Iraq war was not Trump for example as we know but nonetheless we have in comprehension the resistance to trump let's think about this we have a demagogue low character bogus accomplishments and he speaks with immediacy to millions and millions of people how is this possible we still don't know because we don't know these people remember I told you about pauline kael she was the film critic of The New Yorker in this in the 60s and 70s and the most read film critic in the United States and she said Nixon could never have won the election I don't know a single person who voted for Nixon and she was right she didn't know a single person who voted for Nixon but Nixon won in a landslide yeah they're out there they're out there and that's their voice and I'm not suggesting Trump is going to do anything for them but I'm suggesting that they're not so stupid and they're Americans too just like they're Hungarians just like they're Austrians and we need to speak to them and they need to hear something from us that's valuable 489 of the wealthiest counties in the u.s. they voted for Clinton yep and what about the rest the remaining yeah guess who they voted for Trump won 30 States Clinton won 20 States Clinton won California by more than four million she won New York by more than two million and she lost the rest of the country by more than three million between New York and California Trump won by three million votes yeah that's right and then we have his truthful hyperbole which everyone so far this institute has agreed with me that it's lying and and then we have our universities that are denying that there's something called a higher truth they're telling me you can't speak about truth you can't know the truth truth is just your interpretation of reality truth is just your subject position and where you're talking from truth is just your class position and on Iran it goes I got to tell you Trump in lying how do we know he's lying because there is something called a higher truth that we can identify if we can't identify a higher truth we can't say the Trump is like you either going to agree with me that there's a higher truth or I'm sorry Trump is just speaking his mind and he's not lying to put it bluntly you know with friends like the universities we don't even need enemies that's the situation we're in right now yeah and I live in two of them and so I know this firsthand so we have this big problem the u.s. provides security in all the key regions because it denies hegemony it denies predominance to any one country in the key regions you don't think that's hard that's really hard and that's really costly that costs a lot I'm a taxpayer in the u.s. I'm paying for this the u.s. promotes an open market based economic order you don't think that's brought prosperity it has brought prosperity not evenly because markets never bring even prosperity never but the absence of markets we know what that brings the multinational institutions who helped create them and who's helped sustain them so this is the liberal national order the central fact about international politics is anarchy it's not somebody being in charge somebody being in charge is rare because it's very costly to that country to be in charge and because it's very difficult to manage to have the kind of power that stretches and so the alternative is not a u.s. order that makes mistake after mistake that's worthy of the criticism that we level at it but the alternative is you guessed it anarchy that's where we could be not a Chinese displacement of the u.s. not a blundering self-interested US order us-led International sphere of influence but something very different that's what we're close we're not there yet but that's potentially where we've been heading prior to Trump we have faithful choices from Washington can American primacy preserved or restored it should be do we keep everything that we've got or do we just let it go you see because we live in a democracy and in a democracy you have to have the people support this because if the people don't support it then it's only a briefing in a think-tank brilliant briefings and think tanks about how US grand strategy should look are different from something rooted in a democratic polity that a majority of people will approve because it speaks to national interest nationalism right okay accommodation of China in East Asia Russia in Eurasia Iran in the Gulf you want to just grant those for your performances and retreat that's certainly a possibility right that doesn't mean a displacement none of these are capable or interested in running an international rules-based order or do we end up then fighting a gigantic containment maybe even bigger than the so containment are the American people going to even get behind something like that over a long period enduringly there's got to be a new equilibrium somehow in which we recognize other states interests but we uphold core values there's got to be otherwise the thing doesn't last thank you for your time thank you very much so we have the opportunity to continue the conversation asking questions comments please thank you I've followed your lecture that three times throughout and have kept a number of things in mind that I shall ask one particular question we've heard a lot about the West here yes and I think I'm just following in the line of David mark on other people well unimportant I tend to argue that there is no West really let me explain you Vokoun about the West as the disciplining a very successful disciplining circumstance at least in the first time you've spoken about it repeatedly as the largest sphere of influence yes but I still see the fact that the West the Occident if we like what had to be opposed to an East yes there there was always a counterpart and it is defined by a counterpart largely now that counterpart has disappeared after 1989 and I wonder with all the contradictions that we've seen appearing between Western countries with all the integration or interconnection with countries outside of that West taking place is it why does it still seem reasonable to you to speak about the West at all that would be my question thank you I don't agree that the West is defined in terms of another I think that is a paint by the numbers trick that we see in a certain type of social science and Humanities approach the other in the scare quotes and then to talk about definition of yourself in terms of the other I think that's nonsense the West is defined on its own terms I can tell you what the West is a right it's about markets private property prosperity open societies like free economy open societies and liberal constitutional order and democracy that's what the West is about that's what the West means the West means nothing other than that it's not a geographical term because Japan was able to join that sphere of influence and it joined only on those terms the same way that Eastern Europe had to qualify to join the West some didn't really qualify and they will let in anyway I don't want to mention any names but it did happen it did happen but so the West to me is a series of values a series of institutions and an idea about itself and the idea that it needs some other to go beat up on in order to define itself is a critique that's rooted partially in facts but is rooted in a delusional methodology that runs through the social sciences and the humanities in my view so now let's get to what's happened since other disagreements inside the Western sphere of influence greater now than they were 40 years ago 50 years ago not for me they're not if you know the history of the Cold War the disagreements were very significant I only mentioned the goal the goal is a crucially important figure in many ways but he's the easiest one to point two for the disagreement but there are fundamental disagreements about major issues but there's a shared framework there's a shared commitment of values and there are shared institutions does this mean that the West lives up to its promise its self-image it never lives up to that self-image and promise right just like Gandhi said about Western civilization right when they asked Gandhi what do you think about Western civilization he said it would be a great idea so I get that I get that I'm one of the critics but I need something to criticize if it doesn't live up to those institutions if it doesn't live up to those values if it doesn't live up to that behavior then I'm going to criticize it because I believe in those values those institutions and that behavior so I don't think they're greater disagreements now more I'm not bothered by the rise of the West I'm not bothered by the rise of the others here I like that I wanted the West example to succeed I wanted other countries to begin to think that they could copy this that they could emulate it and still be true to themselves the way the Japanese did the Japanese are not European but they're Western the Russians are not Western but they're European thank you very much professor Europe was broadens or kind of disarray in strategic thinking upon the victory of mr. Trump and one of the subjects which I believe will be discussed when the EU leaders are meeting later to take their fiercest take stock of the situation after the brexit yes will be shoot Europe move in the direction of a European integrated defense system it I think you might have an idea about that personally I would think it would be a great idea and I've been arguing it also in my Danish newspaper including that we should actually try now I don't know if it's possible but maybe the changes they are now where we are going to have a stronger and sharper Europe of that I'm quite sure that would be the effect within the next three four or five years could you even imagine that we should have not anymore a French nuclear defense but we should move in the direction maybe of a nuclear action axis Paris Berlin I mean really build up European defenses under the consideration that we can no longer depend the way we have been depending on the United States thank you so you will see that for all of my faults and blindness for all of the mistakes I made in three lectures I did not make the mistake of talking about Europe to this audience I did many other things that might appear stupid to you but that one I did not do and the reason I did not do that is because I don't think you need to hear more about Europe from me I spoke instead about East Asia and about the United States but let me say a word about Europe as a result I won't take a position on this particular issue I wait to see how it plays out but you know what I'm going to say because as my wife said you heard it twice already the first time Europe is a profound success there are now 28 minus 1 countries in the EU in my lifetime I never imagined that this was possible I still remember the founding six I still remember the difficulty of adding even any to the six now I've got 28 minus one once again though Europe has mismanaged the success and now talks not about success but about crisis and cannot be proud of itself somehow despite this incredible success this is confounding if you landed from somewhere else and looked at what Europe has achieved and you said and they talk about it as if it's not working they talk about it as if it's doomed they talk about it as if they've lost their way someone needs to seize the question of Europe and explain to the nations in Europe why Europe is a success and what it's delivering for them and what it's about stop with the fear stop with the defensive nasaan the offensive I'm not a European many of you are Europeans to me it's confounding ok Brussels I understand Brussels to you is maybe even worse than what Washington is to me I know it all too well and I have very sharp things to say about it things that can't be recorded on a camera for example I know you can say this about Brussels – I've been to Brussels however that's not what Europe is about we need a redefinition which goes back to core principles and core institutions and then we need a workable version of Europe that works for the nations that are inside Europe so that you can get majoritarian opinion in support of the EU in the member countries that's all now does that involve blank or blank or this or that right those are things you've got to speak about but what's necessary for Europe to function what's necessary for Europe to be not what's the most ambitious version of it but what's the necessary version the part which would make it work and why do we need more than the necessary which I'm going to call sufficient for Europe to function sufficient for Europe to be Europe we can calibrate our ambitions in institutional terms while being extraordinarily ambitious in value terms this is hard for politicians to figure out right how to get people soaring ambitions and to get functioning practical institutions which are less ambitious because it's the sufficient level rather than the most ambitious oh so that's an abstract answer but you know I'm very bullish on Europe yes they messed up the currency union in some ways yes we all know that yes all this is obvious in retrospect but my god these are fixable problems compared to what other problems have been fixed how about the Nazi problem was that a harder problem to fix than the common currency I don't think so I don't think it was nearly on the same level I don't not at all and that problem was fixed West Germany and now United Germany is an unbelievably extraordinary story it is an incredible country it is a dynamic market economy with solidarity it has an open society with solidarity it's got amazing functioning democratic and legal rule of law order institutions it made possible the liberation of Eastern Europe from communism solidarity is a story made possible by Germany by Germany success right so I don't understand why it's malaise and but you'll know from my second lecture that I talked about political and trepan oriole ISM political intrapreneurial ISM we forget how valuable and important this is political intrapreneurial ISM is the key variable or bond is an intrapreneur Trump is an entrepreneur I could go on I could name the rest of the people you probably dislike with every fiber of your body but I look at them I study them and I say if I don't share their values I want to see their techniques I want to see their intrapreneurial ISM and I want to see competitive politicians who can beat them in the marketplace of ideas because they are better political intrapreneurs we've had such people we've had a lot of great leaders in Europe we've even had great leaders in Washington even in my lifetime I've seen them right it can be done but that political intrapreneurial ism is a quick is a crucial without that you have only people organizing in the streets NGOs or what we you call civil society right you have all sorts of things that are flourishing but you don't have the levers on the system without the political entrepreneurs maybe not a satisfactory answer to your question but it's the one that came into my head you're in charge Yvonne yeah you do what you want be not afraid Yvonne just like John Paul the second said be not afraid yeah and also I also include Syria how come you did not mention Syria okay secondly you associated that the Russian regime that is not defending its state interests I mean what besides defending its state interests did Russia do in say Ukraine or also in Syria it also seems a bit off from my point of view thank you can I answer that one Yvonne because those are too big to let go yeah so let's talk about what Russia has in Syria what they've got in Syria tell me what they've got go ahead well Assad wanted to build a pipeline running a Putin interfered and it's in the interest of the Russian state that this power plant is not business okay so you have so they have a butcher they've got a butcher who controls a sliver of a former country that butcher is internationally hated many people in Russia can't stand him they're supporting him what long-term strategy is that are they going to get the country has been ruined 400,000 estimated number of people are dead the KGB did an analysis of the Soviet Union's influence in Africa and they came up with I've read the analysis they came up with a story that the Soviet Union supports countries that are basket cases that they're their friends and that the main industry in all their basket case countries is civil war that was Soviet influence in the third world this was the KGB writing so they've got nothing in Syria it's not an ally it doesn't have an economy it doesn't even have urban it doesn't have cities and universities and culture anymore because they've been destroyed now you can argue that what they've got is an ability to poke themselves and poke others in the eye in the international system so if they if Syria continues to decline but Assad holds on to that little piece of territory that he's got that this is somehow a Russia success this is not a success this gives Russia nothing this gives the Syrian people nothing this gives Russia illusionary hold or illusionary leverage on the international system Syria is a prime example of Russian failure if that's where you're successful Syria we have four hundred thousand people have been killed by this butcher and his opponents how is that some place that you see let's take Ukraine what have they done in Ukraine you've been to Crimea since Russia took Crimea I haven't been well they have a military base there and yeah they want to keep it obviously yeah they had a military base before but now they've lost the tourist industry which was the economy in Crimea that's a really big problem and also you know what they have they have a pro-western Ukrainian speaking Ukrainian have before and who created that I'll tell you who created that Vladimir Putin created that Yanukovych was able to win you wanted in a legitimate election because he had eastern Ukraine and Crimean votes and Ukraine was divided between West and East right now Ukraine is more pro-western than ever and more Ukrainian than ever and nothing like Yanukovych could come to power now because Crimea doesn't vote inside Ukraine anymore so what see God in Ukraine again he's got a country that was in distress before he came there the Ukrainian elites annihilated that country they made a basket case of that country with their missed rule pro-western pro-russian it's disgusting what they did and then he comes in and he creates Ukrainian ISM Ukrainian ization Ukrainian solidarity so you tell me how that's a quote defense of Russian nationals I could go on I could give you details greater details along these lines let's talk about in fact I'm sorry that you have something that I get something wrong there okay okay suppose I grant you that what about the second point what about Syria being in the belonging to the sphere of Russian influence what about that yeah what's that worth tell me really I want Syria is generations feel the influence which is some not the period there's a part of the area controlled momentarily by Assad which I don't predict is going to last and they have influence with him and then what have they got when Assad goes I got to tell you something you know what the United States has ally in South Korea the government changes one's more pro-american ones less pro-american it's a gigantic economy it's an open society it's an incredible ally okay I could go on there are 70 allies like that formally that the US has you tell me what Russia's allies look when I say the KGB did this analysis of who our friends were and where our sphere of influence was and that was when the Russian the Soviet servants was significant and yet it was basket cases right they had to it took a single Soviet transport plane an entire gigantic military just to send one tank to Africa cost them a fortune to participate in those incredible Civil Wars and so Putin is doing it more cheaply but with the same effect right you've been to Chechnya in the war hasn't yeah well Chechnya is a positive outcome from the Russian sense Syria if it were positive would end up like Chechnya that is to say there would be a strongman ruler who would corruptly rebuild skyscrapers in all maj to himself right and declare fealty to the kremlin while murdering people left and right and having the KGB complain to Putin about him I'm sorry the FSB right I mean I take your point that they've got something in Syria but it's negative value you know when you have a factory and the stuff it produces is worth less than the inputs it goes in that's called negative value in economics right let alone the negative externalities like pollution and the other things cause we're just talking about the value of the inputs and the outputs that's what you've got that's the Russian sphere listen it doesn't make me happy I'm not happy that this is the case I'm not anti Russian you believe it or not on pro-russian that's why I'm angry quick question do you think we reach the high point of resentment and populism in the West a very important question I understand I'm not that good at predicting the future and so you know I don't know if we've reached the high point it could be were just beginning moreover I'm not afraid of populism once again right I'm pro-democracy with a small D and so the brexit vote for me was completely legitimate those people had no voice and their voice was exposed their voice was allowed to come forward right maybe they have regrets the campaign was mendacious they were promised things that aren't going to happen right I understand that's politics right we all know about parents sometimes do that with their children even right so I get it I get all that but I'm good if marine lepen is successful what does that mean to me that means that there are people who are listening to her and think that the system is not working for them and so she's challenging the system to respond and not just to respond to negative fashion and to say okay let's all gang up to stop her where's the positive vision with why not go into those neighborhoods those regions that vote for her and tell people a story that's meaningful to them right and make them part of the political system but on your side not on her side right that we don't have that yet we don't have that political intrapreneurial ism defending those voiceless people right systems produce winners and losers but just because people lose in something that's successful doesn't mean we don't have to pay attention to them right we can enjoy our success and pay attention to those who don't have success our problem is we focus on inequality inequality is a condition of prosperity the issue is mobility awkward mobility if inequality is increasing but upward mobility is increasing we're in great shape right if inequality is decreasing and upward mobility is decreasing we're nowhere right we have to figure out again the upward mobility question how you give more opportunity you spread opportunity systems become ossified they're successful when they get successful kick the ladder away they climb up there on the top and then the ladder goes and it's only for their kids it's only for their people this is you know sociology 101 or Theory 101 meaning you know organizational Theory first class at university right so every system needs to be jolted it needs to be broken open right you know what Trump has done he broke open the American system this was very important he's achieved nothing and that system is holding on but he created an opening he destroyed the bush dynasty he destroyed the Clinton dynasty in a single electoral cycle I love him for that he's not fixing anything and he's created a family regime family and still avicii it's astonishing but nonetheless the system was so stall to fight it was so ossified there was so little opportunity there was so little voice for so many people and there was an opening now and that opening is huge but yeah but where the political intrapreneurs where's the creation of opportunity the spread of opportunity to focus on mobility upward mobility right that's the key that's what makes a society dynamic successful that's what makes democracy stable because no middle-class democracy doesn't last if everybody is losing from the system they don't want to keep the system that's thoroughly right that's the threat we're facing so I can't predict you know if we're peaking or we're not peeking it's going to depend on this absence or presence of political entrepreneurs who are going to speak to those rightfully disaffected people thank you I know you know that Graham Ellison is coming out with a new book about vicinities trap and the potential for conflict mainly with China when you have a rising power I suspect that you disagree with him on that topic actually but I would like your point of view so you know Thucydides it's hard to talk seriously about facilities in Graham Allison in the same sentence but Grand Mountain is a great figure but vicinities something different he wrote about you know the inevitable conflict Athens and Sparta one was the dominant power one was the rising power of the rising power had ambitions the dominant power wanted to hold the rising power down and sort of war looked inevitable and so China is we had this in the first lecture as you'll recall China is a rising power the u.s. is the dominant power is conflict inevitable we had the rise of German power on the competent that didn't end well from 1870 to 1945 we had the rise of Japanese power in East Asia that didn't end well right and we had the American British case where the British gave way partially reluctantly and the Americans pushed them aside right and that was not a conflagration and a war that was instead the mythology the delusion of the special partnership right which has worked for everyone really well like a marriage you always have to have these mythologies about each other in order for the marriage to survive yeah okay so you know social science does this it takes a couple of historical examples and then it decides that there's a rule or a law or a trap right for a long time there was something called Catholicism is incompatible with democracy you won't remember it because you were young then and Mussolini was in power is that me yeah sorry you know nothing against Mussolini and Italians and everything else but there was this argument in the same journal that Graham Allison writes for foreign affairs in the establishment Journal in Washington it's actually in New York but it serves Washington it's a great Journal and the argument was that you know these Catholics can't do democracy look look at southern Europe they can't do it and then it turned out that the Catholics they could do democracy and so what did it become it became oh those Eastern Christians those Eastern Orthodox they can't do democracy if this is sort of its just inherently they're incapable the values conflict and then it turned out they could and then it became the Muslims can't do democracy there's an inherent conflict there's a value conflict and the Muslims can't do this oh so now we're work that's where we are in the stage of this right and so we have these patterns that we create which become laws patterns are not laws patterns are what you learn from history but history doesn't necessarily repeat itself history is open as long as you understand the structural forces at work right war comes from miscalculation it comes from calculating risks miscalculating benefits or costs right war is not an accident it's a miscalculation people talk about how everyone stumbled into World War one right Barbara Tuchman and then we had Christopher Clarke wrote this fantastic rewrite of Barbara Tuchman with more stuff on the Austrians and the Serbs but it's the same argument sleepwalkers right here's the problem with sleepwalkers just to move the horses just to move the fodder that the horses ate took more than 1,000 orders from the kaisers office so you don't sleepwalk into war when you have to send a thousand orders that you sign just to move the food for the horses correct so it's not sleepwalking it's miscalculation it's a decision it's a decision that elites make the problem is the narrowness of the decision-making apparatus right one person Xi Jinping two people six people can make these momentous decisions here we sit in Europe and Donald Trump could bring the world to war he's not consulting us he's not asking geez what if I go to war would that be okay would you guys be good with that right so that's the problem we have the problem that decision-makers can get us to war but that's also not a given and just because China is rising in a u.s. dominated world doesn't mean that China has to be stupid and the US has to be stupid they can instead cooperate right there has been nothing more important to China's success than the u.s. the u.s. is the single biggest factor to China success remember I talked about there's a sphere of influence of the West and it's in East Asia – and how dong shellping was looking at Japan and it had been crushed in World War two and within the ashes and it rose to become the second largest economy in the world and then the same thing happened with South Korea and the same thing happened with Taiwan and dong shellping looked at this and said how did this happen and it happened because they were partners with whom partners with the United States and they sold manufacturing goods into the US market and China made that strategic choice when dong Xiao ping came to the US and 79 it changed from Soviet Union as its sphere of influence to the US and it was able competitively to make goods to sell into the US market what Eastern Europe was never able to do one of the reasons why Eastern Europe failed in the 70s and 80s was East Asia was successful the East Germans the Romanians they had nothing to sell the Chinese would eventually have something to sell but the Japanese the South Koreans and the Taiwanese had plenty to sell and in a competitive marketplace you have to win the consumer right so what we have there right what we have there is China rising because of a de facto partnership with the US who guaranteed the security who guaranteed the open institutions who brought created and brought China into the WTO right you could go on and you could go on you can't imagine China today without us power you can't imagine it right and the Chinese are not stupid they understand this the problem is the potential for miscalculation evicting the u.s. past the first island chain past the second out you know East Asia has a first island chain as I say I didn't put that map on them sorry but I should have put that map now that I see I'm talking about it so much but you know move the US fleet out beyond way beyond Chinese territory worth and dominate East Asia that they want to do but without as I said given up the the us-based liberal rules the rules based order right and so that's the calculation they have to make and then we have to make a similar calculation on our side which is to say how much of China's rise is okay by us and how much of China's rise is a problem for us that's negotiation and diplomacy not only military the challenge is that China is an opaque political system and there's a lack of confidence over the long term in dealing with an authoritarian regime that's very powerful the u.s. feels very uncomfortable being in partnerships having a system depend on authoritarian regimes and the Chinese Communists right their regime is the whole game for them so this is where the miscalculation can come in and both sides but no it's not inevitable and Joe Nye is a fantastic amazing scholar thank you very much so what we're going to do now is we're going to have four of us we're going to ask questions you're going to listen to us and then okay thanks very very much for the presentation which I found on the whole very convincing and even inspiring but at the end I I was puzzled you talk first about Russia then you talked about China and that left me with the impression that the only way out or the only future were lies in in Anarchy then you turn to the US and then you said that the US has important decisions to take or to make and that gave me the impression of my my question is are you saying that whatever the US will decide we're still doomed for anarchy or do you think that the u.s. could or will take us out of the anarchy and if so how although I learnt now that you don't like any predictions I tried I'm quite often in in Russia and I would be interested to hear from you the situation in the Kremlin for the next 12 months we all know the strategy of Putin how he wants to survive how he is trying to influence the population now seeing that his support in in the country itself is somehow deteriorating and seeing that there will be a presidential elections in one year what are you expecting in a Putin strategy think since 2018 can it become dangerous yeah thank you after what you said about inequality I shouldn't make a remark that wise guy was going to me that I'm going to make but let me try a nevertheless I think the model of the West that you outlined ten-in-one in one sense even be stripped down more and in another sense it has to be completed I think the model of the West is an economic and economist achmadi it's its success is based on a machinery that that assures the maximization of aggregate welfare over a certain region over certain policy-making area for given resources that that's that's one part the other part however is philosophical it is the philosophy of liberalism has nothing to do with it with the economy and that there are connections between the two of course in order to in order to keep the machinery of the market of a market driven economy going you need a certain amount but not not unchecked but a certain amount of economic Liberty liberalism that that you can have too much of it was shown in the financial crisis and what I want to complete the model with is exactly the notion of inequality yes inequality is is not as not a whole economic category it is not is not a a indispensable ingredient to the working of the market economy not at all it is a philosophical a socio philosophical concept and of course we don't want an egalitarian economy because this this would kill incentives but we don't need to mow we can't we can't accept too much of inequality of unjustified inequality and that's why economists also measure inequality professor attic Atkinson and others the Joseph Stiglitz has written about it so it's it's it's really simplistic to put inequality the way you did it in your model of the West can I also ask a question because the way in a certain way you are presenting and I very much agreed this success but normally political regimes are destroyed by their success not by their failures so you have three kinds of interesting paradoxes one is that nineteen both 1989 world was declared as a victory for all when the Cold War ended the major message was no country no societies losing communism lost but Russia won a miracle one euro Russia brought down the Soviet Union exactly absolutely so strangely not now you have an order which nobody is ready to defend Russia is a revisionist power trivial one as you put it I very much agree Chinese revisionist power not a trivial one because its success but the United States is revisionist power particularly when it comes to a trade issues so I'm saying this because you said the sphere of influence is very much also imitating your regimes your institutions basically your practices what I find interesting about the Russian position is the Treasury is challenging the West not by coming with any alternative it's not Soviet Union but by imitating but they believe the day imitating what is the real West not what the West basically saying but what the West is doing to us so from this point of view imitation itself is becoming an instrument for subverting this very order and this is nevertheless that when you talk about capacity about power and so on yeah you don't have anything there but you hit this negative capacity based on the resentment with the system if the hypocrisy of the Western not the West the trash in challenging how this fits and I am going to ask this because there is in my view one important thing that has happened and American obsession with the Russian interference in the elections real or not is important of this before the nation states here's a natural monopoly over knowing more about their own populations than other people's government if you remember basically how the United States was trying to study Soviet society Harvard projects you're getting immigrants you're asking them questions now with the big data you can end up that some of a government of a foreign country can know more about you as a nation-state and if it's not true in the case of the US or Russia it's obviously true in the case of the small countries or company can know more how this is changing the idea the sphere of influence okay so what do I have to answer in two minutes to answer those six six questions six questions out of four people yes so inequality is the organizing principle of the left and so when I talk about inequality as not being the principal issue that's what I'm talking about I'm talking about a mistaken leftist approach that does itself a disservice I recognize that inequality exists I've read many studies on inequality and not just the social-democratic ones there are conservative studies conservative economists who study inequality when I talked about the West what did I say I said it was values and institutions values and institutions it's an open society it's a rules based legal order it's a democratic polity it's an open dynamic economy those are values and institutions we can then debate those values and institutions you like more regulation somebody else likes less regulation those are completely legitimate debates there's no question that those are legitimate debates when you have a nice framework like the West which enables nonviolent discussion and settlement of differences you can expect a society to think the same you expect a society to be very pluralist in its thinking and you just need mechanisms and so we can have a discussion of inequality my own view which I don't attempt to persuade you is that it is a mistaken political project that it's not going to deliver for the very people we're hoping to deliver because those people need opportunities they don't the inequality debate is a distraction from the core fundamental problem of a lack of opportunity these are my views you don't have to share them but those are my views once again once again that's once again that's a debate I understand that too big and some people think that inequality should be reduced for example there should be higher taxes order I take no position on that I'm taking no position whatsoever on that debate I recognize that as a legitimate debate I'm just telling you that the organizing principle of the left around inequality is not a successful strategy in tactical terms that's my opinion never mind the identity politics which is the bigger problem than the inequality story for the left the destroying itself okay now the Kremlin right now you know I'm not sure I know more than you know so I'm not sure I have any value to add but the regime is about self-preservation and so everything is a hostage to the electoral victory he could move the election up in on an unexpected unannounced fashion to cut short the electoral period there is only one of a candidate who they legally won't allow to run and they may put him in jail again their problem is not him because they can manipulate that process their problem is the vote total because they'll need fraud in order to get a a non humiliating number in Moscow for the re-election they can't get a smaller number than they got in 2012 because that means they're in decline and it's very hard to manipulate vote counts now because we have cyber capabilities to get inside systems and see what the actual vote count totals are so it's a self-preservation story and then nothing you know what comes after that I don't even want to talk about it but here's the problem as regimes get towards the endgame as authoritarian regimes overstay their welcome the existing elite structures need to guarantee their future right remember who barked he was over 80 years old and he had cancer and the existing elites who are tied to that Mubarak regime have everything at stake all their property and their freedom all their money and all their freedom is at stake in any transition so what you see in an authoritarian regime is a struggle inside the elite apparatus to deal with the succession issue the uncertainty of continuation into the future this is every authoritarian regime right not just the Putin regime and so and so how long does the Putin thing continue to go let's remember that he's not well loved by the elites inside that system they don't like what's happening to the country and they know it better than I do they have better information than I have by a lot because they run the system and they're patriots many of them just like Putin is a patriot in his own way so that system could could undergo inter elite competition and struggle now if the Putin thing keeps going you're facing potential post Putin collapse right you've collapsed in a heap Putin's whole story was rescuing the Russian state from the Yeltsin era collapsed because as I argued the Soviet collapse didn't end in 1991 it continued all through the 90s right now this Soviet collapse Putin arrested the Soviet collapse it stopped the system was able to rebuild a state right but that quest to rebuild the strong state has ended in what personal rule and even more corrupt system dysfunctional system now and so the very real possibility is that this unravels and that Putin's life project of rescuing the Russian state needs to be done by his successor again that's the irony of Putin's rule he could have gone down as a man who rescued the Russian state and he may go down as them as the man who like Gorbachev destroyed it again I don't predict that I'm just saying that that's a possibility and that and then we have inside that the intra elite competition for the succession problem nobody wants to lose their position their property their power right there their patrimony that is for their children and so we could well see a significant struggle not during the election but after the election in to deal with the succession uncertainty all right I once again I don't make any predictions right off our caring regimes are susceptible to elite power struggle and elite power struggles are sometimes triggered by what happens in the streets and sometimes not triggered by what happens in the streets but just triggered internally right they the brave people who come on to power your square in Egypt right set off a struggle inside the elite apparatus a bunch of cowards bunch of nonentities you know all the lowlifes that Mubarak appointed so they wouldn't threaten him that they would be not as qualified right that's called negative selection and sociology that's what these regimes do but even those people can become somewhat intrapreneurial by latching on to the courage the resistance that you saw on the streets so in the Russian case however they can enter into those internal struggles without anything in the streets that's the majority of authoritarian cases right until recently almost all authoritarian regimes were destroyed in a palace coup that's how they died now we're there they've mutated they're somewhat different so it's hard to see where the possible okay let's get to the u.s. anarchy and the u.s. revisionist power question because those are two versions of the same question I think this is going to end I think we're going to I'm sorry I think we're over time even I'm not good at short answers I think that I've proven that over three lectures sorry so that's why I don't do television not only but that too okay so what have I said in three days what have I actually said what's the takeaway message here over three days the takeaway message is that the Western sphere of influence is a stunning achievement and needs to be preserved but is in a decline a self started right self initiated structural decline not an end not a collapse not a Soviet scenario but there are problems with the West that the West itself has been doing to itself not Russia not China the China story is a remarkable story it's an incredible story and I hope it continues I hope they have even more success I'm very impressed with what they've been able to do and I would never sell them short even though I listed their problems but they cannot substitute for the US so they're not going to displace the US in that sense the US is either going to displace itself and we get to the Anarchy or the u.s. is not going to displace itself we don't know the answer to that question just like we don't know the answer to what the EU is going to look like next year in the year after because that's up to us right that's up to us as public's and as our political entrepreneurs it's wide open impossible the US has done many bad things including to itself and it's come out the other side even stronger I remember the 70s that's where these lectures began if you were alive in the 70s and the mid 70s would you have predicted the success that follow Watergate Vietnam oil shock right there's a resilience there's a tremendous resilience in the Western sphere business tremendous resilience in Europe and tremendous resilience in the u.s. system and Trump is not up to the task of massive destruction moreover Trump didn't start the problem he's a symptom he can add to the problem he can worsen the West's loss of will loss of understanding of what it is inability to take advantage of its strengths fear tremendous fear of threats that are blown way out of proportion he can exacerbate all of that so far it's very early you know we're a hundred days in there's 1364 days to go of the Trump administration so it's kind of early to write I you know what the Clinton administration was like its first year I got to tell you it was not very competent a guy from Arkansas didn't know much about the world and about running the free world when he came to power George Bush from Texas Barak Obama from from what what did he do before he got to Washington nothing no significant accomplishments whatsoever right so we're early in this game and Trump looks more unqualified than everybody else because he's got character issues that are fundamental he's fundamentally dishonest in a way that none of these other people were and the character issue is it's gigantic as a variable in decision-making right yeah you know we could talk unfortunately a lot about that but I just want to I don't want these lectures to end and the main point is obscured because I fail to state it properly right so the main point is it's early it's not collapse we're not at Anarchy yet there's tremendous resilience we don't know how much resilience there is in the Chinese system because they haven't experienced a significant crisis yet we're on the other side of 2008 financial crisis and there was a lot more resilience in the global financial system and people understood there to be in fact the Chinese and the Russians thought the US was toast after that financial crisis they wrote about it internally and they miscalculated because there's a resilience in Western societies there's a resilience in democracy there's a resilience in rule of law there's a resilience in the Federal Reserve which is a competent organization and which in fact runs the world economy whether you like it or not right it's not a democratic institution so this resilience is there the structural issues the self defeat is gaining momentum but it's very early it's not the end of the world it Trump could have little effect on it I don't think he could reverse it because he doesn't even understand these questions right which is not to say like I said that his predecessors understood them that well Barack Obama figured out that the world was changing that China's power was rising and that the US couldn't impose its will everywhere anymore and the result of that was to do next to nothing but that recognition was a profound recognition but we needed a proactive version once you recognize that what are you going to do because omission can sometimes be as bad as coal mission right everybody sees Bush coal mission Iraq war people don't see omission the same way so I'm not a pessimist the u.s. is not a fundamentally revisionist power the u.s. is undergoing a process whereby it's got to redefine how it is beneficial to America to Americans how its nationalist to defend a global open rules-based international order thank you [Applause]

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