tv [untitled] CSPAN June 13, 2009 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT
we spend more on the military budget than any other country in the world combined. so we have to reinvest differently and yet of course there's dangers, of course dangers and of course countries have to defend themselves and cities and families. >> host: bernadine dohrn, bill ayers have been our guests. thank you both very much. [applause]
>> i have written a book called "the next hundred years" which is the most presumptuous the book you could possibly imagine. in one sense it is certainly how can i possibly know what will happen in the next 100 years. but in another sense the reason i have tried to create this book is to get a sense of this moment. when i talk about the next hundred years i want to think what are the forces that are real, permanent, not today's crises, but what are the things that will be discussed 50 years from now, 100 years from now? where the forces that are developing underneath a the surface of our global system that will be driving this?
if we start back yen and 1900, and i said to you in 1908, by the year 2000 all of the european empires will be gone, the romanovs, the turks, the great century will be the rise of american power, china and japan and korea will be great economic powers. and in the middle will be israel that is the great military force. they would carry me out, give me medication, and assure me if i tried to help myself i could be helped. [laughter] but it is not just the 19th century brick if at the beginning of the 18th century i would say to you by the end of this century, a great new global power would
be the united states, if i said that in 1800, the ottoman empire is finished, you will not worry about it, the british will conquer africa and by the way india as well. again you would think me mad. because the worst way to approach to thinking about the future is to use common sense. [laughter] and that is the only overriding principle that i have discovered in history if i stand in 1980 and say 1990 the soviet union would collapse or in 1960 the united states would fight a war with the communist or the vietnamese, we would lose. if i did any of these things you would be convinced i would be mad and therefore if i am going to think about the
21st century, at first you haft 212 but i have to suspend common sense. in other words, the attempt to extrapolate simplistically the future will be like now only more so is inherently wrongheaded the cia published a study india and china will be merging powers of the cia just brought it a straight line. but the center we have passed is a century fall of discontinuity. the question i am asking what are the discontinuities that will occur in the 21st century? and equally, what are the forces that create those discontinuities? i guarantee the concrete suggestions i have will sound
completely mad and perhaps they are, but they are not intended to me but no more air mad they an understanding this century and 1900. so what are the underlying forces that frame the century? let me begin with the first one which i think is critical which is the end of the population. everywhere in the world birthrates are collapsing. it is projected by the united nations population growth will go 100% in the past 50 years to only 50% by 2015 and by the end of the century, a 10% growth. to replace population, each woman it needs to have 2. one children and in most of europe, that number is
1.5, 1.six, 1.seven, and japan is similar. it is therefore at arithmetically certain that the population of of the leading countries we're looking at is going to decline dramatically as well as age but wants the baby boom has passed away, talking about me, when i am gone, the population decline will accelerate. nor is it likely to reverse an agricultural society or early industrial society having a child was profitable you send them to work at to the early age and when you retire they took care of you but today the single, if you talk about conspicuous consumption, nothing is more expensive than a child who remains a child into his mid-20s. [laughter] when he tries to find himself and you have to finance it.
[laughter] or if he picks a profession does not work out and comes home. in other words, having children is a luxury, not a necessity and people will not indulge in it luxury excessively. and therefore there are fewer children that is not simply here. know where in the world where the birth rate is not in a precipitous decline further in the advanced industrial world it is already in that position. in the middle tier countries like mexico or brazil, it is already approaching levels of zero population growth and even in areas where population is growing rapidly such as bangladesh, the congo, third tier countries, you have a fall from a 7.five down at a five birthrate. so we're
seeing the european model of demography parker year begins 1492 with the first globalization of the economy because the first global economy that was ever created was the europeans until that point* to the aztecs had no idea there were mongols, the mongols were not connected to the zulu and it was the european imperialists that tied altogether and made it aware of the self and created a global system. instead of isolated systems. part of the european model was the population explosion which came about for a host of reasons from health care to different models of production and so on. the basic assumption that is built into the economic system is now there will always be more people, more workers, more consumers, more
soldiers. so in the history of europe the army's got larger, the economy got larger, the world got larger. that system is ending. it is ending because the european model is in decline. in fact, one would say it is not in decline because of i would point* to the single most important event of the 20th century, it was the end of the european imperial system, the collapse of the british empire, the collapse of the french empire, a dutch empire, a belgian empire, had a more profound effect on the way the world worked than any other single event, the origins of that collapse was the fact that the europeans while they conquered the world also waged an endless civil
war against each other of intensifying proportions with larger armies and so on intel and the 20th century they had ripped themselves apart and no longer dominated the world. the fact that the europeans are no longer fighting is of course, gratifying, but as we like to say they are exhausted. call it a virtue. [laughter] after the 21st century it is not clear that the europeans as they gave up their empire are the same europeans that landed in their boats in latin america and proceeded to conquer empires. they were barbarians. we have the virtues and vices of barbarians. while the european age was critical atlantic europe
dominated the world and the heartland of the international system was of course, the north atlantic. you ever controlled the north atlantic controlled europe's access to the world whoever controlled europe's access to the world could shape the empire and of course, over hundreds of years spaniards dutch and british fought for control. of the north atlantic but in 1980 an extraordinary event happened in human history for the first time ever trans-pacific trade equaled transatlantic trade is somewhere around 1980. it is hard to pinpoint but that was an extraordinary event that we all experience but think what it means for it means at that point* not only was europe no longer the pivot of the global system, nor was the north atlantic by itself the key to global power.
there were two keys, the atlantic and in the pacific. therefore by definition any power that was made by both bodies of water was in an extraordinary position in particular if it had the wherewithal to exploit that. south america for reasons i will not go into a comic can let looks like one continent's but it really is not it is divided and subdivided but north america, is a power native to the atlantic and pacific therefore has the lowest cost of projecting power for the cost of european empire to maintain a a major naval presence in the pacific is extraordinarily high. the cost of the asian power to maintain the atlantic presence is extremely high.
but the cost for the united states to maintain both, while high, it is not extraordinary. therefore i would argue north america became particularly with the fall of the soviet union and the end of the centrality conflict in the same way that europe had been the center of gravity for 500 years from 1482 1/3 1991 when the soviets collapsed almost exactly 500 years europe had been the. >> . now to become north america and as it happens, the united states is the dominant power from this century in north america therefore it is the center of gravity. that does not necessarily mean it is the eternal or that it is powerful by itself just means by the geographic facts the way the world works, it is
in the right place. it is also an extraordinarily powerful country because it dominates a united continent, it has no continental enemies, it is not in the 100 some odd years have a domestic war to devastated to which almost differentiates us from all of the powers and therefore extremely wealthy. but we speak of all the crises of the united states that are serious but the fact remains the united states economy is larger than the next four economies combined, japan, china united kingdom and germany and combine all of them they're not quite as large as the american economy. we speak of the industrialization of the united states and that has happened america industrial put out 2. 8 trillion per year
which means the american industrial output is only larger than the combined output of china and japan and it is utterly vital to understand the scale of the american economy. to begin to measure american power. is extremely important to understand that i will not call it orders of magnitude greater but the power of the united continent native to atlantic and pacific is extraordinarily more powerful than those of other countries and add to the fact never before in human history has a single power controlled all of the sea lanes in the world. the united states navy may not be everywhere, but it can be anywhere. and no other naval force no matter how combined if these
are all of the world's navy against the u.s. navy it does not begin to measure up which means if you are in the arabian sea, if you are in a the south china sea, mature in a cabin cruiser in the caribbean, you are under the surveillance of american space in based systems and liable to interception by the u.s. navy part of this has two obvious outcomes that are very important. we get to invade other people, they don't get to invade us. that is not a trivial advantage if you have ever been invaded. does not make us why is coming it does not necessarily even make us effective but it gives us a unique advantage and the second thing that matters in the course of a century and this really is important it has the potential to reshape patterns of international trade if it chooses.
unit is states, throughout the 21st century has operated under the principle of a free trade regime in which its navy was primarily used to facilitate international trade. it did not seek to develop any special vantage from that. save those sanctions and blockades we vocationally imposed for immediate political purpose. but there is no reason to believe the 21st century than it states will choose to reshape international trade if it finds itself under extreme economic or political pressure. one can have power that is not exercise and that is the definition of soft power. when you talk about soft power it is what you could do that you don't do. that gives you the opportunity to be gracious, a friendly, a pleasant so when we speak of
the united states having soft power, that soft power derives from these absolutely overwhelming fax price say this because these facts are obvious, noncontroversial, and yet continually neglected in the face of what are serious but passing problems price say this at a time when we're all at a great economic crisis. but i recall being old enough in the '70s i remember we had a housing crisis because interest rates were 15% and you could buy a house because they were at 15% and and and unemployment at 10% at this daytime and inflation in 1112% and there was an oil shortage and you stood in line and we lost a war in vietnam and everybody knew the united states was an absolute decline
and that something terrific would happen then the iranians intervened kidnapped some embassy personnel we had a catastrophic outcome at desert one and no question that united states was a declining power and three or four years into the reagan administration, the fundamental reality of american power reasserted itself. in other words the underlying reality of the size and magnitude of both economic and military power reasserted itself in what seemed so absolutely obvious the decline of the united states turned out not to be so obvious. i destroyed an op-ed where i
begin with carter's a speech. i don't tell anybody it is not barack obama until later on. we as americans vastly tend to overestimate our problems and the rest of the world eagerly over estimates our problems. [laughter] the great desire of every european is united states should suffer the same fate as europe. not yet. so what is it we can expect? first i argue in the book to go very quickly is the jihadist war is not a 100 year war, it is about over certainly there will be radical islam as two hour prepared to commit terrorist acts, there have been for over 1,000 years but this is what is very important, the united states is withdrawing from iraq, that was set in place by bush and in due course we will
be out of afghanistan. we'll certainly with alexander the great and the russians in the british could not do, we will not do. what comes next? when i started to write the book it was controversial because i asserted the russian empire was reasserting itself was less controversial never take two years to write a book. [laughter] clearly the united states and the russians are in a minor competition. this is not a cold war in a sense they're not supporting wars of national liberation everywhere, it is not a new nuclear confrontation where the our hands of the scientist is one minutes away from midnight but nevertheless it is a serious confrontation because as soon as russia of reunites itself, the border is with europe and on the
northern european plain common this time the border is not in a central germany, it is on the polish border. and the russians are extremely interested in what the americans are doing in poland such as giving ballistic missile defense systems, f-16s and others and the americans are extremely interested with the russians are doing in the belarus, ukraine and everywhere else and aegis trying to influence the other. there will certainly be a period of extreme tension. i doubt the ability of the russians to maintain a long-term competition with the states but they have advantages. affects the europeans are utterly dependent on them for energy european foreign policy must take into account the consequences of alienating the the russians. we saw that with the germans when war broke out in a
georgia. and the united states pressed forward with the argument there should be nato expansion. and chancellor merkle went to st. petersburg where she met with president medvedev and declared she had no current interest in nato expansion and the russians were very thoughtful about that and please and i only cut off guest for three weeks of this time. [laughter] undoubtedly they wanted to influence the ukrainians and if the europeans got the message that the russians have them in a very uncomfortable position, through the administration they did not really object to that at all. the russians and americans are going to be competing again. that is yesterday's news. i don't think you what they should they will survive so let me go to the radical parts
of the book and what other great powers of the 21st century? the bear in mind when in 1900 the predictions would have been the same as well. i am not impressed by a chain and -- china it is a third growth current tree with a majority of people a vast majority third less than $2,000 per year if that much it is two countries at odds and china is essentially an extension of the american economy when we catch a cold day get pneumonia as they say. when a chinese worker becomes unemployed, he does not face problems with the 401(k). he was urging $80 per month and now he is facing problems with malnutrition and the chinese are terrified of unemployment as they should be and working very hard at it is
costing them money and inefficiency to keep factories going and these are self limiting factors, the chinese to have done extraordinarily well, the probability they will do equally well for the next 30 years is as likely as the ada in 1985 japan would be a super state exceeding the united states. we tend to draw a straight lines were straight lines should not be drawn. if i take a look at asia and say who is a great power in asia it is rather self-evident, it is japan, it is the world's second largest economy, it has a substantially effective navy, and a good air force, as -- it has a army larger than the british and that is it when the constitution demands they not have any of these things
imagine what happens when they change the constitution. japan is a great power with but it chooses to act in modest and careful ways should not delude anyone in the intrinsic power japan house. i expect japan to be a player to say the least. the sec and is a turkey. it is the world's 17th largest economy and larger than saudi arabia with an excellent army. and it lives in a sea of chaos. whenever internal problems it has as all two countries it is not in chaos produce the turkish influence spreading in the balkans, you see it in the caucuses, but you see it south and iraq and in the negotiations they carry out between israel and syria produce see the alliances they have created with israel, and
the extreme caution with iran treats turkey under any and all circumstances. you see a country that is the merging but when you remember over 500 years turkey was the center of the islamic world. the ottoman empire. that should not be that god. the last 100 years were odd clout turkey encloses itself and the anglo-french organized the region, the baltics, and the balkans i should say and the area south of the middle east. but as that area leaves the control of others, including the americans, the turks become much more important and influential. my third and final choice is the most controversy o , poland. why? because it faces russia.
the north german plain has no natural boundary is. the boundary now is drawn on the line poland, russia, belarus, ukrai ne and poland is the key if it is not to return to central europe which it may not want to, but it may wind up doing. united states is extremely interested in poland. and that has a certain impact on a country. when a country becomes a fundamental strategic importance to the world's leading power, able to make massive economic concessions and technology transfer, that has a real consequence. as an example i will give yourself to react if i said in the 1950's that south korea would be one of the