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Bremmer, I: Us vs. Them

The Failure of Globalism

Ian Bremmer

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New York Times bestseller

"A cogent analysis of the concurrent Trump/Brexit phenomena and a dire warning about what lies ahead...a lucid, provocative book." --Kirkus Reviews

Those who championed globalization once promised a world of winners, one in which free trade would lift all the world's boats, and extremes of left and right would give way to universally embraced liberal values. The past few years have shattered this fantasy, as those who've paid the price for globalism's gains have turned to populist and nationalist politicians to express fury at the political, media, and corporate elites they blame for their losses.

The United States elected an anti-immigration, protectionist president who promised to "put America first" and turned a cold eye on alliances and treaties. Across Europe, anti-establishment political parties made gains not seen in decades. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

And as Ian Bremmer shows in this eye-opening book, populism is still spreading. Globalism creates plenty of both winners and losers, and those who've missed out want to set things right. They've seen their futures made obsolete. They hear new voices and see new faces all about them. They feel their cultures shift. They don't trust what they read. They've begun to understand the world as a battle for the future that pits "us" vs. "them."

Bremmer points to the next wave of global populism, one that hits emerging nations before they have fully emerged. As in Europe and America, citizens want security and prosperity, and they're becoming increasingly frustrated with governments that aren't capable of providing them. To protect themselves, many government will build walls, both digital and physical. For instance...
* In Brazil and other fast-developing countries, civilians riot when higher expectations for better government aren't being met--the downside of their own success in lifting millions from poverty.
* In Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt and other emerging states, frustration with government is on the rise and political battle lines are being drawn.
* In China, where awareness of inequality is on the rise, the state is building a system to use the data that citizens generate to contain future demand for change
* In India, the tools now used to provide essential services for people who've never had them can one day be used to tighten the ruling party's grip on power.

When human beings feel threatened, we identify the danger and look for allies. We use the enemy, real or imagined, to rally friends to our side. This book is about the ways in which people will define these threats as fights for survival. It's about the walls governments will build to protect insiders from outsiders and the state from its people.

And it's about what we can do about it.

"Required reading to help repair a world in pieces and build a world at peace."
- António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

"The best book yet on the waves Donald Trump rode to power. Ian Bremmer is right that rage and scorn are not plans. He provides good practical ideas for what can be done."
-Lawrence Summers, professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and former director or the National Economic Council

"Few can beat Ian Bremmer in taking the pulse on the health of nations and the world. Here he dives into the divisions and disputes of the wave of protests and populism that gave the US Donald Trump and Europe Brexit."
-Carl Bildt, co-chair of European Council on Foreign Relations

"My favorite thinker on geopolitics offers a masterful analysis of why globalism crashed and populism has soared. This book won't just help you predict the future of nations; it will play a role in shaping that future."
-Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

"A crisp and compelling anatomy of present political ills across many countries. Bremmer's discussion of global approaches to revising the social contract between government and citizen offers a welcome ray of light."
-Anne-Marie Slaughter, president & CEO of New America

"Global politics is a jungle today. Thank goodness Ian Bremmer can be your guide."
-David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

"Once again, Ian Bremmer provides a striking preview of tomorrow's top stories. A timely warning, but also a source of hope, Us vs. Them is required reading for those worried about our world's future."
-Nouriel Roubini, author of Crisis Economics; professor at New York University's Stern School of Business; chairman of Roubini Macro Associates

"Ian Bremmer is provocative, controversial, and always intelligent about the state of our world, which he knows so well!"
-Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm. He has published ten books, including Superpower and the national bestsellers
The End of the Free Market and
Every Nation for Itself. He lectures widely and writes a weekly foreign affairs column for TIME magazine, where he's editor at large. He lives in New York City.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 208
Erscheinungsdatum 24.04.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-53645-1
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 20.8/13.9/2.2 cm
Gewicht 206 g


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  • Chapter 1

    Winners and Losers

    I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

    -William Ernest Henley

    "It's time for a local revolution," the candidate told the roaring crowd. "Countries are no longer nations but markets. Borders are erased . . . Everyone can come to our country, and this has cut our salaries and our social protections. This dilutes our cultural identity." Marine Le Pen's four sentences capture every important element of the anxiety rising across the Western world. The borders are open, and the foreigners are coming. They will steal your job. They will cost you your pension and your health care by bankrupting your system. They will pollute your culture. Some of them are killers. Le Pen fell short in her bid to become France's president in 2017, but her message remains compelling for the twenty-first-century politics of us vs. them.

    But this is not a story about Marine Le Pen or Donald J. Trump or any of the other populist powerhouses who have emerged in Europe and the United States in recent years. Spin the camera toward the furious crowd-there's the real story. It's not the messenger that drives this movement. It's the fears, often, if not always, justified, of ordinary people-fears of lost jobs, surging waves of strangers, vanishing national identities, and the incomprehensible public violence associated with terrorism. It's the growing doubt among citizens that government can protect them, provide them with opportunities for a better life, and help them remain masters of their fate.

    As of December 2015, just 6 percent of people in the United States, 4 percent in Germany, 4 percent in Britain, and 3 percent in France believe "the world is getting better." The pessimistic majority suspects that those with power, money, and influence care more about their cosmopolitan world than they do about fellow citizens. Many citizens of these countries now believe that globalization works for the favored few but not for them.

    They have a point.

    Globalization-the cross-border flow of ideas, information, people, money, goods, and services-has resulted in an interconnected world where national leaders have increasingly limited ability to protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens. In the digital age, borders no longer mean what citizens think they mean. In some ways, they barely exist.

    Globalism-the belief that the interdependence that created globalization is a good thing-is indeed the ideology of the elite. Political leaders of the wealthy West have been globalism's biggest advocates, building a system that has propelled ideas, information, people, money, goods, and services across borders at a speed and on a scale without precedent in human history.

    Sure, more than a billion people have risen from poverty in recent decades, and economies and markets have come a long way from the financial crisis. But along with new opportunities come serious vulnerabilities, and the refusal of the global elite to acknowledge the downsides of the new interdependence confirms the suspicions of those losing their sense of security and standard of living that elites in New York and Paris have more in common with elites in Rome and San Francisco than with their discarded countrymen in Tulsa, Turin, Tuscaloosa, and Toulon. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia," former White House strategist Steve Bannon told the Hollywood Reporter a few days after Donald Trump's 2016 election victory. "The issue now is about Americans looking to not get fucked over."

    In the United States, the jobs that once lifted generations of Americans into the middle class-and kept them there for life-are vanishing. Crime and drug addiction are rising. While 87 percent of Chinese and 74 percent of Indians told pollsters in 2017 that they believe their country is moving "in the right direction," just 43 percent of Americans said the same.