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Posted March 24, 2007
a remedy for the world
skip all the gobly-gook in politics and get to the meat. that's what this book says in short. the world is made more unsafe by the double talk and chaotic dancing in politics.call a spade a spade, and then smash it. then the world is controllable and safe.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2002
Brilliant But Wrong-Headed Exploration Of World At Large!
Over the last decade or so Robert Kaplan has become a kind of neo-conservative cottage industry, churning out interesting and well-written tomes that challenged conventional wisdom by using a kind of realpolitick approach to foreign policy issues in a way that often showed the illusory nature of more ordinary thinking on the specific subject matter. Yet he has also refused to abandon such self-serving notions as the silly and patently absurd idea that international politics is somehow surrealistically above and beyond the crass and commercial influence wielded by special interest groups and corporate pressures within a nation's power elite. Yet if anything, we have all come to rrecognize just how down and dirty such powerful such upper class influences have been when applied to the United States in the last twenty years of the 20th century. Other reviewers have described Mr. Kaplan as having a "well-deserved reputation as one of the advocates of a "realist foreign policy", and indeed, to the extent he uses his keen intellect and personal experience to offer the reader insight, he is obviously a man well worth reading and listening to. Yet one must take Mr. Kaplan's advice and observations in rather small and homeopathic doses, lest one neglect to notice his rather conventional and neo-conservative bias showing through. I fear the author is a wolf hiding in a fox's clothing. He's just another apologist for a do-nothing bunch of politicians who continue to try to play hide the flag from the public. For example, he often uses the nations of the so-called Third World as examples of chaos and self-destruction, without ever mentioning the degree to which corporate fingerprints and the legacy of self-serving actions by the World bank have left these same countries trapped into a self-defeating cycle, teetering on bankruptcy and forced to export many indigenous crops rather than feed their own in order to stave off the wolves in wool-blended suits. Yet here in this new effort he finally begins to recognize and admit that mere nation states lack the power to restrain the corporate entities that operate on a world scale as virtually untouchable and unstoppable titans, beyond the ken and laws of any single nation-state. Welcome to the real world, Robert. I am also a bit disappointed in his deliberate ignorance regarding placement of blame for social and political indifference in the so-called social democracies of the west. He waxes philosophically about the shocking degree of political apathy without recognizing the efforts by corporate entities (who own the mass electronic media) to dissuade, defuse, and dislocate the concerns, issues, and realities of contemporary life, making news into vehicles for entertainment, and sidelining our real and urgent concerns with exercises in tawdry entertainment, such as the sad spectacle of the Bill Clinton-and that Monica person affair, which so saturated and dominated the media for well over a year, and about which the average citizens was almost completely indifferent. Yet in that time frame that was the only subject discussed in any detail or with any regularity. The rest of the complicated world faded to some altered plain of existence for the duration, I guess. Nothing else was happening Also, Mr. Kaplan's solipsistic attempt to try to blame public indifference on materialism and self-absorption is like complaining the kids we are giving Prozac to are too zonked to be intense competitors anymore. After all, in the last year George Bush has become more a salesman for boosted consumerism as a form of patriotic duty than a genuine leader of his people. Give us all a break, Bob. We're too busy trying to figure out why this mysterious bunch of nitwits within the Executive Branch of Government wants to invade Iraq to go buy any more books pandering to some new version of conventional wisdom. I finally tired of Mr. Kaplan's literary and historical allusions, as when he claims there isWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.