Kevin of The Smallest Minority fame has posted an interview with Amy Chua, the author of Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance–and Why They Fall. Fascinating stuff if you are interested in that sort of thing.
I was having a discussion a year or so back with a career academic (an astronomer, if it matters) who was bemoaning how the Global War on Terror has caused anti-American feeling to grow in many Western countries. His position was that it was bad for the US militarily since many democratic governments could not openly aid us if the voters back home were opposed.
I thought this was a totally unrealistic view since just about every Western democracy except the Australians and British have gutted their defense budgets to the point that they no longer have the ability to project military might, and the Brits and Aussies were aiding us anyway. Why should anyone care if the people who can’t help don’t approve? What are they bringing to the table to offer us if we should pay attention?
Prof. Chua is the very first person since 2001 who offers a realistic justification as to why we should care about anti-Americanism. She says that the main reason that we enjoy being so far ahead of the rest of the world in just about every category is due to the fact that the best and the brightest from other countries wanted to come here. The flow of talent from every corner of the globe towards the US is the only reason we were able to pull ahead.
Go ahead and watch the interview. I think I’ll have to pick up a copy of Prof. Chua’s tome and give it a read.
(Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)
James McCormick’s review of Chua’s World on Fire.