Foreign Policy

The Annotated Toffler

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Ayesha Khanna
August 17, 2011 |

Think you've heard it all about the global financial crisis, the Internet distracting us into stupidity, dysfunctional and self-destructive politics, the demise of the nuclear family, and degenerating cities? Well imagine having predicted, written about, and imagined the consequences of all of these postmodern maladies -- before they ever happened. Meet Alvin and Heidi Toffler, the accidental futurists who have lived to see so many of their foresights become our daily reality.

Technology Will Take on a Life of Its Own

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Ayesha Khanna
August 16, 2011 |

It was the double date we had looked forward to more than any other. Just before sunset on a hot August day in Los Angeles, we sat in a nearly empty hotel restaurant awaiting the arrival of one of the most influential husband-and-wife intellectual teams in history: Alvin and Heidi Toffler.

The World Will Be More Crowded — With Old People

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
August 16, 2011 |

Demography is not destiny, as is sometimes claimed. The human race could be wiped out by a plague or an asteroid, or transformed by some new technology. But no matter what, today's patterns of fertility, migration, and mortality fundamentally determine how much society will or can change for many generations to come.

Three Cheers for Decline

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
August 9, 2011 |

As the U.S. bond rating falls and the stock market plunges, the American Century looks to be well and truly over. While this has provoked no small amount of hand-wringing, Americans may soon come to enjoy no longer bearing the responsibility for running the world's indispensable nation.

The Cultural Evolution

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
August 8, 2011 |

As hundreds of same-sex couples swapped vows two weeks ago on the day that their weddings became legally recognized in New York, commentators took the opportunity to marvel once more at the dramatic change in U.S.

A Murderer's Manifesto and Me

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

There have been a few, gratifying moments during my long career as a writer when people have told me their lives were changed for the better by something I wrote. Yet every writer, particularly those dealing with controversial subjects, has to confront the possibility that his or her words will have, or will seem to have had, baleful influences as well.

Greening It Alone

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

It may be hard to remember amid all the news of decline, but in plenty of areas, the United States is still the world's leader. You can't propose global banking regulation without buy-in from Wall Street. And if you want to invade somewhere far away, it's probably best to have America front and center, or at least ferrying troops and supplies. But when it comes to responding to the biggest global challenge of the 21st century, the United States is no longer even first among equals. And given the complete paralysis in Washington, that's a relief.

Red, Delicious, and Rotten

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

A friend in Beijing recently told me a story about the time a China Telecom technician came over to install the Internet connection for her Apple laptop. The man, an experienced worker, puzzled over the slim, silver device. He picked it up gingerly, holding it away from his body as one might inspect a suspicious package. After a few minutes, he set to work, but then grew frustrated when he couldn't find the familiar pull-down menus to configure the connection.

Famine Is a Crime

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
July 26, 2011 |

Deprived of food long enough, the bodies of starving people break down muscle tissue to keep vital organs functioning. Diarrhea and skin rashes are common, as are fungal and other infections. As the stomach wastes away, the perception of hunger is reduced and lethargy sets in. Movement becomes immensely painful. Often it is dehydration that finally causes death, because the perception of thirst and a starving person's ability to get water are both radically diminished.

The Price Is Right

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
July 19, 2011 |

July 11 was World Population Day, an annual occasion on which the United Nations reminds us all of the number of people on the planet -- now approaching 7 billion -- and the monumental challenges entailed in the task of caring for such an enormous human family. Among those challenges was "ending poverty," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement, one whose resolution would "unleash ... vast human potential."

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