While I was pleased to see a knowledgeable commentator offer the promise of a fresh approach to the decline of American empire, alas Parag Khanna’s provocative essay does not escape the delusions of your father’s realpolitique. What purports to be a broad-minded analysis of the quest for “global equilibrium” under changing conditions, ends up being a playbook for the scramble for global goodies—with a disturbing dash of Huntingtonian Yellow Peril China-bashing. The real lessons here are deeper: the danger of asking the wrong question, and the need to bring global knowledge into a global framework to understand 21 st-century realities.

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