The World Is Flat
Thomas Friedman
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York (USA), first edition, 2005 (2005)
488 pages, including index.

There is nothing here yet but a collection of quotes from the book that I will be expanding when I find the time.

If you put The Lexus and the Olive Tree and this book together, the broad historical argument you end up with is that there have been three great eras of globalization. The first lasted from 1492 —when Columbus set sail, opening trade between the Old World and the New World— until around 1800. I would call this era Globalization 1.0. It shrank the world from a size large to a size medium. Globalization 1.0 was about countries and muscles. That is, in Globalization 1.0 the key agent of change, the dynamic force driving the process of global integration was how much brawn —how much muscle, how much horsepower, wind power, or, later, steam power— your country had and how creatively you could deploy it. In this era, countries and governments (often inspired by religion or imperialism or a combination of both) led the way in breaking down walls and knitting the world together, driving global integration. In Globalization 1.0, the primary questions were: Where does my country fit into global competition and opportunities? How can I go global and collaborate with others through my country?

The second great era, Globalization 2.0, laste roughly from 1800 to 2000, interrupted by the Great Depression and World Wars I and II. This era shrank the world from a size medium to a size small. In Globalization 2.0, the key agent of change, the dynamic force driving global integration, was multinational companies. These multinationals went global for markets and labor, spearheaded first by the expansion of the Dutch and English joint-stock companies and the Industrial Revolution. In the first half of this era, global integration was powered by falling transportation costs, thanks to the steam engine and the railroad, and in the second half by falling telecommunications costs —thanks to the diffusion of the telegraph, telephones, the PC, satellites, fiber-optic cable, and the early version of the World Wide Web. It was during this era that we really saw the birth and maturation of a global economy, in the sense that there was enough movement of goods and information from continent to continent for there to be a global market, with a global arbitrage in products and labor. The dynamic forces behind this era of globalization were breakthroughs in hardware —from steamships and railroads in the beginning to telephones and mainframe computers toward the end. And the big questions in this era were: Where does my company fit into the global economy? How does it take advantage of the opportunities? How can I go global and collaborate with others through my company? The Lexus and the Olive Tree was primarily about the climax of this era, an era when the walls started falling all around the world, and integration, and the backlash to it, went to a whole new level. But even as the falls fell, there were still a lot of barriers to seamless global integration. Remember, when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, virtually no one outside of government and academy had e-mail, and when I was writing The Lexus and the Olive Tree in 1998, the Internet and e-commerce were just taking off.

Well, they took off —along with a lot of other things that came together while I was sleeping. And that is why I argue in this book that around the year 2000 we entered a whole new era: Globalization 3.0. Globalization 3.0 is shrinking the world from a size small to a size tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time. And while the dynamic force in Globalization 1.0 was countries globalizing and the dynamic force in Globalization 2.0 was companies globalizing, the dynamic force in Globalization 3.0 —the thing that gives it its unique character— is the newfound power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally. And the lever that is enabling individuals and groups to go global so easily and so seamlessly is not horsepower, and not hardware, but software —all sorts of new applications— in conjunction with the creation of a global fiber-optic network that has made us all next-door neighbors. Individuals must, and can, now ask, Where do I fit into the global competition and opportunities of the day, and how can I, on my own, collaborate with others globally?

(pp. 9-10)

I had never seen what a supply chain looked like in action until I visited Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. My Wal-Mart hosts took me over to the 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center, where we climbed up to a viewing perch and watched the show. On one side of the building, scores of white Wal-Mart trailer trucks were dropping off boxes of merchandise from thousands of different suppliers. Boxes large and small were fed up a conveyor belt at each loading dock. These little conveyor belts fed into a bigger belt, like streams feeding into a powerful river. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the suppliers' trucks feed the twelve miles of conveyor streams, and the conveyor streams feed into a huge Wal-Mart river of boxed products. But that is just half the show. As the Wal-Mart river flows along, an electric eye reads the bar codes on each box on its way to the other side of the building. There, the river parts again into a hundred streams. Electric arms from each stream reach out and guide the boxes —ordered by particular Wal-Mart stores— off the main river and down its stream, where another conveyor belt sweeps them into a waiting Wal-Mart truck, which will rush these particular products onto the shelves of a particular Wal-Mart store somewhere in the country. There, a consumer will lift one of these products off the shelf, and the cashier will scan it in, and the moment that happens, a signal will be generated. That signal will go out across the Wal-Mart network to the supplier of that product —whether that supplier's factory is in coastal China or coastal Maine. That signal will pop up on the supplier's computer screen and prompt him to make another of that item and ship it via the Wal-Mart supply chain, and the whole cycle will start anew. So no sooner does your arm lift a product off the local Wal-Mart's shelf and onto the checkout counter than another mechanical arm starts making another one somewhere in the world. Call it "the Wal-Mart Symphony" in multiple movements —with no finale. It just plays over and over 24/7/365: delivery, sorting, packing, distribution, buying, manufacturing, reordering, delivery, sorting, packing...

(p. 128)

As consumers, we love supply chains, because they deliver us all sorts of goods —from tennis shoes to laptop computers— at lower and lower prices. That is how Wal-Mart became the world's biggest retailer. But as workers, we are sometimes ambivalent or hostile to these supply chains, because they expose us to higher and higher pressures to compete, cut costs, and also, at times, cut wages and benefits. This is how Wal-Mart became one of the world's most controversial companies. No company has been more efficient at improving its supply chain (and thereby flattening the world) than Wal-Mart; and no company epitomizes the tension that supply chains evoke between the consumer in us and the worker in us than Wal-Mart.

(p. 129)

It is my contention that the opening of the Berlin Wall, Netscape, work flow, outsourcing, offshoring, open-sourcing, insourcing, supply-chaining, in-forming, and the steroids amplifying them all reinforced one another, like complementary goods. They just needed time to converge and start to work together in a complementary, mutually enhancing fashion. That tipping point arrived sometime around the year 2000.

The net result of this convergence was the creation of a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration —the sharing of knowledge and work— in real time, without regard to geography, distance, or, in the near future, even language. No, not everyone has access yet to this platform, this playing field, but it is open today to more people in more places on more days in more ways than anything like it ever before in the history of the world. This is what I mean when I say the world has been flattened [the author's underline]. It is the complementary convergence of the ten flatteners creating this new global playing field for multiple forms of collaboration.

(pp. 176-177)

I first began thinking about the great sorting out after a conversation with Harvard University's noted political theorist Michael J. Sandel. Sandel startled me slightly by remarking that the sort of flattening process that I was describing was actually first identified by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Communist Manifesto, published in 1848. While the shrinking and flattening of the world that we are seeing today constitute a difference of degree from what Marx saw happening in his day, said Sandel, it is nevertheless part of the same historical trend Marx highlighted in his writings on capitalism —the inexorable march of technology and capital to remove all barriers, boundaries, frictions, and restraints to global commerce.

"Marx was one of the first to glimpse the possibility of the world as a global market, uncomplicated by national boundaries", Sandel explained. "Marx was capitalism's fiercest critic, and yet he stood in awe of its power to break down barriers and create a worldwide system of production and consumption. In the Communist Manifesto, he described capitalism as a force that would dissolve all feudal, national, and religious identities, giving rise to a universal civilization governed by market imperatives. Marx considered it inevitable that capital would have its way —inevitable and also desirable. Because once capitalism destroyed all national and religious allegiances, Marx thought, it would lay bare the stark struggle between capital and labor. Forced to compete in a global race to the bottom, the workers of the world would unite in a global revolution to end oppression. Deprived of consoling distractions such as patriotism and religion, they would see their exploitation clearly and rise up to end it".

(pp. 201-202)

Friedman goes on to quote Marx at length:

All fixed, fast, frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into the air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of reactionaries, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the natioanl ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavey artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

(pp. 202-203)

So, what are the conclusions Friedman extracts from all this?

It is hard to believe that Marx published that in 1848. Referring to the Communist Manifesto, Sandel told me, you are arguing something similar. What you are arguing is that developments in information technology are enabling companies to squeeze out all the inefficiencies and friction from their markets and business operations. That is what your notion of "flattening" really means. But a flat, frictionless world is a mixed blessing. It may, as you suggest, be good for global business. Or it may, as Marx believed, augur well for a proletarian revolution. But it may also pose a threat to the distinctive places and communities that give us our bearings, that locate us in the world. From the first stirrings of capitalism, people have imagined the possibility of the world as a perfect market —unimpeded by protectionist pressures, disparate legal systems, cultural and linguistic differences, or ideological disagreement. But this vision has always bumped up against the world as it actually is —full of sources of friction and inefficiency. Some obstacles to a frictionless global market are truly sources of waste and lost opportunities. But some of these inefficiencies are institutions, habits, cultures, and traditions that people cherish precisely because they reflect nonmarket values like social cohesion, religious faith, and national pride. If global markets and new communications flatten those differences, we may lose something important. That is why the debate about capitalism has been, from the very beginning, about which frictions, barriers, and boundaries are mere source of waste and inefficiency, and which are sources of identity and belonging that we should try to protect. From the telegraph to the Internet, every new communications tehcnology has promised to shrink the distance between people, to increase access to information, and to bring us ever closer to the dream of a perfectly efficient, frictionless global market. And each time, the question for society arises with renewed urgency: To what extent should we stand aside, "get with the program", and do all we can to squeeze out yet more inefficiencies, and to what extent should we lean against the current for the sake of values that global markets can't supply? Some sources of friction are worth protecting, even in the face of a global economy that threatens to flatten them".

(pp. 203-204)

Now, the irony is that this conversation with Michael J. Sandel can pretty much sum up Friedman's whole book. Or, in different words, other than the massive marketing operation that managed to sell this book all over the world as a great and refreshingly new point of view and, of course, Friedman's well known ability to put things in a prose that is at the same time easy to read, entertaining and clarifying, what he has to say in The World Is Flat was already said by Marx more than 150 years ago.

Given these conflicting emotions and pressures, there is potential here for American politics to get completely reshuffled —with workers and corporate interests realigning themselves into different parties. Think about it: Social conservatives from the right wing of the Republican party, who do not like globalization or closer integration with the world because it brings too many foreigners and foreign cultural mores into America, might align themselves with unions from the left wing of the Democratic Party, who don't like globalization for the way it facilitates the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs. They might be called the Wall Party and militate for more friction and far everywhere. Let's face it: Republican cultural conservatives have much more in common with the steelworkers of Youngstown, Ohio, the farmers of rural China, and the mullahs of central Saudi Arabia, who would also like more walls, than they do with investment bankers on Wall Street or service workers linked to the global economy in Palo Alto, who have been enriched by the flattening of the world.

(p. 221)

My mind just kept telling me: "Ricardo is right, Ricardo is right, Ricardo is right". David Ricardo (1772-1823) was the English economist who developed the free-trade theory of comparative advantage, which stipulates that if each nation specializes in the production of goods in which it has a compartive cost advantage then trades with other nations for the goods in which they specialize, there will be an overall gain in trade, and overall income levels should rise in each trading country. So if all these Indian techies were doing what was their comparative advantage and then turning around and using their income to buy all the products from America that are our comparative advantage —from Corning Glass to Microsoft Windows— both our countries would benefit, even if some individual Indians and Americans might have to shift jobs in the transition. And one can see evidence of this mutual benefit in the sharp increase in exports and imports between the United States and India in recent years.


Let me illustrate this with an example. Imagine that there are only two countries in the world —America and China. And imagine that the American economy has only 100 people. Of those 100 people, 80 are well-educated knowledge workers and 20 are less-educated low-skilled workers. Now imagine that the world goes flat and America enters into a free-trade agreement with China, which has 1,000 people but is a less developed country. So today China too has only 80 well-educated knowledge workers out of 1,000, and it has 920 low-skilled workers. Before America entered into its free-trade agreement with China, there were only 80 knowledge workers in its world. Now there 160 in our two-country world. The American knowledge workers feel like they have more competition, and they do. But if you look at the prize they are going after, it is now a much expanded and more complex market. It went from a market of 100 people to a market of 1,100 people, with many more needs and wants. So it should be win-win for both the American and the Chinese knowledge workers.

(pp. 225-229)

And always remember: The Indians and Chinese are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top —and that is a good thing! They want higher standards of living, not sweatshops; they want brand names, not junk; they want to trade their motor scooters for cars and their pens and pencils for computers. And the more they do that, the higher they climb, the more room is created at the top —because the more they have, the more they spend, the more diverse product markets become, and the more niches for specialization are created as well.

(p. 233)

Lucky for us, we were the only economy standing after World War II, and we had no serious competition for forty years. That gave us a huge head of steam but also a huge sense of entitlement and complacency —not to mention a certain tendency in recent years to extol consumption over hard work, investment, and long-term thinking. When we got hit with 9/11, it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to summon the nation to sacrifice, to address some of its pressing fiscal, energy, science, and education shortfalls —all the things that we had let slide. But our president did not summon us to sacrifice. He summoned us to go shopping.

(p. 252)

In the winter of 2004 I had tea in Tokyo with Richard C. Koo, chief economist for the Nomura Research Institute. I tested out on Richard my "coefficient of flatness": the notion that the flatter one's country is —that is, the fewer natural resources it has— the better off it will be in a flat world. The ideal country in a flat world is the one with no natural resources, because countries with no natural resources tend to dig inside themselves. They try to tap the energy, entrepeneurship, creativity, and intelligence of their own people —men and women— rather than drill an oil well. Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea, with virtually no natural resources —nothing but the energy, ambition, and talent of its own people— and today it has the third-largest financial reserves in the world. The success of Honk Kong, Japan, South Korea, and coastal China can all be traced to a similar flatness.

(pp. 262-263)

While many of the old corporate and government safety nets will vanish under global competition in the flat world, some fat still needs to be maintained, and even added. As everyone who worries about his or her health knows, there is "good fat" and "bad fat" —but everybody needs some fat. That is also true of every country in the flat world. Social Security is good fat. We need to keep it. A welfare system that discourages people from working is bad fat. The sort of good fat that actually needs to be added for a flat world is wage insurance.


The idea of wage insurance was first proposed in 1986 by Harvard's Robert Lawrence and Robert E. Litan of the Brookings Institution, in a book called Saving Free Trade. The idea languished for a while until it started to catch fire again with an updated analysis by Kletzer and Litan in 2001. It got further political clout from the bipartisan US Trade Deficit Commission in 2001. This commission couldn't agree on anything —including the causes of or what to do about the trade deficit— other than the wisdom of wage insurance.

"Trade creates winners and losers, and what we were thinking about were mechanisms by which the winners could compensate the losers, and particularly losers who were enjoying high wages in a particular job and suddenly found their new employment at much lower wages", said Lawrence. The way to think about this, he explained, is that every worker has "general skills and specific skills" for which they are paid, and when you switch jobs you quickly discover which is which. So you might have a college and CPA degree, or you might have a high school degree and the ability to operate a lathe. Both skills were reflected in your wages. But suppose one day your lathe job gets moved to China or your basic accounting work is outsourced to India and you have to go out and find a new job. Your new employer will not likely compensate you much for your specific skills, because your knowledge as a machine tool operator or a general accountant is probably of less use to him or her. You will be paid largely for your general skills, your high school education or college degree. Wage insurance would compensate you for your old specific skills, for a ser period of time, while you take a new job and learn new specific skills.

The standard state-run unemployment insurance program eases some of the pain for workers, but it does not address thei bigger concerns of declining wages in a new job and the inability to pay for health insurance while they are unemployed and searching. To qualify for wage insurance, workers seeking compensation for job loss would have to meet three criteria. First, they would have to have lost their job through some form of displacement —offshoring, outsourcing, downsizing, or factory closure. Second, they would have to have held the job for at least two years. And third, the wage insurance would not be paid until the workers found new jopbs, which would provide a strong incentive to look for work quickly and increase the chances that they would get on-the-job retraining. On-the-job training is always the best way to learn new skills —instead of having to sign up for some general government training program, with no promise of a job at the other end, and go through that while remaining unemployed.

(pp. 293-295)

If you want to know why two decades of macroeconomic reform wholesale at the top have not slowed the spread of poverty and produced enough new jobs in key countries of Latin America, Africa, the Arab world, and the former Soviet Empire, it is because there has been too little reform retail. According to the IFC report [the Doing Business in 2004 report, published by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation], if you want to create productive jobs (the kind that lead to rising standards of living), and if you want to stimulate the growth of new businesses (the kind that innovate, compete, and create wealth), you need a regulatory environment that makes it easy to start a business, easy to adjust a business to changing market circumstances and opportunities, and easy to close a business that goes bankrupt, so that the capital can be freed up for more productive uses.

(pp. 319-320)

I once heard Jerry Yang, the cofounder of Yahoo!, quote a senior Chinese government official as saying: "Where people have hope, you have a middle class". I think this is a very useful insight. The existence of large, stable middle classes around the world is crucial to geopolitical stability, but middle class is a state of mind, not a state of income. That's why a majority of Americans always describe themselves as "middle class", even though by income statistics some of them wouldn't be considered as such. "Middle class" is another way of describing people who believe that they have a pathway out of poverty or lower-income status toward a higher standard of living and a better future for their kids. You can be in the middle class in your head whether you make $2 a day or $200, if you believe in social mobility —that your kids have a chance to live better than you do— and that hard work and playing by the rules of your society will get you where you want to go.

(pp. 375-376)

Let's pause for a minute here and trace how the antiglobalization movement lost touch with the true aspirations of the world's poor. The antiglobalization movement emerged at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle in 1999 and then spread around the world in subsequent years, usually gathering to attack meetings of the World Bank, the IMF, and the G-8 industrialized nations. From its origins, the movement that emerged in Seattle was a primarily Western-driven phenomenon, which was why you saw so few people of color in the crowds. It was driven by five disparate forces. One was upper-middle-class American liberal guilt at the incredible wealth and power that America had amassed in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dot-com boom. At the peak of the stock market boom, lots of pampered American college kids, wearing their branded clothing, began to get interested in sweatshops as a way of expiating their guilt. The second force driving it was a rear-guard push by the Old Leftsocialists, anarchists, and Trotskyites— in alliance with protectionist trade unions. Their strategy was to piggyback on rising concerns about globalization to bring back some form of socialism, even though these ideas had been rejected as bankrupt by the very people in the former Soviet Empire and China who had lived under them longest. (Now you know why there was no antiglobalization movement to speak of in Russia, China, or Eastern Europe). These Old Left forces wanted to spark a debate about whether we globalize. They claimed to speak in the name of the Third World poor, but the bankrupt economic policies they advocated made them, in my view, the Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor. The third force was a more amorphous group. It was made up of many people who gave passive support to the antiglobalization movement from many countries, because they saw in it some kind of protest against the speed at which the old world was disappearing and becoming flat.

The fourth force driving the movement, which was particularly strong in Europe and in the Islamic world, was anti-Americanism. The disparity between American economic and political power and everybody else's had grown so wide after the fall of the Soviet Empire that America began to —or was perceived to— touch people's lives around the planet, directly or indirectly, more than their own governments did. As people around the world began to intuit this, a movement emerged, which Seattle both reflected and helped to catalyze, whereby people said, in effect, "If America is not touching my life directly or indirectly more than my own government, then I want to have a vote in America's power". At the time of Seattle, the "touching" that people were most concerned with was from American economic and cultural power, and therefore the demand for a vote tended to focus around economic rule-making institutions like the World Trade Organization. America in the 1990s, under President Clinton, was perceived as a big dumb dragon, pushing people around in the economic and cultural speheres, knowingly and unknowingly. We were Puff the Magic Dragon, and people wanted a vote in what we were puffing.

Then came 9/11. And America transformed itself from Puff the Magic Dragon, touching people around the world economically and culturally, into Godzilla with an arrow in his shoulder, spitting fire and tossing around his tail wildly, touching people's lives in military and security terms, not just economic and cultural ones. As that happened, people in the world began to say, "Now we really want a vote in how America wields its power" —and in many ways the whole Iraq war debate was a surrogate debate about that.

(pp. 384-386)

There is a huge political vacuum now waiting to be filled. There is a real role today for a movement that could advance the agenda of how we globalize —not whether we globalize. The best place such a movement could start is rural India.

(p. 387)

So although this may sound odd coming from me, it is totally consistent with this whole book: What the world doesn't need now is for the antiglobalization movement to go away. We just need it to grow up. This movement had a lot of energy and a lot of mobilizing capacity. What it lacked was a coherent agenda for assisting the poor by collaborating with them in a way that could actually help them. The activist groups that are helping alleviate poverty the most are those working at the local village level in places like rural India, Africa and China to spotlight and fight corruption and to promote accountability, transparency, education, and property rights. You don't help the world's poor by dressing up in a turtle outfit and throwing a stone through McDonald's window. You help them by getting them the tools and institutions to help themselves. It may not be as sexy as protesting against world leaders in the streets of Washington and Genoa, and getting lots of attention on CNN, but it is a lot more important. Just ask any Indian villager.

(p. 389)

When Muslim radicals and fundamentalists look at the West, they see only the openness that makes us, in their eyes, decadent and promiscuous. They see only the openness that has produced Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. They do not see, and do not want to see, the openess —the freedom of thought and inquiry— that has made us powerful, the openness that has produced Bill Gates and Sally Ride. They deliberately define it all as decadence. Because if openness, women's empowerment, and freedom of thought and inquiry are the real sources of the West's economic strength, then the Arab-Muslim world would have to change. And the fundamentalists and extremists do not want to change.


Islamo-Leninism, in many ways, emerged from the same historical context as the radical European ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Fascism and Marxist-Leninism grew out of the rapid industrialization and modernization of Germany and Central Europe, where communities living in tightly bonded villages and extended families suddenly got shattered and the sons and fathers went off to the urban areas to work for big industrial companies. In this age of transitions, young men in particular lost a sense of identity, rootedness, and personal dignity that had been provided by traditional social structures. In that vacuum, along came Hitler, Lenin, and Mussolini, who told these young men that they had an answer for their feelings of dislocation and humiliation: You may not be in the village or small town anymore, but you are still proud, dignified members of a larger community —the working class, or the Aryan nation.

(pp. 393-395)

Unfortunately, bin Laden and his colleagues haev found it all too easy to enlist recruits in the Arab-Muslim world. I think this has to do, in part, with the state of half-flatness that many Arab-Muslim young people are living in, particularly those in Europe. They have been raised to believe that Islam is the most perfect and complete expression of God's monotheistic message and that the Prophet Muhammed is God's last and most perfect messenger. This is not a criticism. This is Islam's self-identity. Yet, in a flat world, these youth, particularly those living in Europe, can and do look around and see that the Arab-Muslim world, in too many cases, has fallen behind the rest of the planet. How can that be? these young Arabs and Muslims must ask themselves. If we have the superior faith, and if our faith is all encompassing of religion, politics, and economics, why are others living so much better?

(p. 397)

I interviewed the Japanese manager of a major US multinational that was headquartered in Dalian, in northeastern China. "China is following the path of Japan and Korea", said the executive, on the condition that he and his company not be quoted by name, "and the big question is, Can the world afford to have 1.3 billion people following that path and driving the same cars and using the same amount of energy? So I see the flattening of the world, but the challenge of the twenty-first century is, Are we going to hit another oil crisis? The oil crisis in the 1970s coincided with Japan and Europe rising. [There was a time] when the US was the only big consumer of oil, but when Japan and Europe came in, OPEC got the power. But when China and India come into being the consumers, it will be a huge challenge that is an order of magnitude different. It is megapolitics. The limits of growth in the 1970s were overcome with technology. We got smarter than before, equipment became more efficient, and energy consumption per head was lower. But now [with China, India, and Russia all coming on strong] it is multiplied by a factor of ten. There is something we really need to be serious about. We cannot restrict China, [Russia,] and India. They will grow and they must grow".

(pp. 410-411)

The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention has been substituted with the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention.

The feeling of personal insecurity and nuclear terrorism.

Entertainment factor: 7/10
Intellectual factor: 5/10