I think Peter Zeihan’s The End of the World is Just Beginning came up during a conversation as an example of the kind of grand narratives / theories of everything that don’t quite do justice to the complexity of the world; nevertheless, I read it, and enjoyed it.
Zeihan argues that the relative world peace and economic growth since WWII were an exceptional period of human history that are now unwinding very quickly. We’re headed toward a far more fragmented, low/no growth world.
Notes and quotes…
- Capitalism: economic and tech growth > equality
- Socialism: inclusivity and social placidity > growth
- Command communism: stability and focused achievement > dynamism
- Fascist corporatism: achievement of state goals with popular will, violent state, corruption
Each model has its own pros and cons. Capitalism trades away equality to maximize growth, both economic and technological. Socialism sacrifices growth at the altar of inclusivity and social placidity. Command-driven communism writes off dynamism, instead aiming for stability and focused achievements. Fascist corporatism attempts to achieve state goals without sacrificing growth or dynamism, but at the cost of popular will, a massively violent state, epically awe-inspiring levels of corruption, and the gnawing terror of knowing that state-sponsored genocide is but a few pen strokes away. Capitalism and socialism are broadly compatible with democracy and all the political noise and chaos that comes with it. Command-driven communism and fascist corporatism are far more politically . . . quiet.
- The End of the World is Just Beginning, Peter Zeihan