To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change
Today we speak with University of Wisconsin history professor Alfred McCoy about his new book To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change. The United States of America has been governing the globe now for 80 years, since World War II. This is about to end. By 2030, China will have the worlds largest economy and hold more riches than the U.S., which is deeply in debt.
The America we know will change drastically as a world power just as the previous world powers, the British, and before them the Dutch, and before them the Spanish and the Portuguese, all saw their empires end.
Climate change will upend the world. It has already started. The effects of climate change on the population of the world, especially China, will be catastrophic. The great coastal city of Shanghai, where 18 million people reside, will sink, uprooting millions of the 400 million Chinese people in the North China Plain.
What can we learn from the demise of the great world powers in the past? Where is the United States headed and how soon? What might be done to ameliorate this dire future? Only a prodigious historian could undertake to answer these questions.
Guest – Alfred W McCoy holds the Fred Harvey Harrington chair of history at the University of Wisconsin. He has written 20 books, including The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, for which he became well-known, and recently, In the Shadows of the American Century.
Encroaching Fascism In The United States
An American form of fascism is unfolding in our country. What exactly is it and what can we do to fight it?
We see a massive political effort to legitimatize and normalize white minority rule. Things are happening rapidly. A year ago our capital was attacked pursuant to a plan to reverse the results of the election. Soon the Supreme Court will likely overrule the almost 50 year precedent set by Roe v Wade on the question of a woman’s right to control her own body. Voting rights have been and will continue to be extremely restricted particularly in communities of color. Irrational and magical thinking has been legitimatized. More than 900 thousand people have unnecessarily died of Covid. There has developed in our country a culture of cruelty manifested by Trump, but initiated in CIA torture and detention camps for Muslim men and boys in Abu Ghraib and Guantnamo.
It didn’t start after 9/11 with the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. It goes back further than that. America has been prosecuting wars abroad during our entire lifetimes. The provocations against Russia regarding NATO military encroachment on its borders are the latest chapter in almost continual and seemingly endless wars. A lesson of history since Greek and Roman times is that you cant have imperialism abroad and democracy at home.
Guest ” Professor Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University chair for a Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department. He has written many books, most recently The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Facism.