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Global Grand Strategy for 2100
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July 08, 2010, 03:57 PM
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This seemingly silly little incident of Joel Stein being forced to apologize for admitting to not liking Indian immigrants taking over his hometown reminded me that I`ve long sensed that the chief long term competitors (say, by 2100) in America for Jews will be Indians. A commenter had the same thought:
"Even if only 5% of Indians have the goods to be as successful as the American Asian Indian community (IQ and all) that still makes it more than 50 million plus. That is far higher than the entire Jewish population of the world. I think the Jewish lobby will have to give way to the upcoming Indian lobby as the most powerful in the land. Indians will eventually take over other areas of Jewish dominance too."
This becomes even more interesting when you look at the implications for global dominance.

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has been dominated by the United States, or, more broadly, by the Anglosphere led by the U.S., or, most broadly, by the North Atlanticists (Anglosphere plus EU) more or less led by the U.S.

There are, however, two gigastates, China and India, both of which are considerably more important economically than they were two decades ago. Both have been content to let the U.S. spend a fortune on military power while they build their strength. Why play the Great Game when you can sit it out? Let the rich, foolish Americans blunder around in Afghanistan and the like.

But, men play the Great Game not because it makes sense but because they like to win. So, it`s unlikely that China and India will sit out the Great Game for the rest of the century. Let`s assume that China and India eventually decide to play for dominance of the world.

If it can keep from falling apart, China, whose GDP is already well over half the U.S.`s, will surpass the U.S. economically in a fairly short period. India is a little under half of the GDP of China, so it would appear to have a tougher road ahead of it in the eventual struggle for world dominance with China. Moreover, China clearly has a stronger sense of national unity than India, which is riven by caste, religion, and a lack of a unified history.

But the Great Game is much more interesting than a simple, boring struggle for the largest GDP.

The American colonies had a smaller GDP than the mother country during the American Revolution, for example, but Ben Franklin talked the French government into bankrupting itself for American independence. (He was quite the charmer.) In WWI, Germany, despite having tens of millions of German farmers and engineers in America, did not charm America, and thus lost. Israel, to cite a more recent example, has done quite well for itself strategically despite a limited GDP and being up against Arabs and their oil money.

So, the obvious card to play in the coming China vs. India global struggle is for influence and control over the fading Anglo-Euro world, especially because Anglos don`t like to think about themselves being played.

When looked at from this perspective, India`s chances against China in 2100 don`t look so awful. Indians are better at learning English, and better at marketing ideas in English than Chinese. (One American marketing consultant in China has said that to Chinese factory owners, "marketing" means shouting "Real cheap! You buy now!")

Let`s look at the leading Anglosphere countries and which way they are likely to tip (or be tipped):

Australia: China Canada: I don`t know. It could be close.

Britain: India America: That`s the big question

There are lots of Chinese in America. The Chinese have lots of money and will have even more in the future. Over several generations, the emotional distinctions between China and their neighbors and/or enemies like Vietnam, Korea, and Japan might fade, leaving a unified East Asian v. South Asian division from the perspective of the U.S.

On the other hand, I have a vague sense that the East Asians in America might wind up playing the role of Midwestern German-Americans in early 20th Century America, who were outmaneuvered by Anglophilic Eastern elites.

In this China v. India struggle for influence over America in the second half of the 21st Century, the key question will be which side American Jews come down in favor of. Currently possessing the optimal combination of power (35% of the Forbes 400 and 50% of the Atlantic 50 most influential media pundits), cohesion, and immunity from criticism as a group, they are the key players in a fractured market for power.

Which way will American Jews lean? That`s hard to predict.

It won`t solely be a matter of material interest. Much of it will depend upon which Asian superpower best figures out which American Jewish buttons to push to get Jews to feel that healing the world depends upon the U.S. siding with either India or China.

In this, I would bet on the Indians.

On the other hand, it`s exactly the greater similarities between Jews and Indians that might lead Jews to resent Indians as their displacers, and conclude that they would be better off in a Chinese-run world where their skills would be more valuable.

We shall live in interesting times.

Well, not me, personally. I`m not going to last that long, but somebody reading this will likely make it to 2100.