- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
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HANSON: Back to the 20th-century future
The 21st looks a lot like the chaos of the past
The 20th century’s “German problem” was supposed to be a distant memory, but a reformed and democratic Germany nevertheless is once again earning both the envy and fear of its weaker neighbors.
Like 1938 Britain, most of the European Union has no clue how to prevent German economic dynamism from eventually leading to military and political dominance. In early-20th-century fashion, the volatile European street is swinging from hard left to hard right.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia is as authoritarian as ever. As in the last century, Israel and the Palestinians still have no peace. Brazil still has unlimited but never-realized potential. Argentina remains the same self-destructive mess. The Arab Spring ended in the same old Middle East chaos.
The 21st-century United States is in a 20th-century fit of depression — with the decline of America the same cultural motif.
In the 1930s, fascism was purported to be more efficient than American democracy. Then Nazism was said to create more idealistic and disciplined citizens.
After World War II, the new communist man was announced as the wave of the future.
Then came the superior 20th-century model of postwar “Japan, Inc.”
Next was the all-powerful European Union.
The ruthlessly efficient Chinese juggernaut followed and seemed destined to outpace 20th-century America — which was suffering everything from stagflation to a shortage of oil.
But once more, 21st-century America is confounding its critics by reinventing itself as it did last century.
The United States may soon become the world’s largest gas and oil producer. Food exports are booming as never before. American brands from iPhones and Starbucks to Google and Twitter flood the world.
To find answers for this chaotic young century, just look back at the past one.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His new book, “The Savior Generals,” has just been released by Bloomsbury Press.
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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
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