‘How to Run the World’, P. Khanna

“The post-Cold War era will be remembered for the rapid emergence of a postmodern Middle Ages — a world without any single power in control. The East will not replace the West, China will not replace America, the Pacific will not displace the Atlantic — all of these power centers and geographies will coexist in a hyper-complex ecosystem.”

I was just about to think whether to comment on Parag Khanna’s amazing book as well, and then decided for it until the memory of it is still fresh(er) in my memory… which admittedly would have actually meant yesterday, but oh well, stuff happens.

As it is, this just might be the best book on politics and governance I’ve read. (Notice I did not include economics in here but that is because most of the “economic” advice Mr Khanna offers is actually of the political nature, and can be considered to be more of that domain.) Ever? Yes, could be.

The reason why this book is so good is that the scope. It is magnificent. Mr Khanna has managed to consider aspects I had not even previously imagined, and seems to me (at least) to well carry the case that the governance of the modern (and future) world is far less in the hands of the governments than many people would like to believe.

Oh, wait, not the governments? Who else?? Well, as the arguments fly by, quite successfully, I might add, the case is built that NGO’s, generally rich people, and company’s are less encumbered by rules and bureaucratic nonsense than the actual governments. So, these institutions are able to do what the governments cannot — namely, they can make decisions, and they can approach problems from the only way that problems can actually be solved (that would be bottom up in case you were wondering, as opposed to the usual top down approach).

It sounded a bit off to me in the first few chapters but the evidence soon gathers that these same participants already put in far more than governments do (at least as far as results per spent time/unit-of-money/person are considered), and that they are potentially the ones that create policies which afterwards the governments can “implement”.

As it seems, global governance has something for all of us. So, take a look and see what you think of what Mr Khanna as written.

[Also, I managed to mark 50 quotes while going through this book on my Kindle. That’s far far more than I do with most books that deal with anything unless they run well into thousands, and this one packs well less than that.]

“The man tasked with bringing corporate ambitions and global ethics into harmony is John Ruggie… Ruggie takes a psychological approach to explaining the corporate citizenship life cycle: “First, they ignore the problem. Then they deny it. Eventually they pretend they’re doing something about it, and finally they comply. Ultimately, they do get there.””

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