This week I present one graph that explains global politics: the relative change in US GDP vs China GDP over the past several decades.
US GDP vs China GDP.
China’s economy is growing faster than the US economy and has been for the past few decades. This relative growth has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. This is the single most important fact governing US politics. Maybe not in statements, but in strategic considerations and actions. Period.
This week’s realpolitik news is just about this phenomena and reality. I explore a very basic, yet edifying, chart that tracks GDP change of the global top 10 countries.
This contest is on the minds of strategists and top politicians in every nation – particularly great powers like the US and China. Ignorance of this reality does not absolve us from it.
The study of the forces that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world. The older political science was fully aware of this truth but drew a wrong and detrimental conclusion—the right of the more powerful. The modern era has corrected this unethical fallacy, but while breaking with the alleged right of the more powerful one, the modern era was too much inclined to overlook the real might of the more powerful and the inevitability of its political influence. – Ludwig von Rochau, Principles of Realpolitik (1853)
I also conclude by offering some wisdom from Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” This text is more or less the bible of Realpolitik.
I present a few quotes and concepts from the text as they apply to the current administration and its manner of thinking on the global political and economic order.
Realpolitik is an independent news and analysis source dedicated to sharing a perspective rarely discussed in the mainstream or other independent outlets. In short, it’s all in the name: realpolitik. The show is decidedly nonpartisan but is situated firmly on the side of classical, liberal, enlightenment values and achievements. The elevation of the realpolitik framework is in the spirit of historian John Bew, who asked: “how can we achieve liberal enlightened goals in a world that does not follow liberal enlightened rules?” The answer to this question is important because ignorance of realpolitik is like playing a game where you don’t know the rules – you will lose this game, and simultaneously not understand why. Realpolitik is driven by data and trends concerning State power, economics, and conflict, not by the President’s twitter account.