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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

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Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2005 / 21 Shevat, 5765

Europe is the next rival superpower   —   but then, so was Japan

By Jonathan Rauch


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Bush travels to Europe in February   —   stopping first in the old continent's pint-sized capital city. Why Brussels, instead of London or Paris or Warsaw? Not for the chocolate. A small but increasingly prominent cluster of foreign-policy thinkers   —   call them bipolarists   —   believe they know the answer: Whether Bush likes it or not, there are two superpowers in the world, and the other is Europe.

In 2002, Charles A. Kupchan, a professor of international relations at Georgetown University, saw bipolarity coming. "Not only is American primacy far less durable than it appears, but it is already beginning to diminish," he wrote in the November 2002 issue of The Atlantic Monthly (a sister publication of this magazine). "And the rising challenger is not China or the Islamic world but the European Union." Europe, he said, "will inevitably rise up as America's principal competitor."

That was two long years ago. Today's bipolarists change "will rise" to "has risen":

In his new book, The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, Jeremy Rifkin, the left-liberal president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, writes that "the fall of the American Dream may be inevitable." (There's "inevitable" again.) Europe's systems and values, he argues, are better suited to today's world. In a related article in European Affairs magazine, he writes that the E.U. "is, indeed, a new superpower that rivals the economic power of the United States on the world stage," a new reality that "America is unaware of and unprepared for."

In another new book, called The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, T.R. Reid, a Washington Post correspondent, writes, "We need to recognize and accept the plain fact that the planet has a second superpower now, and that its global influence will continue to increase as the world moves toward a bipolar balance of economic, political, and diplomatic authority." Americans slumbered while Europe emerged, but now "will have to wake up to the revolution."

February brings publication of Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, by Mark Leonard, a British foreign-policy thinker with the London-based Center for European Reform. "American hegemony contains the seeds of its own destruction, and is already driving its own retreat," he writes. America's reliance on military strength and unilateral pressure is a "shallow and narrow" power: "The lonely superpower can bribe, bully, or impose its will almost anywhere in the world, but when its back is turned, its potency wanes. The strength of the E.U., conversely, is broad and deep: Once sucked into its sphere of influence, countries are changed forever." Cheekily tweaking the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, Leonard predicts "the emergence of a 'New European Century.' Not because Europe will run the world as an empire, but because the European way of doing things will have become the world's."

In Europe as well as America, many intellectuals and some politicians view Europe as the world's second major pole in two respects. First, Europe has power: not military power, but all the other kinds. It has the euro, a rival currency. Its economy is as large as America's (about $11 trillion), and its population is larger. It has the regulatory power and market clout to humble the likes of General Electric and Microsoft. It has many of the world's biggest and best companies, including (writes Rifkin) 14 of the world's 20 largest commercial banks and six of the top 11 telecommunications companies. It has a growing membership, a new constitution, and 25 United Nations votes. Reid quotes Romano Prodi, a former president of the European Commission: "Europe's time is almost here. In fact, there are many areas of world affairs where the objective conclusion would have to be that Europe is already the superpower, and the United States must follow our lead."

To bipolarists, Europe is also, just as importantly, a social pole: a rival model of how best to organize society and the world, and even human life. "The European Dream," writes Rifkin, "emphasizes community relationships over individual autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over the accumulation of wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, deep play over unrelenting toil, universal human rights and the rights of nature over property rights, and global cooperation over the unilateral exercise of power." Europe, writes Leonard, "can offer the best of both worlds: a synthesis of the dynamism of liberalism with the stability and welfare of social democracy." Thus "the European way of life will become irresistible."

Irresistible. Inevitable. Back here in Washington, it's tempting to say we've heard this before from Marxism, but that would be a cheap shot. Unlike communism, the E.U. seems to represent not an enemy of liberal capitalism, but a new and possibly improved version of it.

Well, maybe; but we've heard that before, too. In 1988, Clyde V. Prestowitz published an influential book called Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan to Take the Lead. America, he said, was a "sleeping giant," oblivious to the fact that Japan challenged not only America's economic pre-eminence but the very premises of U.S.-style capitalism. America, he wrote, "was the leader only in military power.... In other areas, the United States ... had traded places with its former protege   —   Japan."

Meanwhile, Chalmers Johnson, then a professor of international relations and now president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, identified Japan as a "capitalist developmental state," a new economic hybrid that combined private ownership with state control   —   a threat to the U.S. economy, he said in a 1989 interview with Multinational Monitor, but "not a threat in the sense of being malevolent." The Atlantic's own James Fallows, also in 1989, argued that in head-to-head competition, free-trading states such as America would eventually lose to capitalist developmental states such as Japan and its imitators.

Bipolarist claims about today's Europe and yesterday's Japan differ in important and obvious ways. For example, Japan was an economic dynamo, which today's Europe is not; many Europeans lay claim to an exportable, universal system of values, which yesterday's Japanese did not. Europe lacks the economic self-confidence (some would say arrogance) of Japan in 1989, and Japan lacked the diplomatic and intellectual self-confidence (some would say arrogance) of Europe today.

That said, there are some striking parallels. Both Japan and Europe have supposedly tapped a vein of "soft power" (technology in Japan's case, market power and peaceful internationalism in Europe's) that will rival America's brute force. Both supposedly embody a communitarian ethos that better suits the times than does America's cowboy individualism. Both could boast of giant banks, cutting-edge companies, and surging currencies. Then as now, people foresaw growing tensions as the two divergent systems inevitably clashed.

Back in the late 1980s, however, another school predicted trouble for Japan, seeing not a new paradigm headed for dominance but an unbalanced system headed for crisis. And some observers look at Europe today and see an unbalanced system headed for crisis. They say that Europe's rapid aging will bring fiscal rupture and economic stagnation; that the euro is far from ready to challenge the dollar; that Europe's social compact will be strained and perhaps broken by an influx of non-European immigrants; that America's security guarantee, not the European Union, is what has brought peace to the continent; that the E.U. will grow fractious and unwieldy as it expands; and that the E.U.'s "democratic deficit" will ultimately sap its legitimacy.

In Japan, of course, the economic bubble burst. No one talks any more about Japan as America's emerging rival. But the crisis never quite came, either. Given the magnitude of the adjustment it has had to make, Japan has come through well. Its financial and social structures   —   even its political system   —   have converged toward America's (and Europe's), even as America's (and Europe's) industrial systems have converged toward Japan's. America's and Japan's foreign policies have converged, too, with Japan sending forces to Iraq and supporting missile defenses while America promotes Japan for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

If past is prologue, then 15 years from now people at globalist talk-shops will reminisce about that fleeting "Europe scare" of 2005. Over drinks in Geneva, Europeans and Americans will notice how much they learned from each other in the course of not always getting along. They may quietly conclude that when the hype about a new global rivalry peaks, so does the rivalry.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Rauch is a senior writer and columnist for National Journal. Comment by clicking here.



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