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  • Warrior Politics
  • Written by Robert D. Kaplan
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  • Warrior Politics
  • Written by Robert D. Kaplan
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Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos

Written by Robert D. KaplanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Robert D. Kaplan

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On Sale: November 16, 2011
Pages: | ISBN: 978-1-58836-080-9
Published by : Random House Random House Group
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

In Warrior Politics, the esteemed journalist and analyst Robert D. Kaplan explores the wisdom of the ages for answers for today’s leaders. While the modern world may seem more complex and dangerous than ever before, Kaplan writes from a deeper historical perspective to reveal how little things actually change. Indeed, as Kaplan shows us, we can look to history’s most influential thinkers, who would have understood and known how to navigate today’s dangerous political waters.

Drawing on the timeless work of Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, among others, Kaplan argues that in a world of unstable states and an uncertain future, it is increasingly imperative to wrest from the past what we need to arm ourselves for the road ahead. Wide-ranging and accessible, Warrior Politics is a bracing book with an increasingly important message that challenges readers to see the world as it is, not as they would like it to be.

Excerpt

Chapter I
There Is No "Modern" World


The evils of the twentieth century arose from populist movements that were monstrously exploited in the name of utopian ideals, and had their power amplified by new technologies. The Nazi party began as a crusade for workers' rights organized by a Munich locksmith, Anton Drexler, in 1919, before Hitler took it over the following year. The Bolsheviks also emerged amid emancipating political upheaval and, like the Nazis, exploited the dream of social renewal. Once the Nazis and Bolsheviks were in power, the inventions of the Industrial Age became crucial to their crimes. As for Mao Zedong, his push for labor-intensive industrialization, through the establishment of utopian communes, led to the deaths of at least 20 million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1962.

The twentieth century may be a poor guide to the twenty-first, but only fools would discount it, particularly because populist movements now permeate the world, provoking disorder and demanding political and economic transformation. Asia is a specific cause for concern. India, Pakistan, China, and other emerging powers pulse with new technologies, nationalistic zeal, and disintegrative forces within. Recall the words of Alexander Hamilton:

To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties situated in the same neighborhood would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages.

Thus, the evils of the twenty-first century may also arise from populist movements, taking advantage of democratization, motivated this time by religious and sectarian beliefs, and empowered by a post-Industrial Revolution: particularly information technology. Hindu extremists who burned down mosques in India in the early 1990s and attacked Christians in the late 1990s belong to a working-class movement within India's democracy that uses videocassettes and the Internet to spread its message. Similar phenomena have occurred in Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Algeria, Mexico, Fiji, Egypt, Pakistan, the West Bank, and Arab Nazareth, to name but a few places where religious and ethnic groups, predominantly working-class and inspired by democratization, use modern communications technology to stir unrest.

Populist rage is fueled by social and economic tensions, aggravated often by population growth and resource scarcity in an increasingly urbanized planet. In the coming decades, 2 or 3 billion more people will live in the vast, impoverished cities of the developing world.

Global capitalism will contribute to this peril, smashing traditions and dynamically spawning new ones. The benefits of cap-italism are not distributed equitably, so the more dynamic the capitalist expansion, the more unequal the distribution of wealth that usually results. Thus, two dynamic classes will emerge under globalization-the entrepreneurial nouveaux riches and, more ominously, the new subproletariat: the billions of working poor, recently arrived from the countryside, inhabiting the expanding squatters' settlements that surround big cities in Africa, Eurasia, and South America.


From the Hardcover edition.
Robert D. Kaplan

About Robert D. Kaplan

Robert D. Kaplan - Warrior Politics

Photo © Maryna Marston

Robert D. Kaplan is chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, a private global intelligence firm. He is the author of fifteen books on foreign affairs and travel, including The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, and Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos. He has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for nearly three decades. In 2011 and 2012 he was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.
 
From 2009 to 2011, Kaplan served on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Since 2008 he has been a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis.
Praise

Praise

“While Washington is filled with journalists seeking information from the military, the military seeks information from Kaplan.” –The Washington Post

“There is much to praise in Kaplan's sober realism, his genuine knowledge of the world's danger zones, and his justified contempt for liberal good intentions when they are not backed by steel and will.” –The New York Review of Books

“[A] fascinating intellectual exercise.” –Newsweek

“One of the most thought-provoking and profound books that I have recently read. As readable as it is stimulating.” –Henry Kissinger

“Kaplan draws on a rich humanist tradition to shatter the illusion of a collective, post-cold war vision of human progress. . . . [He] has become the Ayn Rand of international affairs, saying what few dare to say.” –New Statesman

“Kaplan skillfully captures the relevance of classical political theory for today’s leaders, whether they manage crises in the boardroom or the Oval Office.” –William S. Cohen, former secretary of defense

“An insightful, timely book. Citing philosophers from Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, the author shows the value of ancient insights into human nature in formulating international policy.” –Booklist

Warrior Politics should be read by every citizen deeply concerned about America’s role in the world.” –Newt Gingrich

“The reason I have come to admire Bob Kaplan's little book . . . is its refusal to apologize for its analogies. This is so refreshing. . . . What Kaplan is saying–and what Hobbes and Machiavelli and some of the Founders said–was that such realism is in fact more moral than idealism. Idealism in state craft is based on an abdication of responsibility — to govern the world as it is.” –Andrew Sullivan

“[Kaplan’s] comparison of the United States in 2001 with the complacent Roman Empire will be a wake-up call for many readers. His philosophical polemic is well worth reading in these anxious times.” –Library Journal

“I read Warrior Politics with fascination. Kaplan makes a persuasive case that the insights of major philosophers are relevant to modern security problems. This book will be read by scholars, but it should also be read by those responsible today for making the decisions that affect our national security.” –William J. Perry, former secretary of defense

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