Opinion (Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of America’s leading strategists, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter): “Nathan Gardels: While China focuses on the long term and plots out its future, the US in particular is beset with a short-term mentality. In effect, we are no longer an ‘industrial democracy’ in the strict sense, but a ‘consumer democracy’ where all the feedback signals – the market, the media, and politics – are short-term and geared to immediate gratification.
“Gardels: How can America’s short-term mentality be changed? Are the West’s political institutions up to the challenge?
“Brzezinski: Yes, if we develop a more effective and longer-range response to the current crisis. …We are so preoccupied with the current crisis and so lacking in a longer-term perspective that we have no strategic vision which would give us some sense of historical momentum.
“Democracy is capable of responding provided we focus on the right aims. The question today is whether democracies can thrive with financial systems that are out of control, that are capable of generating selfishly beneficial consequences only for the few, without any effective framework that gives us a larger, more ambitious sense of purpose. That is the real problem.
“The essential political leadership in Europe – the Germans and the French mainly, along with some others – are demonstrating a sense of responsibility for the future of Europe. They are increasingly determined to shape a political framework which will supplant what Europe has been lately, namely a financial union for some and a politically loose community for all. Inevitably, a genuine political union will take shape in stages and steps, probably beginning through a de facto treaty reached by inter-governmental agreement in the near future.
“We are now entering a phase in which no power is likely to be truly supreme.
“This is why, in my view, the idea of an expanded West – which eventually should include both Russia and Turkey – would be a very important element contributing to greater global stability. An enlarged West – in which the United States plays the role of conciliator and at the same time of balancer in Asia – would be better able to forge constructive policies to cope with global issues than a world in which there is increasing turmoil and conflict with many small players vying for their own self-interest.”
My Comment: We need to pull the financial system from the egoistic hands and use it only for the benefit of society. Otherwise, those in power will kill us.