The real struggle here is not between civilizations or religions but between competing economic orders that are utilizing the religion card to obtain leverage. The world has shifted from the ideological focus that was available in the Crusades as the primary conflict-driving element. The Age of Exploration brought with it the element of economic superiority. Events in world history following the Age of Exploration such as the subjugation of indigenous populations in Africa and the Americas, the colonization of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as the great World Wars all originated due to competing economic interests. The events leading up to the current situation have all resulted from poor economic management around the globe. Advanced economies have made it part of their agenda to exploit weaker markets in order to gain competitive advantage. Although competition is generally healthy but in this case the overbearing focus on competition has rendered it unhealthy and dangerous for everyone around the globe. Eyewash solutions may work for the present moment but they will not guarantee lasting peace for upcoming generations. In order to make the world a saner and safer place to live in, collective responsibility for each other’s problems will have to take center stage in preference to personal or national gains. Competing economic interests will have to be converged into common stakes in such a fashion that keeping the world safe becomes everyone’s priority. President Obama’s speech in Cairo entitled “A New Beginning” produces six contentious issues, the last of which is economic development. This is similar to other treatises on the issue that have chosen to throw economics on the back burner. The President has tried to realign American foreign policy substantially, but these changes are already too little too late. This speech is indicative of the fact that a new era of realist diplomacy in Washington is beginning to break ground. However, the real danger is that this realignment needs to be faster and more radical in nature or these new American efforts will go in vain. The economic elements dealt with in the President’s speech are discussed below for understanding how economics has been relegated to the backbenches once again. The President starts out by discussing globalization and states “for many, the face of globalization is contradictory”. He proceeds to bolster his argument by mentioning that television and the internet bring mixed blessings to people’s homes and so they are caught between two fires when deciding to use the internet and television. The argument is taken another step forward by mentioning that trade can become disruptive for communities. He relates that such changes (or disruptions) in trade bring with them fear. In relating fear as a result of globalization the President is more than justified but not totally correct. Fortunately or unfortunately, the phenomenon of globalization has assumed two different facets – the American facet and the Chinese facet. Chinese trade is not only accepted with ease around the globe but is also much appreciated. For example, an average person in Cambodia would appreciate cheap shoes coming from China that improve his quality of life even if they meant that local shoemakers ran out of business. This has meant that Chinese trade has been on the rise around the globe
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