Danielle barrington Professor arguello History 5 1 august 2010 The Second WorldbyParagKhanna
ParagKhanna’s purpose The author’s main goal in The Second World is to educate the reader about the state of the world beyond American borders. From globalization to geopolitics to the superpowers of the globe, there is an entire world of political, social, and economic struggle outside of America. The countries in between first and third world nations, called “second world” countries by the author, play an especially important role in the future of the world: They can be influenced by both good and bad, and eventually determine the fate of other countries. It is extremely important to consider these second world countries and maintain proper relations to avoid a future of global geopolitics and war.
Geopolitics Geopolitics is the act of one country using political power to control another country or territory. It can be compared to a powerful government using their strength to control another on puppet strings, forcing weaker nations to do whatever they are told to with no regard to the long-term effects of such political control (Introduction, xix). ParagKhanna discusses the potential harm of geopolitics on the world in various chapters of the book. The most memorable example is of geopolitics involving China. China protects itself by “seducing” its neighbors and forming economic ties that are independent of social or political tension thatmay exist between the countries. Neighboring countries donot have much say in the matter, as they are dependent onthe Asian powerhouse of China for growth and trade (ch. 28p. 269-271).
Globalization Globalization is similar to geopolitics in that both are dependent on a country’s fear and greed, but they are otherwise considered to be complete opposites of each other (Introduction xx-xxi). Many believe that globalization is the force that can prevent a World War III between China,Europe, and the United States fromoccurring. While the countries have verylittle in common, they all depend on eachother and can’t stop this system alone. China is exploiting globalization in order to profit from the countries around it (ch. 28 p. 269).
China and the First World powers China is without a doubt the country that I find most interesting in the text. Their influence is not upon just one country or region, but the entire globe. First world countries like the United States and Europe depend on China for its economic, industrial, and technological success. It is because of globalization that two countries as different as China and the United States are able to work together (Ch. 28 p. 270). Other first world countries like Japan and Australia have benefitted from China as well, and are willing to ignore the country’s great pitfalls in order to ensure greater financial gain(Ch. 28 p. 271).
China and Third World powers Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, nicknamed “The Inner Triangle” by Khanna, are countries of previous British colonization (and wealth) that now work closely with China more than the West. This is because of “checkbook diplomacy,” China’s policy of working with everyone and anyone in order to make money (Ch. 30 p. 292-293). Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a prime example of Chinese diplomacy. A poor, military junta governed, internally unstable country like Myanmar do not have the opportunity to work with or receive aid from first world countries like the United States. But China does not have sanctions to follow; it is there to make money from a starving country and greedy government. By taking advantage of a country like Myanmar, China gains itself an ally and another source of income.