Le Destin de l’humanité / Les Espoirs de l’humanité

Depuis un certain temps maintenant, et assurément depuis les attaques terroristes contre les États-Unis le 11 septembre 2001, tout comme par le passé quand nous assistions aux massacres du Kosovo, de Sarajevo, de Srebrenica, du Rwanda et du Congo sur nos téléviseurs, les nouvelles ne parlent plus que de guerre ou de menaces de guerre, de morts violentes ou de menaces de morts violentes. Partout dans le monde, nous sommes tous vivement lucides quant à la puissance de nos armes. Des missiles à tête nucléaire jusqu’aux camions remplis d’engrais ou les explosifs portés à la ceinture, nous avons utilisé notre capacité technologique pour développer grandement le côté sombre de notre nature d’espèce biologique violente, au rôle de prédateur mal agi.

Je n’ai certainement pas l’intention de minimiser ou rejeter cet aspect de l’Histoire de l’humanité ni les événements actuels. Je ne veux pas qu’on oublie que plus de la moitié du siècle précédent s’est passée pour certains à tuer par balles, gazer, poignarder, brûler ou affamer un dixième des hommes vivants sur cette planète, que ce soit à cause de la Première guerre mondiale ou des famines qui suivirent le Grand Bond en avant de Mao.

Cependant, il ne s’agit pas là d’un état des lieux complet. En fait, les abattoirs humains du vingtième siècle—ainsi que les différents abattoirs que préparent diverses communautés au jour d’aujourd’hui—peuvent ne pas apparaître à l’avenir comme la partie la plus importante de notre expérience et de notre condition humaine, ni être ce que nos descendants considéreront comme leur Histoire. Pour eux, les traits les plus importants de notre expérience seront peut-être :

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  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

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    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

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    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

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    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

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    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

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    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

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    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable

    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.