O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida

Mostrando postagens com marcador The Globalist. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador The Globalist. Mostrar todas as postagens

quarta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2019

George Orwell redivivo: 1984 atual - James M. Dorsey (The Globalist)

1984 Revisited: The Rise of the Neo-Authoritarians

The graphic warnings in George Orwell’s prophetic novel 1984 are as relevant today as they were when it was first published 70 years ago.

The Globalist, August 8, 2019

The rise of a critical mass of world leaders, including Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and others in Europe, Asia and Latin America, has given 1984, George Orwell’s prophetic novel, published 70 years ago, renewed relevance.

Orwell’s dark vision: Live around the globe

In what may be the strangest turn of events after the end of the Cold War, Orwell’s graphic warning of the threat of illiberal and authoritarian rule and the risks embodied in liberal democracy are as acute today as they were in the immediate wake of World War II.
In many ways, Orwell’s novel could have been written today. It envisioned the rise of the surveillance state (witness China) and the emergence of what he called Newspeak, the abuse of language for political purposes and the perversion of the truth in ways that makes facts irrelevant (witness the Trump Administration).
The reality of Orwell’s 1984 manifests itself today in the emergence of illiberal and authoritarian rulers across the globe or, as in the case of China, the equivalent of the writer’s imaginary omnipotent party that rules a superstate he called Oceania.
The building blocks of the party’s toolkit have gained renewed currency: A thought police, the dominance of Big Brother enabled by surveillance, Newspeak and doublethink.
Most alarmingly, elements of Orwell’s vision are no longer limited to totalitarian regimes. Increasingly, democracies in crisis feature aspects of it too.

Media on the defensive

The media is reduced to the role of government scribe in China, the Gulf and other autocracies. The media is similarly on the defensive in democracies such as the United States, Hungary, India, Turkey, Russia and the Philippines.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s advisor, revived Newspeak with her coining of the phrase “alternative facts” to justify demonstrably false assertions by the president and members of his administration. 
Newspeak also bolsters assertions by men like Trump and Hungarian and Filipino presidents Victor Orban and Rodrigo Duterte that mainstream media report fake news.
And it allowed Trump to last year tell a veterans association that “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
Orwell’s novel is couched in terms of liberal versus totalitarian – the reality he confronted as a Republican volunteer in the Spanish Civil War and post-World War Two Europe.

Perverted civilizational models

It was a time in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany — with its all-in, completely perverted civilizational model — had been defeated. Pursuing a totalitarian vision inside a civilizational model of sorts is how Xi Jinping has reconceived the Chinese state. It is based on disregard for human and minority rights.
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Russian and the Turkish Presidents, think about Eurasia in civilizational terms. Putin has translated that into redrawing borders in Ukraine and Georgia.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, and Trump, are basing their rule at least in part on incendiary expressions of racial or religious supremacism. 
It remains to be seen whether Trump’s first unqualified condemnation of supremacism in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, truly constitutes a turnaround.

Common ground

What unites these leaders broadly speaking is their readiness to undermine minority rights, risking escalating cycles of violence and mass migration as a result of mounting insecurity and violence and promoting a political environment fueled by rising supremacism, Islamophobia and/or anti-Semitism.
That common ground enables China to employ cutting edge technology in its rollout at home and abroad of a surveillance state designed to invade virtually every aspect of a person’s life. 
At the cutting edge of Xi Jinping’s surveillance state, is his brutal clampdown on Turkic Muslims in China’s troubled north-western province of Xinjiang. He has launched the most frontal assault on a faith in recent history in a bid to Sinicize Uighurs and other Turkic minorities.
Xi Jinping, bolstered by China’s economic and political clout, has so far gotten away with what some have termed cultural genocide. 
That he is able to do so is made possible by a Muslim world that is largely populated by authoritarian and autocratic leaders. Even though Xi makes short shrift of their own religious brethren, they see China as a model of achieving economic growth without political liberalization.

Back to the future

While the writing is clearly on the wall, illiberals and authoritarians pseudo-sheepishly pay lip service to democracy or advocate distorted forms of a rights-based system while either denying or undermining basic rights.
Russian political scientist Sergei Karaganov argues that what he called “incomplete democracies” where best equipped to manage volatility. 
In its ultimate consequence, that argument would allow illiberals and autocrats to throw any reference to democracy on the garbage pile of history.

domingo, 28 de outubro de 2018

Tchecoslovaquia: formada antes do final da Grande Guerra - Barry D. Wood

Tomas Masaryk and Czechoslovakian Independence, 100 Years Ago

Few people are aware that Czechoslovak independence was declared in the United States, in Philadelphia on October 26, 1918.

The Globalist, October 26, 2018

Few people are aware that Czechoslovak independence was declared from Philadelphia 100 years ago. Implausible though that seems, Tomas Masaryk, the father of the new state, was in the United States at the time. He was seeking support from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as the first World War was winding down.
Masaryk spent six months in the United States where he assiduously promoted Slavic unity within exile communities. He met three times with President Wilson. 
On May 30th, 1918, Masaryk produced a unity declaration in Pittsburgh in which Czechs and Slovaks pledged cooperation in an independent state. The word “Czecho-Slovakia” came into being. 
Before the Pittsburgh event, bilateral ties between the constituent parts of the new nation were weak. During 300 years of Hapsburg dominion, Slovaks were ruled from Hungary, while Bohemia and Moravia were administered from Vienna. 
Masaryk was a skilled networker. Before he went to work on Wilson, he had persuaded the British and French to endorse the concept of Czechoslovak independence. 
In a letter to Wilson on September 11th, 1918, Masaryk essentially boxed the U.S. president into an endorsement of independence:
“Mr. President: Allow me to express the feeling for profound gratitude for the recognition of our army, the national council and the nation.” 

A gutsy assertion

It was a very gutsy assertion, considering that the Czech army was in Russia, its national council in Paris – and the Czech lands still part of Austria.
Masaryk’s priority was obtaining independence before any peace conference would take place. He feared the victors would redraw the map of Europe in a way unfavorable to Czechs and Slovaks. 
When the Austrians split with Germany in October 1918 and proposed negotiations to decentralize decision-making within the monarchy, Masaryk turned his independence campaign into overdrive. He was adamant that the Austro-Hungarian empire must be abolished. 
That is how it came about that, on October 26, 1918, Masaryk declared Czechoslovak independence in Philadelphia. Its text closely modeled on its American precursor.
Independence was similarly declared two days later in Prague. While still in America awaiting a ship home, Masaryk was elected president by the national assembly in Prague. 
In his final meeting with Wilson on November 15, Masaryk advised the president not
to become personally involved in the peace conference that was to be convened. He feared Wilson’s lofty moral stature would be tarnished in rough and tumble negotiations. 

He was right

During six months of map making in Paris, Wilson was gradually chewed up. It became clear that Wilson’s call for self-determination would apply only to victors, not vanquished. 
Hungary, for example, would lose two-thirds of its territory and population to new states. Proposals for a Danubian federation that included Austria were still-born as Czechoslovakia was already free.
John Maynard Keynes, part of the British delegation in Paris, called Wilson, “a blind man unbelievably out of touch with the reality of things.” The punitive Versailles Treaty that imposed reparations on Germany, he argued, was wicked and invited future conflict. 
Despite shortcomings and Wilson’s failure to win congressional support for his league of nations, his good intentions won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920. Wilson died a broken man in 1924.
Independence, of course, did not assure lasting freedom for Czechs and Slovaks. After the Munich conference in 1938, they endured six years of Nazi rule. Then, in 1948, a Soviet-backed coup resulted in 41 years of communist dictatorship.
During that time, Masaryk’s achievement was downplayed and his name seldom mentioned. His stature was restored only after the 1989 velvet revolution. 
Now, in 2018, Czechs and Slovaks have emerged into what is already 29 years of freedom. They are members of NATO and the European Union. 
But the merged entity, Masaryk’s crowning achievement, expired with the 1993 “velvet divorce.” Despite the separation, the two nations remain allies and best friends, and Slovaks no longer complain of being dominated by Czechs and run from Prague. 

Barry D. Wood is a Washington writer and broadcaster. His new book is Exploring New Europe, a Bicycle Journey. His twitter handle is @econbarry

segunda-feira, 16 de abril de 2018

The Globalist: China among the greatest, by volume, but also by quality

O mais recente boletim de Globalist, traz algumas matérias que confrontam resultados chineses – indicadores econômicos e sociais – com os de países atualmente na vanguarda do desenvolvimento mundial. A China já é a maior economia mundial, a despeito do fato que, em termos per capita, ela ainda vai levar décadas para se equiparar aos países mais avançados.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

China Vs. the US: Just the Facts

China Vs. the US: The GDP Race

Who leads depends on how it’s measured. | By The Globalist

China Vs. the US: Lifespan Gains

A child born in China today can expect to live decades longer than someone born in China in 1950. | By The Globalist

China Vs. Europe: Living Standards and Costs

While much of China remains poor, some cities are now on par with EU levels. | By The Globalist

China Vs. the US: Who Has More Land?

The two countries have very similar land areas for now, but China has extensive additional claims. | By The Globalist

China Vs. The US: The GDP Race

Who leads depends on how it’s measured.


  • At market prices, China’s GDP is still only about 61.7% the size of the US economy.
  • China’s economy is also more than three times greater than that of Germany, and four and a half times larger than the economies of France or the United Kingdom.
1. At market prices, China’s GDP (the size of its economy) is still only about 61.7% the size of the U.S. economy, according to International Monetary Fund estimates in 2017.
2. China is the second-largest economy in the world in nominal terms (i.e., without adjustment for local purchasing power). 
3. China’s GDP is nearly two-and-a-half times larger than that of third-ranked Japan.
4. China’s economy is also more than three times greater than that of Germany, and four and a half times larger than the economies of France or the United Kingdom.
5. Only by measuring China’s GDP in international dollars that adjust for local purchasing power does it surpass the United States’ economic size.
6. By this indicator, the U.S. economy is 84% the size of China’s. 
7. China certainly seems destined for economic pre-eminence, if current trends continue. 
8. This would be a return to China’s previous path and position in the global economy. 
9. Back in 1820, two centuries ago, the largest productive economies in the world were China and India. 
10. Together they accounted for half of the aggregate value of the global economy at the time.
Sources: IMF, Maddison Project Historical Statistics, The Globalist Research Center

domingo, 12 de novembro de 2017

Crescimento populacional: os dados da questao - The Globalist

Global Population Growth: Just The Facts

The Globalist, November 2017


Global Population Growth Per Minute

On balance, how many more people did Earth gain every minute of the past year? | By The Globalist.


Annual Population Growth by Region

How much did different world regions gain in population over the past year? | By The Globalist


The Global Gender Balance in 2017

What share of the population of each world region is female? | By The Globalist.


International Migration and the Global Agenda

What are the causes and effects of global migration?

Four powerful forces are contributing to the urgency of addressing the international migration issue on the national, regional and international agenda.
The first force is demography. Generally speaking, receiving countries in the North are facing a “birth-rate crisis.” With more deaths than births due to low fertility levels, many receiving countries are experiencing rapid population aging — and facing outright population decline.
In contrast, the populations of sending countries, especially in Asia and Africa, continue to grow rapidly, with most of their populations concentrated in the younger ages.
Economics is the second major force. With aging and shrinking populations, many developed nations are confronting serious labor shortages, financial pressures on government-sponsored pensions and difficulties providing health care for the elderly.
In addition, countries in the Persian Gulf are recruiting large numbers of temporary migrant workers for their expanding economies, fueled largely by their vast oil wealth.
At the same time, millions of men and women in poor developing countries, especially the youth, face poverty and hardships securing employment. And as a result, many are seeking opportunities by migrating — legally or illegally — to wealthier countries, especially in Europe and North America.
Their difficult situations are further compounded by environmental and climate changes impacting their farming, fishing and other important natural resources.
The third major force is culture — a broad set of issues including ethnicity, language, religion, customs and tradition. In contrast to the past, the composition of the immigrants in many instances differs greatly from that of the receiving country.
In Europe following World War II, for example, many immigrants came from the relatively poorer countries of southern Europe.
Many of the immigrants today, however, are not only less educated and lower skilled than the native populations — but are ethnically and culturally different, raising concerns about integration, assimilation and cultural integrity.
Finally, the fourth crucial force is national security. The events of 9-11 in the United States, the bombings in the United Kingdom, Spain, Indonesia and elsewhere, as well as several high profile violent crimes committed by immigrants have heightened security and safety concerns relating to international migrants.
As a result, many countries have tightened their borders, stiffened their policies and instituted new guidelines and procedures, e.g., photos, fingerprints, lengthy detentions and immigration bans, to monitor and deal with those coming from certain countries, especially illegal immigrants.
In addition, civil conflict and societal breakdowns — such as in Somalia, Haiti and the Congo — have resulted in millions of people rushing to escape from the disorder, violence and insecurity.
These four powerful forces are keeping international migration at the top of national, regional and global agenda.
Moreover, given the current economic downturn and growing anti-immigrant sentiments among both developed and developing countries, it seems certain that the issue of how best to manage international migration will become even more contentious, divisive and challenging for governments and international organizations in the years ahead.

domingo, 6 de julho de 2014

1814 or 1914? The Fateful Choice in 2014 - Martin Sieff (The Globalist)

Não acredito em ciclos, seja econômicos, seja históricos, mas acredito na capacidade humana de cometer os mesmos erros, e dos homens políticos de perpetrar as mesmas bobagens que seus predecessores de maneira geral. Quanto aos militares, é conhecida sua proverbial tendência de estudar as guerras passadas para tirar lições sobre as que aparecem pelo caminho, e provavelmente de cometer outros tantos erros quantos seus congêneres da vida civil.
Enfim, como disse alguém, ninguém, em qualquer época, jamais perdeu dinheiro apostando na estupidez humana.
Ou como disse Einstein: existem duas coisas infinitas e incomensuráveis: o universo e a estupidez humana, e ele não tinha muita certeza quanto ao primeiro...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

1814 or 1914? The Fateful Choice in 2014

The surprising way in which historical choices present themselves in cycles that are 100 years apart.

Is 2014 another 1914 or 1814? The fate — and even survival — of the world depends on the answer.
This summer, the world remembers the start of World War I. This catastrophe shattered the global civilization of Europe to a degree that in terms of prosperity, security, demography and basic optimism about life and the future took more than 40 years to recover from — and then only after even greater catastrophes.
But any which way one turns historic responsibilities, all the unprecedented and previously unimaginable cataclysms of the first half of the 20th century across Eurasia flowed from that one, fundamental cause — the start of full-scale international war between the Great Powers in the summer of 1914.
The Russian Revolution, the killer famines that swept the infant Soviet Union, the Ukrainian genocide of up to 10 million people,Stalin’s Great Terror, the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi conquest of Europe, the Holocaust and the hecatombs of dead in World War II (80 million people, including 27 million Soviet citizens) all stemmed from that original catastrophe in 1914.

Craving full-scale European war

For generations thereafter, Germany in general and Kaiser Wilhelm II in particular were demonized across the Western world.
A slew of excellent new histories by Sean McMeekin (July 1914), Margaret MacMillan (The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914) and Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914) make clear that the outbreak of these events was by no means Germany’s fault alone.
The Russian General Staff in St. Petersburg and the long-overlooked, truly sinister figure of Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré in Paris were the ones who actively plotted and craved full-scale European war. The Kaiser, while certainly hysterical and amazingly inept, did not. He actually wanted to avoid it.
Recent research also brings out the pivotal role of Winston Churchill, civilian head of Britain’s Royal Navy, as second only to the abysmal Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, as being the key movers to drag Britain into the conflict when the country could otherwise easily have stayed out.
Churchill’s shaping of events converted what otherwise would have been a six-month to one-year victory of Germany against Russia and France with high casualties and lasting changes into something infinitely worse — a four-year death struggle to the ultimate mutual destruction of all.
1914, therefore, set off a chain reaction succession of pathological conflagrations that reduced the civilization of Europe, both material and moral, to a smoking ruin by 1945.

What a difference a century makes

By contrast, precisely a century earlier, the years of 1814-15 ended a quarter century cycle of continent-spanning destruction that had started with the French Revolution in 1789. (Though even that event, properly understood, was set off by the 1786 Free Trade Treaty which France signed with England to its own ruin).
The leaders of the restored great monarchies of Europe started in 1814 their herculean task of restoring political and social stability. That was essential in a Europe that had been ravaged and ruined by a quarter century of war.
At first, this endeavor looked hopeless. When exiled French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte returned to mainland France on March 20, 1815, the regime that had been set up to succeed him under the Bourbon dynasty of King Louis XVIII quickly collapsed.
Yet, 200 years ago the leaders of the great powers stayed cool. They gathered their military forces, worked in close cooperation and decisively defeated the resurgent Napoleon once and for all at the battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815.
The crucial military partnership that saved Europe from the maelstrom of catastrophe was between the British Army commanded by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian Army led by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher.

What a difference another century makes

That pivotal collaboration was all the more significant if one recalls that, a century later, it was the breakdown in trust and communication between Britain and Germany that led to the catastrophic mauling of both great nations and the eventual destruction of both their empires in the early 20th century.
Today, the omens for truly broad and bold international cooperation in Iraq are not good. They are fearful. Just as was the case with Napoleon quickly seizing the reins of France after his return from exile, so it is now in Iraq.
The army of supposedly democratic Iraq is now crumbling before a new wave of Islamist jihadis, who are vastly inferior to the U.S.-trained and equipped regular Iraqi army in number and equipment.
It does not help the overall situation that Europe is exhausted economically and the United States is exhausted militarily.

The importance of constructive compromise

Both Brussels and Washington are furious at Russia over its role in the continuing Ukraine crisis. Meanwhile, China is actively probing about advancing its interests in the South China Sea at the expense of its neighbors, much as Tsarist Russia and Austria-Hungary plotted in the Balkans before and during 1914.
To escape the truly terrible danger of another 1914, the leaders of the G-8 and China today should first heed and fear the dreadful lessons of 1914. Then they should reach back another century before that to learn the crucial lessons of Anglo-German collaboration to defeat Napoleon in 1814.
For this reason, the United States and the European Union need to make the effort to reach out in a new and serious partnership effort with China and Russia, paying attention for once to the grievances and interests of these great nations.
The great victory of Waterloo did not come easily — 100,000 men, about half divided between the British and the French — died there.
And it would still all have been in vain if the leaders of the great powers had not put aside their many differences of politics, ideology, religious faith and culture to meet at the Congress of Vienna starting in September 1814 where they forged a serious peace that lasted for a full century.
The future of the human race today hinges on whether the leaders of our 21st century world choose to follow the examples of the despised and discredited petty men of 1914, or whether they go back to the truly visionary and wise cooperative globalists of 1814-15.

About Martin Sieff

Martin Sieff is Chief Global Analyst at The Globalist Research Center and Editor-at-Large at The Globalist.


  • Is 2014 another 1914 or 1814? The fate — and even survival — of the world depends on the answer.
  • The future of our 21st century world depends on not following the example of the despised and petty men of 1914.
  • Our best hope in 2014 is for another wave of smart diplomats, like the visionary and cooperative globalists of 1814.
  • Superpowers that are traditional rivals need to compromise and work together against extremist threats to all.
  • Britain and Germany need to cooperate with Russia to ensure a European peace, as they did in 1814, but not in 1914.

sábado, 5 de julho de 2014

Milionarios do mundo: despikettyzando a riqueza mundial

De repente, em virtude das "descobertas" econômicas de um desses iluminados que resolvem reinventar a pólvora, parece que o problema mais grave do mundo é a desigualdade distributiva, ou seja, o fato de que grande parte da riqueza esteja concentrada em poucas mãos (e bolsos, ou melhor, contas bancárias e títulos em carteira).
Não, não é. O mundo nunca teve tantos milionários e tão rapidamente. E o fato de que eles concentrem parte substancial da riqueza global não representa, tampouco, um problema, pois a dinâmica de sua criação demonstra claramente que muito mais gente está sendo capaz de aceder a patamares mais altos de riqueza do que jamais ocorreu antes na história econômica mundial. Ou seja, o "problema" da "concentração de renda" é um falso problema, por qualquer lado que se examine. 
Está mais do que na hora de "despikettyzar" o debate, e colocá-lo em termos corretos, quais sejam: como aumentar a renda de todos, em níveis razoáveis, não diminuir a renda dos megabilionários, o que reduziria a dinâmica da criação de riqueza. 
A existência de milhões de milionários e de um punhado de megabilionários é extremamente saudável para a prosperidade de todos os seres humanos. Só ingênuos, ignorantes e socialistas acham que isso é negativo. 
Não é, ao contrário: é muito promissor para o futuro da prosperidade mundial. Cada vez mais, um maior número de pessoas vai querer ser milionário. Essa coisa de igualitarismo ou é ingenuidade ou é inveja...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

The World’s Millionaire Stock Is on the Rise

The world’s “millionaire club” grew faster than most economies in 2013.

Credit: sapfir - Shutterstock.com


  • About a third of global private wealth goes to .19% of the world’s population.
  • Despite global economic crises, the world has more millionaires than ever before.
  • One global growth rate has not decreased - the growth rate of people with a net-worth of a million or more.

1.Altogether, there were 13.73 million millionaires in the world in 2013, compared to 11.97 million in 2012.
2.The number of millionaires worldwide rose by 14.7% between 2012 and 2013, about five times the estimated 2.9% rate of global economic growth.
3.The 28% increase in global stock market value in 2013 boosted the number of millionaires worldwide.
4.Even with the ranks of the world’s millionaires swelling, they make up only 0.19% of the global population.
5.However, the assets of the world’s 13.73 million high-rollers hit a record high of $52.6 trillion in 2013, or about a third of global private wealth.
6.The financial wealth of the world’s millionaires has increased by 60% since the financial crisis of 2008.
7.Despite the rapid growth in the number of Chinese millionaires, most millionaires still come from the developed countries.
8.Japan alone has 2.33 millionaires, more than Africa (140,800), Latin America (542,200), the Middle East (569,300) and China (758,000) combined.
Sources: Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2014, with additional analysis by The Globalist Research Center.