Rob Kall: Incredible! Yeah. It makes sense. So what is the answer? So what, do you have any ideas for how to fix this ?
Well, the first thing I think you have to do , is you have to stand back and be a little more humble. You have to say, " we really don't need to fight everybody in the world who might potentially not like us or want to do us harm. '
Second, we have to revisit our entire " management of power, ' as I call it. This business of, for example, in the Western hemisphere continuing to blockade Cuba, is nonsense. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, all the major countries of South America, and even Canada ( to a certain extent), are moving away from us.
We " if we didn't have the residual " and I want to say that, residual, financial and economic power that we do, in places like the IMF, the World Bank in New York, and so forth, in terms of our still very potent economic and financial capability, no one would speak to us. No one would speak to us! Even in our own hemisphere. They hate us, and you can't blame them. They're moving out on their own; Brazil, Argentina. Brazil is probably one of the most successful countries in the world in terms of looking at twenty years ago and where she is today. Lula, and now Bilbao after him, are " Fidelistas ' . They were raised, they were brought up and educated in Fidel Castro's philosophy. They are Socialist par excellence . They are moving away from us, and they're taking their countries with them with all their resources, their people
So, we've got to change the way we work in the world. We've got to change the way to cooperation, engagement, win - win situations, instead of dominating situations. We've got to talk to people. We've got to negotiate with people. We've got to use diplomacy again , like we did for our first hundred years when we weren ' t very strong. We've simply got to do better, and w've got to do less and less with hard power, named: The military. It's not hard...
Rob Kall: Now you mention hard power , a couple of " Go ahead. I ' m sorry, let me know when you ' re finished.
No, it ' s just not productive. I mean, we're creating more enemies than we are making friends , and our friends are leaving us.
Rob Kall: So a couple of thoughts come from what you just said.
One, on Joseph Nye . He wrote the book Soft Power, and the Future of Power, and he's now head of The Trilateral Commission . So, he's in a pretty powerful place to have some influence on the role of Soft P ower. I interviewed him, because I call this radio show Bottom Up Radio, because I believe we're transitioning from a top-down world to a bottom-up world, where the kinds of ideas of Soft Power rather than Hard Power are emerging, where decentralization and moving away from hierarchy are the future. And I think that it's the Internet primarily that has catalyzed this. I interviewed Anne Marie Slaughter about it last year, and I'd like your thoughts about it. What do you think about that? Is this happening? Do you see more possibility for it? Do you see it as important, [it] sounds like what you're describing as some of your solutions are, are ones that threaten this bottom-up rather than top-down world?
Well, I think yo're absolutely right, but I'm not as optimistic about it as I would like to be. In fact, I'm fairly cynical about it, and here's why. Let me give you an anecdote. I'm talking to Royal Dutch Shells' strategists, their Think-T ank so to speak. And by the way , I think that Royal Dutch Shell has a supremely competent strategic body that looks at the future. And they've crafted this document for public consumption. They have a private one, of course a proprietarial one. But the one for public consumption is called " Scramble on the One Hand '. And I can't remember what the other word is, but it's " let's just call it " managed '. And they see two alternative futures out there. The one you ' re talking about, which is basically managed, but managed bottom-up, not managed top-down, by the oligarchy, by the one percent, or whatever you want to call them, because that's indeed what we have in this country today. The other scenario in Scramble, is where we all, for dwindling water, for dwindling non renewable fossil fuels, for dwindling arable land, dwindling food supplies, therefore and other things, it's where we all fight. Very sanguinary! Very bloody!
We fight for another half century until these things sort of sort themselves out, or we destroy ourselves. So I see this happening, what you ' re talking about, happening, but much like the French Revolution I see it being, not aborted, but I see it being a very painful process, and frankly I see a lot of blood being shed, as the bottom challenges the top. And I'm not just talking about Occupy Wall Street. I'm talking about much more serious efforts than Occupy Wall Street, which, at root, was inchoate, in coherent, and more or less ( as far as I can tell) has sort of fizzled out. There will be a time, and it will come overnight, I think, where the majority of the world, if not the majority of this country, wakes up one morning and says "It's finished!" And the leadership will be there. The leadership will be politically opportunistic. It may be motivated by genuine altruistic reasons, or it may be just pure power that they're after, but the leadership will be there, just as it was there for the French Revolution. Robespierre after all, didn't just materialize out of thin air. And Napoleon didn't materialize out of thin air either. So we're going to go through a period, I think, of very near anarchy and chaos, as all of this sorts itself out, and as we again move into a different dimension of democracy, because I think that's still going to be the dominant political force, and as that democracy becomes more democratic.
Rob Kall: So, okay. Let me just take this back " you said, there will be a time, and it will come overnight, and the majority of the world will be there when they will say " it's finished ! '