Monday, August 11, 2008


Superpower: A state with a leading position in the international system and the ability to influence events and project power on a worldwide scale; it is traditionally considered to be one step higher than a great power

For all of my life I have enjoyed the benefits of being born in the world's superpower; and for most of my life, I have received the perks of residing in the most prosperous state of said superpower. Despite the inequalities our country has an exorbitant amount of wealth; despite our current administration we still have tremendous political clout; we have the leading universities; people around the world learn our language; and as evidenced by the fact that our athletes come to the United States from around the world because they want to 'play for the best,' we have dominant athletics. It's good being on top.

So maybe that's why I cheer against China. Thinking that somehow if we retain our position as the top medaling team at the summer Olympics, we will curb the inevitable rise (or rebirth) of China as a superpower. As I learned from an awe-inspiring but intimidating open ceremonies, Chinese will be quick to point out that for 9 of the past 10 centuries, they had the world's leading GDP.

It will be interesting to see what plays out in my lifetime. I guess if the Chinese rise to #1, it will not be hard for me to pretend to be Chinese; just this weekend Chinese servers at a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant started talking to us in Chinese. Even they can't tell.

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