Thursday, March 6, 2008

The End of Hegemony

Parag KhannaIf ever there was an hegemony in recent history it was the US's and they have lost it. The hegemony is over. Two authors, Parag Khanna and Eric Hobsbawm have written books around this issue and are being interviewed on the Open Source podcast. The two episodes (Khanna, Hobsbawm) which came out recently, but not immediately one after the other, should be listened to in conjunction. And then it is a great treat.

There is one drawback though, especially in the talk with Parag Khanna (which has more than one speaker) the radio is not conducted in a fashion that is fit for every audience. There is a frame of reference I was sorely missing and I assume anybody else will miss, unless he has read Khanna's and Hobsbawm's books and is part of the Open Source listener's community. In other words, there are some inside presumptions I felt I missed out on, or a thread in the thinking and asking of the host that was not entirely clear to me.

Nevertheless, if you are into this kind of subject, be it from a historical perspective, be it from a political, economic, sociological, global perspective, it is very much worth the effort to listen in, kick yourself to stay focussed and get the questions and answers and enrich yourself with the thoughts of thorough thinkers and researchers. As a fine point of contention before you go ahead and listen (which you must), Khanna and Hobsbawm have very similar thoughts even though their perspective and language differs, but hold a radically different judgment of Europe. For Hobsbawm Europe is past as much as the US is and for Khanna, Europe is a new player and a strong one at that. Now go ahead and find out.

More Open Source:
Go for a walk with Open Source.

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