First off, I am a huge Ian Bremmer groupie. I think the guy is brilliant. And he has an amazing ability to synthesize so much into such a short, concise and impactful assessment.
Bremmer is a political scientist that has created an outstanding consultancy based on giving insight to political and business leaders about what they should be thinking of and focused on when it comes to geo-politics.
His latest book is an alarm that our world is embroiled in a rather deep-rooted battle of us vs. them. Us is any group that feels left out, marginalized, left behind, screwed over or generally in worse circumstances than the feel they deserve or are owed. Them is everyone else. The elites. The executives. Politicians. Immigrants. Muslims. Christians. Jews. Whites. Blacks. Pick an identity and that is Them. He warns that our current state of affairs, trajectory, politics, and advancement of technology put us on course to make this situation even worse.
Bremmer profiles 12 countries that are the locus of future population and economic growth, and hold 50% of the world’s population: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey and Russia. Their fate depends heavily on how they are able to navigate AI and automation, provide safety nets and education for their people and how youth will fare given that in some of these countries 65% of the population is under 35.
Bremmer ends with ideas for a “new deal.” Better education quality, deliver and funding. A new tax paradigm. Job training and reskilling. Increased creative thinking – particularly within government. And a greater participation of the private sector in addressing our global challenges.
Personally I am not optimistic about our chances of crafting Bremmer’s new deal. I believe we are in this current shit show for some time. But the book is excellent and his analysis, commentary and proposals are all thorough, high quality and thoughtful.
Verdict: Highly recommended