Oct 22, 2017 | 14:58 GMT stratfor
Globalism in the Eyes of Two Beholders
By Rodger Baker


The relative peace and prosperity in Europe may have shaped an idealistic approach to globalism.

The world over, the topic of globalism rarely fails to elicit a strongly held opinion. At its extreme in Europe, the march of globalization is accepted as a near-inevitability: In that view, it is no longer merely a path that should be taken, but the inexorable destination of humanity. As such, there is little room for assessing, much less understanding, alternative perceptions about the structure of the world, either internationally or domestically. 

world over:《the 〜》世界中で、世界各地で
elicit:を引き出す, 得る; …を明るみに出す.
in the extreme:極度に 

Whether talking with a German economist, a British investor or an expatriate businessman in Spain, there is a near-bewilderment as to why anyone would want to pursue nationalism over globalism. As such, the bump in popularity for the Alternative for Germany party, the independence referendum in Catalonia and the Brexit are all seen as anti-historical trends. To them, the European Union remains the moral and political compass for the world, the guiding principle upon which the nation-state will be subsumed and a new global society will emerge. 


In Asia, globalization is seen as a potential path, but not an inevitable one, and is viewed more often in economic than political terms. The nation-state firmly remains the unit of political and social organization, and while there are numerous initiatives to enhance cooperation among national entities, there is little movement toward the creation of a pan-national umbrella along the lines of the European Union. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), one of the most aggressive Asian attempts at pan-national cooperation, explicitly promotes a policy of noninterference in national politics, recognizing the very different systems in each member country, rather than seeking to replace them with a regionwide political and economic structure. 

Over the past 12 months, I have engaged with business leaders, government officials, researchers and members of the media in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and The Hague, and in Auckland, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. Over the course of those discussions, a distinct difference in worldview between the "elites" of Europe and those of Asia became apparent.


I use the word elite loosely here to describe the thin layer of society with the economic and social freedom to observe and assess the world in a manner disconnected from daily life. These are the economists, political scientists and bankers, the pundits, heads of major corporations, politicians and journalists. Their views shape much of the popular narrative, but one that often misses the underlying realities and beliefs held by a large portion of the societies in which they reside. 

Now, all such broad-brush assessments are, by their nature, simplistic and superficial. There are certainly those in Asia who subscribe to the ideals of extreme globalism, and some among the European elite who recognize clearly that the Continental vision is just that — a vision and not an inevitability. But nonetheless, I noted the striking difference in tone between those I met in Europe and those in Asia. In part, the geopolitical developments in each region over the past several decades could explain this dichotomy. 


Following the end of the Cold War, with the exception of the breakup of Yugoslavia, Europe has experienced perhaps its most stable multidecadal period in centuries. The European experiment appeared to be working. The peace and prosperity that spread across the continent allowed for the European Union to spread in kind, absorbing elements of the former Soviet bloc and even parts of the former Soviet Union itself. 

in kind:同じやり方で

In guiding the economic and political directions of individual European nations, the European Union sought to erase the underlying nationalism that had riven Europe for millennia. But that noble goal failed to take into account the realities that remained below the surface. These were exposed dramatically with the global financial crisis in 2008, which forced the differences between the economic, social and political predilections underlying its systems to the surface once again, leaving the Europeans struggling with the growing gap between the globalized ideal and the national realities. 


In Asia, no substantial periods of post-Cold War peace and cooperation ever really materialized. Even as it emerged as the region's dominant economic regional power, China's attention focused inward as it sought to manage internal social upheaval. Japan fell into economic malaise. The two Koreas (despite a brief moment of sunshine) continued to spar. Extra-constitutional political change swept across Southeast Asia.


The financial contagion that spread throughout the Asia-Pacific in 1997 sharpened many of these trends, leaving simply no long space of regional economic prosperity and political integration. Moves toward regional economic cooperation never went so far as seeking a common currency or centralized economic authority, and they certainly avoided linkage of economics and domestic politics. 


Those differences in fortune play into the way each region views and reacts to both the perceived changes in U.S. policy direction and to rising nationalist sentiment around the world. In Europe, U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as globalization's greatest threat, caricatured as the dangerous buffoon — a mirror image of the U.S. perception of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. European nations have found it difficult to manage relations with the United States because they cannot accept that it may be sliding away from the extreme vision of globalization. 


In Asia, there are concerns about the direction of U.S. policy, but less in regards to globalization and more in terms of its direct economic and security effects. Whereas Europe views the United States in ideological terms, Asia sees it in transactional terms. Thus Asian leaders like Japan's Shinzo Abe and even China's Xi Jinping have been more adept at interpreting and engaging with Trump. 

adept:熟練[熟達]して ≪at, in≫ .

The geopolitical currents that have brought the continental neighbors to these dichotomous viewpoints will continue to shape the perceptions of their thought leaders, who in turn influence the political, economic and social directions of their societies. It's clear that globalism will continue to evolve, both as an ideal and as a reality. Where it ends up may be a matter of perspective. 

matter of perspective:見通せる能力の問題

Rodger Baker leads Stratfor's analysis of Asia Pacific and South Asia and guides the company's forecasting process. A Stratfor analyst since 1997, he has played a pivotal role in developing and refining the company's analytical process, internal training programs and geopolitical framework. 



swingby_blog at 07:21コメント(0) 


中国の経済改革 再びチャンスを得る

Oct 18, 2017 | 09:00 GMT Strartfor 
China's Economic Reforms 
Get Another Chance


have another chance:また[再び]機会[チャンス]がある

For years, China has tried to better balance the wealth in Qingdao and other coastal areas with inland areas that have languished.
For years, China has tried to better balance the wealth in Qingdao and other coastal areas with inland areas that have languished.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress runs Oct. 18-24. The convention marks the start of a transition as delegates name new members to lead China's most powerful political institutions. But the change in personnel is only part of a larger transformation underway in the Party and in the country — a process that began long before the party congress kicked off and will continue long after it ends. This is the third installment in a four-part series examining how far China has come in its transition, and how far it has yet to go.

The global financial crisis in 2008 was the last straw for the Chinese economy. After years of rapid growth, China had finally reached the limits of its economic model, centered on exports of low-end manufactured goods. The ensuing slump revealed the glaring inequality that still divided the country's coastal regions from its inland, its wealthiest citizens from its poorest. To get back on track, Beijing would have to break with the socio-economic paradigm that it had maintained for the preceding three decades and introduce a new one. 

straw:the last [fìnal] straw (that breaks the camel's back) 我慢[不満]の限界を超えさせる決定的なとどめ (!重い荷物を積んだラクダの背中を折ってしまう最後の1本のわら, のことわざから) .
glaring:a glaring fault 明らかな落ち度.

Today, the transformation is far from complete. The balanced and homogenous society the central government had imagined — and the sustainable, consumption-based economy that would support it — are still little more than a decadeslong dream. China's socio-economic disparities are as stark as ever, and the legacy of past growth models continues to haunt the country's economy. What's more, Beijing's attempts at change have unleashed numerous social pressures that China's growing material wealth had previously kept at bay. 

decades-long dream:数十年来の夢
stark:face a stark choice 厳しい選択を迫られる
haunt:Mary was haunted by the accident. メリーはその事故が頭から離れなかった.
keep ~ at bay:〜を寄せ付けない

For Chinese leaders, the transition poses a dilemma. On the one hand, they understand that reform is necessary to sustain the country in the coming decades. But on the other, they know the difficulties inherent to the transformation could jeopardize their positions, and that of the Communist Party. President Xi Jinping spent his first term in office struggling to reconcile these conflicting concerns, and he'll spend his second term in much the same way. 

China's Provincial GDP Per Capita
Hu's Legacy Is This
When Xi took office in 2012, he inherited a socio-economic situation in China far different from the one that had greeted his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Hu came to office in 2002, just as China was emerging from the Asian financial crisis and as the dust was settling from reforms to the state sector that had caused massive unemployment. Having survived the crucible, China was ready to resume double-digit economic growth with help from a capital stimulus initiative, a booming private sector and its recent accession to the World Trade Organization. Social and regional inequality, along with rampant bureaucratic corruption, were beginning to take their toll on the country, giving rise to unrest. Still, the government could manage the brewing discontent so long as the economy was strong enough to uphold the Communist Party's legitimacy. 

allow the dust to settle:事態を収拾させる
toll:Overweight took its toll on her health. 太りすぎが彼女の健康を害した.
brewing discontent:起ころうとしている不満

To that end, Hu focused on growth. But because China's economic model had already reached its limit, and its workforce was nearing its peak, Beijing had to find new ways to stimulate the economy. Hu and his administration launched a host of measures to try to retool the economy, including efforts to develop China's inland regions, fiscal incentives to encourage manufacturers to relocate their operations from the coast and reforms aimed at cultivating a domestic consumer base. 

As it worked to promote these endeavors, however, the government had to contend with resistance from bureaucratic patronage networks and extensive business interests concentrated on the coast, not to mention the global financial crisis that hit in 2008. To keep the economy afloat, the government radically expanded access to credit while also funneling state money into infrastructure projects, particularly in the property sector, through state-owned enterprises and banks. 

not to mention:〜は言うまでもなく、〜はさておき
keep ~ afloat:〜を空中に浮かせたままにして沈まないようにする

China's Outstanding Debt to GDP
Thanks to these policies, Xi arrived in office to find a precariously swelling real estate bubble, massive overcapacity in China's industries, severe environmental degradation and a staggering level of debt awaiting him. The government is still dealing with the fallout five years later. Xi's administration has accepted comparatively sluggish growth as the new normal for China and has adapted its policies and rhetoric to temper expectations for a more robust recovery. 

Outstanding Debt:未払い債務
precariously:不安定な, 危うい(uncertain, unstable).
staggering:〈金額規模などが〉驚くべき, 衝撃的な, 信じられないほどの.

Structural reforms to reinvigorate the economy, for instance by phasing out inefficient heavy industrial and low-end manufacturers, and initiatives to curb pollution have made little headway, constrained by Beijing's core imperative to maintain employment levels. China's debts, meanwhile, have continued to pile up, reaching an equivalent of 250 percent of the country's gross domestic product. (Corporate debt alone accounts for 165 percent of GDP, of which state-owned enterprises — mainly in the sectors that most benefited from the credit expansion, such as real estate and steel — hold more than half.) To make matters worse, China's real estate market is starting to correct itself. The decline in property sales, coupled with the efforts to consolidate China's unwieldy steel and coal sectors, could bring the simmering debt crisis to its boiling point. 

headway:make headway  ≪…に向けて/…を達成するために≫ 前進する, 進展する
imperative:social [moral] imperatives 社会[道義]的責務.
simmering:simmering discontent くすぶり続ける不満.

China's SOE Problem
Taking Control of the Situation
Under the circumstances, Xi has no choice but to try to push forward with structural economic reforms. His attempts to do so have put him on a different course from those followed by predecessors Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and even Hu. To overcome the many obstacles standing in the way of change, Xi dispensed with the devolved power structure that for some 30 years had given localities, bureaucracies and industries considerable political sway as a way to drive growth. In its place, a more cohesive central government emerged and with it, a more unified Communist Party. 

dispensed :We cannot dispense with electricity. 我々は電気なしではやっていけない.
devolved:A〈義務権限など〉をB〈下位の人〉に譲り渡す, 委ねる.
sway:支配(力), 統治; 勢力, 影響(力)

Xi and the Party undertook a sweeping campaign to streamline China's key economic sectors and bring them and the country's provinces more firmly under their control. Since taking office, the president has largely consolidated his power over economic decisions while cracking down on Beijing's disparate political factions, including the array of powerful state-owned industries and the regional cliques of Chongqing, Sichuan and Shanxi. 

disparate:(質や種類において)まったく異なる; 本質的に相違する(要素からなる)

Under the guise of an anti-corruption drive, Xi's administration has overhauled the Chinese bureaucracy. Not even the country's entrenched financial and banking sectors have escaped the shake-up. At the same time, Beijing has refrained from stepping in to weaken the state economy, despite its promises of reform in the public sector, preferring mergers and consolidations to rehabilitate ailing state-owned enterprises. It has also apparently reinforced its role in the private sector. By adopting more stringent regulations on outbound investment, for example, the central government aims to increase its oversight of private companies at home — and over its Belt and Road Initiative projects abroad.

guise:under the guise of A:A〈事など〉を装って, Aを口実に.
entrenched:an entrenched attitude [tradition] 確固たる態度[確立された伝統].
refrained:慎む, 我慢する 

Compared with Western economies, China's has always been subject to greater state control. However, the Xi administration's recent moves don't necessarily signal a return to a command economy in China, nor do they suggest that the Party even aspires to gain total control of economic affairs. Instead, the president is trying to move away from the devolved system that, from his perspective, empowered competing factions whose interests conflicted with, and thereby threatened, those of the central government. With a more unified Communist Party at the helm of China's economic policy, Xi hopes to bring his vision for the country to fruition. 

subject:に従わねばならない, 〈審理など〉を受けねばならない, 必要とする
conflicted:対立[衝突]する, 矛盾する, 相容れない
fruition:come to [reach] fruition 実を結ぶ.

Falling Into a Familiar Pattern
Of course, whether he can achieve that goal is hardly certain. Beijing can't prevent provincial and local governments from bucking its orders, given China's sheer size and complexity. Nor can it keep strategically important sectors from challenging its policies, as many of the country's high-tech companies have demonstrated. This predicament isn't unique to Xi's administration, either; Chinese rulers throughout history have struggled against the forces pulling the country apart to form a coherent political entity. Campaigns to consolidate power inevitably follow stretches of decentralization as new leaders take over, or as tenured rulers encounter new problems. 

buck the system [trend]:制度[流行]に逆らう.
sheer:すさまじい, とてつもない〈重さ大きさなど〉

And so, Xi will likely continue his quest to concentrate control under his office, though the aim of his endeavors will be increasingly unclear. The president outlined an ambitious reform agenda in 2013 in which he called for the market to "play a decisive role" in charting the course of China's economy. Yet his administration's apparent return to economic statism, its push for political conformity among the economy's various sectors and its efforts to give the Party enhanced authority over the state have all undermined or contradicted that goal. Beyond small steps toward liberalizing China's currency and stock market, Beijing has kept its reforms to the financial system limited to regulatory and bureaucratic changes. 

quest:(長期にわたる)探求, 追求
political conformity:政治的な調和

Its bids to restructure state-owned enterprises, likewise, have focused on staving off their collapse by bringing them more closely under the Party's control. Furthermore, the central government's policies to expand key strategic sectors abroad have only invited pushback from foreign powers, including the United States and the European Union. Xi's efforts to reform China's heavy industries have produced uneven results at best — to say nothing of his initiatives to kick-start the country's languid services sector or to improve conditions for private businesses. 

staving  off :〈人物〉を(一定期間)阻止する, 防ぐ

Even so, he could turn things around in the coming years. The steps Xi took during his first term in office to consolidate power could ease the way for deeper and more politically challenging structural reforms in his next term. Otherwise, the president and the Communist leadership may find themselves in a tricky position when the next party congress rolls around in 2022. 

tricky:微妙な 油断のならない



swingby_blog at 08:37コメント(0) 



Someone needs to light a fuse under Japan
OCT 12, 2017


Rather than sticking to the tried and true, Japan needs people unafraid to take the initiative and lead the pack. | BLOOMBERG

tried and true:絶対確実な、確実に信頼できる
the pack:集団

Danny Risberg, chairman of both the European Business Council in Japan and of Philips Electronics Japan Ltd., wants Japanese to become fast, smart and independent decision-makers. “Japan is a great place with great people and great technology. It’s ready. It’s right. It’s ready to explode,” he says. “But, it just hasn’t gone there yet.” Risberg, a Japanese-American hafu who hails from California, shared with this author his personal views as to why this is so. 

hails: 出身[育ち]である

Japanese like to think, he says. They carefully review all options before making decisions. Having done so, they’ll go back to thinking about what to do some more. Then they repeat the process — several times over. After a further review, finally everyone agrees. A decision is made. They discuss a new set of rules for everyone to follow. “Once everything is decided, they do it. And they’ll keep doing it for a long, long time,” he says. If only they would think less and do more in a virtuous loop of thinking, doing, learning, fixing and rethinking, the nation would become fast and nimble. 

nimble: a nimble mind [brain, wit] 回転の速い頭.

This holds true for Japanese entrepreneurs, many of whom still want to build businesses the old-fashioned way. Typically they are middle-aged managers who, after gaining 25 to 30 years of experience at a large Japanese company, strike out in business on their own. “On incorporation, they want to build the factory first,” notes Risberg. They borrow money against their homes to do so, as risk capital is hard to obtain. Once in hock, they end up with huge debts by digging themselves into an ever deeper hole. “If it works, great! If it doesn’t, they’re stuck.” 

better-class homes:上流家庭
risk capital:リスク・キャピタル、危険負担資本 venture capital
into hock:借金状態で、苦境に陥って
stuck:行き詰まって, にっちもさっちもいかなくなって≪…がわからなくて≫ 困り果てて

Risberg knows something about entrepreneurship. Before joining Philips, he started, built and sold a few small product-oriented companies in Japan and the United States. Each time he plowed his windfall profits back to fund the next new venture. He took one of those startups, a concept-stage medical product company, to the U.S. with his partner. They built the business as a lean startup and sold it to Respironics Inc. In the end, Philips bought the company. Risberg stayed on as CEO for Asia-Pacific. 

plowed:plow money into new equipment 資金を新しい設備に投入する.
windfall:windfall gains [profits] 思いがけない利益.
lean:(合理化を進め)むだのない, スリムな

By example, he explains how entrepreneurship differs. A medical technology startup in the U.S. might raise three or four funding rounds as founders move from technology development to clinical research to securing intellectual property to getting medical approval and licensing to identifying target customers. If all goes well, they build a factory with the final tranche. Entrepreneurs learn and improve what they are doing from the results of previous actions in a fast iterative process, long before assuming large overheads. Such lean startup methods reduce the cost and risks of failure. “In the U.S., entrepreneurs fail fast,” says Risberg. In contrast, the process “is almost backwards” in Japan. 

tranche:(取引などの)分割払い込み金; 一部分.

Why this is so is open to conjecture. It is natural to want to do things the way we already know, as each new decision comes from something learned in the past. This is especially true for what was learned long ago and passed down from generation to generation. Such deep-rooted shared beliefs are rarely questioned. 


One hypothesis suggests in ancient times survival required collective cooperation among people to successfully cultivate rice. Farmers were taught to subordinate self-interest for the greater good of the group. According to Japanese anthropologist Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, religious powers achieved this by spinning emperor-centered myths, ensuring “the transformation of a wilderness into a land of abundant rice at the command of the Sun Goddess, whose descendants, the emperors, rule the country by officiating at rice rituals.” 

subordinate:subordinate one's wishes to those of the group 自分の望みよりグループの望みを重視する.
spinning:spin (him) a story [tale, yarn] of [about] A Aについて(彼に)作り話をする.
wilderness: the Alaskan [desert] wilderness アラスカの荒野[荒涼とした砂漠].
officiating:【宗教的な儀式公的な場などで】進行役を務める, とりしきる

The myths may have survived the test of time. Japan today runs smoothly and in a predictable manner. Those who upset social harmony too often become outcasts. Once agreed upon, Japanese people do only what has been collectively decided. And they continue doing it, regardless of effectiveness, for far too long.

stand the test of time:〔物・理論・原則・基準などが〕時の試練に耐える
outcasts:のけ者, 疎外者, 追放者

Risberg believes Japan needs to reform in ways rarely discussed. Structural reforms are surely needed, including labor, immigration, agriculture, health care and corporate governance reforms. But these have been discussed for years, without sufficient progress. He says action and people-based reforms are also needed. “Problems are simple to solve if you are thinking about them, taking action and then learning. On the other hand if you’ve decided everything in advance, you’re only going to do what you’ve decided,” he repeats. 

To encourage more thinking, doing, learning, fixing and rethinking, Risberg says Japan needs more role models who are “pegs that become successful, just before they would otherwise get pounded down.” Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani is one example. These are people who are unafraid to take initiative and lead the pack. 

pegs:Every writer has their peg. どの作家にも書き始めるきっかけというものがある
pound down:砕く、粉にする

Controversially, Risberg thinks that a true business failure is needed. Japan is too safe and comfortable. There are too many zombie companies kept alive by artificial low interest rates, pressure from banks and investors, and by those who believe in Japanese exceptionalism. While regrettable — nobody wants people to suffer — a big business failure involving billions of dollars and thousands of employees could not be ignored. It might provide the needed wake-up call for people to start thinking and acting independently, leading to innovation and growth. 

regrettable:遺憾な, 残念な, 惜しむ[悲しむ]べき

The disruptive thought caused me to recall a discussion I once had with Japan national rugby team head coach Eddy Jones. Jones told this author, shortly before heading off to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, that the inability of players to make quick and independent decisions under pressure was the reason his team had not won a World Cup game in 24 years. “If you ask them to do something, they just do it. And they’ll keep doing it regardless of what else happens,” he explained. 

disruptive though:破壊的考え方
do something:何かをする、行動を起こす

Over four years of training leading up to the big games, Jones taught players to become fast, smart and independent decision-makers. His coaching paid off, when to great celebration Japan unexpectedly beat South Africa. Here was proof that Japan, when push comes to shove, can successfully compete against the world’s best adversaries. 

Your studies have paid off. : 勉強の成果ですよ。
shove:突き飛ばす; 押しのける

This article expresses the personal views of Danny Risberg and do not necessarily represent those of the organizations he chairs. Richard Solomon is an author, publisher and spokesman on contemporary Japan. He posts Beacon Reports at www.beaconreports.net. 

二世のDanny Risbergが日本企業が今のままでなく、もっと思い切った行動をとるべきだと言っている。日本は農業国で、集団で事を行うような習慣になっているが、それでは殻から抜け出ない。保守的な集団姿勢を放棄して、もっと自由に議論して行動を起こすべきだ。日本人は優秀で、素質がある。今のままではもったいない。


swingby_blog at 22:07コメント(0) 



20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared.
“If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast.”
Updated by Sean Illing@seanillingsean.illing@vox.com Oct 13, 2017, 9:00am EDT VOX (2)


Each of these communities defines itself in terms of its opposition to the other. They live in different worlds, desire different things, and share almost nothing in common. There is no real basis for agreement and thus no reason to communicate. 

in terms of design:デザインの点から見ると

The practical consequence of this is a politics marred by tribalism. Worse, because the fault lines run so deep, every political contest becomes an intractable existential drama, with each side convinced the other is not just wrong but a mortal enemy. 

marred:The election was marred by fraud. その選挙は不正行為によって台なしにされた.
political contest:政治的な争い

Consider this stat: In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats objected to the idea of their children marrying across political lines. In 2010, those numbers jumped to 46 percent and 33 percent respectively. Divides like this are eating away at the American social fabric. 

stat:statistic (1つの)統計値[量]; ⦅否定的に⦆単なるデータ(の1つ)
eat away:侵食する
social fabric:社会機構

A 2014 Pew Research Center study reached a similar conclusion: "In both political parties, most of those who view the other party very unfavorably say that the other side's policies 'are so misguided that they threaten the nation's well-being,'" Pew reports. "Overall, 36% of Republicans and Republican leaners say that Democratic policies threaten the nation, while 27% of Democrats and Democratic leaners view GOP policies in equally stark terms." 
on equal terms (with A) ≒ on the same terms (as A):(Aと)同じ条件で, 対等で

So it’s not merely that we disagree about issues; it’s that we believe the other side is a grievous threat to the republic. According to Pew, the numbers above have more than doubled since 1994. 

grievous:深刻[重大]な〈過ち犯罪けがなど〉; 悲嘆すべき.

Kuran warns that autocrats tend to exploit these divisions by pushing “policies that may seem responsive to grievances but are ultimately counterproductive.” Think of Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” or his insistence on building a giant wall on the southern border. Neither of these policies is likely to make a significant difference in the lives of Trump’s voters, but that’s not really the point. 

counterproductive:逆効果を招く; 非生産的で.
insistence :主張

By pandering to fears and resentments, Trump both deepens the prejudices and satisfies his base. 

pandering:【欲望弱みなどに】付け込む; 迎合する
resentments:憤り, 憤慨, 怒り(anger); 恨み

Donald Trump and “the politics of eternity” Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian and author of the book On Tyranny, gave one of the more fascinating talks of the conference. 

Strangely enough, Snyder talked about time as a kind of political construct. (I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.) His thesis was that you can tell a lot about the health of a democracy based on how its leaders — and citizens — orient themselves in time. 

construct:構成概念; 〘言〙構成体
bear with:〈人の話など〉に辛抱して耳を傾ける (!丁寧な依頼表現で) ; A〈人(の行為)不快なことなど〉を我慢する 
I tried to orient myself in the darkness.:私は暗闇の中で自分が今どこにいるのかを知ろうとした.

Take Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The slogan itself invokes a nostalgia for a bygone era that Trump voters believe was better than today and better than their imagined future. By speaking in this way, Snyder says, Trump is rejecting conventional politics in a subtle but significant way. 

subtle:detect subtle but significant changes わずかだが重要な変化を見つけだす.

Why, after all, do we strive for better policies today? Presumably it’s so that our lives can be improved tomorrow. But Trump reverses this. He anchors his discourse to a mythological past, so that voters are thinking less about the future and more about what they think they lost. 

strive:strive for excellence in education 優れた学力を身につけることに努める
mythological:神話(上)の; 偉大な

“Trump isn’t after success — he’s after failure,” Snyder argued. By that, he means that Trump isn’t after what we’d typically consider success — passing good legislation that improves the lives of voters. Instead, Trump has defined the problems in such a way that they can’t be solved. We can’t be young again. We can’t go backward in time. We can’t relive some lost golden age. So these voters are condemned to perpetual disappointment. 

legislation:pass legislation to ban workplace discrimination 職場差別を禁じる法律を通過させる.
relive:(想像などによって)〈過去の体験感情など〉を再び体験する, 追体験する.

The counterargument is that Trump’s idealization of the past is, in its own way, an expression of a desire for a better future. If you’re a Trump voter, restoring some lost version of America or revamping trade policies or rebuilding the military is a way to create a better tomorrow based on a model from the past. 

restoring:restore the brightness to one's eyes 目の輝きを取り戻す
revamping:を改造[改良, 改装]する; …を改訂する

For Snyder, though, that’s not really the point. The point is that Trump’s nostalgia is a tactic designed to distract voters from the absence of serious solutions. Trump may not be an authoritarian, Snyder warns, but this is something authoritarians typically do. They need the public to be angry, resentful, and focused on problems that can’t be remedied. 


Snyder calls this approach “the politics of eternity,” and he believes it’s a common sign of democratic backsliding because it tends to work only after society has fallen into disorder. 

My (depressing) takeaway
Back in June, I interviewed political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, authors of Democracy for Realists. They had a sobering thesis about democracy in America: Most people pay little attention to politics; when they vote, if they vote at all, they do so irrationally and for contradictory reasons. 

takeaway:takeout  order [get] Chinese takeout 持ち帰り用の中華料理を注文する[買う]
sobering:a sobering thought 考えさせられるもの[内容].
at all:少しでも, 仮にも Come to me if you need anything at all. とにかくいるものがあれば私のところに来なさい

One of the recurring themes of this conference was that Americans are becoming less committed to liberal democratic norms. But were they ever really committed to those norms? I’m not so sure. If Achen and Bartels are to be believed, most voters don’t hold fixed principles. They have vague feelings about undefined issues, and they surrender their votes on mostly tribal grounds. 

recurring:a recurring nightmare [theme] 繰り返して見る悪夢[登場するテーマ].
tribal:部族の, 種族の

So I look at the declining faith in democratic norms and think: Most people probably never cared about abstract principles like freedom of the press or the rule of law. (We stopped teaching civics to our children long ago.) But they more or less affirmed those principles as long as they felt invested in American life. 

civics:(授業科目としての)公民(科), 倫理(社会); 市民論(研究), 市政学.
affirmed: affirm a scientific truth 科学上の真理を認める

But for all the reasons discussed above, people have gradually disengaged from the status quo. Something has cracked. Citizens have lost faith in the system. The social compact is broken. So now we’re left to stew in our racial and cultural resentments, which paved the way for a demagogue like Trump. 

disengaged:【束縛などから】〈人物〉を解放する, 自由にする ≪from≫ .
stew:leave A to stew  A〈人〉を(自業自得だから)苦しませておく, 放っておく.

Bottom line: I was already pretty cynical about the trajectory of American democracy when I arrived at the conference, and I left feeling justified in that cynicism. Our problems are deep and broad and stretch back decades, and the people who study democracy closest can only tell us what’s wrong. They can’t tell us what ought to be done. 

No one can, it seems.

cynicism:懐疑的態度, 不信感; 冷笑的な意見



swingby_blog at 21:10コメント(0) 



20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared.
“If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast.”
Updated by Sean Illing@seanillingsean.illing@vox.com Oct 13, 2017, 9:00am EDT VOX


political scientist:《a 〜》政治学者
I'm scared of dying.≒I'm scared that I might die.:私は死ぬんじゃないかと心配です

Is American democracy in decline? Should we be worried?

On October 6, some of America’s top political scientists gathered at Yale University to answer these questions. And nearly everyone agreed: American democracy is eroding on multiple fronts — socially, culturally, and economically.

The scholars pointed to breakdowns in social cohesion (meaning citizens are more fragmented than ever), the rise of tribalism, the erosion of democratic norms such as a commitment to rule of law, and a loss of faith in the electoral and economic systems as clear signs of democratic erosion. 

social cohesion:社会的一体性、社会的結合
have [put one's] faith in friends:友人を信用する

No one believed the end is nigh, or that it’s too late to solve America’s many problems. Scholars said that America’s institutions are where democracy has proven most resilient. So far at least, our system of checks and balances is working — the courts are checking the executive branch, the press remains free and vibrant, and Congress is (mostly) fulfilling its role as an equal branch. 


But there was a sense that the alarm bells are ringing.

Yascha Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard University, summed it up well: “If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast.” 

“Democracies don’t fall apart — they’re taken apart”
Nancy Bermeo, a politics professor at Princeton and Harvard, began her talk with a jarring reminder: Democracies don’t merely collapse, as that “implies a process devoid of will.” Democracies die because of deliberate decisions made by human beings. 

take apart:〔機器などを〕分解する、ばらばらにする
jarring:耳障りな, 神経に障る
reminder:a timely [useful] reminder 折のよい[役立つ]助言
deliberate:be deliberate in speech 物言いが慎重である

Usually, it’s because the people in power take democratic institutions for granted. They become disconnected from the citizenry. They develop interests separate and apart from the voters. They push policies that benefit themselves and harm the broader population. Do that long enough, Bermeo says, and you’ll cultivate an angry, divided society that pulls apart at the seams. 

activity that someone take for granted:(人)が当たり前だと思う活動
come [fall] apart at the seams:〈計画組織などが〉失敗[破綻, 崩壊]する.

So how might this look in America?
Adam Przeworski, a democratic theorist at New York University, suggested that democratic erosion in America begins with a breakdown in what he calls the “class compromise.” His point is that democracies thrive so long as people believe they can improve their lot in life. This basic belief has been “an essential ingredient of Western civilization during the past 200 years,” he said. 

class compromise:階級の妥協
lot:Are you happy with our lot in life? 私たちの暮らしに満足していますか

But fewer and fewer Americans believe this is true. Due to wage stagnation, growing inequalities, automation, and a shrinking labor market, millions of Americans are deeply pessimistic about the future: 64 percent of people in Europe believe their children will be worse off than they were; the number is 60 percent in America. 

That pessimism is grounded in economic reality. In 1970, 90 percent of 30-year-olds in America were better off than their parents at the same age. In 2010, only 50 percent were. Numbers like this cause people to lose faith in the system. What you get is a spike in extremism and a retreat from the political center. That leads to declines in voter turnout and, consequently, more opportunities for fringe parties and candidates. 

grounded:The new therapy is grounded in [on] solid research. その新しい療法はしっかりした研究に基づいている.
believe in violent extremism:暴力的な過激主義[急進主義]を信奉する
political center:《a 〜》政治的中心地
There was a good [high] turnout at the polls.:かなりの投票数があった.
fringe:少数派, 過激[急進]派

Political polarization is an obvious problem, but researchers like Przeworski suggest something more profound is going on. Political theorists like to talk about the “social compact,” which is basically an implicit agreement among members of society to participate in a system that benefits everyone. 

social compact:社会契約(論)

Well, that only works if the system actually delivers on its promises. If it fails to do so, if it leads enough people to conclude that the alternative is less scary than the status quo, the system will implode from within. 

scary:怖い, 恐ろしい; 臆病な.
from within:(組織などの)内部[内側]から 改革するなど

Is that happening here? Neither Przeworski nor anyone else went quite that far. But we know there’s a growing disconnect between productivity (how hard people work) and compensation (how much they’re paid for that work). At the same time, we’ve seen a spike in racial animus, particularly on the right. It seems likely there’s a connection here. 

animus:animosity  (激しい)敵意, (強い)憎しみ; 反目 

Przeworski believes that American democracy isn’t collapsing so much as deteriorating. “Our divisions are not merely political but have deep roots in society,” he argues. The system has become too rigged and too unfair, and most people have no real faith in it. 

deteriorating:His health continued to deteriorate. 彼の健康(状態)は悪化し続けた

Where does that leave us? Nowhere good, Przeworski says. The best he could say is that “our current crisis will continue for the foreseeable future.” 

“The soft guardrails of democracy” are eroding
We’ve heard a lot of chatter recently about the importance of democratic norms. These are the unwritten rules and the conventions that undergird a democracy — things like commitment to rule of law, to a free press, to the separation of powers, to the basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property. 


Daniel Ziblatt, a politics professor at Harvard, called these norms “the soft guardrails of democracy.” Dying democracies, he argued, are always preceded by the breaking of these unwritten rules. 


Research conducted by Bright Line Watch, the group that organized the Yale conference, shows that Americans are not as committed to these norms as you might expect. 

It’s not that Americans don’t believe in democratic ideals or principles; it’s that our beliefs scale with our partisan loyalties. Vox’s Ezra Klein explained it well in a recent column: 


People’s opinions on democracy lie downstream from their partisan identity. If it had been Trump’s voters who had seen the Electoral College, gerrymandering, and Russia turn against them, then it would be Trump’s voters vibrating with outrage over the violation of key principles of American democracy. Hypocrisy aside, the reaction of nearly half the country to Russia’s meddling says a lot about our attachment to core democratic values like free and fair elections. 

partisan identity:党の独自性
vibrating:His voice was vibrating with anger. 彼の声は怒りで震えていた
Hypocrisy aside:偽善行為はさておき
attachment:忠誠  I had a special attachment to him. 私は彼を特に愛していた.

Another startling finding is that many Americans are open to “alternatives” to democracy. In 1995, for example, one in 16 Americans supported Army rule; in 2014, that number increased to one in six. According to another survey cited at the conference, 18 percent of Americans think a military-led government is a “fairly good” idea. 

startling: some startling results [conclusions] いくつかの驚くべき結果[結論].

But there’s more.
Ziblatt identified what he calls two “master norms.” The first is mutual toleration — whether we “accept the basic legitimacy of our opponents.” The second is institutional forbearance — whether politicians responsibly wield the power of the institutions they’re elected to control. 

forbearance:我慢, 忍耐, 自制; 寛容.

As for mutual toleration, America is failing abysmally (more on this below). We’re hardly better on the institutional forbearance front. 


Most obviously, there’s Donald Trump, who has dispensed with one democratic norm after another. He’s fired an FBI director in order to undercut an investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Moscow; staffed his White House with family members; regularly attacked the free press; and refused to divest himself of his business interests. 

dispensed:省く We cannot dispense with electricity. 我々は電気なしではやっていけない.

The Republican Party, with few exceptions, has tolerated these violations in the hope that they might advance their agenda. But it’s about a lot more than Republicans capitulating to Trump. 

capitulating:受け入れる 降参する

Ziblatt points to the GOP’s unprecedented blocking of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in 2016 as an example of institutional recklessness. In 2013, Senate Democrats took a similarly dramatic step by eliminating filibusters for most presidential nominations. That same year, House Republicans endangered the nation’s credit rating and shut down the government over Obamacare. 


There are countless other encroachments one could cite, but the point is clear enough: American democracy is increasingly less anchored by norms and traditions — and history suggests that’s a sign of democratic decay. 

encroachments:the encroachment of law on international waters 公海に関する法の侵害.
decay:(精神健康富勢いなどの)衰退, 衰え; 荒廃.

“We don’t trust each other”
Timur Kuran, a professor of economics and politics at Duke University, argued that the real danger we face isn’t that we no longer trust the government but that we no longer trust each other. 

Kuran calls it the problem of “intolerant communities,” and he says there are two such communities in America today: “identitarian” activists concerned with issues like racial/gender equality, and the “nativist” coalition, people suspicious of immigration and cultural change. 

intolerant :不寛容な
identitarian: スペンサーが編集主幹を務めるオンラインメディアRadix Journalでは、昨年「私がアイデンティタリアンである理由」がテーマのエッセイ・コンテストを開催していた。それに寄せたコメントで、彼はアイデンティタリアニズムについて以下のように述べている。






swingby_blog at 21:48コメント(0) 

ソマリアの首都での爆弾の爆発はその政府が機能不全の証拠だ。 トラックによる爆弾は検査されずに2つのチェックポイントを通過した。

A bomb blast in Somalia’s capital exposes the government’s failures
The truck-bomb passed two checkpoints without being searched
Oct 17th 2017 | MOGADISHU


IN HIS ten years driving an ambulance in Mogadishu, Ahmed Said Hassan had never seen anything like it. Arriving at the scene of Saturday’s explosion, what he remembered as a bustling intersection crowded with street hawkers, vegetable sellers, and hotel guests had been transformed into a post-apocalyptic scene: the carbonised bodies of those killed in the explosion were strewn across the street, the Safari Hotel was rubble, and heat from the fire raging in the explosion’s aftermath could be felt 100 metres from the scene. 

bustling:騒々しい, にぎわい[活気]のある〈場所〉.
intersection:at the next intersection 次の交差点で.

“There aren’t words to describe that kind of devastation,” Hassan says. “Everyone looked like they were dead or dying, everyone had massive injuries and we didn’t have enough space to transport them all.” 

The attack was the deadliest in the already turbulent history of Somalia’s capital. It was particularly devastating because a truck loaded with a mixture of homemade and military explosives detonated next to a fuel tanker on a busy intersection of the city’s Kilometre Five district. Firefighters, Somali security forces and African Union peacekeepers rushed to the site, where a fire engulfed nearby buildings sending plumes of thick, dark smoke into the sky. Roughly 30 minutes later, another car bomb exploded less than 300 metres from the site of the first blast, sending more victims to the six hospitals nearby that were already jammed with casualties. 

turbulent:turbulent waves 荒れ狂う波.
plumes :a plume of smoke 煙の柱.

At least 300 people were killed and hundreds more injured, according to the Somali government. The number of fatalities will probably increase as more bodies are found in the debris. Most have been burned beyond recognition. 

Since Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as “Farmaajo”) took office as president in February, national security has been his government’s priority. He has also worked hard to attract international support for the fight against al-Shabab (“the youth”), a jihadist group. America has sent more troops to Somalia and designated parts of the country a “zone of active hostilities” where it applies looser rules and oversight when it comes to authorising drone strikes and ground operations. 

looser weave:《a 〜》〔織物の〕緩い織り方

America already has about 400 soldiers on the ground in Somalia, compared with about 50 a year ago. Yet America’s focus on collecting intelligence on and destroying the sites used by al-Shabab to make explosives has suffered setbacks. In August a joint raid by Somali and American soldiers led to the deaths of ten civilians in Bariire. 

suffer a major [serious] setback:大きな痛手を被る.

In the months preceding this attack, the federal government had tried to improve security in the capital. The authorities limited the number and sorts of weapon that could be carried, and set up more checkpoints in the city. They also set about disarming civilians and former warlords. 

Thanks to these efforts there were fewer attacks than usual during Ramadan and in the months since. But the latest bombing has exposed deep flaws in Somalia’s security forces. According to sources close to the government, the truck carrying explosives was stopped at two checkpoints on its way into the city, but was allowed to continue without an inspection of its cargo. 

Criticism of the government’s inability to prevent such large-scale bloodshed adds to already festering discontent and a deep political divide between Somalia’s regional states and its federal authorities. Only a week before the attack, the presidents of Somalia’s regional states refused to attend a constitutional convention with the federal government in Mogadishu, opting instead to have a meeting of regional presidents in Kismayo. 

bloodshed:殺戮(さつりく); 流血(の惨事), 殺傷.
festering :〈不快な感情問題などが〉深まる, 悪化する; 〈人が〉苦しむ.
constitutional convention:憲法制定会議
opting:opt for the latter 後者を選ぶ.

“This is evidence of what al-Shabab can still do in Mogadishu,” says Abdisalam Yusuf Guled, a security and counterterrorism expert in the capital. “If this was a test then the government has failed.” 



swingby_blog at 08:33コメント(0) 
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