The Post-American World

by Fareed Zakaria

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Student Question

In The Post-American World, what does Zakaria mean when he says the U.S. isn't in decline due to its enduring strengths?

Expert Answers

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What Zakaria is getting at is the idea that “the rest” can “rise,” but that the United States still has characteristics that make it potentially stronger than any other country.

The US is, Zakaria says, declining in terms of its lead over other countries.  Other countries are catching up to some degree in wealth and also in political influence.  However, the US still is better than all other countries in important ways.  The biggest of these, he says, is that America is “the most open, flexible society in the world.”  Zakaria argues that no other country is as welcoming to new ideas and new people as the United States is.  For this reason, he says, we can expect that the US will continue to be more economically dynamic than any other country.

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