The Bin Laden Decade

Great article from Thomas Friedman in today’s New York Times is worth reading in its entirety.

I especially like his assertion that governments only govern based on either Fear or Trust.

The Arab world is losing it’s fear of government and we have lost our trust in government.

That makes for a scary and complicated time ahead….

Here is a brief excerpt from the middle of the column:

In America, President George W. Bush used the post-9/11 economic dip to push through a second tax cut we could not afford. He followed that with a Medicare prescription drug entitlement we cannot afford and started two wars in the wake of 9/11 without raising taxes to pay for them — all at a time when we should have been saving money in anticipation of the baby boomers’ imminent retirement. As such, our nation’s fiscal hole is deeper than ever and Republicans and Democrats — rather than coming together and generating the political authority needed for us to take our castor oil to compensate for our binge — are just demonizing one another.

As the Israeli political theorist Yaron Ezrahi points out, governance is based on authority “that is generated in one of two ways — by trust or by fear. Both of those sources of authority are disintegrating right now.” The Arab leaders governed by fear, and their people are not afraid anymore. And the Western democracies governed by generating trust, but their societies today are more splintered than ever.

via The Bin Laden Decade – NYTimes.com.

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