Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The world's most powerful man - for now?

Could Barack Obama be the last person to be elected American President who was also the 'most powerful person in the world'? At the moment it's hard to see anyone more powerful, but in 4 or 8 years' time, the US is unlikely to be the world's largest economy, may not control the world's most precious resources, and will be even more at the mercy of global forces than it is at present.

The good news, I believe, is that we now have a US president who is able to engage with the wider world and who seems to have some understanding of it. I often reflect that, of the world's biggest challenges - think of climate change, economic downturn, international migration, terrorism, global poverty - these are all issues that need the countries of the world to work together to tackle them. Not only can one nation on its own not crack these problems, but unless we work together we end up with beggar-my-neighbour policies which actually make matters worse.

Instinctively I think we all like to feel that we control our own destiny, and no-one likes to share control with anyone else. But in the inter-connected world that we now live in, effective governments and parliamentarians have to work together and realise that the solutions to problems lie only partially within their own national boundaries. Against that backdrop I am hopeful this morning that Barack Obama's election makes the world a better place.


Chris said...

Currently the world's most powerful man is undoubtedly Vladimir Putin. Bush has no power until he leaves, and Obama still has no power. I also doubt he will press on Russia very hard, so will allow Putin to become ever more powerful.

Anonymous said...

You're verging on schadenfreude, Steve. The US has the most advanced technology, the most pervasive popular culture and the most powerful military in the world. And -- as we've just seen --it has the greatest capacity to change political course of any major global power. That last may well be the greatest strength of all. Russia and China can't change their rulers short of revolution. So if Putin or the Chinese politburo start to mess up, their countries are still stuck with them.

Maybe China will start to outproduce the US in pig iron or family cars. Good for them. Maybe the Russians will manage to use their oil revenues to bootstrap their non-oil economy out of the intensive care ward. And maybe not. But the US has the most complete portfolio of soft and hard power of any major nation, and that's not about to change.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve Webb MP said...

The third posting was actually very interesting and challenged the complacency of the second one. Unfortunately I felt I had remove it because of the swearing. Feel free to repost minus the swearing.


Steve Webb MP

Anonymous said...

The influx of government funds into the U.S. economy will fail. China (and perhaps Japan second) will be the first countries to no longer accept the U.S. Dollar. This will force the U.S into a recession far worst then in U.S. history. The U.S. will have no alternative but to merge with Europe forming the United States of Europe and making an even stronger European Union.

The European Union will be faced to appoint a leader and make no mistake about it, it won’t be Obama or an American for that matter. Gone are the days where the president of the United States was the most powerful man in the world.

To the world biggest surprise the most likely candidate to lead the European Union or the world for that matter will in fact be from the 11th Nation to join the European Union which is the country of Spain.

While many will laugh at the thought, the King of Spain Mr. Juan Carlos is currently the most qualified candidate out of all of the rulers currently in the E.U. or believed to join the E.U. His resume of schooling, religious studies, goes forever. The King of Spain has over 37 years of some of the best military training of any man in history.

The most powerful man in the world will be someone who can be trusted not only by the countries of the world but is someone on neutral ground of a financially sovereign country like Spain.

The world leader must be someone who can be trusted to resolve the conflicts in the middleeast without the hidden self serving agenda of oil in the background like the U.S.

Juan Carlos is more trusted to deal with the middle east conflict to enter into peace treaties between the Jews and Muslims.

Every peace treaty signed between Israel and her enemie have been the direct or indirect result of the efforts made in Spain, at the Madrid conference.

Why would the middle east or the world for that matter trust a leader from a counry that has already admited that their financial crisis is a result of the greed and sins wallstreet?

eda said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry your all wrong, these chumps control squat.
The worlds most powerful man is a cripple of whom no normal man will ever hear.

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