Monday, April 24, 2006

Name This Country

A quiz from a presentation by Angus King, former Governor of Maine:
Name This Country
  1. Richest in the World
  2. Largest Military
  3. Center of world business and finance
  4. Strongest education system
  5. World center of innovation and invention
  6. Currency the world standard of value
  7. Highest standard of living

In order to make you think a little bit about this, I'm going to give the answer in the comments.


  1. England . . . in 1900.

    The point? Things can change. In fact, they almost always do. And quicker than one might expect. King talks about the "burdens of empire" that England had in 1900. He talks about the "advantage of the challenger," that challengers are "hungrier," "more aggressive," "not complacent," "don't think the world owes them a living."

    Flash forward to 2006. Who has the "burden of empire" now? Who are the "challengers?"

    In case it's not obvious, he's talking about a flat world and what it means to the United States - and particularly to education in the United States.

  2. WOW. That is a great point and it further stesses the fact that the US is the target of the world. Who is the next empire and how soon is it coming?

  3. As I teach a 20th century US history course, this discussion seems to come up often. There are economic and "power" cycles that seem o allow nations to reach and stay on top. But, ultimately, somebody new always comes along. Could that new power be one that emerges in a completely different world. Will traditional lines of separation still exist with multinational corporations, regional religious affiliations, and interdependent economies and militaries? Might the next power be a conglomeration of nations that work together to slay the giant? Might the US join them to save itself? We might fight that new world, but at some point the cost in fighting it (for a stale reward) will be too high and the higher rewards in joining a new order will become more attractive.

    Oh never mind. That would mean people would have to drop their prejudices and racisms and hatreds in order to produce a better world as we all join hands.