Follow the Whig by Email!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The World is NOT Getting More Dangerous!

Sure, we have Ebola, ISIS, and Russia to worry about.  But Christopher Preble at the Cato Institute is right to challenge those saying these are especially dangerous times. Most dangerous world ever? We are still in a stable, unipolar global system.  The US has no significant military rivals.  Russia barely qualifies as a minor power.  Nonstate actors like ISIS are nasty cannot seriously hurt us.  Global terrorism is really a Middle East/Central Asia problem.  Ebola is scary--the WHO just said it will infect 2 million people--but the history of this disease is that it burns itself out.  It is still impacting only three countries. 

Now, I'm not sure, as Preble argues, that mankind is rejecting violence, as Steven Pinker in "Better Angels of Our Nature" maintains.  In the US, homicides may be down, but I've been told by some policemen that intentional homicides are up.  Improvements in trauma care (all these wars have some benefit, after all) has greatly increased survival rates.  We're still violent, but perhaps we are just getting better at mitigating its effects. 
Post a Comment