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The New Rules: A Zero-Sum Future Doesn't Add Up

Monday, Nov. 1, 2010

Writing recently in the Financial Times, long-time economic journalist Gideon Rachman lamented the passing of a post-Cold War "golden age," in which "countries shared a belief in globalization and Western democratic values." In Rachman's calculation, that consensus has been battered by the global financial crisis, which ushered in a "new, less-predictable era."

Rachman, whose book entitled "Zero-Sum Future" comes out next February, is clearly prepping the literary battlefield by positioning himself as an "anti-Robert Wright." The latter's book, "Non-Zero: The Logic of Human Destiny," argued that human progress has been characterized by -- and thus depends on -- our increasing appreciation for and adoption of cooperative behaviors. So when Rachman predicts more unpredictability, he's really predicting less cooperation and more conflict -- today's currency wars translated into tomorrow's shooting wars. ...

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