Connectography:Mapping the Future of Global Civilization – Parag Khanna
I have always had an interest in geography. So when I first saw Connectography:Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Kahana, I knew it was a book for me! It was amazing the way Khanna took geography to a whole new level in Connectography. The Washington Post agrees and says this about Connectography….
“Incredible . . . We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms—a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than two hundred nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete. . . . With the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, [Khanna’s] proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.”
….Foreign Affairs writes….
“Bold . . . With an eye for vivid details, Khanna has nevertheless produced an engaging geopolitical travelogue, unearthing the Internet cables, energy pipelines, and electrical grids that link regions together more closely than ever before and allow people to lead increasingly connected lives. In his view, connectivity is transforming conflict between states into competition for access to the world’s infrastructure of networks and markets.”
In Connectography Parag Khanna analyzes the evolving connectivity of the world. The supply chain is the driving forcing behind this connectivity. The supply chain requires the movement of goods and supplies, from raw materials to finished product, then to shipment to world-wide markets.Neil Brenner, director, Urban Theory Lab, Harvard University Graduate School of Design says this…..
“From Lagos, Mumbai, Dubai, and Singapore to the Amazon, the Himalayas, th\e Arctic, and the Gobi desert steppe, Parag Khanna’s latest book provides an invaluable guide to the volatile, confusing worlds of early twenty-first-century geopolitics. A provocative remapping of contemporary capitalism based on planetary mega-infrastructures, intercontinental corridors of connectivity, and transnational supply chains rather than traditional political borders.”
China rather than the U.S. has supplied support and money for a majority of world-wide infrastructure development. As a result, China is now the largest trading partner with more than 124 nations around the globe, This compares to 56 for the U.S.. To me this does not bode well for the future of our country. The Economist sees it sees it that way, too….
“For those who fear that the world is becoming too inward-looking, Connectography is a refreshing, optimistic vision. . . . The most convincing point in the book concerns policy prescriptions. To become part of global supply chains, Mr. Khanna argues, it is essential to invest in infrastructure. China, in particular, has built a sprawling network of ports, canals and the like across the world to acquire and transport natural resources. By contrast, rich countries, especially America, now underfund capital goods, in an attempt to reduce public spending. This short-term skimping bodes ill for future growth.”
Connectography and the United States
The following map is from Connectography. The map illustrates how our U.S.’s lower 48 states could be realigned into seven mega-regions,
You can read an Op-Ed in the New York Times called Rethinking the Map to get a full explanation of the map and Khanna’s ideas.I don’t ever believe that the U.S. will ever abandon the 50 states But I do believe that we may be able to develop interstate agreements that could unite the states as shown,
One of the things that I think the U.S needs to do is to develop a high speed rail system similar to the one shown above. The U.S. interstate highway system was built under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, during the Eisenhower Administration Maybe these high-speed rail lines could be built under the Federal Aid High-Speed Rail Act of 2017 during the Clinton Administration! In addition to the construction of these rail lines, the U.S. has to lot more infrastructure to repair and/or replace.
The Bottom Line:
Connectography is a thought-provoking and enlightening book in my opinion. Khanna made me realize how far behind China the U.S. may be falling as a global super-powered. I agree whole-heartedly with the quote from Former U.S, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel…..
Connectogrpahy is ahead of the curve in seeing the battlefield of the future and the new tu-of-war being waged on it. Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world-class… A must read for the next president.”
I hope Hillary has read it! As for me, I just requested Khanna’s How to Run the World from my library!
Links for the Further Exploration of the Writings of Parag Khanna
Book No. 39 of 2016.