Guide The Myth of Americas Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies

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In and he taught at Harvard University, in he was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University 's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs , and in he was a visiting lecturer at Dartmouth College.

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He has also taught at the University of Munich and the Salzburg Seminar. In , Joffe founded, together with Zbigniew Brzezinski , Eliot Cohen and Francis Fukuyama , The American Interest , a magazine where both American and international authors think and argue about the United States and its role in the world.

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International politics in relation with Germany's position in the world has been a preferred subject for Joffe. Joffe's article in Foreign Policy , entitled "Europe's American Pacifier," [4] is the source of the common international relations term of art "the American pacifier. Joffe is known for his global warming scepticism.


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He has described Al Gore as the "priest" of a climate related "secular religion". God is punishing America, they surmise, as He punished decadent Rome. He traces the long history of American Declinism, which across 60 years assumed America was being left behind by the Soviets after Sputnik, by Third World revolution and tumult after Vietnam, and the oil embargo plus the Iranian Revolution, by prospering Japan during American stagflation, by the emergent European Community after the Cold War, and finally by fast-growing China.

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America has an inner social and economic resilience typically absent among its rivals, Joffe declares, and which critics and doomsayers, chiefly American themselves, too often overlook. Dating to its Puritan forebearers, America historically has a unique self-introspection about its own failures and sins, prompting constant anticipation of impending divine judgment and fall from grace.

This American preoccupation with its own jaded soul ironically is a source for constant reform and adaptation, Joffe believes, fueling an ongoing dynamism that other countries and cultures rarely replicate.

No power has the capacity to approach America militarily, and America will remain unsurpassed in the best universities and in most fields of science and technology. Among the great powers, America is the only one, excepting India, with a robustly growing population, thanks mostly to immigration. China faces a potentially bleak demographic future with a disproportionately elderly population.


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  • Joffe, speaking as a German newspaper publisher of Jewish background who often teaches in the U. Joffe thinks that true American decline is possible only if America itself decides to decline, which he believes no superpower has ever done. He discerns in the current obsession with decline an American desire to escape from global responsibility.

    Christians and especially Evangelicals, preoccupied with a much more narrow strata of events and impressions, can learn much from Joffe, who speaks with the grim historical reality of a Jewish European who realizes that American leadership and confidence are essential for international order.

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    Can Christians operate from a similarly broad historical and international perspective in appreciating the geopolitical and moral necessity of American global hegemony? If America, or at least its cultural commanding heights, continues to secularize, conservative Evangelicals will have to decide how or whether formidable American power can be deployed for good. Other Book Industry Professional. Email address:.

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