søndag 10. januar 2021

Is China the 21st Century’s Great ‘Going Concern’?

China’s rise to global power in the 21st century is attributable to several factors, but perhaps the most important is that China for the past decade or more has been the world’s greatest “Going Concern.” What that means was best explained in 1919 by the British geopolitical theorist Sir Halford Mackinder in his timeless book “Democratic Ideals and Reality.”

Students and scholars of Mackinder sometimes focus too narrowly on the geographical aspects of his ideas and concepts. Contrary to some of his critics, Mackinder was not a geographical determinist. In his famous 1904 “pivot” paper, Mackinder wrote that the global balance of power was the product of “geographical conditions, both economic and strategic, and … the relative number, virility, equipment, and organization of the competing peoples.” Favorable geography was important, but by itself insufficient, to achieve global power. The other necessary ingredient was “social momentum” or what he also called the “Going Concern.”