Richard Barnet

Recent Articles

Domestic Urges, Foreign Obsessions

Constructive engagement with the post-Cold War world requires both a stronger America and clearer global goals. Domestic reconstruction must be a priority—but beware isolationism.

In a typical week a reader of U.S. newspapers learns over bran flakes and coffee that the health crisis or the S&L bailout is bankrupting the country; that there is no money to repair bridges or to deal with nuclear waste; that schools and libraries are cutting programs or closing down; that tens of millions of young Americans will be unable to compete successfully for jobs in the new information-based economy because schools do not teach; that America's competitiveness problem is worsening; and that the government is presumably paralyzed because the federal deficit is out of control. Nations prosper only by adapting to new circumstances. That means being willing to hear bad news and do something about it. Japan's great achievement at the end of World War II was to turn adversity to its advantage, as if by jujitsu . But since the curtain came down on the Cold War the adaptive mechanisms in the United States have not been working. The President is not offering a practical vision of...