In today's edition:
* Author Chris Hedges on what he calls "The Globalization of Hollow Politics." Reporting from France prior to the recent presidential election in that country, he offers a reminder that the phenomenon he described in his book Death of the Liberal Class (recently reviewed here) is not at all a uniquely American phenomenon.
* Over at Alternet, an interview with Morris Berman, author of the recent Why America Failed (the concluding book in his "trilogy" about American decline, The Twilight of American Culture, and Dark Ages America). Among other things, the interview provides a good overview of the case he makes in his latest book. Rather idiosyncratic in some respects (Berman's argument draws on, among other things, an unconventional take on the antebellum South), it is certainly thought-provoking.
* From The Diplomat, a report on a recent poll carried out jointly by the Center for Public Integrity, the Program for Public Consultation and the Stimson Center regarding defense spending – which found broad support, in virtually every demographic, for significant cuts in a host of areas (including withdrawal from the Afghan War), and "modest majorities" favoring "dumping some major individual weapons programs, including the costly F-35 jet fighter, a new long-range strategic bomber, and construction of a new aircraft carrier."
New and Noteworthy (Eco-City, Corporations and the Singularity)
New and Noteworthy (Climate Change, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Space Review)
The Myth of Decline?
New and Noteworthy (China, F-35, STRATFOR)
2011 Round-Up, Part II: The Year's Biggest Security Stories
Reliving British Decline?
Niall Ferguson on Decline
An "East of Suez" Moment?
A Sixth-Generation Fighter?