There is constant talk that the 21st century will be China's century. That is not an inexorable fact, but in any event most analysts expect a certain decline in American and European influence and a massive rise in the global influence of China and possibly of India over the 21st century. This raises many issues of concern to the world as a whole, but in particular to Americans and Europeans.
This book explores in a global context some of the issues of what we understand by the term 'freedom'. It also asks if there is any such thing as 'absolute freewill', and if not (as many philosophers will have us believe), then what are the circumstances that determine and control relative individual freedom?
Whiston does not limit himself to an analysis of China, America, and the EU, but also considers present-day Russia – still a very potent and fearful entity – and its military and economic role over future decades and indeed the next century. Thus, two massive powers, China and Russia, have a great part to play on the world scene. But this is very, very worrying: both nations are enigmas when it comes to issues of personal freedom.
This book suggests that we are now at a stage of global moral appeasement comparable to that experienced just before the commencement of the Second World War. This time, however, there is no cavalry, and no sufficiently organised resistance to the social dangers of a new 'softer' totalitarianism that could confront the world. Global resistance to ensure our freedom, whether diplomatic or military, is seen by Europe as being counterproductive, aggressive and reactionary. America is not one coherent nation, but reflects several camps – as is the case with Europe. This fragile democratic strength complicates any simplistic analysis, and at a time when the Europeans constantly seek political correctness (but of a different type to the political correctness inhabiting the USA), we are in constant danger of failing both the larger surrounding world and ourselves. There are strategies that can help, but solutions do not come cheaply.