Ian Bremmer is founder and president of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.
Ian Bremmer on
Today we are living in a world that has much less of a single moral guidepost. As a consequence, we are in the world today losing some of our moral sensibilities. We are living in a world that is less ethical than the one that we have experienced in the aftermath of World War II.
The greatest ethical challenge that the planet has is distribution of scarce resources. That means across countries, that means within countries.
The idea of "a" global ethic increasingly does not resonate with me precisely because we increasingly can't do global. So what we need is a next-best solution. That next-best solution will be a coalition of the willing. It will be a smaller group of like-minded countries. We owe it to ourselves, when there are challenges like cyber security and nuclear proliferation and climate change that are on our agendas, that are real and urgent and that will cause real hardship for millions and millions of people—we owe it to ourselves not to allow the great to be the enemy of the good. The great is the global and the good is getting anything done. The global is not going to work in this environment.
World peace is absolutely possible. You tend to get wars when you do not trust, when you do not understand. It's not just fighting over scarce resources. It's when you come at it from different perspectives and therefore can't compromise. We are seeing a world where powerful countries increasingly have those kinds of differences. But the world need not go in that direction ad infinitum.
We are not going to avoid a G-Zero. When you experience a radical imbalance between the balance of power of different actors and the overall leadership structure and institutional architecture of the world, at some point that will crack.