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Flashpoints summary

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The European Union is on the verge of collapse, and conflict among the Continent’s interdependent states is inevitable. So says geopolitical strategist George Friedman, who anchors his thesis in past trends to make bold, pessimistic forecasts about Europe’s future. Friedman raises important questions about Europe, but his conclusions spring from generalities and lack deep analysis. Nevertheless, getAbstract believes that Friedman’s somewhat sensational account will appeal to history buffs and fans of geopolitical intrigue.

About the Speaker

Geopolitical strategist George Friedman is a co-founder of Stratfor, a global intelligence firm.

Summary

For five centuries, Europe conquered the world, yet “it never conquered itself.” While Europeans excelled in the arts, science, philosophy and exploration, “civil war” raged on the Continent. Despite several attempts – by the Spanish, French, Germans, English and Dutch – Europe’s states never unified in a geopolitical entity.

In his 1909 book The Great Illusion, Norman Angell posited that Europe would never experience warfare due to the financial and trade interdependence of its states. Alas, this interdependence repeatedly created environments conducive to war. From 1914...


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    A. 5 years ago
    Friedman gave the same talk to the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs [1], where he didn't soften his cynicism as much as he did here, especially when answering questions [2]. There's also a talk from this year in front of the same audience [3]. He also talked to the Russian newspaper Kommersant [4], where he argues much less in a diplomatic manner than in front of Google and "the council". It seems that Friedman adjusts his argument to the audience.
    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeLu_yyz3tc&t=4m35s
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeLu_yyz3tc&t=44m37s
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJhb7K_noXs
    [4] http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/stratfor-chiefs-most-blatant-coup-history-interview-translated-full/ri2561

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