Published April 25, 2022
The unity of Western democracies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is marvelous and long overdue. But these nations’ fading economic power might mean this is the old order’s last hurrah.
Economic power is what allowed Europe and the United States to dominate the globe. The development of modern science and the Industrial Revolution gave Europe and its American offshoot the economic ability to deploy overwhelming military power, allowing them to wrap most of the planet into their sphere of influence, often by bludgeoning nations such as China into submission.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.