“The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime Overpopulation, Tribalism and Disease are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of our Planet” is written by Robert D. Kaplan. The author contends that all underdeveloped countries are gradually withering away due to destabilization of central governments, regional and tribal disputes, the rampant disease and the rapid spread of persistent military conflict. The West African nation of Sierra Leone is just one example of this trend. The author talks about hostilities arising in an unstable environment and how these conflicts are attributed to ethnic and religious conflict. However, realizing instability in multiple regions within countries that are ungovernable the media is an epiphany to media outlets across the world. The mainstream media will see these small skirmishes inconsequential in a global economy. Until these countries begin an outright upheaval and regime for the worse the media and quite honestly the world will believe these countries are just having ideological differences that no one really wins in the first place. Tyrants of our era and beyond will have many more chances to stake their claim in countries that a looking for a way forward. Amidst political uncertainty and tribal/village unrest there is a desire to harness precious resources. The shrinking global marketplace and population explosion will change the culture in the countries overnight. Where it was once safe to walk the streets will be filled with people that are “condemned to a life that is poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Kaplan p.8)
The Author’s Main Arguments
Kaplan believes there is a correlation between huge population centers, environmental depravity and tension between tribes and ethnic groups. Regardless of the part of the world or the ethnic group; social struggles, political ambitions, economic woes and religious ideology are all catalysts for anarchy. These issues compel villagers to relocate to large population centers. When opportunity does not pan out it leads to discontentment of people looking for satisfaction in life. Discontentment amongst the masses leads to discord, which gives way to civil unrest, political corruption and a destabilized military.
As the African continent destabilizes Kaplan contends the United States will be in a similar circumstance as many underdeveloped countries by the next century. America’s transformation is much slower than other countries but he agrees that dissatisfaction with their economic status will lead to the same tension and unrest. As America continues to look at the population explosion a denial of resources that make America great can prevent the dream of prosperity from occurring.
Kaplan adds on to Samuel P. Huntington’s evaluation of “The Clash of Civilizations” He contends that as refugees leave their tribal and village dogmatic surroundings to more densely populated urban areas the more irrelevant national boarders will become. Kaplan also uses his journey...