John Micklethwait on Political Revolution


The world is changing and new political and economic powerhouses are emerging overseas. With nations like China growing so quickly, now is the time for the U.S. to take a closer look at our long-standing methods in politics and ask the question, “Is business as usual sustainable?”

John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, lead The Common Good in a discussion centered around his recently authored book, The Fourth Revolution.

From the bestselling author of The Right Nation, an argument is proposed that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation-state. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world. The West has led these revolutions, but now we are in the midst of a fourth revolution, and it is Western government that is in danger of being left behind. The West’s debt load is unsustainable. The developing world has harvested the low-hanging fruits. Industrialization has transformed all the peasant economies it had left to transform, and the toxic side effects of rapid developing world growth are adding to the bill. From Washington to Detroit, from Brasilia to New Delhi, there is a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness. The Fourth Revolution crystallizes the scope of the crisis and points forward to our future.


John Micklethwait is the Editor-in-Chief of “The Economist”. After studying history at Magdalen College, Oxford, he worked as a banker at Chase Manhattan between 1985 and 1987 before joining The Economist as a finance correspondent in 1987. His previous roles at The Economist include being the newspaper’s Business editor and United States editor. The Economist now has a weekly print circulation of around 1.5 million worldwide, with 100,000 digital subscribers.


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