Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Welcome.

  • I'm David Kertzer.

  • I'm happy to welcome you to this event.

  • It's actually the first in a series of activities

  • that we've organized jointly between the Watson

  • Institute and the Population Studies and Training Center

  • as we explored initiative in political and demography

  • at Brown.

  • And our guest today is one of the most active promulgators

  • of that field and one of the most influential people

  • in that field, Jack Goldstone.

  • Jack is currently the Hazel Professor

  • of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George

  • Mason University.

  • He began his career teaching at Northwestern University

  • throughout most of the 1980s, then moved on

  • to University of California Davis,

  • where he was professor of sociology

  • and international relations from 1989

  • until 2004, when he moved to George Mason.

  • He's held a series of visiting positions.

  • I won't list them here.

  • I'll just mention last year he was

  • in Hong Kong involved in consulting

  • on forming a public policy program in Hong Kong.

  • But he held in-- let's see, what was it-- in 2011,

  • the Richard Holbrooke Distinguished

  • Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin.

  • And I hope you realize that Holbrooke was a Brown alumnus.

  • So we have some connection anyway there, however indirect.

  • Jack has won many awards for his work

  • and his publications, his books and articles

  • in political sociology, historical and comparative

  • sociology.

  • I won't go through those.

  • He's also been deeply involved in the application

  • of social science to the policy world

  • and has consulted for various US an international governmental

  • and NGO organizations.

  • Among his many important books, I'll just mention a couple--

  • Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World

  • that the University of California Press

  • published a number of years ago, then in 2008, Why Europe,

  • The Rise of the Western World History from 1500 to 1850.

  • So as you see, Jack thinks big, which we appreciate.

  • He's also, as I mentioned, the author

  • of a number of influential works on political demography

  • and promoting the further work in political demography.

  • I'll Just mention here his recent co-edited volume titled,

  • Political Demography, How Population Changes are

  • Reshaping International Security and National

  • Politics that Oxford University Press published.

  • His talk today, after which we'll

  • have the usual opportunity for questions, which I'll

  • ask Jack to handle directly, his title

  • is "A World in Revolution, the Inevitable Backlash

  • Against Global Elites."

  • Please join me in welcoming our guest, Jack.

  • Thank you very much, David.

  • And it's a real pleasure to be here.

  • I thank so many of you for coming

  • to this talk when you could be waiting for the latest

  • update on current events.

  • It seems like almost hourly there's something

  • that grabs our attention.

  • But I'm going to try and do the reverse here,

  • and that is to step back and place what's

  • happening in the world today in a longer-term context.

  • I actually thought about what might

  • be happening when I did the first edition of this book.

  • It's now out in second edition just last month.

  • It's called Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern

  • World.

  • But the argument that it makes, first,

  • is that population trends make a big difference in driving

  • cycles of instability.

  • But the bigger point is that cycles of political instability

  • are not driven by kind of a long-term movement

  • toward progress.

  • They're not driven by some inevitable conflict of forces.

  • They're driven by the ability of institutions

  • to adapt to the demands that we put upon them.

  • And I believe that for the last 20 or 30 years,

  • the institutions of the post-world War II global order

  • have been failing.

  • And so the wave of political changes

  • that we're seeing across the world now

  • should not be a shock, although some of the individuals

  • may command all the attention.

  • I think if Donald Trump had not become president,

  • I'd still be giving a very similar to today.

  • It might have been about President Sanders.

  • It might have been about something else.

  • But what we're seeing everywhere is

  • a collapse of what had been the mainstream political center.

  • So in France, the main political parties now

  • appear to be out of the race.

  • It looks like Marine Le Pen is going to be

  • one of the main protagonists.

  • And the other, Macron, is from someone

  • who started a new political party essentially

  • in just the last couple of years.

  • We've seen in Britain, the Labour Party go through

  • something of an internal collapse under Jeremy Corbyn.

  • They're losing constituencies they've never lost.

  • And yet the Tory Party itself was

  • driven into a kind of sudden disgrace with Brexit

  • that vote and David Cameron's sudden resignation from office.

  • So if you're a mainstream party politician these days

  • almost anywhere in the world, you're either

  • changing the dialogue yourself or you're

  • having it taken away from you.

  • So how did this come about?

  • Well, I actually wrote in the first edition of this book

  • about revolution and rebellion, there

  • was a chapter, now expanded for the new edition,

  • on the decline of the United States.

  • And what I wrote is that nations that

  • had been the richest countries in their day

  • and suffered fiscal crises because elites preferred

  • to protect their private wealth got into trouble.

  • The elites would separate into competing factions

  • and starve the national state of resources

  • that were needed for public improvements

  • and international competitiveness.

  • I wrote that factionalism within the elites paralyzed decision

  • making and struggles for prestige and authority

  • took precedence over a united approach.

  • Now I wrote that 20 years before we had the sequester.

  • But that was what we saw coming.

  • When you have struggles between different elite factions to put

  • their own interest in escaping taxation ahead of all else,

  • you cannot govern.

  • And the results are growing public debts,

  • even as private individuals become enormously richer.

  • And at the same time, basic public services

  • that support the economy as a whole

  • are neglected, overburdened, and deteriorating.

  • Now how did I see that coming?

  • This was written in 1991.

  • We had a baby boom.

  • The baby boom generation was moving into the workforce.

  • And one of two things were going to happen.

  • We were either going to greatly increase productivity, so

  • that the output of goods and services

  • would grow enough that taxation didn't have to expand

  • and the government would still be

  • able to provide all of the infrastructure and public goods

  • that a rapidly expanding workforce would need.

  • Or, and this is what I've seen in countries

  • that ran into revolutionary problems in the past,

  • you'd have a struggle in which the government would not

  • raise taxes as needed to keep up with this demographic change,

  • productivity would falter, wages would stagnate,

  • and incomes would become polarized while government

  • would become dysfunctional.

  • And that is what has indeed come to pass.

  • And I say the key element in this decay--

  • and people have sometimes said, well, this

  • is the decline of the West.

  • It's a decline of America's manufacturing.

  • We just have to fix this or that.

  • I don't believe that's true.

  • I think what happened was an erosion of public institutions

  • and public services.

  • And this decay threatens to undermine the foundations that

  • supported American economic growth for the first three

  • quarters of the century.

  • And I wrote, "If unchecked, the long-term results,

  • which are now only slightly apparent,

  • will be a relative decline in living standards,

  • freedom of decision, and international position

  • of the US."

  • Now, is the US still the most powerful country in the world?

  • Yes, I don't want to be accused of overstating or being

  • a decline.

  • However, the advantage that the United States

  • and particularly that the average citizen of the United

  • States has with regard to the global income distribution

  • has certainly deteriorated.

  • Now that was the a lot of text up there.

  • I won't do that again.

  • Don't worry.

  • We have shorter bullet points now.

  • So what happened?

  • We've seen rising inequality to be sure.

  • And a lot of people have pointed to that.

  • But I don't believe in equality per se is the social problem

  • that people think it is.

  • Why do I say that?

  • Because people judge their life opportunities in comparison

  • to the people they know.

  • They look at their families, their friends, their parents,

  • their children.

  • And that's where they judge, are things getting better or worse?

  • Frankly, it's irrelevant to them whether billionaires

  • have 95 foot yachts or 125 yachts or 150 yachts,

  • or whether they have gold fixtures in their bathrooms

  • or not.

  • What matters is, do they see their own lives getting better?

  • And that we have not seen.

  • Instead, in the last 20 years, we've

  • seen stagnant real incomes for about half of Americans.

  • The other half have still continued to move forward.

  • But about half of Americans have seen virtually stagnant incomes

  • and, this is important, a decline in social mobility.

  • Stanford recently came out with a new study

  • showing that the proportion of people

  • who could count on having higher incomes than their parents

  • has fallen from about 80% to 45%.

  • That is it used to be most people who did reasonably well

  • could look forward to living with more

  • resources than their parents and their children more than them.

  • And that was a great source of faith in the future.

  • But when it's now less than half of people

  • do better than their parents, and they're

  • worried that their kids may not do better than themselves, that

  • takes away faith in the future.

  • We have had a changing labor market.

  • And a lot of people talk about, well, you know,

  • we'll bring manufacturing jobs back,

  • or we'll train people for higher tech jobs.

  • It's actually more complicated than that

  • because we've had a shift in the nature of the labor market

  • itself.

  • The service sector is now dominant.

  • So Wal-Mart employs about 2 million people domestically.

  • All the major auto firms in the US

  • together employ about 50,000 hourly workers.

  • So what happens to Wal-Mart in terms of productivity

  • and wages, their labor force, that's

  • more of the exemplar of what's happening than what

  • happens to workers at General Motors or Cummins

  • or Caterpillar.

  • Service sector suffers from great difficulties

  • in raising people's productivity.

  • There are things that can be done, but for service jobs,

  • whether it's retail, food preparation, tourism,

  • medical care, even university teaching,

  • it's not as easy to simply amplify productivities

  • by adding power tools or by mechanizing processes.

  • It's true that I no longer have a secretary

  • since we have wordprocessing.

  • I have to do all my own correspondence and book

  • all of my own travel.

  • That saves the university a secretary.

  • But I don't think it makes me any more

  • productive as a teacher, as a faculty member.

  • So we've seen efforts to bring automation

  • to the social sector, but we haven't really succeeded.

  • And without rising productivity there,

  • the economy is in trouble.

  • The access that people have to what

  • I call the key public goods and social mobility goods

  • is constricting.

  • And we