Concluding my stint with Knowfar Institute
Monday, October 22, 2018 at 9:14PM
Thomas P.M. Barnett in China, What's Tom Up To?

Today I confirmed with Knowfar leadership that we won't proceed beyond the three-year research-fellow deal that I agreed to back in 2015. As recently as last spring they indicated a desire to have me teach a research methodology class to their network of foreign-affairs and security experts, but that sort of ambition seems to have dried up amidst the worsening of US-China relations this year. Knowfar, which had surprised me somewhat in the past with its willingness to push the envelope on acceptable topics for discussion (e.g., they had me analyze Xi Jinping's decision to abolish presidential term limits), now seems decidedly more circumspect in its research agenda. The institute doesn't need me for that pathway, so it makes sense to part ways.

As a result, I will post here the various reports I generated for Knowfar over the past three years. The institute never provided me with the Chinese translations, nor revealed where they were sent across Chinese national security circles. I wasn't particularly surprised by either decision, as I knew the whole enterprise was a shaky experiment from the start. 

I nonetheless want those reports entered into this record (my primary reason for having a blog in the first place), mostly so I won't lose track or simply forget about the work (500-plus publications into my mid-50s and I am constantly surprised to run into articles that I haven't entered into my personal bibliography). I also see their posting as logical protection against any future disinformation targeting by unfriendly forces (like the ubiquitous online bit pushed by Kremlin trolls that has this "retired Israeli general" advocating the reduction of collective European IQ rates through uncontrolled immigration by non-whites from the Gap! [Oh, if I had a shekel for every email I've received about that doozy, well . . . I'd have my IDF pension in full!]).

We live in strange times, to be sure. But we must remember that, for every great expansion (two steps forward), there is a subsequent and painful contraction (one step backward). Globalization is no different. Like I would sign my "Blueprint" volumes (NC-->NRs! [the New Core sets the new rules!]), the world now endures a lengthy period of rule-set conflict among the Core's largest players - a process accelerated and enhanced by America's decision to go retrograde with the Trump Administration (recall my frequent use of Dr.-Frankenstein-turning-on-his-creature analogies in "Great Powers").

But this too shall pass. Any American enterprise that relies on a base of aging white males (think NFL, CBS, NRA, GOP ...) is demographically doomed. White deaths outnumber white births in the vast majority of US states now, so pissing into that headwind is definitely an option, so long as you don't mind getting your socks wet.

Me? I don't worry about it whatsoever. I have great faith in the Millennials, who are the first truly unbiased generation America has ever produced. Gen Z only builds on that magnificent social achievement. My six kids (three of each) constantly amaze me on that score, and I take little-to-no credit for their development. They are just further proof that America consistently gets it right, growing greater with each generation of our world-shaping experiment.


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