I began this series with thoughts on Athens and Jerusalem not only because they were the roots of Christianity and Western civilization but because they both encountered Persia, in different ways and toward different ends. This leads me to the question: What determines the fates of nations and cities? In part, it is the question of why two proximate cities, which both uncover the principle of moral absolutes, approach those absolutes in such different ways. It also raises the fundamental question of geopolitics – that is, what makes various political entities so different, and what leads them to act as they do? These questions are extremely difficult to answer, but it is the last question that is central to geopolitics. In all human things, there is a distinction between free will and determinism. Free will assumes that our lives are the result of our choices. Determinism assumes that, to an overwhelming degree, life is determined by forces beyond our control. Any theory of political life – or of our own lives for that matter – pivots on this distinction. There are certain things that we choose, but many of those choices are determined by the places where we are born […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.



His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.