George Friedman’s Thoughts: Geopolitics and Philosophy

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After last week’s piece on Aristotle’s four virtues, I received one reader response asking that I write on geopolitics rather than philosophy. One is enough to justify a serious reply. Most people equate the term “geopolitics” with international relations, perhaps with a tilt toward armed conflict. When people in the financial sector, for instance, point to “geopolitics” as the reason markets rise or fall, they invariably use the term to mean something foreign, violent and quite unexpected. We use the term somewhat differently. For us, geopolitics is a methodology for understanding the international system. It’s a methodology that can help predict the evolution of the system over time, by regarding the nation-state – or any human community – as itself an actor, in which the course of the nation is shaped not by political leadership but by the nation itself. In a nation of millions of people, leaders rise because of internal forces and act according to the constraints and imperatives the nation faces internally and externally. So, when I predicted the U.S. would dial back its international commitments, or that there would be a crisis in Ukraine, or that China would face overwhelming economic problems, I did not know […]

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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.