George Friedman’s Thoughts: Variations on Apocalypse

1973
I have been thinking and writing about the coronavirus in China. In general, I’ve focused on its geopolitical aspect, on its effect on Chinese national power. But there is something more interesting going on. What is most fascinating about the coronavirus is how it has gripped the imagination of the world. It has been given a power beyond what it appears to have. In the simplest sense, it appears to be just another of the sort of disease that has troubled humanity since the beginning. But there is a deeper sense in which it has gripped us. It brings with it a hint of the apocalypse, the disease that brings with it the end time, annihilating all that is in an orgy of cleansing death. The Black Death, the gold standard of apocalyptic disease, originated in Asia. It is said that a trading ship landed at Messina in the 13th century, carrying with it an illness that killed 30 percent of the population of Europe, with life ending in horrid sores and fevers. It was a killing simultaneously awful and utterly efficient. The annihilation was fearsome, and reasonable people believed that this was the end of humanity. They also sought […]

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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.