The name of the book is Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance–and Why They Fall by Amy Chua.  Based on her supporting evidence for what a hyperpower consists of, Chua declared that China would be the next great nation.  However, her evidence does not support this fact.   I disagree about China on two points: religious toleration and global dominance.

One of the deciding factors for what makes a hyperpower is the extent of religious tolerance that the nation-state has.  China has NO religious toleration for Christianity, Jews, Muslims, etc.  While I do believe China has a key role to play in future global affairs, I fail to see how she can attain hyperpower status without lowering her guard on religious toleration.  If religious tolerance was left out of Chua’s supporting arguments, I would agree that China has a possibility for being the next reigning hyperpower.

Another aspect that must be taken into consideration is that the definition of “hyperpower” is a nation-state that truly dominates the global scene.  This world is too small to allow two hyperpowers to exist.  Right now the United States is the reigning power, preceded by Great Britain.  Unless the U.S. loses control over her economy, is taken over by terrorists, or turns completely socialistic, I do not see her losing her status as a hyperpower any time soon.  Ultimately the future resides in the Lord’s hands, but if someone studies current trends, he can determine events that will occur in the next few years.  Example:  I took a class on the Middle East for undergraduate work.  The class ran a simulation based on current events.  For two months, my classmate and I immersed ourselves in Iranian politics.  At the end of the semester when we submitted our Iranian portfolio, we included our predictions for the new year.  So far, the majority of those have come true: the nuclear bomb, the failure of the UN sanctions, etc.

Personally, I would argue that the European Union is set to be the next hyperpower.  With the exception that it is not a nation-state but rather a confederation of states, the EU has all the makings of a great power.  Religious tolerance, heavy banking support, natural resources–the EU has all of it.  Besides, some Bible scholars believe that the reference to the renewed Roman state from Revelation actually refers to the European Union.  Since I believe that the Lord is returning very soon, an argument for the EU as the next hyperpower makes a lot of sense.  It is kind of a scary conclusion in one way, because it means that the U.S. will somehow have to give up her power, possibly during my lifetime.

Overall, Amy Chua’s book is historically based and contains fascinating details about historical civilizations.  I highly recommend it as long as the reader keeps in mind that her ultimate premise is from a biased perspective.

– Hannah S. Bowers

Chua, Amy.  Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance–and Why They Fall.  New York: Doubleday, 2007.