FAREED ZAKARIA QUOTES

American journalist and author (1964- )

Modern democracies will face difficult new challenges--fighting terrorism, adjusting to globalization, adapting to an aging society--and they will have to make their system work much better than it currently does. That means making democratic decision-making effective, reintegrating constitutional liberalism into the practice of democracy, rebuilding broken political institutions and civic associations. Perhaps most difficult of all, it requires that those with immense power in our societies embrace their responsibilities, lead, and set standards that are not only legal, but moral. Without this inner stuffing, democracy will become an empty shell, not simply inadequate but potentially dangerous, bringing with it the erosion of liberty, the manipulation of freedom, and the decay of a common life.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom

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Tags: democracy


Foreign policy is a matter of costs and benefits, not theology.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World

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No successful political transition can take place without leaders and movements that demand and press for freedom.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom

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Tags: freedom


Foreign policy commands attention when it's crisis management. A street revolt breaks out in Egypt or Libya or Kiev and everyone asks, how should the president respond? Now these are important parts of America's role in the world, but they are essentially reactive and tactical. The broader challenge is to lay down a longer-term strategy that endures after the crisis of the moment.

FAREED ZAKARIA, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Apr. 27, 2014

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We are now living through the third great power shift of the modern era. It could be called "the rise of the rest." Over the past few decades, countries all over the world have been experiencing rates of economic growth that were once unthinkable. While they have had booms and busts, the overall trend has been unambiguously upward. Even the economic rupture of 2008 and 2009 could not halt or reverse this trend; in fact, the recession accelerated it. While many of the world's wealthy, industrialized economies continued to struggle with slow growth, high unemployment, and overwhelming indebtedness through 2010 and beyond, the countries that constitute "the rest" rebounded quickly.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World: Release 2.0

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It's really difficult to have your voice heard and feared when you both speak softly and carry a twig.

FAREED ZAKARIA, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Jul. 27, 2014

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We have this debate in America that is almost a theoretical debate about the role of government in the economy and whether government should be involved, and I worry that while we're having this theoretical debate, on the other side of the world, the Chinese government is vigorously promoting industry after industry, the German government is vigorously promoting its manufacturing center, the South Korean government is vigorously promoting its manufacturing sector -- and by the time we've resolved our debate, there won't be any industries left to compete in. It is absolutely clear that government plays a key role, as a catalyst, in promoting long-run growth.

FAREED ZAKARIA, interview, NPR, Jun. 30, 2011

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Tags: government


Generations from now, when historians write about these times, they might note that, in the early decades of the twenty-first century, the United States succeeded in its great and historic mission--it globalized the world. But along the way, they might write, it forgot to globalize itself.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World: Release 2.0

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Tags: America


Legitimacy is the elixir of political power.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

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Tags: power


The United States needs serious change in its fiscal, entitlement, infrastructure, immigration, and education policies, among others. And yet a polarized and often paralyzed Washington has pushed dealing with these problems off into the future, which will only make them more difficult and expensive to solve.

FAREED ZAKARIA, "Can America Be Fixed?", Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb. 2013

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We have the leading companies and the leading sectors in the advanced industrial world, we have an incredibly dynamic society, and we have high levels of entrepreneurship. And we have the best universities in the world. ... We also have impeccable credit. What we don't have is a political system that can take the simple measures to deal with our short-term deficit.

FAREED ZAKARIA, interview, NPR, Jun. 30, 2011

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The American government and many U.S. companies are routinely the targets of cyber-attacks from all over the world. For example, the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is an arm of the Energy Department and monitors America's nuclear power plants, was the target of 10 million cyber-attacks every day in 2012. By contrast, the entire United Kingdom suffered 44 million cyber- attacks in the entire year of 2011. Some of these are efforts to spy on America, enter into communication systems, telecom systems, steal secrets from the government or from private companies, look at phone records, e-mails. Others are efforts to disrupt normal life or kill civilians. Last year, the head of the FBI testified that cyber-attacks from foreign sources, often including terrorist groups, had surpassed traditional terrorism as the single most worrisome threat to the United States. I'm trying to remind you that this debate about American policy cannot take place in a vacuum. There are other countries out there, and groups of militants and terrorists, and they are actively using whatever cyber-tools they have to tap into phone systems, emails, bank records, power plant operation systems, nuclear facilities, and more.

FAREED ZAKARIA, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Jan. 19, 2014

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In thirty years Iraq too has gone from being among the most modern and secular of Arab countries--with women working, artists thriving, journalists writing--into a squalid playpen for a megalomaniac.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

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It all looks American because America, the country that invented mass capitalism and consumerism, got there first. The impact of mass capitalism is now universal.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World

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Tags: capitalism


ISIS is a formidable foe, but the counter forces to it have only just begun and if these forces, the Iraqi army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, American air power, the Syrian Free Army, work in a coordinated fashion, it will start losing ground. Also, please keep in mind that ISIS does not actually hold as much ground as the many maps flashed on television keep showing. Large parts of those territories that ISIS supposedly controls are vacant desert.

FAREED ZAKARIA, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Sep. 14, 2014

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But now we are becoming suspicious of the very things we have long celebrated--free markets, trade, immigration, and technological change. And all this is happening when the tide is going our way. Just as the world is opening up, America is closing down.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World: Release 2.0

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Democracy is also a single ideology, and, like all such templates, it has its limits. what works in a legislature might not work in a corporation.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

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Look around. The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai. The world's richest man is Mexican, and its largest publicly traded corporation is Chinese. The world's biggest plane is built in Russia and Ukraine, its leading refinery is in India, and its largest factories are all in China. By many measures, Hong Kong now rivals London and New York as the leading financial center, and the United Arab Emirates is home to the most richly endowed investment fund. Once quintessentially American icons have been appropriated by foreigners. The world's largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore. Its number one casino is not in Las Vegas but in Macao, which has also overtaken Vegas in annual gambling revenues. The biggest movie industry, in terms of both movies made and tickets sold, is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Even shopping, America's greatest sporting activity, has gone global. Of the top ten malls in the world, only one is in the United States; the world's biggest is in Dongguan, China. Such lists are arbitrary, but it is striking that twenty years ago, America was at the top in many, if not most, of these categories.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Post-American World: Release 2.0

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Islam has no religious establishment -- no popes, no bishops -- that can declare by fiat which is the correct interpretation. As a result, the decision to oppose the state on the grounds that is insufficiently Islamic belongs to anyone who wishes to exercise it.

FAREED ZAKARIA, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

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Germany is a fascinating role model. The Germans have maintained their manufacturing edge despite being a high-tax, high-regulation economy. Why? Because the government really set about ensuring that it maintained funding for technical training, technical advancements and programs. It made a concerted effort to retain high-end, complex manufacturing -- the kind of BMW model, if you will. And they've done that so successfully that Germany, which has a quarter of America's population, exports more than America does.

FAREED ZAKARIA, interview, NPR, Jun. 30, 2011

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