On this edition of Parallax Views, the distinguished historian Prof. Alfred W. McCoy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison joins us to discuss his latest book To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change. McCoy’s previous works include the classic The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade as well as A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, Endless Empire: Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, America’s Decline, and In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power. In To Govern the Globe, delves into the history of empires and world orders from the Iberian Age to now as well as tackling the seeming decline of U.S. hegemonic power, the rise of China, and what climate change means for world order going forward. In this conversation Alfred and I begin by discussing the meaning of empire and world order and what those terms mean. We then delve into the issue of what Alfred calls the “delicate duality” in which Empires express ideals on one hand but seeks maintenance of power, often through breaking from those ideals, on the other. From there we dive into a number of other topics including the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, how the contradictions of the “delicate duality” can eventually undermine and subvert an empire, the degradation of U.S. moral authority vis-a-vis the torture at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay, China and an alternative international order, climate change and its projected impact on Shanghai by 1950, the late geopolitical chess player Zbigniew Brzezinski, principle vs. power in China and the U.S., what the decline of U.S. power means for the American public, projecting 2030 as the year of America’s loss of hegemonic power globally, Chinese military power and technology in the near future, the Pentagon war games in which the U.S. end up in a conflict with China over Taiwan, the succession of hegemonic powers historically and their struggles to dominate the Eurasian land mass, how the U.S. dominated the Eurasian landmass through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), China and the Shanghai Cooperative Organization, China and the tri-continental world island, potential waning of relations between U.S. with countries like Japan and the Philippines, the advantage that the U.S. has had as the global hegemon, the establishment of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency and the construction of a “Grand Imperial Bargain”, the weak social safety net and low wages in the U.S. and workers relying on cheap good that could become expensive in the future (causing social tensions to arise and exacerbate), not wanting to make policy recommendation in To Govern the Globe as it could degrade an objective analysis of the historical trajectory, Barack Obama’s strategy for containing China and the Asia Pivot, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Sir Halford McKinder and the World Island, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s conditions for the perpetuation of U.S. hegemonic power and how all those conditions have been violated), climate change as the next catastrophe for world order and the choice between world order and barbarism that may face us as climate change worsen, climate change and the potential refugee crisis it could cause, the emergence of the First World Order through the Black Death and the destruction of the Mongolian Empire, the death of one world order and the emergence of another throughout history, China and coal power, projections indicating China will be hit by extreme heatwaves in the coming decades, international cooperation without the total loss of national sovereignty, the potential for a new kind of empowered world order to face climate change, climate change and the potential for brutal conflict over resources like water, the prosperous Global North vs. the impoverished Global South, John Mearsheimer and looking past the anarchic world system, the European Union, ceding limited and narrow areas of sovereignty as a small reform that could combat climate change, and more!