Ian Bremmer Quotes

Everything today is “transient.” Technology and its ability to empower actors large and small evolve so quickly that we have to get used to living in a world that exists in a more or less constant state of flux.

An emerging market is a country where politics matters at least as much as economics to the market.

The government has to be on the side of the people if the corporations take too much power.

In China, the state controls the corporations, whereas in the United States, the corporations control the state.

I think it’s fantastically narcissistic to believe that in the entire universe, with all of the planetary systems that we’ve already discovered and the countless others that are out there, that we are the only forms of life.

Sometimes you check things off because you’ve done them. If you aren’t checking stuff off your bucket list, you aren’t living very well.

I was fifteen in college at Tulane. I lied about my age in college so that I could be normal socially. So that girls would go out with me and stuff like that. I just said I was normal age.

There is too large a divergence at the moment in the interests and values of the world’s most powerful states.

I think political science is bad at prediction. We don’t gaze into a crystal ball. I do not believe that we predict things.

Berlin is still a very edgy place, a very cosmopolitan place. It’s a place where completely different ideas and cultures come together and clash in a very warm way. In a very warm-hearted way. It’s a very young city. It’s a vibrant city. It’s an exciting city. It’s a city that’s also scarred by history. I think that’s to be celebrated and graffiti is to be celebrated. Graffiti in Berlin is very different than when they spray something on the wall dividing the west bank and Israel. And should be treated as such in Berlin.

Deeper state intervention in an economy means that bureaucratic waste, inefficiency and corruption are more likely to hold back growth.

We’re wealthy people. We’re sitting here in New York, Washington. We live in a fantastically wealthy country. We don’t have to worry about food. We don’t have to worry about clothing. We wore the same shirt. We don’t have to worry about our safety. It’s very easy for us to be environmentalists. It’s very easy for me to be an environmentalist. It’s very easy for me to care about making sure that we protect the forests and the whales, and all that stuff. It’s very hard for someone who makes $1,000 a year or some who makes less than $1 a day to care about the environment.

NASA is increasingly not the future of space exploration. I love the fact that we have private sector folks devoting a lot of money to stimulate innovation in space technology.

International institutions like the Security Council, the General Assembly, the G20, the BRICs, the IMF, etc., continue to be little more than an extension of the (increasingly conflicting) values and interests of member states.

The real question is not are there other forms of life in the universe, but are there other intelligent forms of life out there right now. Because the universe is not only really big but it’s also really long. It’s been around for a long time; it’s going to be around for a long time.

State capitalism is about more than emergency government spending, implementation of more intelligent regulation, or a stronger social safety net. It’s about state dominance of economic activity for political gain.

The developed world should neither shelter nor militarily destabilize authoritarian regimes unless those regimes represent an imminent threat to the national security of other states. Developed states should instead work to create the conditions most favorable for a closed regime’s safe passage through the least stable segment of the J curve however and whenever the slide toward instability comes. And developed states should minimize the risk these states pose the rest of the world as their transition toward modernity begins.

Political scientists don’t work at banks which is a problem. As political issues become more important for the markets, analysts at banks are asked all sorts of questions they don’t have the ability to answer. And if you’re getting paid to answer questions as analysts at banks are you never want to be in the position of saying you don’t know.

Strong states and blocs of strong states are the only source of power and legitimacy capable of driving an international agenda in today’s world.

We don’t gaze into a crystal ball. I do not believe that we predict things. I think political science is bad at prediction. I think what we really do well is in a number of instances where politics matters, we can do a better job of tell you what is happening now, than other people. So, we can look at Syria today. We can look at the Eurozone today. And we can look at areas where politics is a driver and we can give you a pretty good sense in those areas of here is how to understand today.

I don’t take things off. I either check things off or I add things.

Academics were not a challenge when I was fifteen in college. The challenge was figuring out how to fit in socially.

I think the best way to control a population is to urbanize and to educate women. We have seen historically in many, many countries that once women are educated and have opportunities, and that happens when they live in cities and once they improve their economies, they no longer want to have eight kids.

Authoritarian governments are now trying to ensure that the increasingly free flow of ideas and information through cyberspace fuels their economies without threatening their political power.

I would rather people not smoke. I certainly appreciate the fact that smoking is not legal in restaurants and bars. That used to stop me from going out at night because you’d go someplace and your clothes would reek and you wouldn’t enjoy the experience and that affects your rights. It’s always a question.