Here's a piece from one of my favorite public intellectuals, Robert Kaplan, writing in the National Interest. The title of the article, America is Fated to Lead, is deceptive (and perhaps sarcastic). The piece is philosophical, nuanced, introspective, and full of doubt, expressed through hypotheticals, counter-factuals, and what-ifs.
How many times in human history have confident politicians declared that a new age was upon us? Liberal Internationlism. Isolationism. The final phase of human history: Communism. Pax Americana. Japan's State-Driven Capitalism. The End of History: Liberal Democracy. The New World Order: Liberal Interventionalism. Pax Sinica. A slogan for each generation, each dying at an accelerated rate. If one is not filled with doubt about what the future holds, one should return to the coma from which one has pretended to wake.