Mackinder Forum Virtual Seminar #19: “Heartland Theory in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” presented by David P. Goldman

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On Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 1:30 – 3:00 PM (Eastern Time, US), Mr. David P. Goldman presented a talk on “Heartland Theory in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

ABSTRACT: With regard to China’s global ambitions, Mackinder’s “Heartland” concept in some ways is more relevant than ever, but in other ways fails to capture the new “control points” in the world economy. There are two main salients of China’s assertiveness, namely the Belt and Road Initiative and its ambition to lead the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Chinese Empire was built on infrastructure, especially water management, and BRI is a natural extension of China’s imperial organizing principle. If we have a Sino-Russian alliance whose economic and technological mass draws in Western Europe as well as East Asia, then control of the Heartland will be decisive. At the same time, the most important battles may be waged in the cloud rather than with conventional land armies and navies. Chinese planners speak of data management as the “control point” in the world economy; one might compare energy as the control point of the 20th century with data (the “fuel” of Artificial Intelligence) in the 21st. This places new demands on strategic thinking.

BIOGRAPHY: David P. Goldman is Asia Times Deputy Editor (Business). Formerly he held senior research positions at Credit Suisse, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Bank of America, where he served as global head of debt research. He was a member of Institutional Investor’s All-America Team for securities research. During 2013-2016 he was a partner at Reorient Group, a Hong Kong investment bank. His firm Macrostrategy LLC advises institutional investors. Mr. Goldman is the author of several books, including How Civilizations Die (2011) and You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-Form the World (2020). He has consulted for the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment and the US National Security Council. He contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Claremont Review of Books, Tablet Magazine, and numerous other publications.


#1: David P. Goldman, “The Chinese Challenge,” Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2020, pp. 39, 41-44:
#2: David P. Goldman, “US War on Huawei Misses the Control Point,” AsiaTimes, October 16, 2020:
#3: David P. Goldman, “Empire of Emperors: What Is China, and Why You Should Worry About It,” Tablet Magazine, October 20, 2020: