Who’s running the world? [Archives:2004/705/Viewpoint]

January 22 2004

A question that has been raised by a prominent Polish magazine was “Who's running the world today?” The question was part of a survey questioning editors throughout the world. As one of the participants in this survey, I answered by giving George Bush and Bill Gates. One can easily deduct that the two names are controlling two giants, the USA government, and the largest software company of the world.
Why George W. Bush It is obvious that the USA today is the sole superpower in existence. It is in control of the largest and most powerful economy, and the strongest army in the world. Hence, it makes sense to conclude that the person in charge of this superpower will be the single most powerful person in the world in this particular time.
It is also common-sense to understand that the power of George W. Bush is temporary because once he is out of office; he loses all his power and returns to the mass public as a regular citizen.
Some may dispute by saying that Bush is merely acting based on interests of small groups in the White House or elsewhere, and that those behind the scenes, including Dick Cheney, may be more powerful.
This may be true in terms of forming decisions, but the ones who eventually will have to take them is the US president. He will be the person to eventually sign and approve, and hence is indeed the single most powerful human being in today's world.
He demonstrated his power in the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, and he could perhaps do it again.
Regardless if another person such as Ariel Sharon is also influential in pressurizing the US administration because of the strong lobby Israel has in the White House, and regardless of the fact that the US President acts based on the will of the American people, that doesn't mean that it is him who can act or refrain from acting if he wants to.
Why Bill Gates It may look like Bill Gates has nothing to do with being a powerful individual as he is merely a businessman. But when looking into the achievements he has done ever since he founded Microsoft, the world's largest software program, one can see that this has indeed changed the world.
With a program like Windows, starting by Windows 3.11, followed by Windows, 95, 98, millennium, and XP, Microsoft was able to monopolize the PC industry through its powerful operating system which facilitated the transfer of information through the Internet in a spectacular fashion.
Yes indeed, Microsoft was able ) by producing software products that entered many homes, such as MS Windows, MS office, etc ) to difference in providing advanced technology in very low prices, and in most of the cases for free as a result of open exchange of MS pirated programs.
As a person, it is Bill Gates who personally started his programs on MS DOS, and evolved them in time through his company, to become the single most widely used operating system in the world (Windows), which then gave precedence to the most widely used Internet browser in the world, i.e., Internet Explorer.
Thanks to Gates, today, globalization has taken everything by storm, and the Internet has become a daily necessity that has a tremendous impact on world economies in every aspect imaginable.
Those two in my opinion are the supermen of today's world; the first politically, and the second economically. It is a pity that they both are from the same country, which is also the superpower of the world. It remains a matter of time until we find emerging superpowers resembled in other countries, which could consequently give birth to new leaders and to new super individuals who would run the world in the coming decades.