Let's imagine a parallel universe for a second. In that universe, the U.S. State Department decides that energy -- rather than the Internet -- would form one of the core pillars of "21st century statecraft."
To that end, the secretary of state would give a speech about some highly abstract and ambiguous concept like "environmental freedom" that would strike the right chord with the media -- if only because it promises a greener future for all of us!
Since energy-inspired "21st century statecraft" would be difficult to practice without courting the private sector -- the likes of Haliburton, Exxon Mobile, and Chevron -- their executives would be taken on regular tours of exotic places and invited to private dinners with the secretary of state.
People spearheading this kind of energy-inspired "21st century statecraft" would have a very friendly relationship with the corporate world, occasionally leaving government service to work for the giant energy corporations.
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Evgeny Morozov, originally from Belarus, is a visiting scholar at Stanford and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.