The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

From the brains behind Iran's Green Revolution to the economic Cassandra who actually did have a crystal ball, they had the big ideas that shaped our world in 2009. Read on to see the 100 minds that mattered most in the year that was.
The List The FP Survey Take the Survey 100 Top Global Thinkers

DECEMBER 2009

1. Ben Bernanke

for staving off a new Great Depression.

Chairman, federal reserve | Washington

The Zen-like chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve might not have topped the list solely for turning his superb academic career into a blueprint for action, for single-handedly reinventing the role of a central bank, or for preventing the...

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LABRADOG

9:57 AM ET

November 29, 2009

Dick Cheney was when I stopped reading.

This lizard-brained thug, a great thinker?
Buh-bye.

 

BUFFALO09

12:14 AM ET

December 4, 2009

WTF?

Chomsky? The MIT elitist whose delusional rationale shifts conveniently between reality and fantasy; whichever one conveniently seems to reinforce his baseless claims at the time. Example you ask? Chomsky on Cambodia......

-Chomsky-“When the war ended in 1975, the victorious Pathet Lao appear to have made some efforts to achieve reconciliation with the mountain tribesmen who had been organized in the CIA clandestine army [in Laos].”

Reality-The Pathet Lao waged a campaign of genocide, murdering an estimated 100,000
tribe’s people. They inflicted massacres, terror bombing, concentration camps and mass rape.

-Chomsky-“it seems fair to describe the responsibility of the United States and Pol Pot for atrocities during ‘the decade of the genocide’ as being roughly in the same range.”

Reality-Demographic evidence indicates that America killed about 40,000 Khmer Rouge
fighters and Cambodian civilians during 1970-5, and that the Khmer Rouge murdered at least 1.8 million civilians during 1975-9.

Chomsky-“The harshest critics claim that perhaps 100,000 people have been slaughtered [in Cambodia]… Comparing East Timor with Cambodia, we see that the time frame of alleged atrocities is the same, the numbers allegedly slaughtered are roughly comparable in absolute terms, and five to ten times as high in East Timor relative to population… my own conclusion is that the sources in the [case of] East Timor are more credible…”

Reality-A Truth Commission found that the Indonesian war in East Timor caused 18,600
violent killings and 75,000-183,000 deaths from hunger and illness.35 Genocide investigators have determined that the Khmer Rouge perpetrated 1.1 million violent killings and murdered 2.2 million victims overall.

Chomsky-“If 2-2½ million people… have been systematically slaughtered by a band of
murderous thugs [then intervention is sought]… [But not] if the figure of those killed was, say, less by a factor of 100 – that is, 25,000 people… [or] if the deaths in Cambodia were not the result of systematic slaughter and starvation organized by the state…”

Reality-No honest observer thought that only 25,000 died under the Khmer Rouge or that
the mass deaths were not the result of systematic slaughter and starvation. A UN investigation reported 2-3 million dead, while UNICEF estimated 3 million dead.38 Even the Khmer Rouge acknowledged 2 million deaths – which they attributed to the Vietnamese invasion.

Absolute brilliance as so eloquently explained by Chomsky-“the evacuation of Phnom Penh [by the Khmer Rouge], widely denounced at the time and since for its undoubted brutality, may actually have saved many lives.”

Reality-At least 30,000 very young children died as a direct result of the Khmer Rouge evacuation of Phnom Penh.41 In total, at least 870,000 men, women and children from Phnom Penh died under the Khmer Rouge dictatorship.

Chomsky-“At the end of 1978 Cambodia [under the Khmer Rouge] was the only country in Indochina that had succeeded at all in overcoming the agricultural crisis that was left by the American destruction.”

Reality-Famine killed over 950,000 people under the Khmer Rouge.44 By late 1979, UN
and Red Cross officials were warning that another 2.25 million faced starvation thanks to “the near destruction of Cambodian society under the regime of the ousted Prime Minister Pol Pot.” They found starving children wherever they went.

- Leopold Labedz on Chomsky
(Encounter, July 1980)
“In his ideological fanaticism he constantly shifts his arguments and bends references,
quotations and facts, while declaring his ‘commitment to find the truth.’”

Should you require; I will gladly forward references. The fore mentioned statements made by Chomsky are not only blatantly dishonest but extremely intellectually insulting. One of my father's closest friends escaped from the Khmer Rouge with his father after witnessing the murder of their entire family in the "Killing Fields" and then both men had to live and survive in exile on an island for the next two years. Witnessing these stories first hand was really moving and it is quite shameful for Chomsky to make statements of this nature as they explicitly dishonor the memory of friend’s entire family who were brutally murdered in Cambodia.

Not a fan of the bird hunter Cheney and in no shape or form am attempting to defend his actions; however I am curious to know how you explain reasoning behind the actions of associates within the organization designated as the Institution of International Humanitarian Law whose hypocrisy is blatantly disturbing due to their failure to facilitate the plight of the Kurds in Northern Iraq. How has this organizations excessive arrogance and refusal to acknowledge pleas from the world's largest population that has yet to receive support from the humanitarians in their quest to settle and declare territorial sovereignty as they are the only group worldwide numbering over forty million to be classified as "nomads". Does enforcement of legislation involving International Humanitarian Law only apply to individuals who are not associated within the organization? Should they be reprimanded for not adhering to their own mandates?

Foreign Policy-World's Top Global Thinkers? The list is pathetic and due to the recent influx of article submissions that blatantly exude opinions of a political nature that have replaced "objective" contributions where applied logic was utilized as a basis instead of opinion; I now am considering cancelling my subscription as the magazine and webpage I once thought as an objective viable publication has evolved into a forum where preference for political ideologues from either spectrum it appears, triumphs over logical objective discussions whose value lies in challenging ones intellect.

On a final note-As for the Jackass below who mentioned "Michael Moore" as a candidate for the list and stated overwhelming approval for the narrow minded movie "Capitalism".

Did Michael Moore receive profits from this so called fakeumentary? Did he give them all to charity or back to the federal govt.? Of course capitalism has issues; no system is perfect.
I am willing to bet that Mr. Moore probably pocketed some of the profits........how did he do this? Brought to you by Capitalism. Did Moore get rich off of producing movies in a capitalist society? Bet your ass he did and he has no regrets. Profits are used to extend his belly.

Until Mike does a "REAL" documentary highlighting "Obesity in America"; his fabrications of reality should receive no accolades. Oh wait, Mike is fat is shit.....it might be perceived as an oxymoron. Isn’t life great?

 

GOEDEL

9:46 PM ET

December 4, 2009

We, Americans, have to answer for our actions.

Whatever the preponderance of truth is between the numbers cited by Naom Chomsky and by others, we, Americans, have to answer for OUR actions not for Pol Pots's or Sukarno's or others'. We invaded and bombed other countries in southeast Asia that had done us no harm and were not a threat to us, just as we are doing now. Even if we had killed only one person, that would have been a disgraceful war-crime.

 

IMON

4:44 AM ET

December 5, 2009

Hi

The FP lost its credibility by opting Dick Cheney in the top 100 thinkers list. Shame indeed!!

 

BUFFALO09

3:31 AM ET

December 11, 2009

Responding to America's Actions

Spoken like a true political ideologue. Of course I would expect any fair minded, objective individual to recognize the negative repercussions that directly result from American actions/intervention. However, as an individual who is interested in analysis that encompasses the entire scope; acknowledgement of action/intervention by America that has improved a situation or resulted in a positive outcome also warrants merit.

America is responsible for numerous horrible atrocities in many areas across the globe, but there are also countless examples where U.S. involvement has been extremely beneficial and resulted in positive outcomes.

Individuals who do not acknowledge these realities are not only being blatantly dishonest and irresponsible; they discourage thoughtful discussion/debate and are engaged in an indirect assault on the institution of free thought.

How would you classify America's involvement in Cuba that led to Fidel Castro coming to power? Positive or Negative?

On a final note; I agree with you that Hitchens should be in the top five; number one in my opinion (although I don't agree with him all the time). His intellect by far, towers above any of the individuals offered as FP's Top 100 Global Thinkers.

 

QAFTAB

1:48 AM ET

December 15, 2009

Dick Cheney

I fully agree with most of the readers who are of the opinion that Dick Cheney should not have been there.

Richard Dawkins should have been among the top 5 thinkers.

 

SPARERIBS

10:53 PM ET

December 27, 2009

Good enough

Thanks for NOT including Richard Dawkins.
He has built an empire off his robotic historic revisionists. I am waiting for him to begin selling unholy water and relics of Darwin's actual hair follicles on his web site.
Someone sees him for what he isn't.

 

MILAN

6:33 AM ET

December 31, 2009

At least 30,000

At least 30,000 very young children died as a direct result of the Khmer Rouge evacuation of Phnom Penh.41 In total, at least 870,000 men, women and distance learning high school children from Phnom Penh died under the Khmer Rouge dictatorship.affordable diploma

Chomsky-“At the end of 1978 Cambodia [under the Khmer Rouge] was the only country in Indochina that had succeeded at all in online ged test overcoming the agricultural crisis that was left by the American destruction.”

Reality-Famine killed over 950,000 people under the Khmer Rouge.44 By late 1979, UN
and Red Cross officials were life experience diploma warning that another 2.25 million faced starvation thanks to “the near destruction of Cambodian society under the regime of the ousted Prime Minister Pol Pot.” They found starving children wherever they went. homeschool online

- Leopold Labedz on Chomsky

 

V. SARMAST

3:47 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Wrong numbering

Ther is two number 39 and no number 40 in the list.

 

QUELLIOUS

10:37 PM ET

November 29, 2009

tie

That's because those two tied for 39th. This eliminates a #40 position.

 

V. SARMAST

3:47 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Wrong numbering

There is two number 39 and no number 40 in the list.

 

LOKI

7:55 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Bernanke and Roubini

Nouriel Roubini should get legal help to get his name removed from any list headed by Bernanke.

I thought it was a joke until I got to the former.

L.

 

IRANIAN_THINKER

8:12 PM ET

November 29, 2009

This person? a global thinker??

What's going on foregn corespondent? are your people completely igonarnt or are they prmoting pan-Islamism??
The info you have is WRONG!!! she is no brain behind the movement and I can tell that those who suggest otherwise (that she and her husban are) are trying to secure the Fascist regime of Islamic Republic. Indeed the idea for these people has always been to "keep it in the family" so to speak. So no change to the regime but simply adjustments to make it more pallettable to the West.
She is no influential thinker. Her biggest ideas are resurrecting Khomeini (what were his ideas) and Islamisation. I had seen her in our faculty. Being fired from a university does not qualify you as an influential international thinker!!!!
What are her "thoughts" anyway.
Her Husband's reluctant campaign was pushed by the youth who get killed and are completely fed up with the Islamic Republic. By those who want a secular system and some basic freedom. That Zahra and Mir-Hossein do not have a history of pursuing in the past. They are still very reluctant.
Have you people any ethics? or is it simply 'plitiking'??
Shame on you Foreign Policy!

 

THE VENDETTA

8:31 PM ET

December 1, 2009

!!!

I Realy Suggest u should practice to improve ur english dude !
And The Thinker Is A Person Who Made/Creat A New Idea Or Wave To Change Smtng In Huge Size ! As All Of The Retard person knows exept u Dear !
And one more thing , Plz Translate this with ur Sweet English For Some Of Retards Just Like ME : "She is no influential thinker. Her biggest ideas are resurrecting Khomeini (what were his ideas)" As We Know just like other retards , One Person Can Be Male Or Female ! If U Mean She As A He , then we should Check Her Anatomy , May be She IS Shemale And We Dont Know it Yet !
Look Dude , If U Try A Dictonary to Translate These Bullshits For Other ppl , I Realy Suggest u Should Change Ur Dictionary Or Ur Mind ASAP !

 

AZRAEL

8:24 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Read the title

Some of you need to work on your reading comprehension. This is a list of "the 100 minds that mattered most in the year that was" not "the greatest and most ethical minds of the year that was". Whether you like it or not, Cheney and Ahmadinejad were monumental movers and shakers this year, and this list is about people who had considerable influence on the world around us. This is not a list of the good guys, this is a list of powerful people.

 

IRANIAN_THINKER

10:03 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Precisely!!

Precisely this is the point! She is not the greatest Iranian thinker! She has had very little thought to offer Iranians -- just another Islamic fennatic, a she instead of a he, what's the big deal there? She is not and has never been the engine of the movement in Iran (if you are considering her holding hands with this Mousavi guy, then Nominate the Obamas, cause they are the one's Iranian candidates were copying!!). She is hardly a monumental mover and shaker. Her nomination irkes of politiking by yet another ill-informed (or perhaps ill-motivated, which one??) Western media outlet.
If it is just 'apparent' influence perhaps we coiuld equally vote for Barbie (or Ken)!!
And here, my friend, is the ethical point: the ethics of nominatioting on some rigorous basis which is evidently lacking here. So yes, read the title, but more importantly: know and understand the topic you are talking about!!!

 

GOEDEL

8:25 PM ET

November 29, 2009

Something's wrong with FP

If Mr Bernanke is at FP's top of 100 global thinkers, then FP is having cognitive problems. Bernanke is not a thinker; he is an advocate and spokesman for the major banks in NYC. Part of his advocacy is to steal income from ordinary Americans who have prudently saved money during their lifetimes. He does this by depressing federal interest rates to zero; in effect loaning the banks dollars at no cost. This policy denies people any interest worth menioning on my savings and tempts many to take risks in the equities market in order to gain income.

This is only part of his criminal behavior. I use the word "criminal" advisedly. I do not claim that he is breaking the criminal law. I claim he is behaving immorally. This behavior is represented by the unconditioned pass-through hundreds of billions he and Sec'y Geithner (with the knowledge of our irresponsible President) to save the banks and insurance companies said to be "to big to fail".
He is complicit in piling trillions of dollars in debt on us and our progeny.

A consequence of this financial reprobate's actions is the continuing decline of the US dollar, which is having consequences already in under-reported inflation. Boneless chicken-breasts are now almost $6.00 a pound in the supermarket, and this is just the beginning. Our incompetent President has urged China to raise the value of its yuan. Obama is trying the devaluation method of solving economic problems, a method that has never worked in Latin America. Why should it work here? It will only raise prices further.

These are not thoughtful men, none of them. They are servants of the corporate elite, particularly the financial industry that has caused so many of our problems since Ronald Reagan. Our foolish President has installed this collection of moral miscreants in his cabinet and councils. These are the people FP admires!

 

PABLO

2:12 PM ET

December 1, 2009

Something's wrong with your reasoning

Stop the presses! The boneless chicken breast index is topping the charts.

I've always loved the use of isolated and arbitrary anecdotal evidence to prove a point that's way beyond its scope. Like when someone cites a cold day in an attempt to refute global warming.

Meanwhile, year-on-year CPI is at -0.2%. We need to worry about deflation before we start ringing the alarm about inflation.

Obama is trying to get China to allow its currency to float, rather than artificially keeping the yuan weak...same policy advocated by the Bush WH. Free markets are good, right? A weak yuan is directly tied to low prices and low rates here in the US, both of which contributed to a terminally low savings rate and the crisis.

To paraphrase Bernanke himself, whom, if I recall correctly, was appointed by Pres. Bush...as distasteful and difficult as the bailout and stimulus were, the Great Recession has turned out to be a lot less painful for everyone, not just bankers, than it could have been in their absence. Granted, we're not out of the woods yet.

And finally, attributing moral weakness to people with whom you simply disagree is infantile. As much as you may disagree with Bernanke and Obama, I doubt you can question their current influence.

Get a clue.

 

GOEDEL

12:05 AM ET

December 4, 2009

Much is wrong with your perception and reasoning.

Pablo wrote:

Stop the presses! The boneless chicken breast index is topping the charts.

I've always loved the use of isolated and arbitrary anecdotal evidence to prove a point that's way beyond its scope. Like when someone cites a cold day in an attempt to refute global warming.

Meanwhile, year-on-year CPI is at -0.2%. We need to worry about deflation before we start ringing the alarm about inflation.

To which I reply that the boneless chicken breast index is a far more reliable measure of inflation than the BLS's CPI. Pablo must know that the CPI has been repeatedly revised since LBJ to make more favorable the appearances.

Pablo continues:
Obama is trying to get China to allow its currency to float, rather than artificially keeping the yuan weak...same policy advocated by the Bush WH. Free markets are good, right? A weak yuan is directly tied to low prices and low rates here in the US, both of which contributed to a terminally low savings rate and the crisis.

Free markets? Where? In a Eco 101 classroom, perhaps. Is the dollar trading freely against the euro, yen or pound when our creditors fear having the dollar sink because they are stuck with so many of them? If they could, they would dump them as IOUs from a deadbeat. They hold them in desperation. What else can they do? Our consumers could afford to buy goods made in USA if their wages had kept up with productivity since the mid-seventies. By crippling American unions, we made ourselves reliant on Chinese goods and on consumer indebtedness.

Pablo states:
To paraphrase Bernanke himself, whom (sic), if I recall correctly, was appointed by Pres. Bush...as distasteful and difficult as the bailout and stimulus were, the Great Recession has turned out to be a lot less painful for everyone, not just bankers, than it could have been in their absence. Granted, we're not out of the woods yet.

That's right! We are not out of the woods yet, and Bernanke should be taken to the woodshed along with Timothy Geithner and our small-change President. For Bernanke to use the word "distasteful" is an irony. Discretion in taste comes much subsequent to honesty as a virtue. Bernanke's dishonesty in carrying out his public trust is the problem. I care nothing about his taste.

Pablo concludes:
And finally, attributing moral weakness to people with whom you simply disagree is infantile. As much as you may disagree with Bernanke and Obama, I doubt you can question their current influence.

Too much in our public life we have adopted the standard of legality and neglect the immorality of our public figures - and I don't mean their sexual behavior. I mean their responsibility to the public and to the office. Bernanke and Geithner failed in their regulatory responsibilities. They opened the Treasury and the printing presses to their Wall Street friends without conditions and without accountability. They betrayed their public trust and are therefore moral criminals. Q.E.D.

Their influence is great among most of our MCs, who themselves are beholden to Wall Street funders. Bernanke has still received much criticism in his confirmation hearings. One senator on the Finance Committee declared Bernanke should be sent back to Princeton. I would like to send him to Afghanistan. He would fit right into Karzai's crowd.

 

PABLO

6:59 PM ET

December 16, 2009

I was kidding....

...about the boneless chicken breast index. There is no such thing. It's a testament to your reasoning that you would claim your own anecdotal evidence of boneless chicken breast price inflation in your own grocery as proof that overall inflation for the entire nation is increasing. To be brief on this point, your reasoning is clearly flawed.
In your harangue about currency markets, you appear to be a proponent of free markets. (Although you're really off the mark, again. Currency markets, the ones that aren't hampered by capital controls, as the yuan is, are about the most free and most efficient markets in the world.) But then you appear to suggest that American consumers should be compelled to buy American. So are you for free markets or against free markets?
Another question for you: if a rational American consumer has the choice between an expensive American-made good and a less expensive Chinese-made good, which one do you think that consumer will spring for? Answer: the less-expensive Chinese-made good, thereby allowing that American consumer to save more, thereby freeing up more capital to go toward other industries in which Americans have a comparative advantage in. You might need to advance past Econ 101 to to learn that bit tho.
And finally, you're still trying to impose a moral judgement on an economic argument. The people you accuse of being immoral have, in no way, gained from their actions. In fact, most of them have taken substantial cuts in pay in exchange for longer hours and scorn from a public that doesn't understand that, as bad as things are now, they could have been a lot worse had they not taken action. Come to think of it, ignorance and ingratitude sure seem immoral.....

 

BEINGTHERE

8:43 PM ET

November 29, 2009

beingthere

Petraeus, yes, and even Bill Clinton. But Bernanke and Obama?
It appears that your #2 Big Thinker instructued your #1 Big Thinker to call a false end to the recession. "Hey, you guys - recession's over, recovery's on." Well, that was easy. And Bernanke became Obama's Go-To at the Federal Reserve.

 

WNAEGELE

12:17 AM ET

November 30, 2009

 

DAVID B.

2:49 AM ET

November 30, 2009

Corrupt

There are a few good numbers, but the number of corrupt individuals on this list is astounding. Did you just take people at face value when making this list? It almost may help to define what "Top Global Thinkers" means. Anyways, it is hard to take this list seriously with the number of big named people who are known to be disastrously corrupt.

 

PARABELLUM

1:54 PM ET

November 30, 2009

Obama and Bernanke?

Are you fucking kidding me?

What a joke.

 

BROOKLYNBRIDGE

12:31 AM ET

December 1, 2009

Satire

As satire, KoKo's little list in the Mikado was far more amusing.

You did mean to amuse, right?

 

NEILSCHMEIL

3:26 AM ET

December 1, 2009

Interesting

I think this list at the very least gives some nice profiles of some interesting people who have some important ideas. But really, the inclusion of Dick Cheney discredits the whole list a bit, because Cheney is not a thinker in any sense of the word. He is a knee-jerking reactionary who when hit by someone, doesn't think if it's right to hit back or the most effective way to do it, but rather drops bombs on them and their neighbors.

 

ABIRKENSTOCK

11:01 AM ET

December 1, 2009

"World" series of foreign policy?

If I only look only who is among the top 10 – Bernanke, Obama, Roubini, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Sunstein, Thaler, Petraeus (what a joke!) – I have the feeling this list is as global as the world series in baseball is international.

 

JOE_SANTA ROSA_CA

12:50 PM ET

December 1, 2009

Cheney, a great thinker?

Dick Cheney. Powerful yes, however that power came at a heavy price for us:
Lying us into a war.
Falsifying intelligence info
Complicity in forging the Sadam-Uranium Yellowcake documents
Complicity in rendition and torturing enemy POWs (yes, they are POWs, not "Detainees.")
On the other hand, I guess he does deserve a lot of credit, since he was the de facto president, while at the same time allowing W to think he was president. On second thought, maybe that wasn't so hard.

 

MARI888

6:11 PM ET

December 1, 2009

Tom Friedman...

answer for 'best idea' isn't even correct. Greg Mortensen does not work in the ARAB world, he works in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I guess to Tom Friedman they are all Arabs.

 

SAADIA ABBASI

1:29 AM ET

December 2, 2009

100 most influential

If by including cheney you would like to warn readers about evil that lurks in human form and to beware, then u have done humanity a great service

 

GREATTHINKER

10:49 AM ET

December 2, 2009

Easterly

not sure being a complete contrarian and positing no real ideas or solutions makes one a great thinker which is what Easterly is to Sachs. Yet you have them tied because the former has been able to make a name and living for himself by just saying the opposite?

and Cheney???

 

DHPELEGRO

11:58 AM ET

December 2, 2009

Gordon Brown

I think putting Brown way back in the 70s(and Alistair Darling is not on there at all) is a bit ridiculous considering that measures they took preempted those of the Americans much higher on the list during the financial crisis. He has since convened and hosted a G20 summit to deal with the global recession that has followed. Brown has since been central in the push for reform of the international system.

In terms of global ideas and influence, despite his domestic standing, this list does not give credit where it is due.

 

MARCO-JAMES DEBBATH

10:37 AM ET

December 3, 2009

solutions

I assume Global thinkers must be those who have issued or able to provide accountable solutions for the major problems of our time. No joke makers on the list and no cynical personalities. No confusion: postive thinkers must be separated from evil thinkers.

 

GOEDEL

2:06 PM ET

December 4, 2009

Why does FP boost Bernanke?

Why does a magazine and blog that is focused on foreign policy select a Fed chair as its lead wiseman?

Answer: the ability of POTUS to sustain (for a while!) the projections of military force over the globe depends on the creation of money and borrowing of money. Whoever directs the Fed has to be sympathetic to the imperial goals of the US government. FP is an advocate of US projections of such power and recognizes Bernanke's role as an enabler. He has no compunctions about effectively taxing working-class Americans through inflation in order to create the funds that the US imperial president needs. All empires impoverish their tax-paying class. This one is not different, and Bernanke and Geithner (who "forgot" to pay his SS pay-role tax!) make the nefarious work possible.

 

CAPYBARA

5:17 PM ET

December 4, 2009

if thinker = obfuscator, then TRUE!

Bernanke et alia prevented collapse of US economy by bankropting federal gov! 24 Trillions of Bailout are on the US fed.Gov accont. It is now about 75 trillions which is 1.25 of World GDP.
Read more here: http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/shell-game-how-federal-reserve-monetizing-debt/25806

 

GRANT

6:14 AM ET

December 5, 2009

Problematic

I have to say that more than a few of these are at least questionable.

Bill Gates is listed as a man who helped the poor, if memory serves Microsoft put a lot of effort into fighting the $100 laptop idea and I doubt they did it out of humanitarian concerns.

Dick Cheney is listed for his defense of American power. Rhetoric does not make one a great thinker and if he was one then I would have expected him to take a step back in 2002 and say "Does Iraq really have WMDs or am I letting bias get the better of me?". Also he put a lot of effort into derailing efforts to have the Uighurs from Guantanamo freed in the U.S despite the fact that he should know better than nearly anyone that they wouldn't be a threat.

Pope Benedict XVI has also sent a Cardinal to the U.S over anger that the Catholic nuns aren't closely following the Vatican line, making quite a few Sisters I know very nervous about the future of women in Catholicism.

On Aung San Suu Kyi, I am not sure I would list her as one of the great thinkers. She is obviously a great social and political leader of the likes of Mandela, Gandhi, and King, but I am not aware of great writing or strategies created by her.

For Kilcullen, after reading his book I'll say that he's intelligent and that I'd like to match his successes someday, but I'm not certain that he should be in the top 100 thinkers.

Fukuyama might be correct about 'democracy' but I'd say he got the 'liberal' part wrong.

If Mr. Robert Kagan is responsible for the sudden popularity of the idea of a 'league of democracies' I'd like to ask him what he was thinking. It's membership would be rather sparse, few of the members would be interested in sending troops anywhere for peacekeeping, and it (if honest) would exclude at least two major nations that must be considered in geopolitics.

Freeman Dyson appears to be blind to the sudden loss in ice along the North Pole if he doubts that the world is warming. We currently have ships making well reported trips through it without accompanying icebreakers, and companies from South Korea are investigating shipping through it. Also, courage does not equal great thoughts. It is a good trait,but not the one we should be looking at here.

On Esther Dyson I can't complain about her entry (not knowing much about her) but I have to say that labeling "worst idea: airport security" is jarring and irritating. Does ForeignPolicy believe that airport security is a bad idea? Did she make some statement that is unintelligent? What? We need clarification and detail.

On Attali I have to say that he is a strange choice. The world's elite seem to be just as tied to nations as ever. Also the decision over "best idea" and "worst idea" seem incredibly arbitrary. I realize all these definitions are subjective, but it feels like the writer put their own bias into this one more than some others.

 

RECORDCHECKER

2:11 PM ET

December 5, 2009

Dr. Roubini's predictions for 2009 were not accurate

Your article quotes Roubini in January 2009: "My predictions for the coming year, unfortunately, are even more dire".

In March 2009, several days after the stock markets bottomed he called the market recovery a "sucker's rally". Later he predicted there would be no GDP growth in 2009, which was proven incorrect just four months later.

 

AR

7:04 PM ET

December 5, 2009

A bs list. Thank God dawkins

A bs list. Thank God dawkins and hitchens were not listed. Yes, the pun is intended!

 

MGHULOUM

10:39 AM ET

December 7, 2009

Shapers, celebrities, and their gadgets.....

I would add, in some cases not necessarily for good, in others not necessarily for bad, in others not necessarily for anything. But I enjoyed sick Dick (Darth Vader) Cheney in there, egging on Mr. Obama to another war or two. I was hoping they’d match Dick with an appearance by Colonel Qaddafi, since we are talking a bowel affliction that affects the vocal faculties………
I have my doubts about the “celebrity” selections: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Hitchens, and Thomas Friedman (especially now that his Arab-Israeli initiative has failed). I am not sure what these three did to shape or reshape my world- I have serious doubts. Paul Krugman definitely deserves to be near the top. As for Ben Bernanke…….....
Cheers

 

DHPELEGRO

8:46 PM ET

December 9, 2009

?

"Please, try to be post-racial for once, and make a list which is 60% Jewish, and 90% white. That way you can reflect the demographic of those who receive awards for merit, not their skin color or nationality. "

What the hec does this mean? Were you kidding or were you genuine with this statement? Why in your opinion would 60% of the worlds most influential thinkers be Jewish? And why should people from the third world be excluded from the list, does the developed world have sole preserve over mankinds great ideas?

On your strange planet the worlds greatest thinkers are mostly jewish, almost entirely white and live mostly in the US.

Once again, are you serious?

 

CARTILAGE

5:02 PM ET

December 15, 2009

was just a matter of time

for the zionist propagandists to join the party. antisemitism? give it a break

 

MDAMAN

10:55 AM ET

December 11, 2009

Hillary Clinton stole the QDDR

Hillary Clinton and her State Department has received much credit for implementing the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). However, this is a stolen idea. On 1/13/09, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced HR 490, to require a quadrennial review of the diplomatic strategy and structure of the Department of State and its related agencies to determine how the Department can best fulfill its mission in the 21st century and meet the challenges of a changing world---he called it the "Quadrennial Foreign Affairs Review Act." HR 490 was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee where Chairman Berman changed the name (to the QDDR) and tucked it into his "Foreign Relations Authorization Act," HR 2410. Novice legislative forensics reveals that Rep. Thornberry, not Hillary Clinton, should be in the Top 100 thinkers list. Just look at Thornberry's other bills---HR 489, to create an independent agency for Strategic Communications, and HR 4261, to clarify how the President notified Congress on intelligence activity and covert action.

 

RAJAN221

7:22 PM ET

December 11, 2009

Shame on you

Shame on you for including Michael Ignatieff.
As a Canadian, I can tell you for sure that Ignatieff is NOT "poised to become prime minister of Canada next yer". The man is the butt of jokes here in Canada and he lagging terribly behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the polls. Plus he has been labelled as a traitor and American sympathizer which is the worst thing you can be in Canada.

 

KEN GODEVENOS

5:41 PM ET

December 17, 2009

Global Thinker 64: Michael Ignatieff

I value your magazine as one of the best I have ever subscribed to. The quality of your work and research is usually top notch. But something went wrong when it came to selecting Michael Ignatieff as a top global thinker of 2009. Your related account about him also leaves much to be desired.

Mr. Ignatieff is not "poised" to become the Canadian prime minister. He may seem like a thinker to you folks, but to many of us here in Canada, he's not. In fact, the polls indicate the Liberals under his leadership are suffering pretty badly. Lately, there was even some talk of replacing him. Canadians don't take too well to someone who leaves them and tries to do well in the U.S. and then comes home to take over running the country. Some of us don't take too well to his arrogance either. You would do well to check out some of the political headlines in Canada's two main papers (The Globe and Mail and the National Post -- representing both sides of political ideology) and if you have to, read between the lines for a more accurate picture.

Just look at his comment re. the West's moral obligation in Afghanistan. What did he really say? We have a moral obligation to defend them but it's not unconditional; and thus, the moral obligation is limited. It's this kind of doublespeak that makes him dangerous and useless in the opinion of many as a potential Prime Minister. You won't see him bringing down the Government to try and get a stab at winning the country any time soon.

Take a close look at his answer to FP regarding the end of the global recession. Dodging at its best.

I can only be thankful that you didn't put him in the first 63% of your list.

Ken Godevenos, Toronto