The last decade has seen the arrival of emerging markets, and investors and pundits alike have shown unbounded excitement about the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—as the new sources of the world’s economic growth. However, a focus on the BRICs is already out of date. In half of these countries, demographic patterns have shifted, and the future of the world’s growth now looks set to come from a different set of emerging economies, the TIMBIs: Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, and India.
The fatal conceit is the assumption that the world can be shaped according to human desires. This chapter argues that the logic of the fatal conceit can be applied to foreign interventions which go beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed by reason alone. The characteristics outlined in this paper explain why interventions extending beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed tend to fail.