TEN THESES ON THE GEOPOLITICAL SITUATION

The following theses are developed and explained in my forthcoming book After Pax Americana.  Social Origins of Geopolitical Disarray.

 

THESIS 1

We are witnessing the rapid undoing of the post-WWII international order, without a replacement yet on sight. The scale of planetary problems demands global and concerted solutions.  These solutions are presently visible and persuasive but they are non-enforceable.

THESIS 2

Prediction does not work because it cannot anticipate events.  Only the formulation of plausible scenarios will help actors adapt and manage unanticipated events.

THESIS 3

The death knell of late capitalism is the loss of a non-capitalist context.  Left to its own triumphant devices it is likely to self-destruct.

THESIS 4

Just as complete capitalism tends to self-destruct, so do systems that seek to replace it root and branch.  Assembling a new mixed system, with a specified hierarchy of components and the appropriate sequence of policies will be the task of the future.

THESIS 5

When a social hierarchy loses credibility and a convincing rationale, it is likely to be overthrown.

THESIS 6

With the advance of technology the manipulation of minds is both extreme and inter-personal (participatory).  Total alienation turns into a new form of false subjectivity.

THESIS 7

The West ruled for three centuries but its unity is breaking up and its purpose is breaking down.  This decline has been silent for a number of decades, but it has become strident now. Attempts to retrieve the past are but the wail of groups upon whom history is about to roll.

THESIS 8

Like switch points in a railway network, certain decisions have long-term consequences, and these become clear often only in retrospect. However, on the basis of past experience it is possible to gauge the implications of actions that are guided more by emotions than by sound discernment.  The current wave of national populism will destroy rational strategic choice.  This leads to the democratic self-destruction of democracies.

THESIS 9

Correct strategy consists of two opposite and symmetrical rules of avoidance.  One is avoidance of rash military action.  The other is avoidance of protraction in conflict.  These rules are as old as the art of war itself.  They can be ignored at great peril for states and blocs of states.

THESIS 10

Barring catastrophic war, Eastern powers will emerge from the present geopolitical disarray as the guarantors of a different international order.  In the new concert of nations and regions, the West will be allowed to play an important but secondary role.

Leave a comment