Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 20:41:22 +0000
Sender: PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history <PHILOFHI@YORKU.CA>
From: “Nikolai S. Rozov <>” <>
Organization: Novosibirsk State University
Subject: global capitalism & legal order

Global capitalism & legal order

A dialog between Nikolai S. Rozov and Chris Chase-Dunn, 1996

A discussion on future world order, the destiny of capitalism, evaluation of such alternatives as World Government and World Legal Order took place in WSN 2 years ago, W.Wagar, I.Wallerstein, T.Boswell, Al Bergesen, C.Chase-Dunn, R.Moore, me, and some others took part in it.

I strongly recommend everybody who are interested in this issue to get and read it (the whole discussion is collected as a gopher file in WS-archive by Chris Chase-Dunn). By any WWW browther you can reach:



Please find below Chris's short preface and two my msgs from this debate

The following is a set of exchanges that took place on WSN, the world-systems electronic conferencing network between June 12 and August 19, 1996. I have edited some of the comments to exclude what I consider to have been extraneous comments. And I have excluded contributions that did not, in my estimation, contribute much to the main topics. These, as I see it, were the future of the world-system and what to do about it. The complete archive of all postings to WSN during this period is available under the anchor “Mail Archive” on the page at Chris Chase-Dunn, WSN list-owner 8/22/96

global praxis and the future of the world-system

Thu, 13 Jun 1996 14:02:54 -0600 (CST)
chris chase-dunn (

We have begun to publish Volume 2 of the Journal of World-Systems Research. The next batch includes an article by Historian W. Warren Wagar on his ideas about the future of the world-system and political practice. Wagar proposes the formation of a World Party to carry through the project of global democratic socialism. Included with his article are thirteen comments by Sociologists, Political Scientists and activists. Perhaps Wagar's article and the comments might serve as a topic for discussion on wsn. JWSR is primarily an outlet for research articles on world-systems, but Wagar's ideas are so important that we have included them despite our determination that JWSR not become a political magazine.

Where World Capitalism is going?

Tue, 25 Jun 1996 21:46:37 -0600 (NSK)
Nikolai S. Rozov (

We have gone far away from criticism of WS fathers. While reflecting on Richard Moore's arguments I decided to suggest a new subject concerning objective long-term trends of World Capitalism and possible alternative evaluations of them.

Three main views on this point can be seen:

a) the liberal ‘mainstream’ position: “free market economy and democracy are winning, they are becoming stronger and stronger and they are really worthy this victory” (Fukuyama, etc) I think nobody in wsn needs arguments against this position.

b) the left expectations of world capitalism's decline: it's a world desease (”virus”) and it is worthy its forthcoming failure (Wallerstein, Chase-Dann)

My question: What are real visible signs of decline or crisis, which should be stronger than all those problems and crises that world capitalism successfully prevailed in the past (f.e. in 1810-15, 1848-9, 1914-18, 1930-32, 1939-45, 1968-69)?

c) the left appeals for struggle against strong and threatening world capitalism (appeals by Maoism, Trotskism in Latin America, etc, Russian Communism, maybe in wsn by R.Moore in his struggle against ‘imperialism’ and TNC)

My doubts and questions:

Historical facts tell us that in most cases of open ‘hot’ struggle against world capitalism did not succeed, but ALL the local national 'successes' (f.e. in Russia since 1917, China, Cuba, N.Korea, Iran, Albania) led inevitably to mass social disasters, poverty, frequently—mass terror. On the contrary most “soft” and interior attemps to ameliorate capitalism were successful, or at least, harmless (Second International and Social-Democratic reforms in Europe in the beginning of XX, laborists in Great Britain, socialists in Sweden, promotion of social programs in US, France, Germany, etc).

Well, WS-theory can tell that it was possible only for core or semipripheral countries, not for periphery. Great, but in this case the imperative should be not a struggle against ‘imperialism’ (ie core countries) transforming them to less democratric and tolerant regimes, but vice versa - the imperative should be to try to rise the status (from periphery to semipheriphery) of most exploited countries and peoples. Is the last task possible without support of world capital, without IMF, TNC, Big-7 and all other ‘devils’, without appeal to moral norms of humanism, justice,etc, even if we see so much hypocrisy in proclaiming these values by mainstream leaders?

My position in brief on the question posed in the subject above:

Re: the world party

Wed, 31 Jul 1996 17:36:39 -0600 (NSK)
Nikolai S. Rozov (

Dear Chris,

Completely supporting you in peaceful and humanistic aspirations I need an answer for the following questions and comments

> From: chris chase-dunn <>
> the problem is to create a monopoly of
> legitimate violence.

Even if this statement is accepted you cannot deduce from it the necessity of world state and even world party (such party will be strongly associated with starving for world power with all negative sequences),

There is another alternative: to preserve monopoly of legitimate violence of nation-states (or their united regional forces) on their territories but only if these states (or unions) are appropriate to definite globally accepted values and correspondent legal standards (see my yesterday reply to Chris Robinson). So not a world party but maximally wide coalition of all kinds of social, political, economic, and cultural(f.e. religious) forces is needed for working out and accepting this set of values and standards.

A world state is not necessary to make nation-states to respect these standards; if a wide coalition of core and semiperipheral nations subscribe to these values and legal standards, the threat of global economic, political, and cultural ostrakism will be more efficient and much less dangerous than world state for shifting to global totalitarianism

>this because one of the main unsolved and cyclical
> products of capitalism is warfare.

This traditional Marxian thesis is by no means evident now and needs serious argumentation, I would be grateful if you share it with us, at least in main points. Were there in the world less warfare before capitalism? (even if to date capitalism since Phoenicians as you did in the book ‘Comparing W-Systems') Diakonoff communicates that in 3-1 millenia BC in all Central civilization even merchants going to foreign countries with very peaceful purposes had no such notion as ’foreign country’. ENEMIES COUNTRY was the only existing concept that times!

To struggle now for ceasing warfare—yes, but to hope that having destoyed capitalism we solve this problem seems to me now very naive. In the eve of XX Bolshevics in Russia just in this way hoped that they cease ALL warfare, ALL exploitation, ALL corrupcy, ALL classes, ALL crimes, ALL prostitution, and even adulter by destroying capitalism, because they considered all these sins to be its products.

To think so in the end of XX ?—strange…

> there is not likely to emerge
> a world state strong enough to prevent a war among core states in
> the next twenty five years even if we try very hard, which we should
> do.

Yes, but why nothing was sayed on nuclear disarmament and possibilities to use existance of subjectivity of core-states leaders, governments, public opinion, electorate? You talk on wars and Kondrattieffs presumes doctrine of historicism (fairly criticised by K.Popper in The Poverty of Historicism) as some objective historical course independant of epiphenomenal human consciousness.

I suggest to discuss the the legal world order (including tax policy, custom policy,investment policy, etc) that makes gradually arms production and trade non-profitable, but ecological, medicine, educational production more and more profitable. In parallel a wide propaganda should begin for persuading leaders and peoples not to raise but to contract armaments, to subordinate ALL military operations ONLY to the judgements of international Court acting in the framework of globally accepted legal order.

Is it a very difficult task?—yes it is, but not more than to manage to construct over nations a world state with all needed monopolies, or to legitimate prolongation and to give such monopolies to US hegemony.

> given the high probability of nuclear annihilation, that means
> looking hard at possible substitutes for the world state. one
> possibility, though it may not be much more likely than a world
> state, is a renewed US hegemony. yes folks. that is what i said.
> this is a hard conclusion for someone who spent his youth opposing
> US imperialism. talk me out of it.

US has too deeply rooted tradition for double standards concerning the care of America with US-citizens, and peoples of all other world. The last feel it rather well and that's why this idea will hardly go. Why not to discuss multi-polar partnership with monopoly for legitime military operations based on accepting global legal standards? I would not even argue against the leading role of US in this partnership, but such political, military, economic forces of EU, Japan, Russia, China, India, Brasilia, South Africa, maybe Turkey, Egypt, and Iran (as leaders of correspondent geopolitical regions) should be necessarely presented in this partnership. Isn't it more realistic and less dangeorous than idea of world state and US hegemony?

my best regards, yours Nikolai