Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 20:35:18 +0000
Sender: PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history <PHILOFHI@YORKU.CA>
Nikolai S. Rozov <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: Novosibirsk State University
Subject: Re: Evolution of geopolitics (for review)
Thank you Richard for sending to philofhi your comparison of pax romana and pax americana and a brief criticism of the Huntington's model
the first seems to be in parallel to the main idea of the recent book by David Gress 'From Plato to NATO', BTW he wrote me that he is interested in discussion the book in philofhi and i plan to announce it in September in order to start discussion in October
the future fate and shape of Western global dominance for a long time is (since Hegel and later Spengler) and with no doubt will be in the focus of scholars' discussions
unfortunately i had no opportunity to get and read Huntington's book and i know about his ideas only from reviews. strange but Richard's description gave more positive impression than i had had previously
no absolute peace in future..., but it is not (only?) a vicious apologia for future interventions, but just a very plausible geopolitical prediction (shifts of wealth, population and armoury inevitably lead to shifts in territorial power, mainly by wars and/or miliry aliances; but the first shifts are evidently eternal!)
main load of control as a responsibility of regional powers seems much more efficient and economical than any other alternatives (global government or pure anarchy between atomic nation states)
a geopolitical predominance of the West and NATO is really argueble but as for me i strongly prefer this hegemony than the probable alternative ones (say, the planetry Islamic, Chinese or restored Russian-Communist) just because of existance of old and real democratic and liberal traditions that necessarily will provide limits for aggression and coercion, and even now provide such brave uni-systemic activists as Richard Moore (I've heard nothing from or about Islamic or Chinese activists who appeal to defend the world from too dangerous Islamic or Chinese future hegemony)
Richard properly compares the planned future world order with a mafia structure but it is possible with no less success to make a comparison with a nation-state: the same ‘biggest gun’ in hands of a state which obtains ‘monopoly for legitimate violence on its territory’ (Weber)
in fact these comparisons give us a hint of a significant difference: in mafia: one is a hegemon because managed to grasp the biggest gun (i.e. support of most powerful coercive coalitions) and in democratic state there are elections, laws and legal order
no we can see TWO real positive alternatives to the Huntington's model: the (elected) World Government and World Legal Order.
a discussion on these matters took place in WSN just 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 broser you can reach:
the go to World-Systems Archive then to praxis
i'll give two my pieces from this discussion in the next msg, but the discussion contains much more valuable material (including harsh criticisms of my ideas)
my interest and questions for possible further discussion in philofhi is as following:
1) if the Huntingon's (or like) model of future world order are implausible, what real alternatives can be suggested?
2) what criteria (humanistic, moral, multicultural, democratic, or other) should be put in the basis of building such alternatives?
3) for what extent these alternatives are realistic and sustainable from the viewpoint of expierence of world history?
best from Siberia