The West and the Rest

The world in 2015: A nostalgia for balance
December 23, 2015 FYODOR LUKYANOV, SPECIAL TO RBTH

Lykanov! Always an interesting read. To his, I would add several thoughts.

What are coming undone are the understandings of Westphalia, and the UN provides most of the evidence. The global political dynamic today is centrifugal not unitary. Regime change nonsense just aggravates the spin. The number of nation states has exploded exponentially since WWII. We can layer treaty condominiums upon each other and it changes little. The UN, as an example, is the world’s most expensive debating club.

If international feather merchants were the answer, we would all be in paradise by now.

The internet and related science may be global, but communitarian sentiments like democracy are not. The great problems of the future are moral, not scientific. Here ethical recidivism gets expensive. Just ask Beslan, Paris, or San Bernardino.

Indeed, if facts or evidence matters, the Internet may be part of the instability problem, not a solution,

Any minimalist argument atomizes the Islamist phenomenon. The threat isn’t ISIS any more than it was al Qaeda. Islamism writ large is the growing global problem. Until sovereign states admit that to themselves, Islam continues to metastasize at our peril. I think Vladimir Putin understands this. Few others in the West do.

If there are two cultural communities; it’s the West (which includes Russia) and the rest. China is still a bit of a cipher. As with Islamism, none of us has a clue about where a capital communist polity goes in the future. Command communal capitalism is still a new kid on the block.

Islam, however, has been with us for 14 centuries. That golem has always been hiding in plain sight

Sam Huntington was correct and my old pal Frank Fukuyama was not. The “clash” we witness is not the end so much as the beginning of the end. History is a two way street. Apologies to Hegel. We can indeed go back to the future as well as forward. Religious “nostalgia,” incidentally, is what makes ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and the Islamic State possible.

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