Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Three Blows to the New World Order

The Three Blows to the New World Order
Nearly 30 years ago the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Communism, the last challenge to the Western paradigm of liberal democracy and free trade, disappeared, defeated by the same free-world alliance that had vanquished earlier totalitarian foes like fascism and Nazism. History understood not as events but as a tournament of conflicting socio-politico-economic orders had ended. A “new world order,” over a century in the making, finally had won.
That heady optimism was expressed by George H.W. Bush in his 1991 State of the Union address. The disintegration of the Soviet Union seemingly confirmed the triumph of democracy, free markets, and transnational institutions, or as Bush said, “a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind––peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law.”
The Nineties saw several developments that seemingly confirmed Bush’s optimism about the future: The swift defeat of the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein, and the ending of revanchist violence in the Balkans by multinational coalitions; the expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia; the creation of the European Union by the Maastricht Treaty, and the welcoming of communist China into the World Trade Organization. All were signs of history’s “end.” At the same time, the tech revolution was relentlessly shrinking the world further, facilitating global trade and global communication through the World Wide Web, more powerful computers, email, and social media.
Over the last three decades, however, three disruptions have challenged the assumptions of a Kantian “perpetual peace” based a “rules-based international order” that reflects a new “harmony of interests” among the world’s peoples. Each crisis has exposed the flawed assumptions behind the naïve optimism and arrogant over-confidence of those in the West who have promoted, built, and managed this paradigm.
9/11: Jihadist Terror
History returned with a vengeance on September 11, 2001. The smoking ruins of the World Trade center reminded us that another vision of socio-politico order, Islam––one that had occupied two-thirds of the old Roman Empire and serially raided and invaded a nascent Europe for a thousand years––was not done with history. The “war on terror,” including the Second Gulf War and the invasion of Afghanistan, both of which are still not finished, should have made us rethink our triumphalist assumptions about the inevitability of democracy and free-trade and peace and human rights.
Read the rest from Bruce Thornton HERE.

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: