PDA

View Full Version : A Unipolar, Multipolar or Anarchic Tomorrow?



Oskorei
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 12:14 PM
In the discipline of International Politics, the concepts of unipolar and multipolar world systems are often employed. One common belief is that for the economic world system to function smoothly, there must be a hegemon. The hegemon is the "super-power", that acts as the police for the world economy.

Being a hegemon brings benefits, but it is also costly. New powers can grow in the protection of the hegemon, and sooner or later challenge it. By then the hegemon has usually lost much of its "cutting edge". A war for hegemony, a world war, follows. Usually connected to global anarchy and economic depression. And then the cycle begins anew, with a new hegemon.

According to most scholars, hegemons during capitalism have included Spain, Holland, France, Britain, followed by the US (some scholars view the Cold War as a bipolar era, but many dont). It is obvious that the US as a hegemon is loosing its cutting edge, and an anarchic period might soon follow. However, the question for this thread is the following:

Which power, if any, do you see taking the position of hegemon after the US?

If none, we are entering a multipolar era, with several local powers. What do you believe that will mean for the future?

Jack
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 01:45 PM
In the discipline of International Politics, the concepts of unipolar and multipolar world systems are often employed.
I finished studying international relations a few weeks ago in high school. I disagree with this view, though. I would say there


One common belief is that for the economic world system to function smoothly, there must be a hegemon.
That this belief is common does not necessitate its truth. Based on the functioning example of national anarchism/anarcho-capitalism in Somalia, I disagree that there needs to be a hegemon.


The hegemon is the "super-power", that acts as the police for the world economy.
There is no 'the' world economy. A great deal of the world's population isn't integrated into the West-centered economic mesh. COMECON effectively seperated a significant section of this planets economies from the Western system between 1949 and 1991, and so it isn't hard to argue that over the two economic 'worlds' during the cold war there existed two hegemons. Furthermore it might be worth noting that the United States required assistance from Japan as well as other nations in invading Iraq.


Being a hegemon brings benefits, but it is also costly. New powers can grow in the protection of the hegemon, and sooner or later challenge it. By then the hegemon has usually lost much of its "cutting edge". A war for hegemony, a world war, follows. Usually connected to global anarchy and economic depression. And then the cycle begins anew, with a new hegemon.
In general, this is true. However, various causes have brought about effects which will prevent any present world power from assuming the status of what you call a 'hegemon'. Birth rates, death rates, ethnocultural conflict, Government overspending, fraud economies (e.g. China) and the present interlinking of the world powers via globalisation will mean that not only is America incapable of retaining her status as hegemon for an extended amount of time, but other world powers, such as Japan, China, Russia, and the EU do not have the ability to take the reins, so to speak. There is a question of whether they will be capable of retaining their present degree of power relative to other ethnocultures/civilizations. There is a question of survival as we know it.


According to most scholars, hegemons during capitalism have included Spain, Holland, France, Britain, followed by the US (some scholars view the Cold War as a bipolar era, but many dont).
As I've outlined above, I disagree with the understanding that the cold war was not a bipolar era.


It is obvious that the US as a hegemon is loosing its cutting edge, and an anarchic period might soon follow.
I view an anarchic period as almost certain. Almost, because perhaps aliens might come out of the sky, solve all our problems by encouraging breeding and accelerated growth, and shift entire populations across the planet to minimise ethnocultural conflict. But I think everyone here agrees that probably won't happen. Best to leave open the possibility though ;)


However, the question for this thread is the following:

Which power, if any, do you see taking the position of hegemon after the US?
This is a difficult question. I view it as highly likely that West Europe will break down into a confederated form of ethnic regionalism. Where Eastern Europe will stand, I'm not sure, though it's possible something similar will happen. If White America wakes up and stops itself from bleeding, and does something quickly enough, perhaps something can be done to assure the West retains the upper hand in world power. China and Japan are doomed.


If none, we are entering a multipolar era, with several local powers. What do you believe that will mean for the future?
The Anglosphere (America, Australia, New Zealand, Britain), 'Old Europe' (i.e. West Europe), 'New Europe' (i.e. Anglosphere aligned Eastern Europe), Russia, China, India, Japan may be considered local power blocs, with Russia, 'Old Europe' and the Anglosphere being the only possible superpowers (assuming we'll define superpower as a major power which is capable of deploying a significant military force at least 5000km away). China has no intentions of becoming a superpower., it has never been an expansionist country. Given that China will collapse along with the major local powers (i.e. the Anglosphere, Old Europe, New Europe, Russia, China, Japan) I don't see an heir to the status of hegemon as guardian of the world economy.

Oskorei
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 02:37 PM
That this belief is common does not necessitate its truth. Based on the functioning example of national anarchism/anarcho-capitalism in Somalia, I disagree that there needs to be a hegemon.
I disagree. The world economy can function without a hegemon, but it functions much more smoothly if there is a central power that can provide it with a common currency (backed up by a central bank), a police power that can prevent insecurities and nationalisations (as a capitalist, you loose the incentive to invest if it is too risky). Someone needs to make sure that debts are payed, transportation functions, pirates are hunted down, etcetera. Its basically the same situation as in the State.

There is a reason that hegemons have been so common during the history of capitalism, they grow in a sort of symbiosis between the state and high capitalists (of course they may not grow beyond the point where the world system is turned into a world empire, at that point capitalists begin to work against it).

I know very little about Somalia, but I suspect that international capitalists would be more tempted to invest in that country if it had a real government. As an investor today, you run serious risks in Somalia. And I doubt that it has an impressive growth rate.



There is no 'the' world economy. A great deal of the world's population isn't integrated into the West-centered economic mesh. COMECON effectively seperated a significant section of this planets economies from the Western system between 1949 and 1991, and so it isn't hard to argue that over the two economic 'worlds' during the cold war there existed two hegemons. Furthermore it might be worth noting that the United States required assistance from Japan as well as other nations in invading Iraq.
COMECON didnt separate very effectively from the world system, and was gradually reintegrated. Starting pretty early, they borrowed large sums from the international money market and were heavily hit by the debt crisis (one reason for the military coup in Poland in the 80s was that they couldnt pay their debts, and as a result the social wage to the workers decreased, which led to protests). They imported and exported a lot, and were dependent on the value of the dollar, and the US as a market, just to name two examples. Just that they didnt talk so loud about it ;)

It can be argued that there were two hegemons during the Cold War, but if we start to compare the two blocs in dollars (totally and per capita), it is obvious that the US was the real hegemon and the USSR was merely a contender. A contender that put a lot of money on the military, but in the long run couldnt keep up. It was the US that controlled the main global organizations, with the exception of the UN, the USSR tried to create its own organizations but they were never that official or global. Compare the COMECON to GATTS or the World Bank.

And the Third World is integrated in the West-centered economy. Main difference being that we are the core and they are the periphery or semi-periphery. They are totally dependent on us for high-tech, and most of them are heavily indebted to the core. We get raw materials and minerals from them in return. Just take a look at the trade figures, especially as % of BNP for these countries.



In general, this is true. However, various causes have brought about effects which will prevent any present world power from assuming the status of what you call a 'hegemon'. Birth rates, death rates, ethnocultural conflict, Government overspending, fraud economies (e.g. China) and the present interlinking of the world powers via globalisation will mean that not only is America incapable of retaining her status as hegemon for an extended amount of time, but other world powers, such as Japan, China, Russia, and the EU do not have the ability to take the reins, so to speak. There is a question of whether they will be capable of retaining their present degree of power relative to other ethnocultures/civilizations. There is a question of survival as we know it.

The Anglosphere (America, Australia, New Zealand, Britain), 'Old Europe' (i.e. West Europe), 'New Europe' (i.e. Anglosphere aligned Eastern Europe), Russia, China, India, Japan may be considered local power blocs, with Russia, 'Old Europe' and the Anglosphere being the only possible superpowers (assuming we'll define superpower as a major power which is capable of deploying a significant military force at least 5000km away). China has no intentions of becoming a superpower., it has never been an expansionist country. Given that China will collapse along with the major local powers (i.e. the Anglosphere, Old Europe, New Europe, Russia, China, Japan) I don't see an heir to the status of hegemon as guardian of the world economy.
Agreed. We "risk" entering a new anarchic period. It will then require new/old virtues of the States and their inhabitants for succes and survival. If the West cant adapt to that, it will probably be overrun by the rising tide of colour, who kept some of the martial virtues.

Ahnenerbe
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 07:15 PM
In the discipline of International Politics, the concepts of unipolar and multipolar world systems are often employed. One common belief is that for the economic world system to function smoothly, there must be a hegemon. The hegemon is the "super-power", that acts as the police for the world economy.
The "hegemon" exists and will last durably and even reinforce itself; hegemon is composed of US administration, UNO, NATO, World Bank and all other similar international organs to ensure the daily functionning and the convergence of the norms and economic systems, regulating legal trade, transports, space, telecommunications and the regulation of armed conflicts worldwide. Apart this minimum service, the influence of the states will decrease, because of the lack of financial resources (already 50% of the global wealth is based offshore and is not submitted to any taxes, you can ad the inevitable crash of public health (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Health) and educationnal systems). This minimum service will be financed by traditionnal "onshore" business (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Business)es and all the low-lifes who will have no other choice.

So there will be no global anarchy, but a world where belonging to a state or another won't define the sense of your life anymore. this is already on the way. But you cannot stay alone; you will always try to gather with your kin. You will want to ensure that all your efforts will not be waisted but reinvested and will profit to the people who are on the same line of thought than you. These communities are already existing but they will grow bigger and become more organisated with the time. So, exacerbated communautarism will probably rule. Each one will have it's own insurance (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Insurance) companies, etc.

You won't be willing to pay any more cent to a govt that will use it to erase the private debt of Senegal, like did France a few days ago... 270 millions euros... how many Wites worked all their lives to pay taxes who are now used for this? This shows that most governments have no legitimity anymore in the eyes of their "citizens". They no longer have a moral authority, and thus are losing their legitimity.

I don't feel belonging to my country anymore, rather to the worldwide community of racially conscious people of european descent. It's probable that other-minded people will have increasingly the same feeling concerning their own beliefs and will also begin to reject their belonging to their current nation.


Being a hegemon brings benefits, but it is also costly. New powers can grow in the protection of the hegemon, and sooner or later challenge it. By then the hegemon has usually lost much of its "cutting edge". A war for hegemony, a world war, follows. Usually connected to global anarchy and economic depression. And then the cycle begins anew, with a new hegemon.
No more war would directly involve western countries. It's all about economical war now and economical goals can be achieved by other entities than states. Transnational companies can already take the control of mines, petroleum etc and have a monopoly on some goods. So the next world war may be another "cold" war and finally won by non-national economical entities. Transnational companies have always less a particular nationality. Their capital belongs to mutual funds in which everybody can invest. Most of the time they can not practice a particular politics because their shareholders are too numerous and the capital is atomized.

But imagine if some companies would manage to finance themselves only by people who share the same interests... No need to be a "company", more simply and investment fund. High liquidity assets permit instant worldwide investment and you can choose the sectors you're investing in. In other words: why not a white nationalist investment fund http://forums.skadi.net/images/icons/icon6.gif.... It would gather the money of WNs worldwide and be invested in WN business (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Business)es and projects and then grow for the community, for the community: XXIth century "national-socialism"... Other communities like homosex (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Sex)uals, ecologists, I don't-know-whats would do the same.


Which power, if any, do you see taking the position of hegemon after the US? If none, we are entering a multipolar era, with several local powers. What do you believe that will mean for the future?
Multipolar, but it will not be between physical areas like in the past. The competiting entities would be distributed. Whites are worldwide and so are non-whites since they're colonizing our lands. In the same manner, all westerners were previously rich in comparison with the "third world". Now there are extremely rich peple everywhere in the world (Hon-Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Sao Paulo,...) and there are extreme poor are everywhrere (ghettos and third-world-style poverty in the heart of each main western city).

Oskorei
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 07:59 PM
The "hegemon" exists and will last durably and even reinforce itself; hegemon is composed of US administration, UNO, NATO, World Bank and all other similar international organs to ensure the daily functionning and the convergence of the norms and economic systems, regulating legal trade, transports, space, telecommunications and the regulation of armed conflicts worldwide. Apart this minimum service, the influence of the states will decrease, because of the lack of financial resources (already 50% of the global wealth is based offshore and is not submitted to any taxes, you can ad the inevitable crash of public health (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Health) and educationnal systems). This minimum service will be financed by traditionnal "onshore" business (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Business)es and all the low-lifes who will have no other choice.).
Interesting analysis. It reminds me of a mix between the liberal paradigm of IR (the "international society"-model) and the more socialist paradigm (the "international class system"-model). I agree that in the short run this "supernational" hegemon will continue to exist, where I am more sceptic is whether it will survive a major depression (and these come with regularity), especially if/when the US decides that it costs too much to pay for this. After that I believe that it will break down pretty fast in internal disputes, trade wars and so on. That is what happened to the previous UN (the League of Nations), and the gold standard, when they lacked a strong hegemon.

I dont rule out the possibility that a new form of supernational hegemony might be here to stay. Any system must have the ability to wage war against rule-breakers though, and I doubt that this is possible without the US.



So there will be no global anarchy, but a world where belonging to a state or another won't define the sense of your life anymore. this is already on the way. But you cannot stay alone; you will always try to gather with your kin. You will want to ensure that all your efforts will not be waisted but reinvested and will profit to the people who are on the same line of thought than you. These communities are already existing but they will grow bigger and become more organisated with the time. So, exacerbated communautarism will probably rule. Each one will have it's own insurance (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Insurance) companies, etc.
I also believe in this scenario for the closer future. After that I believe in some sort of dark ages though, several states might break down by then. So in a way it would be a continuation of your scenario.



I don't feel belonging to my country anymore, rather to the worldwide community of racially conscious people of european descent. It's probable that other-minded people will have increasingly the same feeling concerning their own beliefs and will also begin to reject their belonging to their current nation.
I feel the same. I am not really Swedish, I am Aryan and Germanic (metaidentity) and part of Gφtaland and my family (local identity). "Sweden" today equals multiculturalism, materialism, egalitarianism, cowardice and consumerism.




But imagine if some companies would manage to finance themselves only by people who share the same interests... No need to be a "company", more simply and investment fund. High liquidity assets permit instant worldwide investment and you can choose the sectors you're investing in. In other words: why not a white nationalist investment fund http://forums.skadi.net/images/icons/icon6.gif.... It would gather the money of WNs worldwide and be invested in WN business (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Business)es and projects and then grow for the community, for the community: XXIth century "national-socialism"... Other communities like homosex (http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=Sex)uals, ecologists, I don't-know-whats would do the same.
Its at least a good start, since it will make us well prepared once the anarchy breaks loose.

Telperion
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 11:12 PM
I disagree. The world economy can function without a hegemon, but it functions much more smoothly if there is a central power that can provide it with a common currency (backed up by a central bank), a police power that can prevent insecurities and nationalisations (as a capitalist, you loose the incentive to invest if it is too risky). Someone needs to make sure that debts are payed, transportation functions, pirates are hunted down, etcetera. Its basically the same situation as in the State.

Indeed. Hegemonic Stability Theory posits that the hegemon, amongst other things, reduces the transactions costs of cross-border economic activity by supporting the provision of public goods, such as military security and a reserve currency.

Telperion
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Interesting analysis. It reminds me of a mix between the liberal paradigm of IR (the "international society"-model) and the more socialist paradigm (the "international class system"-model). I agree that in the short run this "supernational" hegemon will continue to exist, where I am more sceptic is whether it will survive a major depression (and these come with regularity), especially if/when the US decides that it costs too much to pay for this. After that I believe that it will break down pretty fast in internal disputes, trade wars and so on. That is what happened to the previous UN (the League of Nations), and the gold standard, when they lacked a strong hegemon.

Clearly, there are some significant differences in the views of international relations neorealists and neoliberals with regard to the agency or causal significance of international institutions independently of the influence of their member states. Neoliberals place more emphasis on the causal significance of international institutions in affecting the behaviour of state and non-state actors, if only as intervening variables between basic systemic and sub-systemic causal variables that influence the behaviour of actors, and behavioural outcomes, whereas neorealists tend to dismiss their causal influence entirely. I think even neoliberals would tend to agree, though, that international institutions will have great difficulty enforcing compliance with their rules, unless either a hegemon, or a stable coalition of regional powers, offer incentives for compliance. Absence such state support, international institutions are at serious risk of irrelevancy (rather like the League of Nations by the late 1930's).

Consequently, it seems doubful that the current order of international institutions, e.g. the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank, would continue to exercise any meaningful influence if the US withdrew its support for them, and other nations were not willing or able to take its place. The processes of international economic integration don't take place in a vaccum, but in a structural context that is significantly influenced by state behaviour.

Telperion
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 11:37 PM
As I've outlined above, I disagree with the understanding that the cold war was not a bipolar era.
Hegemonic stability theorists would say that the USSR was merely a challenger to the dominant hegemon (the US), as it always remained greatly inferior in economic capabilties relative to the US, and its attempts to construct a non-capitalist economic zone through COMECON, which was meant to exist outside the orbit of the global market economy dominated by the US, never captured more than a relatively small fraction of total global economic activity.

In retrospect, they would classify the USSR as a failed challenger state, just as Germany in the post-WWI era could be classified as a failed challenger against British Imperial hegemony. On that basis, they would argue that the Cold War should not be viewed as an era of bipolarity - although, as you're obviously aware, other IR scholars (particularly those who focused more purely on security issues than on international political economy) would disagree with that conclusion.

Telperion
Sunday, December 12th, 2004, 11:51 PM
I tend to take a political economy perspective on hegemony, which posits that military capabilities rest on a foundation of economic capabilities (including technological capabilities), so that a relative decline in the latter necessarily leads, in the long term, to a relative decline in the former. By this standard, the question of whether any country exists that can take the place of the US as a hegemon rests on the question of whether it can take the place of the US as the world's leading economy, not merely quantitatively (as the largest economy) and qualitatively (in terms of infrastructure and capacity for technological innovation), but also as the state which is capable of supporting a global reserve currency. All of these factors function together to supply the US with the relative superiority in economic and technological capabilities that it needs to finance and technologically support relative superiority in military capabilities.

Realistically, I find it difficult to identify any state which could take the place of the US in all of these economic dimensions for the foreseeable future. The EU and Japan have deep structural economic problems, Russia's domestic economy is heavily dependent on commodity exports and is plagued by a shrinking population, China's economic growth is heavily export-led and will not easily survive the global economic turmoil that would be associated with a US economic meltdown. That alone implies that none of these states/regions will be able to project military power for the forseeable future on the global scale that the US does today. Accordingly, a relatively anarchic period of competing regional powers is likely to ensue for the foreseeable future, following the loss of hegemonic status by the US. And if these states or regions find it difficult to sustain their current political integration (which seems quite possible in the case of the EU, and perhaps China, for reasons that could be discussed separately), then the future will be even more anarchic than the competing regional powers scenario implies.

Deling
Monday, December 13th, 2004, 01:14 AM
"By this standard, the question of whether any country exists that can take the place of the US as a hegemon rests on the question of whether it can take the place of the US as the world's leading economy, not merely quantitatively (as the largest economy) and qualitatively (in terms of infrastructure and capacity for technological innovation), but also as the state which is capable of supporting a global reserve currency."

This is the main question I would say, and I concur with it completely. However, much of the U.S strength lies in speculation, and that the Dollar is a relatively stable currency unofficially used as 'world money'. The problem is that an economy needs a material foundation, which is industry, and enough resources to be self-sufficient (or 'semi-independent'), and a relatively smooth trade-balance.
Market speculation is the reason for the growth of American GDP the last decade, and that's not a secure bubble. The Indians and Chinese however has weak currencies (which often is good, especially for export), but is reaching near monopoly regarding world production. The only 'but' is that the European world has a long tradition of economic specialization, high-development capacities and dominate the Communication market. But as I read yesterday, China will now develop components for the computer market (I believe it to be IBM), which will make the Chinese the leading producer of computer technology, and that opens the door for hi-tech and specialized industries as well. Also one cannot forget that India has a growing middle-class of 200 million+, just as the Chinese, and they can back up their economies in crisis situations. Also, especially East Asian governments, back up the industries with protectionism and progressive investments, which I view as an important factor for the rise of the 'Tiger economies'.
There's few things telling that Indians and East Asians CAN'T develop specialization (or innovation, as you refer to it), rather it points otherwise.

But one thing is certain: the East Asian countries aren't interested in global hegemony of the kind that Europeans often strive at. Also, many growing nations moving into Modernity will collide with one another: India and China especially, just as the already modern Japan. The Asian economies, even if they will become dominant, will first and foremost quarrel for regional hegemony, and economic competition globally.

This has one back-side though: the economic center will partially (or more than that) move from the Atlantic to the Pacific regions. The European MARKET will become periphery, because the lack of domestic production which will create the growing rate of unemployment we see today. Consequently, it will mean the end of the European welfare states (or rather dismantling of it). This will not lead to the anarchy of Europe, rather encourage investors to invest in the European economies, because of lowered wage debits, and that Europe has a long tradition of industrial specialization and organisation. The EU is a tool to create an inner market to prevent the economic globalization, and it demands sacrifices: of wages, of taxes, of bureaucratic measures.

I don't think America will leave the game, rather it will be refocusing. My feeling is that U.S will eventually turn to NAFTA once again, 'renewing' the Monroe Doctrine, if possible. That would be great; U.S.A is no Eurasian power, it's an American and Pacific one.

Regarding the international order, I believe that the pan-european integration is important to establish a stable Eurasian hegemon (which, naturally, also is a partial world-hegemon). Gorbatjov talked about the 'Common European Home', just as Jeltsin who made Russia a member of the OSCE, which essentially is a pan-European 'security' organisation. I think this is the only way to go to establish a stable world order. America is too far away from the action, Eurasia-Africa (where 90% of all humans live, and 85% of all natural resources exist) to be an effective hegemon. Building the 'Common European Home' may be the world hegemonial order lasting thousand years...

"Unbreakable Union of freeborn republics, wielded together forever to stand...", English version of SSSR anthem.

Telperion
Monday, December 13th, 2004, 11:04 PM
The Indians and Chinese however has weak currencies (which often is good, especially for export), but is reaching near monopoly regarding world production. The only 'but' is that the European world has a long tradition of economic specialization, high-development capacities and dominate the Communication market. But as I read yesterday, China will now develop components for the computer market (I believe it to be IBM), which will make the Chinese the leading producer of computer technology, and that opens the door for hi-tech and specialized industries as well. Also one cannot forget that India has a growing middle-class of 200 million+, just as the Chinese, and they can back up their economies in crisis situations. Also, especially East Asian governments, back up the industries with protectionism and progressive investments, which I view as an important factor for the rise of the 'Tiger economies'.
There's few things telling that Indians and East Asians CAN'T develop specialization (or innovation, as you refer to it), rather it points otherwise. They can continue to develop technological innovation, but a disruption in the global economy due to a serious economic downturn in the US will curb the rate at which they do so, as much of the current growth in their capacity for technological innovation is being driven by export-led growth.




This has one back-side though: the economic center will partially (or more than that) move from the Atlantic to the Pacific regions. The European MARKET will become periphery, because the lack of domestic production which will create the growing rate of unemployment we see today. Consequently, it will mean the end of the European welfare states (or rather dismantling of it). This will not lead to the anarchy of Europe, rather encourage investors to invest in the European economies, because of lowered wage debits, and that Europe has a long tradition of industrial specialization and organisation. The EU is a tool to create an inner market to prevent the economic globalization, and it demands sacrifices: of wages, of taxes, of bureaucratic measures. There's some validity to what you say, although currently the EU institutions seem bent on re-affirming the welfare state model. That may well change over time, of course, for the reasons that you say.


I don't think America will leave the game, rather it will be refocusing. My feeling is that U.S will eventually turn to NAFTA once again, 'renewing' the Monroe Doctrine, if possible. That would be great; U.S.A is no Eurasian power, it's an American and Pacific one. My impression is that many Americans (though not those currently in power) would prefer this more inward-looking and regional approach to the current attempts by the American administration to project military power globally.


Regarding the international order, I believe that the pan-european integration is important to establish a stable Eurasian hegemon (which, naturally, also is a partial world-hegemon). Gorbatjov talked about the 'Common European Home', just as Jeltsin who made Russia a member of the OSCE, which essentially is a pan-European 'security' organisation. I think this is the only way to go to establish a stable world order. America is too far away from the action, Eurasia-Africa (where 90% of all humans live, and 85% of all natural resources exist) to be an effective hegemon. Building the 'Common European Home' may be the world hegemonial order lasting thousand years...
Geostrategically, Euraisa would seem a natural hegemon. But Russia and Europe have such deeply-rooted, structural economic (and social) problems that my educated guess is that no such hegemon will emerge for the foreseeable future.

Jack
Friday, December 17th, 2004, 01:41 AM
http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20041214-090259-5700r.htm

Coming geopolitical quakes
http://images.washtimes.com/images/clear.gif
http://images.washtimes.com/images/twt-grey2.gif
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
http://images.washtimes.com/images/twt-grey2.gif The world can now count on one geopolitical earthquake every 10 years. Between 1985 and 1995, it was the fall of the Berlin Wall, the implosion of the Soviet Union, the collapse of communist parties the world over, and America's emergence as the world's only superpower.
Between 1995 and 2005, it was the September 11, 2001, attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that triggered a war on, and the defeat of, Afghanistan's despotic Taliban regime followed by a war on, and the defeat of, Saddam Hussein's bloody tyranny. So between 2005 and 2015, what's on the global menu?


Movers and shakers as well as long-range thinkers and planners meet in a wide variety of intelligence and think-tank huddles. These over-the-horizon, out-of-the-box appraisals range from good news scenarios (the minority) to the kind of global unraveling funk whose only antidote would be a desert island.
Behind all the geopolitical jargon about the "functioning core of globalization," "system perturbations," and "dialectics of transformation," there is the underlying fear of a Vietnamlike debacle in Iraq that would drive the U.S. into isolationism — a sort of globalization in reverse.
Among the most interesting and optimistic librettos in the game of nations is peace in the Middle East made possible by a deal with Iran. Keeping this kind of negotiation with the ayatollahs secret in the age of the Internet and 4 million bloggers taxes credulity. It would also take a Henry Kissinger or a Zbigniew Brzezinski to pull it off. However, if successful, it would look something like this:
• A nuclear Iran removed from the "axis of evil," and recognized as the principal player in the region, is the quid.
• For the quo, Iran recognized Israel and the two-state solution of a "viable" Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
• Iran ends all support for terrorist activities against Israel. Iran-supplied and -funded Hezbollah disarms and confines its activities to the political and economic arena in Lebanon.
In reality, Iran is automatically the region's dominant power after U.S. armed forces withdraw from Iraq. The Shi'ite side of Islam, long the persecuted majority in Iraq, will emerge victorious in forthcoming free national elections. A minimum of 1 million Iranians have moved into Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 1/2 years ago. The Iran-Iraq border is porous, mountainous, largely unguarded and no one has even an approximate count. The Jordanian intelligence service believes the Iranian influx into Iraq could be as high as 3 million.
In Syria, the Alawi regime, in power since 1970, is also a Shi'ite sect of Islam. In Lebanese politics, the Hezbollah Party is a Shi'ite movement. The oil fields of Saudi Arabia are in the kingdom's eastern province where Shi'ites are the majority — and Iran is a hop, skip and jump away.
One all-too-realistic geopolitical nightmare was a weapon of mass destruction terrorist attack on the U.S. West Coast. A nuclear device detonates in a container ship about to enter Long Beach, Calif. News had just broken about pollution of the U.S. food supply, most analysts assumed by transnational terrorism. The U.S. can prevail conventionally anywhere but seems helpless in coping with asymmetrical warfare.
In quick succession:
• The dollar ceases to be the world's reserve currency.
• The shaky coalition governing Iraq collapses and civil war breaks out between Sunnis and Shi'ites.
• Fear of the unknown produces a new consensus in the U.S. that global civilization is no longer America's business.
• The U.S. debate shifts to adequate city perimeter defenses.
• With the U.S. no longer the global cop, the defense budget of almost half a trillion dollars can be drastically pruned and savings transferred to homeland security.
• U.S. client states are informed they are on their own. Congress abolishes global aid.
• Egypt loses its annual stipend of $2.5 billion; Taiwan and Israel are told they will must fend for themselves.
• Social trust becomes the new glue of society — bonding with like-minded neighbors with shared values.
• International coalitions dissolve and new ones emerge. China seizes new opportunities for its short- and long-range needs for raw materials in the developing world — from Brazil to sub-Saharan Africa's pockets of mineral wealth.
• The United States, Canada and Mexico form a new stand-alone alliance with Britain.
• Turkey, Israel and Iran become a new self-protection core against dysfunctional neighbors with no upward mobility.
• The European Union and Russia, in continuing decline, close ranks; EU inherits de facto responsibility for Africa south of the Sahara, plagued by genocidal wars and the AIDS epidemic.
• China and India, with one-third of the world's population, and competitive with Western countries in high-tech jobs and technology, form a de facto alliance.
• Pakistan's pro-American President Pervez Musharraf does not survive the ninth assassination plot; an Islamist general takes over and appoints A.Q. Khan, former chief executive of an international nuclear black market for the benefit of America's "axis of evil" enemies, as Pakistan's new president.
• The House of Saud is shaken to its foundations as a clutch of younger royal princes, who have served in the armed forces, arrest the plus 70-year-olds now in charge — known as the Sudairi seven — and call for the kingdom's first elections.
• Osama bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia and is welcomed as a national hero. Bin Laden scores an overwhelming plurality in the elections and is the country's most popular leader.
• A.Q. Khan sends bin Laden his congratulations and dispatches to Riyadh his new defense minister, Gen. Hamid Gul, a former intelligence chief and admirer of the world's most wanted terrorist, who hates America with a passion. His mission is to negotiate a caliphate merging Pakistan's nuclear weapons with Saudi oil resources and monetary reserves.
• Northern Nigeria petitions Islamabad and Riyadh to be considered as a member of the caliphate.
• Absent the long-time global cop, and traditional alliances in shambles, transnational criminal enterprises thrive with unfettered access the world over.
• U.S. multinational companies, unable to protect their plants and employees, return whence they came.
• International airlines morph back into interregional air links.
• Switzerland, a small defensive country with compulsory military service, is in vogue again; larger countries with several ethnic groups begin breaking apart a la Yugoslavia.
• Goods stamped "Made in China. Secured in Singapore" are back in business, smuggled into the United States.
• The EU can no longer cope with millions of North Africans and sub-Sahara Africans flooding into Spain, Italy, France, who roam freely and hungry in the rest of Europe. Islamist radicals sally out of their European slum tenements to besiege U.S. Embassies in protest of their jobless plight.
• Japan goes nuclear after U.S. troops withdraw from South Korea.
A slight detour from this global ship o' fools imaginary cruise had Pakistan and India, no longer restrained by the United States, miscalculating and exchanging a nuclear salvo over Kashmir. A billion Indians survive. A city disappears, Islamabad. Pakistan, part of India prior to independence in 1947, collapses as a unitary state and becomes part of India again.
To be warned is forewarned. Short of WMD terrorism, the intelligence insiders are concerned about implosions in the former Soviet Muslim republics. They also say there is no more important objective for the Bush administration than repairing transatlantic relations. Chris Patten, the EU's outgoing foreign minister says, "The world deserves better than testosterone on one side and superciliousness on the other."

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.