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WORLD DEMOCRACY? December 29, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Democracy, Global Electoral Politics, Human Rights, Humankind/Planet Earth, Peace.
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The United States of America with its global bases and by spending more on weapons and wars than all other nations combined has hegemonic ambition.

The ambition is failing in its realization, and perhaps if the US continues to spend like a drunken sailor it will fall overboard. Then who will rescue it. Whatever, values that once might have excused violence and domination, these, as probably inevitably happens, are now shown to be base as the principles of the Constitution are lived in denial in the case of habeas corpus and the exercise of executive murder and torture. There is a grave disorder in the world order of killing, exploitation and killing machines.

Still, as Tony Karon writes in The National (via War in Context), “Be careful what you wish for”. As the US withdraws firstly from Iraq and then surely from Afghanistan despite vast expenditure, aside from the uncounted and discounted human suffering, its role will be diminished. Tony Karon reflects:

Alarmed by the unchecked global dominance of Washington in the late 1990s, France’s then-foreign minister Hubert Vedrine described the US as a “hyperpower” whose influence needed to be checked for the greater good. This would be achieved, he suggested, by the construction of a “multipolar” world order, in which US influence would be balanced by the emergence of a number of different power centres.

As 2011 draws to a close, there can be no doubt that “multipolarity” is upon us, and then some: Washington has found its abilities limited to influence the dramatic political events unfolding across the wider Middle East and beyond. The US in 2012 faces a wave of crises that could have profound consequences for America’s well-being, yet with dramatically weakened levers of influence to shape the outcomes to those crises.

Today, decisions made in Ankara, Beijing, Paris, Berlin, Tehran, Riyadh and even Doha are having an effect on international affairs that might have been unthinkable just a few years ago. A quick glance at a few of the crises currently on the boil suggests the “multipolar” world may be a more unpredictable place than Mr Vedrine imagined.

Now he says the US can do very little as under Maliki Iraq implodes into sectarian conflict. Ironically, the best chance that this will not happen would be Iran, the arch-enemy reigning in the Maliki. Iran is the country that without any evidence and contrary to evidence is the country subject to sanctions to supposedly deter it developing nuclear weapons. Israel exerts disproportionate influence in Washington decision making, but the reality is that China, Russia and Turkey are pushing back against sanctions. And so it goes from the newly liberated Libya, to the Israel-Palestine conflict, to Egypt, to Afghanistan where Pakistan is taking the rather curious course of protecting it’s national sovereignty and finally the economic problems of Europe.

As Tony Karon comes the full circle, the nautical metaphor is extended:

… the economic turmoil in Europe, which threatens cataclysmic consequences that could once again rock the US banking system, is beyond Mr Obama’s control – instead, his fate is in the hands of squabbling European politicians unable to agree on the basic steps to address the crisis. Economic and financial interdependence and the globalisation of risk have not been accompanied by the equivalent globalisation of economic governance. We may all be in the same boat, but nobody seems to have the wheel.

Increasingly, the same may be true on the geopolitical stage. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying Multipolarity. Please fasten your seat belts, we’re expecting turbulence …

I thought there was a third choice. Here is part of one person’s view on global governance, as it is now, and how it might be:

Global justice and world peace are inconceivable without some form of world governance, as distinct from a world order based on violence and dominance and thus by implication structural inequality between the peoples of world. Common goods are inherent in the social nature of human beings, not considering the development of scientific knowledge and technology. Social norms are about common assumptions. The law of contract is internalized and accompanied by symbolic actions such as shaking hands and so forth other when a dispute arises.

The UNO and international agreements are incipient forms of global governance. Clearly the atmosphere and oceans are common goods. The problem is that the UN is based on the nation state and democratic, one man, one value electorates.

I do not accept that a democratic system of governance is impossible, which implies the recognition of minorities, or that it is not needed. Those who refuse to acknowledge the possibility or the necessity, are likely to be not so much anti-government as they might claim but more profoundly undemocratic and unsocial. Do we imagine that transnational corporations are not forms of autocratic government? The climate crisis has not just happened spontaneously as if the lamp of the Enlightenment has been darkened as if mysteriously. The forces of irrationality often masquerade as the status quo and self interest or manufactured to become the enthusiasms of “the bewildered herd”.

POSTSCRIPT:

Former Senator Mike Gravel talks about the moral compass in the US in retrospect of the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. He extends the drunken metaphor. Mike Gravel is talking with RT:

CODA:

The Guardian notes in an editorial the failure of US hegemony and the rise of world disorder. The time is not yet, the editorial declares for new world institutions be created to fill the vacuum. They imply, and I agree, the vacuum is one of lack of political imagination.

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