TOWARD A POSSIBLE GEOPOLITICAL CONSENSUS
Except at the extremes politics is becoming united with one single goal and measuring stick combined; providing what the people need and want.
The history of political power took a winding road to arrive at the emerging consensus I believe will end with a toleration of diverse forms of governance.
In the beginning of settled communities consensus was the only way things were done, either semi-freely given by general consent, or by a predetermined consensus of elites enforced upon the population.
So-called primitive communities were run by leaders generally agreed by populations as the strongest and wisest. Why? Because they were believed to provide the best chance of the people gaining what was needed and wanted; safety from attack and enough stability and knowledge to win the food needed to survive. Over time tribal leaders evolved into presiding over larger and larger groups of people until at last we reach formal monarchies. These shared almost universal power with their religious counterparts. For a thousand years and more these elites at all levels vied for the power to decide and enforce the rules and laws their subjects and followers lived by.
Throughout this period wars of conquest were fought where differences between peoples and their beliefs, cultures and standards of living provided enough reasons for conflict. Until we reach the present age, at least in Europe, where war appears all but impossible, no matter what differences divide nations. A peaceful consensus has been reached across the length and breadth of Europe that shows no sign of bringing about a military conflagration.
In nations such as Britain we see the two main parties abandoning extreme positions for a middle ground where providing good services to the people, preserving popular elements and initiating desired policies has become everything. Right and left as denoting two policy options far distant from each other has been largely abandoned in the UK as it has been in the USA. Naturally those shouting loudest like to give the impression that there is a need for extreme measures of the right or left to resolve outstanding grievances but generally middle of the road policies attempting simply to provide what’s wanted gain most acceptance.
Outright war, whether class war or hot war has been abandoned in most part as a solution as general affluence rose. This is not to say that grievous inequities and injustices do not exist. They do. But there is no sign that the radical rather than the predictable will be chosen to solve them, hard those of a more radical frame of mind may work to bring this about.
Outright war within and between nations is lessening in our world despite the many problems modern economies and those that are developing face. A consensus is gathering that war is no longer an attractive option for bringing about change. Or a viable one considering the visible consequences seen following wars and violent revolutions of the past.
However, apart from the flashpoints in various parts of the Middle East and a degree of tension in Asia there is one primary source of potential conflict that could provide the most devastating military conflagration of all. However, even in this case, a hot war is unlikely. This is however the greatest contest of systems seen since all western nations confronted the Soviet Union, culminating in its collapse at the end of the Eighties.
This is the confrontation between the USA and its allies, first and foremost the UK and a combination of nations comprising the Russian Federation, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and a grouping of others of indeterminate status.
The USA has traditionally been far from averse to waging war. It has been said that it has been at war with some nation or other more or less since its founding. But recent wars it initiated have tended to show it very clearly that this method for achieving its goals has been grossly inefficient and indeed in most cases almost completely counterproductive. Its elites must surely have comprehended by now after their experiences in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen that this is definitely not the direction it wishes to take in future.
The new kind of war it is waging now comprises a public relations war of words plus various tools used to leverage its position, tariffs, sanctions, boycotts and the exertion of pressure on chosen leaderships by itself and institutions generally compliant with its goals, plus all counterparts within nations allied with it.
While the USA wages this war those it wages war against are not standing still. China being chief of these. China leads Russia and the others in terms of economic growth. Though Russia and those others have potential for growth if the deadlock caused by U.S. blockades (and those of allies) of one kind or another are lifted. This global arm-wrestling contest is reaching its most crucial point and will last an unpredictable period of time... but what will be the inevitable result? A hot war? I don’t think so.
Does anyone seriously believe the USA and its allies can wage a hot war against China, Russia and their allies? Certainly the USA and allies can pick off the smaller nations in the group named above. Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, even Iran and Syria. But China and Russia? Inconceivable. China and Russia alone are clearly capable of standing against the USA, UK and Europe.
So if no hot war, what? A standoff. To what end? If the USA and its allies can’t defeat China and Russia via a hot war or soft power (sanctions, boycotts, tariffs etc.) what then? No war. No leverage. What can they do merely using strong words and empty threats? Essentially nothing. Nothing that makes any real difference at least. Nothing when your goal was to defeat and remake them in your own image.
That leaves one option gradually emerging from this stand-off. Compromise. A greater degree of tolerance for what you once wanted to wipe from the face of the Earth. And what will all the efforts to climb down and meet half-way lead to?
An emerging consensus. An agreement to live and let live. An acknowledgment that the most important item on any future agenda will be whether a system is generating what a nation’s people need and want, not what ideological system any world power thinks should be mandatory.
If this enormously important consensus can be reached, and these diversely governed nations can agree on a high degree of tolerance, reached by finding goals in common rather than dogmatic reliance on emphasizing differences which creates enmity, then attention can turn to other, similar but lesser world problems.
Solving the largest issue brings the most powerful nations globally together with a newfound focus and agenda... to use the same solutions to their problems to solve the lesser disputes of others.
At this point a truly breathtaking possibility arises.
To move toward a world where a global consensus of tolerance and a desire to work together of the main world powers on the basis of mutual respect and thus bring the goal of a planet united in a desire to find agreements and solutions into focus.
From there it may not be out of reach to hope for the ultimate consensus of all.
A human race at peace on a planet that reaches the full potential of its species in the sustainable harmony of a true planetary civilization.