We all share the territory of planet earth, the globe, and have common needs even if some may not see themselves as part of the brotherhood of man. Humanity is a single social group where global politics will, and should, play a central role. Read more about political territories.
The heart of the Tree framework should still be rationalist i.e. However, in this case there is no government (as in society) or management (as in organizations) to take responsibility. The situation is anarchic and responsibility is diffused.
The original dynamic duality applicable to political choices must be adjusted to suit the international order. It would seem to be: National [N] v Global [G].
National is the equivalent of an « » in society, and would include societies lacking their own state but desiring it. Global is the equivalent of « » within which diverse states and other nations contend.
Using that duality, we can map the determinants of global political choices. The goal of global politics remains ensuring that any solution should differentially benefit one's own group, i.e. one's nation. This puts a major focus on « » and on a nation's power. Nations without states are inherently weak.
Politics can and should be a constructive element in human life, including international activities. But government activities challenge or ridicule this notion becauseand the often seem to be mainly about making threats and war.
The proposition offered for a society is that politics and violence are antithetical. Why should that view be altered because the frame of reference is now the international order? From a human perspective, wars, whether civil or international, represent social breakdown. War is not a continuation of politics (see below), but either a rejection or a failure of politics.
However, the alternative view exists… articulated here superbly by a Still Revered Leader whose Thoughts and Politics brought Famine, Imprisonment, Torture, Death and Chaos to Millions: “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” Mao Tse Tung (1893–1976). Also remember Herman Goering's assertion that… the moral and sane views of the public in regard to war are merely a challenge for the political leader.
Clausewitz famously saw war as “a conflict of great interests” and “the continuation of politics by other means.” Most politicians think likewise.
Stratfor emphasizes geopolitics, which relates to the way geography affects security and prosperity, and hence how countries need to defend themselves. As a result, armed conflicts recur based on the effects of that geography and end up indelibly etched on the military and public consciousness.
Like all violence, war is potentially or actually criminal: it certainly encourages acts that are criminal, i.e. in the midst of random and quasi-accidental killing there is deliberate looting, property destruction, rape, torture and murder, including deliberate targeting of journalists and medical workers. These are not merely «unfortunate collateral events» as politicians tell the public.
Each person who affirms to themselves and others that war is inevitable and nothing anyone does matters, increases the probability of war. Each person who adheres to the view that war is inherently wrong, even if sometimes necessary in an imperfect world, contributes to reducing the probability of politician-inspired paranoid and mindless wars in the future.
Conclusion: War happens. However, it must on no account be regarded as normal or inevitable, any more than being raped and murdered in your home would be.
Temporary violence within nations may occur as countries move from the taken-for-granted or oppressive dominance of customary elites () to democratic equality under the law ( ).
In the same way, war may be temporarily required in the global scene.
Q: Is war a form of politics?
Q: Is there more to global politics than power-struggles and national interests?
Remember: It will require the mass of people to treat war as a near-criminal failure of imagination before politicians view it similarly. The politician’s job is to reflect the people’s values. That points the finger of responsibility at the people: even when politicians rabble-rouse and take the lead in war-mongering.
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 12 June 2014.