The Effects of Schism and Disorder and What is to be Done About Them
Wednesday, December 7, 200518 Comments
The processes of schism among human beings and the resulting disorder and strife have marked human history time and again over centuries. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire Europe was torn by centuries of external invasion and rampant internal disorder. In the 16th Century the Protestant Reformation destroyed the religious hegemony of the Catholic Church that had kept Europe ideologically unified for the entire medieval period. What followed was an era of religious wars and extremism that would claim the lives of millions. In the 18th Century the Feudal Order itself that had organized society for so long was swept away by the French Revolution, ushering in a new era of nationalist conflict and mass destruction in the name of one’s country.
At every turn schism has resulted in the deaths of millions and as we look back upon the devastation we cannot help but ask ourselves, was it really worth it? Was stopping the selling of indulgences and the concept of “salvation by faith alone” worth the annihilation of Central Europe and the deaths of millions of innocent people over a period of two centuries? Was the call of nationalism and the promise of self-determination worth the demise of countless millions who have died in the unending national struggles that have scarred history since the beginning of the French Revolutionary wars in 1789? What about the bloody wars of independence and later civil wars that consumed much of the world following the collapse of the colonial order in the 20th Century? Was so much blood, human blood, necessary just so that a few idealogues could stand vindicated? It is shameful that a human being could do such things to his or her own species in the name of an ill-conceived idea, religious or secular.
Without a common power to govern over the states of the world themselves, a situation of anarchy prevails on the world stage. Arms dealers continue to ply their deadly trade often with the blessing of the great nations of the world as they sell their weapons to criminal militia groups and corrupt governments alike throughout the developing world. Without adequate constraint from a world organization better described as an activist forum the nations of the world continue their competition via proxy. It is something that states will always seek to do whenever there is no higher authority. The state and its interests, however they are secured, form the bottom line as each state seeks to outmaneuver any perceived competition. If human beings living elsewhere in the world must die so that the citizens of the state in question might continue to live in peace than so be it, it is considered acceptable collateral damage.
The corporation adopts a similar mentality, whoever or whatever suffers for the company’s profits is ultimately considered an externality. I do not believe that the world can be called orderly when international law is effectively in the hands of a weak United Nations and with the great powers who will use and abuse such law as they see fit and as their power allows. A similar situation exists regarding corporations, they are more than willing to take opportunities created by the sufferings of others. It is simply the way it works. There is no deliberate malice involved in most cases, they simply do what they see as best for themselves and do not mind when what is best for themselves does not coincide with the common good of humanity. They will deny wrongdoing and they will deny responsibility, as far as they are concerned they have none, and yet it is this elite that governs over the major economic, political, cultural, and military functions in this world. Their refusal to effectively take responsibility means that they deny the most fundamental obligation that the ruler has to their subjects: to defend them.
For too long it has been humanity that has paid the price for the excesses of the nationalist, the religious fanatic, and the greedy merchant. It is shameful that we live in a world where nations continue to divide the map into ever smaller portions as more and more ethnic groups seek to be the sole lords and masters of a homogenous nation-state. Religiously tolerant empires such as the Ottoman Empire fell apart into nationalist enclaves that would come to use genocide and warfare as a means of exerting themselves over both their neighbours and internal minorities in the Balkans, the Middle East and beyond. Events such as these have led to poverty, disease, and starvation over much of the globe and, while there have been many attempts at combating these afflictions, good intentions mean nothing when they are not backed up by decisive action and the capability to engage in such action. We remain a house divided with precious little to stop us from killing one another.
I see radicalism to the right and to the left and pacifists everywhere else. Of allegiance to one’s species in the spirit of defense I see little, but I see enough of it for it to be a source of hope. A source of hope for a unified tomorrow, where the dignity of humankind will triumph through a combination of law, responsible government, leadership by example, balance, and decisive action. What we require is a universal regime with the power to protect and defend the human species, and with the authority to effectively lead it into the future. Without this ability to enforce law in a lawless world the cycle of schism and disorder will continue and its continued effect will be the great suffering of the human species. Power and its exercise for noble ends is a necessary tool in bringing peace to the world.
The future leaders of humanity must understand the dangers of neglect. They must realize what duty falls to them and what responsibilities must be upheld above all. For there is only one earth, and there is one human species, and both must be defended if they are to survive.
We must and we will secure a strong and stable world order that will finally bring an end to the unstable mutation that humanity and human civilization have undergone since the upheavals of the 16th Century. Ours is an ongoing struggle, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.