Take One For The Team

Not only are we still not done with war and revolution as a result of our relationship with Russia, but the fact that there is some sort of transition going on away from a global status quo of American global hegemony is yet another reason as to why war and revolution is an issue which should preoccupy us to a certain extent. As the late Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in a book about the Soviet bloc which he built upon his doctoral thesis:

Modern revolutionary ideology is essentially an action program derived from certain doctrinal assumptions about the nature of reality and expressed through certain stated, not overtly complex, assertions about the inadequacy of the past or present state of societal affairs. These assertions include an explicit guide to action outlining methods for changing the situation, with some general, idealized notions about the eventual state of affairs.

Brzezinski noted that leaders and political movements in both the West and in non-Western societies use the mobilization of popular support and the fostering of ‘mass consciousness’ as vehicles to carry out their agendas, but the manner in which popular support is mobilized and the manner in which ‘mass consciousness’ is fostered in the West is different than in the non-Western world. 

One thing which is shared in common between the West and the non-Western world, however, is that “nondemocratic” leaders and movements arise out of a combination or set of particular conditions, namely, the combination of “intense social dissatisfaction with the status quo, a sense of political frustration” and “the weakening of traditional bonds induced by economic change” which in turn result in “the emergence of a new type of political action which is nondemocratic but which also requires the mobilization of popular support.” 

In a sense, current events have to be seen through the prism of a faltering and receding status quo at the present moment. And in a sense, the solution to overcoming a faltering or receding status quo in the view of “nondemocratic” ideologies and movements or non-Western ideologies and movements is collectivism, even if it means imposing a collectivist system through the use of force, given that these ideologies and movements believe that collectivism is the end or telos of a “natural process” or “historical process” which in turn validates their ideologies and movements, as Brzezinski noted. 

Fissures were found by the Western powers in collectivist systems such as Communism and Islam along cultural and nationalistic lines. But such fissures emanated largely out of the fact that both Islam and communism became imperial systems, and in turn, Soviet communism and the Islamic empires of the past went the way of all other imperial systems, namely, the way of generation, decline, and collapse. Collectivism could still work on a national level, but not as an imperial system. Nevertheless, and as Melvyn Leffler and David Painter wrote: “The end of the the Cold War provided an opportunity for the peoples of the world to forge a more peaceful, prosperous, and just international order. We can only hope that they will have the imagination, the determination, and the resources to do so.” 

But as we witnessed over the last few decades, the collapse of one imperial system gave way to yet another one, and now, the latest imperial system is going through its own process of decline and degeneration, which in turn calls for the opportunity or the creation of an opportunity to forge a better and more just international order given that there is a general determination and will to do so. 

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