By Shahper Hassan
There are certain universal principles according to which life on our planet sustains. Earth naturally rotates as part of those physical laws; the impact of these laws on human life in many ways is undeniable. The application of the same principles to a culture or a civilisation can not be refuted. To assume that any single culture, civilisation or a sole super power will prevail worldwide (unless it is based on a system that provides justice without any prejudice or discrimination on the basis of religion, race, or nation) or continue its hegemony is to go against nature or the very universal principles that are supporting life on earth.
No matter how advanced technologically or scientifically a state is, it will somehow get on the track that will ultimately lead to finishing it’s superiority. Not only it’s own mistakes or blunders will play a crucial role for the decline, but also some external factors by default or unconsciously will contribute, secretly as well as in an open defiance. As all living organisms have their life span. Say a man has a life of a 100 years.
After spending this life, willingly or unwillingly one has to expire. It’s nature, following physical laws. A state is made of four components, (1) population, (2) territory, (3) government and (4) sovereignty. All these components are mortal. In population, new generation replaces the older one. History has shown us that due to various factors, – wars, climate – geographical changes occur. Governments are replaced by other governments, whether it is democracy, dictatorship, monarchy or any other form of polity. Is the world going to witness a major change? Will it be geographical or climatic change? May be due to the Third World War. But what are the chances?
To a large extent Huntington’s theory Clash of Civilisations, that first appeared in 1993, has proven to be true as rapid expected and unexpected events from 1993 to 2008 have radically changed the global politics.
The United States of America, that emerged as a super power after the Cold War, is on the track which reminds of the three possibilities that Bertrand Russell mentioned in one of his essays published in 1950. According to Bertrand Russell, the three possibilities that will be realised before the end of the present century are:
(1) The end of human life.
(2) A reversion to barbarism after a catastrophic diminution of the population of the globe.
(3) A unification of the world under a single government, possessing the monopoly of all the major weapons of war.
The policy of Americanisation (probably the establishment of a universal state under single authority, US-controlled) that the US has been hypothetically pursuing is about to backfire contrary to the original plan that also includes possessing the monopoly of all the major weapons and the war technology.
It could have been possible, had this country stuck to the true principles of democracy and justice. Russel claimed, the world countries would prefer to come under it’s umbrella for it holds those basic principles cherished by all the nations: freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, freedom of discussion, and humane feelings. In that particular essay there was no mention of imparting justice to the aggrieved party (Conventional wisdom unanimously supports the dogma of providing justice, without any prejudice, is one of the most important factor in prolonging a rule).
Despite the fact the US is the only superpower, even most of the Western countries are not willing to act on its dictation. So the idea of bringing the world under a single authority is not practical to be realised in the near future.
The remaining two possibilities have more stronger chances. But before that, the process of the US decline will be accelerated. One of the blunders, that will accelerate this process, is its non-adherence to even it’s own principles. Its confrontation with the Muslim world countries (civilisation) is part of that process. Organised ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, an illegal occupation of Iraq, invasion of Afghanistan and further plan to strike against Iran.
Keep in mind the scenario and the blocks of the great wars. In World War I, there were two blocks – Allies, that included Russia, France, Britain (and later US) and their allies on one side and the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey and their allies on the other. Italy began as a Central power but later switched to the Entente.
In World War II, the big four Allied powers were Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and France. And the Axis were mainly Germany, Italy and Japan. How the wars engulfed a big part of the world?
Nothing is impossible. If a regional power Iran, as is said, is taking advantage of US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is showing it’s strategic and political clout. Why not the major powers will try to get hold of the world affairs?
Just assume, the US has striked against Iran and there is a full scale war. Before the break out of the war, the major powers would have calculated their interests, and there will be time and opportunity to take revenge for the past humiliating defeat. (Do not forget before the Cold War, the USSR, today’s Russia, and the US were the two major powers. And Japan had have devastating effects of atom bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).
The result of this war, World War III, will be more disastrous than the other two great wars, because probably it will be decisive nuclear war. In the larger interest of humanity and to avoid the end of human life, the US is duty bound to avoid behaving belligerently anymore.
-Shahper Hassan is a journalist in the Sharjah based English daily, The Gulf Today. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.