Since the Berlin Wall fell during Oktoberfest in 1989 the buzzword has been globalization. In one fell swoop, it had felt as though the world had fallen into America’s lap like dominoes on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. The eagerness to embrace it to lift it up to end all wars had enveloped America after Gulf War I.
Well-being of the rest of the world’s peoples unshackled from the Cold War divides had become the American interest. America was the victor and wanted to consolidate its geopolitical gains, without weapons but with money. The sole power on the planet was faced with the challenge of balancing its well-being with that of the rest for whose fortunes it suddenly felt responsible. Political expediency and the realpolitik of economics had superseded the obligation of achieving balance, leaving behind, nearly two decades later, a world out of balance.
Still, all’s well that ends well, hopefully. Most of the rest of the world has been catalyzed by the United States to aspire for a better life. And since the end of World War II, the world has gravitated toward democracy, at its own pace, with varying degrees of implicit or explicit commitment. It is a tide which America had been creating for as long as it remembers and cannot be turned back. In a world that wants to live a better life, not envying America but wanting to be it, the inexorable integration of polities, economies and societies is occurring at a different pace and time in history, but its fundamental nature has not changed. The convergence of the world from the days of kings and priests has finally transitioned into a new convergence of the will of the people, varying only in the organization of governance.
The universal desire to live better lives in today’s stable world of nation-states naturally puts a premium on stability. It is in the interest of no country to cause instability for it can be costly for all. The world does not want war. It wants self-determination. Self-determination of faith and of political and economic self-governance. The purpose of public policy has therefore become the need to ensure global political, economic and social stability.
Political stability entails true, tried, tested and resilient frameworks of government. Economic stability requires the minimization of the ups and downs of economies. And the two together contribute to enhancing social stability.
Integration then becomes a matter of consequence, not intent. It neither requires to be prodded nor hindered, for by its very nature it needs neither prodding nor hindering which, if engaged in, could create conditions for instability.
It is time to get to the business of the stabilization of governments, resources and of enhancing the mutual understanding among the world’s peoples and their cultures to smooth the natural processes of social integration.
The Great Game of geopolitics is over, climaxing not in domination but in the imperative of co-existence.