The world, including the United States, it appears to be, is on an irrevocable path to flavors of Franco-German democracy in its gradual evolution through 2050. That signal is coming from Egypt, not from extra-terrestrial intelligence.
Egypt has been an authoritarian secular state and a republic since the 1952 overthrow of constitutional monarchy. The current revolt is against the republic by a people who do not want a theocracy. They want a legitimate democratic republic. What they want is not what either America or Israel wants. At least not now, for the Israeli peace, so fragile, could splinter the Sinai, America fears, and throw the region into paroxysms of instability. Oil, of course, is the immediate concern, but so is the rise of anti-Israeli sentiment and Iran.
So, the United States has installed its long time collaborator in Egypt, Mr. Omar Suleiman, in charge of the pyramid country, after Mr. Hosni Mubarak formally transferred power to the man who had helped the president keep the peace with Israel all these years. Just as they had been in Pakistan during the Cold War, the military and intelligence are now de jure in charge of the country, after being so de facto since the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in 1979 for keeping the peace in the Sinai Peninsula.
The United States is not new to authoritarianism itself. Beginning with the McCarthy Communist purges in the early ‘50s, the country had a firm grip on the society, albeit quietly, through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S Department of Defense (DoD). That this has been so, is well documented, publicly. After all, both came into being as a result of World War II, the Democrat presidents FDR and Harry Truman and the rise of the left around the world after the Russian Revolution in 1917.
The end of the Cold War had added another weapon to the American arsenal: economic warfare since 1993. Since 9/11, the combination of economic power and the military have become the instruments of choice to keep peace, defined as social stability and physical security, rather than producing peace through political and economic change that would benefit the most people around the world.
Political and economic change to legitimate democratic societies can produce uncertain times, but democratic orders, once stabilized, as was the case with India after independence in 1947, can lead to more lasting stability and security, because no free people would ever prefer Hobbesian peace. The loss of India dealt defeat to the ideology of Winston Churchill who did not see any inconsistency between the hegemony of the ethnically English speaking peoples and the liberty of those whose hegemons they were.
The United Kingdom has been the greatest empire builder in the history of civilization, a trait America has acquired since the end of World War II. Just as the Romans had done, the British built institutions in their foreign colonies, governed by the British monarch and parliament with the aid of bureaucracies of the British educated elites from the colonies. The compromised elites had subjugated their own peoples at the behest of the British empire.
The rapid pace of European decolonization of the world since 1945 due the rising nationalist movements around the world which had, in fact, borrowed heavily from the ideas of American nationalism of 1776 to achieve independence produced today’s mostly democratic world by the end of the 20th century. Stability and security as in India where infeasible was enabled by authoritarian states with either allegiance to the communists (former Soviet Union) or to the United States, as the Western European powers receded to rebuild themselves after World War II.
The world fell into the American and Western European (North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO) corner once again after the collapse of communism since 1989, reviving the Churchillian vision of a mostly English-speaking world (due to America’s rise) dominated by the Northern Europeans, giving rise to neocolonial aspirations, but only more sophisticated than the imperial occupations of the earlier era: the elites foreign to Northern Europeans are being corrupted once again into the club at the expense of their own peoples in the name of global stability and security, especially as large numbers of people are being added to the world economy, all with their own aspirations for a better life. This time the gamble of the West is that the Gandhis and Mandelas of the world cannot succeed in overturning the Churchillian pre-decolonization vision of global dominance because of the sheer magnitude of technological prowess and wealth that has been amassed by the West since the Renaissance. Diversity, for example, among the Davos elites is the crux of this strategy of libido dominandi, not enlightenment.
Davos represents the rise of a neocolonial global welfare state where, development, instead of moving to where the people are will move the elites of the world to where the development is. It is a vision of an emerging world government, at the moment shadow and de facto, where almost all of the top 20 per cent of the world’s income earners by 2100 (except Australia), about 3 billion, will live in the gentler climes of a warming planet north of the 40 degrees North latitude, a vast global middle class consisting of 60 per cent of the world’s population, about 9 billion, will be distributed below Greece together with the world’s poor consisting of the bottom 20 per cent or another 3 billion people, comprising a total of 15 billion.
The de jure form of government that will gradually emerge by the century’s end would be a convergence of world governments to mixed-economies of large governments co-existing with the private markets to direct them as do the Europeans (and Russians) and Chinese (and as did the United States during World Wars I and II and later under JFK and LBJ in a break with pre-World War I America that had brought the Industrial Revolution to the country from Europe), engaging transnationally to redistribute wealth to enable the welfare state and to sustain the engineered global division of economic classes ― a global version of LBJ’s Great Society that is socially liberal and low in faith.
The new strategic space policy of the United States articulated by the DoD is also, and clearly not coincidentally, stability and security. Speaking as a matter of fact, it represents the end of the United States as we know it. The exercise of authoritarianism, economic and military, in both the West and the rest represents the modus operandi of this emerging convergence of the rising new order, forged in the crucible of perhaps a perpetually simmering unrest, that explodes to the surface on occasion. The bridge to the 21st century has been built. The rest is a bipartisan political dog and pony show for the masses.
Welcome to Star Trek, but only until those marginal Davos elites who are ethnically foreign to Northern Europe, begin to question why it is they who cannot be at the top. And that fat lady will sing after 2050 as the G20 nations try to converge economically, per capita, just as the G7 have done since World War II. Winston Churchill will have to wait in despondence for another 50 years chasing the mirage of an anglo-euro-centric global government, a pursuit that had begun for him in 1911, one hundred years ago, for liberty is positive history, the inalienable attribute of human nature to exercise the panoply of individual freedoms, including the religious and cultural, and its consequence is normative history. Self-sustaining social order is feasible only in enlightened self-interest, not by the barrel of a gun or through money.
Neocolonialism will go the way of colonialism, making way for legitimate liberty, for this is the way the world has always worked in the perpetuation of life as we know it.