IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

End of decade, etc…

The decade is coming to an end, and everybody is writing about important developments, “best of”, “worst of”, etc…..  To date (and maybe this will change) I haven’t seen anything about “the 00’s and peace’, or “are we closer to peace now than in 2000”, and so on.  Interesting (at least to me).

I would not pretend to make such a comprehensive assessment in this post.  However, a few things do come to mind.

1.  The end of the Cold War created opportunities for peace, but, in retrospect, it seems to me the powers that be simply weren’t ready to do much with them.  There was, I think, a real “window of opportunity”, but it probably didn’t stay open very long, and there was a fair amount of dithering, and even denying anything “fundamental” had changed (how strange).   Now, slowly but surely, the idea that new ways of doing things are necessary seems to be dawning on our leaders.  That, in itself, does not solve the problem since they still have to find ways to catch up with events.

2.  The emergence of terrorism as the Numero Uno on the fear agenda (rightfully so, perhaps), has obscured to some extent, the fact that the Great Powers that used to always be at war, ending a war or getting ready for another war with each other, are not doing that quite as  much these days.  This may even have been accelerated by the common concern over terrorism.  What does not yet seem to have been well understood is the degree to which terrorism is linked to individual and collective anger and despair.

3.  While there was a lot of loose talk (and plenty of nonsense) said and written about a New World Order in the 90’s, one could argue that in the 00’s there have been some signs of such a thing (though they are still rather sketchy).  For instance, the Major Powers talk things over a lot (not just at summits); and make efforts to work together or at least not to create new tensions among themselves.  This is part of what we now, with more or less precision, call the emerging process of Global Governance.

4.  Globalization, understoof broadly (and our awareness of it),  has changed and is changing almost everything.  As I’ve written before, we are increasingly aware of the fact that we are in this “thing” (ie life, the planet, the present and future, etc…) together.  We need to get used to this idea and work with it.   Otherwise we are just going to get more and more in each other’s way.  Consider:

Madoff and Sub prime

H1N1

Drug Trafficking

Michael Jackson

etc…

We all lived through these things simultaneously and in “real time” (thanks to the media and the internet).

Anyway, as a friend of mine from college likes to say (Hi Mark, if you are listening!):  It has certainly been interesting so far.

IGbarb says:”Happy New Year” (if you are on the Gregorian calendar, anyway 🙂 ).

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December 31, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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