– Is the post 1945 order imposed on the world by the US and their allies unraveling?
– The post-1945 “order” has been irretrievably unraveled with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, the US tried repeatedly to replace it with a new order of pax americana. It failed abominably. At the moment, we all live on a multi-centered globe with no forces in sight that are alone or together capable or earnestly trying to “order” it. As Ulrich Beck, one of greatest thinkers of the past century prominent for his unique insight into the shape of things to come put it, we are already cast in a cosmopolitan condition but thus far we have not yet started to develop a cosmopolitan awareness (not to mention, as I would add, the institutions adequate to dealing with that cosmopolitan condition).
It is human, all too human, habit to blame and punish the messengers for the hateful contents of the message they carry from those baffling, inscrutable, frightening and rightly resented global forces which we (for a sound reason) suspect to bear responsibility for the agonizing and humiliating sense of existential uncertainty, which wrecks and grinds down our confidence as well as plays havoc with our ambitions, dreams and life plans. And while we can do next to nothing to bridle the elusive and faraway forces of globalization, we can at least divert the anger they caused us and which they go on causing, and unload our anger, vicariously, on their close to hand and within reach products. This won’t, of course, reach anywhere near the roots of the problems, but might relieve at least for some time the humiliation of our haplessness and our incapacity to resist the disabling precariousness of our own place in the world.
That twisted logic, the mindset it generates and the emotions it lets lose, provide highly fertile and nourishing meadows tempting many a political vote-gatherer to graze on. This is a chance, which a growing number of politicians would loathe to miss. Capitalizing on the anxiety caused by the influx of strangers, who are feared to push further down the wages and the salaries already refusing to grow and to lengthen yet more the already abominably long queues of people lining up (to no effect) for the stubbornly scarce jobs, is a temptation to which very few politicians already in office or aspiring to an office would be able to resist.
Zygmunt Bauman, interviewed by Helena Celestino. “Bauman: History repeats itself. We are coming back to the small, tribal states.” In Eutopia Institute: http://www.eutopiainstitute.org/2018/01/bauman-history-repeats-itself-we-are-coming-back-to-the-small-tribal-states/