After World War II, "trading states" seemed to be charting a new path forward. But small was not beautiful. Even great powers found themselves negotiating larger markets through economic associations with others. It's time the United States became such a power.
Critics refute Muller’s assumptions about ethnic conflict; Muller responds.
All have heard about the virtual corporation. What the world is witnessing now is the rise of the virtual state. After World War II, led by Japan and Germany, the most advanced nations gave up territorial conquest to compete instead for world trade. As more corporations farm out production and land becomes less valuable than technology, knowledge, and portfolio investment, the state will further shift its efforts from amassing productive capacity to choosing industries and investing in people. War over territory is becoming quaint, but so is the welfare state.
There will be a brief period of opportunity, perhaps a decade, in which the post-Cold War world can make use of the present 'new concert of powers'. "If this new system is not firmly established... the world may again lapse into a balance of power or an unworkable multipolar deterrence by the year 2000".
The U.S.-Soviet détente is neither fully understood nor certain to endure. The sheer complexity of détente balancing-holding the Soviet Union, China, the Western allies and Japan in a complicated network of associations with the United States which involve conflict as well as cooperation-may not last. Even if it could be sustained, some argue that American interests dictate that it should be dropped or radically modified. To others détente is an attitude, but not a policy. It represents a desirable and overdue recognition of realities in foreign policy-the need to achieve better relations with the Soviet Union and China. But it does not specify where the United States should go from there. Détente without a positive core of policy goals could jeopardize American relations with Japan and Western Europe without gaining any durable benefit from the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet-American trade agreement makes it seem even less likely that the United States can use détente as a means to extract important concessions from the U.S.S.R.