We live, no doubt, in a period of accelerating history, though what precisely we can expect from this acceleration nobody dares predict. The end of World War II is still not 20 years away, yet there already is little resemblance between the blueprint for world order drawn in 1944 and the world of 1964. A world order after a war which caused 30,000,000 casualties should last somewhat longer than that. The Pax Romana after the civil wars fought just before the birth of Christ lasted, on and off, a couple of centuries. The Pax Anglica after the Napoleonic Wars lasted a century. The Pax Americana (nobody can deny that the United States has kept the peace since VJ-Day, with some tacit coöperation from Russia) has now lasted nineteen and a half years, but thanks only to several changes in the organization of the world, some of them improvised under the pressure of events.
This article will attempt to peer into the darkness of the future and imagine how peace can be kept in the sixties and the early seventies. Is the present world order (if any) going to last? What forces and what ideas are pressing for a change? Where are the centers of resistance? What sort of new equilibrium (if needed) will be established, and by whom?
The blueprint for peace at the end of World War II was simple and therefore had a certain harmonious elegance. Five main powers were to be responsible for assuring the peace of the globe, and they were given juridical sanction for this in the United Nations Charter, which accorded them permanent seats and veto rights in the Security Council. The United Kingdom was to be responsible for northwest Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near and Middle East, southern Asia and Oceania; the Soviet Union for its own enormous mainland and for Eastern Europe; France for the bulk of Africa, north and south of the Sahara; China (the China of Chiang Kai-shek) for the Far East. The
Loading, please wait...